Thursday, 22 May 2014

Musee de l"Armee, Paris

Not to shorten the brief time my wife and I would have to explore London and Paris and not to bore the wife with endless staring at old clothing and armor, I dedicated only one military museum per city.  For Paris it had to be the Musee de l'Armee (the Army Museum) located in the Hotel des Invalides situated conveniently near-ish the numerous other tourist locales.

the Invalides

The entrance.  One of the beautiful buildings of Paris.  I am certainly old school and do not think the steel and glass structures of today compare.

the courtyard

Displays of full size mounted cavalry.  Note the length of the room!

One of the countless collection of interesting militaria.  These are Napoleonic shako badges

An actual British Napoleonic era "stovepipe" shako.  This particular piece of headgear seems to be most poorly represented by many figure designers. Now we have a better idea with an original.

I had to add this photo, as looking at these bearskin metal front plates, the wife asked "What's with the 'tiaras'?  With a smile, she quickly added, "Yeah, yeah, I know, bearskin plates" (the French only descriptions would not help her cheat in this regard!)  Then almost to herself, "How the 'bleep' do I know that?"  giving me a scornful look.

While we lingered at the early periods and the Napoleonic eras, the museum has extensive other sections.  While the layout of the museum is not particularly easy to discover and the museum signage is not well conceived (except to mark the way out!) other rooms had other nations and eras. 
Russian dress uniforms c.1900

British c.mid 19th Century

I am studying the extensive Medieval and Renaissance armor collections. In another hallway there is a window through which you can view masses of miscellaneous armor parts piled apparently haphazardly upon wooden shelves.  It would make any 14th century duke shake in envy!

The World Wars were particularly well displayed which we toured through and of more interest with the wife as it seems more 'current' than the "old shit" I like.  Both of us would have liked to spend more time but having closing near and having spent six hours already (!) we were near the last to leave.  I missed the gift shop as it closed early but it did not seem all that impressive; the usual poor souvenir items, behind the glass.
Nevertheless, a remarkable collection for the military buff;  now off the wargamer in me 'bucket list'.


  1. Musee de l'Armee, one of my favorite military museums. I spent two days plodding about that place in 2001.

    1. Oh, we could have spent much more time than we did. However, while she enjoyed the 'extra' commentary from me to supplement the often only French descriptions offered, especially for her the World Wars era, she did wonder why my continued interest "as i know it already"
      Women just don't understand our hobby. >grin<

  2. I love this museum...and I am French, easier for me to spend a day or two there...great looking pictures!

    1. Flying almost half way around the world does put a damper upon the museum visitation. You are very lucky to have such a national treasure so near.
      Merci for the note.

  3. Hi Doug,
    Just a note to say I really enjoy your blog and have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Well done and keep blogging

    1. While I do really write this in order to record my wargaming deeds having little faith that my hard drive will continue function thus losing all my photos, etc.; I do write it so that should someone stumble upon it, or more for myself years later, should find it somewhat interesting.
      I will continue until they pry the paintbrush from my cold, gray hands :-))
      thanks for the note, Jonathan.