Imperial War Museum North
In a building designed by world famous architect Daniel Libeskind, this branch of the Imperial War Museum explores the impact of modern conflicts on people and society chronologically in six thematic displays. The walls of the gallery are used as screens for the projection of hourly audiovisual presentations called the Big Picture. Very powerful stuff!
Armed Forces Military Museum
This 50,000 sq. ft. museum is full of interactive military and historical displays, dioramas and oral histories. And the best part? They have a life-sized replica of an Iraqi Freedom-era Saddam Hussein holding a Mars Bar (it was his favorite candy bar).
Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum
This Japanese memorial tells the story of the Okinawa District Headquarters of the Japanese Navy. Located in a tunnel under a hill, over 2000 sailors committed suicide instead of surrender to the U.S. Marines.
Jaca Citadel Military Miniatures Museum
This museum in Spain displays 23 historic scenes of the most important battles of human history, including the battles of Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece, the Roman Empire, the Crusades, the Napoleonic era and of course the 20th century wars.
American Freedom Museum
This Texas museum shows why America is free with a timeline that begins with the Battle of Lexington and ends during the War on Terror. Some highlights of the collection include a lock of George Washington’s hair and a helicopter shot down during Vietnam.
National Museum of Civil War Medicine
See the “dedication, innovation and devotion of U.S. Civil War surgeons and medical support staff on both sides of the conflict” The death rate could have easily been twice the 620,000. There are exhibits on medical education, recruitment, camp life, evacuation of the wounded, field dressing stations and hospitals, embalming and comparisons to today’s modern technologies.
National Museum of American Jewish Military
Located in Washington, D.C., this museum honors Jewish Americans who served in the armed forces. A new permanent exhibit takes visitors from 1654 to the present with historical artifacts like a Revolutionary War rifle to a camouflage kippah designed to honor a Iraqi War casualty.
Museum of Sarajevo 1878-1918
If you want to learn about the events leading up to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, then this is the place is for you. The building is located right next to Latin Bridge, in which Gavrilo Princip was standing when he fired the faithful shots that started World War I. The exact spot is marked by embossed footprints and a memorial plaque.
This is for the vet or history buff with a sense of humor. This Virginia attraction created by artist Mark Cline depicts a make-believe fiberglass world, an alternate history where Northern Civil War soldiers have the evil plan of using Dinosaurs against the South, but the plan backfires and the Dinos end up attacking the Evil Yankees instead. Funny!
Iowa artist Ray “Bubba” Sorenson II has been painting “Freedom Rocks” in all 99 counties of Iowa. The art honors America’s veterans with patriotic images like George Washington crossing the Delaware, the MIA logo, a plane launching from an aircraft carrier, and 9/11 rubble.
Honorable Mention: Hungary’s Terror Háza Múzeum (former headquarters of the secret police contains exhibits related to the fascist/communist regimes of the Cold War) and North Korea’s Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (not that many people visit the country, but I am sure some of you are curious to learn the North Korean version of the Korean War, like killing half a million “Yankee imperialists”)