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Battlefields, Museums and areas of military interest
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
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It is quite easy to find information on battlefields, museums and areas of military interest through the internet but quite often this information is presented by someone with a vested interest and we can never be sure how good the battlefield, museum or area of military interest really is. There is also those smaller museums that do not have a website or are overlooked when doing an online search.

The idea is for those geeks who have visited such places to impart their thoughts and let us know which we should avoid, and which we may of missed. I wanted to have some sort of organisation so that someone visiting an area could easily find all the information in one location and not have to look through the whole of the geek list to find bits dotted about here and there. The best way of doing this that I can think of is to select a game which represents an area,eg Breakout Normandy for all of Normandy. If you wanted to add 2 different museums in Normandy then make a separate entry for each museum using Breakout Normandy as the game.

Feel free to add a game which would sum up the area involved but please ensure that you are not duplicating an area.
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26. Board Game: Codeword Cromwell: The German Invasion of England, 8 June 1940 [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:3232]
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
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I visited Battle in 2007
http://www.battle-sussex.co.uk/
This is where the Battle of Hastings took place and is well worth a trip just to visit the site. The actual town itself is beautiful with many old buildings and inside the Abbey are many information points, you can see where the battle took place and why the Abbey was built. A well stocked shop and the typical English tea room too. The Abbey forms part of the town square and there is an old traditional black and white timbered pub.
Set aside the best part of a day to see the Abbey and the town.
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27. Board Game: Cold War: CIA vs KGB [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:793]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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The Wende Museum (Culver City, California):
http://www.wendemuseum.org/

"For many scholars and historians, the Wende is a treasure trove of unusual objects from East Germany and Eastern Europe, which you won’t find in many other archives. It has a collection of everything from East German blueprints to Soviet artwork. The museum’s most spectacular exhibit is probably its portion of the Berlin Wall. It is the biggest chunk of the wall anywhere outside of Berlin.
Europeans have long been ready to move on, so saving the material culture of the unpleasant era isn’t especially high on anyone’s list. Jampol says the museum sends out scouts across Eastern Europe looking for art and artifacts, including Communist-era statues about to be melted down for scrap.
Preserving the history of political, cultural and personal life, the Wende collects materials you won’t find in a typical historical archive.
'Ranging from furniture to blueprints to design material, artwork, menus, erotika, photo albums, journals, diaries'" - review & slideshow:
http://www.theworld.org/2012/01/cold-war-wende-museum-califo...
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28. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal – Pacific Ocean 1942 [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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Guadalcanal - August 1942 to Feb. 1943

Guadalcanal was the psychological turning point in the fight against the Japanese in the Pacific. Prior to this campaign the Japanese were on a roll both on land and at sea. The fate of the Pacific was very much up in the air. After Guadalcanal the Japanese never again would seriously challenge US forces. Not that the remaining years of the war wouldn't be difficult but the US forces knew they had an edge.

Most of the battlefields of Guadalcanal have changed surprisingly little to this day and outside of a few memorials here and there they look just as they did in WWII.

Here's the famous Edson's Ridge from Google Earth just south of Henderson field where the Marines made a heroic stand that saved the field from falling into Japanese hands:



The Lunga River runs north-south along the left and the modern day Henderson Field is at the top of the picture. Running right down the center of the picture is a rough dirt road that goes right down the ridge and ends a the point where the Marines had their front line on the first night of the battle. The area around the ridge is almost entire undeveloped. Other battlefields to the east of the airfield and at the far western end of the island remain very much as they were back in WWII with very little development.

Edson's Ridge after the battle:


In contrast the area around the Matanikau River/Point Cruz just west of Henderson field is now heavily populated. This is the site of heavy fighting between newly arrived Japanese reinforcements after the Battle of Edson's Ridge and Marines. The Japanese were trying to establish forward artillery positions on the east side of the Matanikau River in preparation for an upcoming attack on the Marine perimeter to the east of the airfield. The Marines attacked before the Japanese build-up was complete and completely halted all further Japanese efforts to take the airfield. They were too depleted. The battle for Guadalcanal was essentially over although it would be several months before the remaining Japanese could be evacuated from the island.

Point Cruz is the small peninsula seen in the picture below. The black line just to the right of the point is the Matanikau River. Just off the right edge of the photo is the perimeter of Henderson field. The Japanese managed to get several footholds on the east side of the river but were repelled when the Marines swept around and came up from the south along the west side of the river catching the Japanese reserves by surprise.



If you were on Guadalcanal and followed the river along to the sharp point seen in the above image and then went a little south and west you would find a fairly large memorial to the US forces.

Skyline Ridge War memorial:


In the image of the area surrounding the Matanikau River and Point Cruz above you might notice along the top of the image are some small white spots. Some of those are boats on the surface when the satellite image was taken but others are sunken boats and ships. The seas off Guadalcanal are so full of ships and planes that it is called Iron Bottom Sound. I read somewhere that there are so many wrecks that certain kinds of magnetic navigational aids will not function in the waters north of Guadalcanal. Using Google Earth you can find several wrecks of transport ships from WWII along the beaches of the northern coast. Below is a map of most of the ships sunk in Iron Bottom Sound in the 4 naval battles that were fought in the waters off the island. These were:

Battle of Savo Island
Battle of Cape Esperance
Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
Battle of Tassafaronga


Map of sunken Japanese and Allied ships off Guadalcanal:

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29. Board Game: Corregidor: Fall of a Fortress -1942/1945 [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
While I have not been to this one, several people that I know have. All have told me that it was worth the drive (from Manila), and that when (if) I ever go to the Philippines, I should make a point of going.
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30. Board Game: Cybernaut [Average Rating:6.19 Unranked]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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The CIA has a museum ~ but it's exclusive to their employees.*
Ironically, the more exclusive NSA has a museum that is not only open to the public, the docents are retired NSA agents! Amazing collection ~ don't ask, just go!:
http://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/museum/

*a gross shame, since they had an exhibit of '60s Spy Pop Culture (yeah, "Man From U.N.C.L.E. toys and all!)
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31. Board Game: Day of Infamy: The Attack on Pearl Harbor [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Brian Mc Cabe
United States
Arizona
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The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor is a very simple floating museum, but well worth seeing on any visit to Hawaii.

Brian
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32. Board Game: Decisive Victory 1918: The Second Battle of the Marne [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Christopher
Belgium
De Panne
Bachten de Kupe
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Le Chemin des Dames, near Soissons, France

The "Chemin des Dames" is a crest on a high plateau in the direct line of advance towards Paris. Many different (bloody) battles were fought over this crest during WWI (and during other wars as well). It became famous because of the disastrous Nivelle Offensive and the Second Battle of the Aisne.

The whole long of the Chemin des Dames, there are different locations that are worth a stop or a visit: several war cemeteries (German, Commonwelth, French,...)

There is the "Caverne du Dragon" (Dragon's Lair), a subterranean complex which were used both by the French and the Germans, sometimes even simultaneously (They build a wall within the tunnel system).

I think the Chemin des Dames certainly is worth a visit. I can recommend to visit the cemetries (if this is something you like to do) and to go see the "Monuments des Basques", a memorial monument. It impressed me. In the Dragon's Lair there is a museum, which is OK, but not spectacular. There are, in my opinion, far better WWI museums, so you could easily skip the museum if you lack the time to visit it. Another part of the Chemin that impressed me are the remains of the old village of Craonne. In stead of rebuilding the village after WWI, it has been left as it was. The bomb craters are still "intact". The place is an Arboretum now, with a micro-walk through it.

Strongly recommended!

le Monument des Basques:


le vieux Craonne:


URL: http://www.chemindesdames.fr/default.asp?lang=ang
address: D18, Département Aisne, France

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33. Board Game: Dillinger [Average Rating:6.58 Unranked]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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If we assume fighting organized crime as a form of internal warfare (that would certainly be an accurate description of Mexico's ongoing drug war), then here's a truly obscure treasure* - The South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame:
http://www.scdps.org/hof.asp

*especially for gamers: there's an entire case dedicated to an astounding collection of (antique) boardgames about crime fighting!
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34. Board Game: Dire Heroes: Gas Attack at Ypres [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Christopher
Belgium
De Panne
Bachten de Kupe
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Ypres, Belgium
In Flanders Fields museum:

Living in De Panne, about 30km from Ypres, I have visited the "In Flanders Fields" museum several times in my lifetime. I have seen it evolve towards a modern museum, doing a great job in picturing the life of a soldier in the Ypres Salient during WWI. But there is also a lot of information on the several battles fought around Ypres.

Very strongly recommended!



URL: http://www.inflandersfields.be/
address: Grote Markt 34, Ypres, Belgium
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35. Board Game: Dire Heroes: Gas Attack at Ypres [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Christopher
Belgium
De Panne
Bachten de Kupe
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Dixmude, Belgium
- IJzertoren (Yser Tower):
Another not so known, but likewise nice museum, both about WWI and WWII, is located in the top of the IJzertoren (84 meters above the ground). This is a Peace monument at the Yser in Dixmude (Diksmuide). Off course you will see historical objects and will be enlightened on this part of the WWI Front. But there is something special about this museum: the aim of the museum is to let you, the visitor, feel, hear, see and even smell the effects of war. This is well done in my opinion. It's not so much a historical education experience, as rather a psychological and philosophical one on the effects of war on soldiers and the population in general.

Strongly recommended. If you are going to Ypres, you should make a small detour to Dixmude anyway!



URL (only in dutch, links to other languages don't work well): http://www.ijzertoren.org
wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IJzertoren
address: IJzerdijk 49, Dixmude, Belgium

Some 100 meters further, there is the "Dodengang", a completely rebuild WWI Trenches system. This is a must see if you are here anyway!


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36. Board Game: A Fearful Slaughter: The Battle of Shiloh [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:3176]
Brian Mc Cabe
United States
Arizona
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The Shiloh battlefield is beautifully maintained, as are all of the ACW battlefield sites I've visited. I rushed myself a little and could have stayed a few more hours.

I was surprised to see how open the area around The Hornet's Nest was; although, it could have changed considerably over the years.

Brian
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37. Board Game: Field Hospital [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Don't know what the fate of the National Museum Of Health And Medicine will be now that the Walter Reed Medical Center is closing, but its unique collections should assure that it will survive in whatever future guise:
http://nmhm.washingtondc.museum/
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38. Board Game: Flat Top [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1051]
I have visited both the USS Hornet (Alameda, CA) and the USS Intrepid (New York, NY), and found them worth the trip. There is also the USS Midway in San Diego, but I haven't visited her.

The Hornet was actually the location for a gaming tournament (WHFB & WH40K) a few years ago, possibly adding to its allure to BGG members.

http://www.uss-hornet.org/

http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/

http://www.midway.org/

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39. Board Game: Flying Tigers [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Warner Robins / Robins AFB, GA

http://www.museumofaviation.org/index.php

While not quite as extensive as the Air Force Museum at Wright-Pat, the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins is well worth a visit. There is a special connection to General Robert L. Scott (of "God is my Copilot" fame), as he was very involved in the museum.


When I lived in the area, General Scott was often at the museum for events, and even acting as a docent (iirc). He is the only childhood hero of mine that I had the chance to meet - and serve drinks to (I bartended at the base "O" club and worked many events at the museum - often setting up my bar under the wing of the SR-71).

Visiting the museum was one of the best things to do on a day when friends and family visited the area (another was driving down to Andersonville).

Looking at the website, it seems that one of the planes now on exhibit belonged to my old unit.

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40. Board Game: Gladiator: Men vs. Animals [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Bob Jones Museum & Gallery is a treasure trove of some of the world's most precious artwork (friends in-the-know tell me it = a small Vatican Museum of Art):
http://bjumg.org/

Among the many eras represented (including Roman gaming equipment and Egyptian military decorations*) is a jaw-dropping 19th Cent. painting of the climactic day's 'performance' at the arena: a literal orgy of exotic animals and Venatores twisted in the most stark depiction of panicked terror I've seen in art.

* http://bjumg.org/the-bowen-collection2/
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41. Board Game: Go to Texas [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Christian Link
United States
Snowmass Village
Colorado
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In a steamboat shaped hotel, in Fredricksberg Texas stands Admiral Nimitz's National Museum of the Pacific War. Being a nearby resident for most of my life, I have seen it grow tremendously. Even when I knew it as just the Nimitz Museum a long time ago I remember it had a nice tank collection for such a small town.

www.pacificwarmuseum.org
(must be seen in-person...impressive for its WW2 Pacific War info that the Hitler Channel hasn't gotten around to yet...)


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42. Board Game: Great War at Sea: 1898, The Spanish American War [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:4562]
Dave
United States
Delaware
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The USS Olympia

The Olympia is moored as a museum ship at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia. She's the last surviving warship from Spanish-American war, and one of the very few pre-Dreadnought warships left, period.

While she's desperately in need of hull repairs to keep her afloat, she's definitely worth a visit. There's plenty of exhibits aboard to explain her features, what life aboard her was like, and her historical significance.

As a bonus, the WW2 sub Becuna is moored next to her.

Official web site:

http://www.phillyseaport.org/ships_olympia.shtml

Fan site, part of a larger site on the Spanish-American war:

http://www.spanamwar.com/olympia.htm
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43. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:1061]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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The king of battlefields in the US. It's been a few years since I've been there, but I really hope to visit again. The last time I was there you could pay a National Park historian to drive you around the battlefield. I already knew a lot about the battle and could have gotten around without the guide, but I really enjoyed talking with him as we drove around.
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44. Board Game: Hammer of the Scots [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:174]
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
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I visited Hadrians Wall in 2010
http://www.hadrians-wall.org/
The wall has several museums and points of interest along the way, some are better than others and some involve a bit of uphill walking too. if you are in awe of history from 2000 years ago then you will love this place otherwise it may seem like the first bit of wall is just like the next. Housesteads settlement is one of the better ones but involves a bit of a walk to get to it. Vindolanda is the best. There are lots of smaller forts and intact wall that you can buy a ticket to see these which covers all of these smaller attractions which is very cheap. If I remember correctly the price of a pint or two.
The time spent can be up to the individual. You could spend a couple of days or more if you wanted to see everything or just pop in on your way back from somewhere else.
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45. Board Game: Hammer of the Scots [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:174]
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
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I visited Scotland in 2009
Eilean Donan Castle
http://www.eileandonancastle.com/home.htm
Let me begin by saying the Highlands of Scotland are truly beautiful. I am the sort of person that likes to be busy most of the time but I spent many an hour just staring at the wonderful awe inspiring scenery. Eilean Donan Castle is set amongst some of this scenery in a remote part of Scotland. It is advisable to have your own transport when travelling the highlands. The castle itself has a lived in feel and is not the empty shell that beholds most castles. some scenes from Highlander were also filmed here.
3 to 4 hours spent here would be good but don't forget to add travelling time on too.
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46. Board Game: Hammer of the Scots [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:174]
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
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I visited Scotland in 2009
Edinburgh Castle
http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/
One of Scotland's most impressive castles, perched on a volcanic rock. The entry fee is quite expensive but you are paying for entry into a large castle and it will take you a good 4 or 5 hours to see everything. Unfortunately for me I wasn't impressed. The castle although old has a clinical feel to it and has some modern parts to it. Maybe it was me but I never got the feeling of stepping back in time which I normally get when going somewhere old. Also beware of the military Tattoo, a show which attracts large quantities of visitors.
Edinburgh is a big city and I would say some people could spend all day there and then the castle could easily take up the best part of the day. I am sure some people love Edinburgh Castle.
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47. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:68]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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The Tomb of the Scipios will reopen for guided tours in Rome:
http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Ancient+heroes+tomb+reopens...

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48. Board Game: A House Divided [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:622]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Here's a couple of gems within SC not as obvious as what you might visit (like Charleston's multiple related museums, as well as the SC State Museum):

The Confederate Relic Room (NOT for ACW only!: it is the new name for what was the former SC War Museum from its previous location in the capital's Great War memorial building):
http://crr.sc.gov/

The Museum and Library of Confederate History:
http://www.confederatemuseum.org/VirtualTour.html
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49. Board Game: Jewels in the Attic [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Did you like rummaging through your grandparents' attic? Relive the excitement by literally stumbling around this amazing hodge-podge of military artifacts from the Revolution to today at The American Legion Post #3 War Museum in Greenville, SC:
http://www.americanlegion3warmuseum.com/pb/wp_367a5dc1/wp_36...
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50. Board Game: Lee vs. Grant [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:2521]
Wendell
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
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All the little chicks with crimson lips, go...
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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Museum of the Confederacy
Richmond, Virginia

I went to this museum quite a while ago - probably around 1998. Right there in downtown Richmond, near the Virginia State Capitol (which is also worth visiting). Included photos, letters, battle-flags, uniforms, etc. Also the Confederate White House, where Jefferson Davis lived, is part of the museum.

If you like big statues of generals who fought for the losing side (plus a few other non-Civil War statues), there are a bunch of those too in Richmond, along Monument Avenue. Whatever you think of the Confederacy, Lee, etc, it is an attractive road!
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