Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fort Meade Museum

Francis here, stuck in the wilds of Ft. Meade, Maryland for my advanced leadership class. I'm hoping to bring you some updates from Washington DC in the future, but for now I have the Ft. Meade museum.

Ft. Meade became an active Army installation in 1917 to process drafted American Soldiers for WWI. It sits between Baltimore and Washington D.C., and is home to the NSA.

I don't think I'll be able to cover that last one.

Many of the artifacts in the museum are from the WWI era. Trench art like this has always been one of my favorite displays because of how bizarre the idea is. It's all made from used artillery rounds and usually created with crude tools created by the soldiers.

The museum features a kids section with American doughboy uniforms to fit your children. Dysentery and trench foot, however, were nowhere to be found.

The post is named for Gen. George G. Meade, a Civil War general who won the Battle of Gettysburg.

The museum also features jokes and comic made specific for the base. The military sense of humor hasn't improved much over the last hundred years.

Fort Meade is currently the home of the Defense Information School, which I graduated from as a public affairs specialist in 2002. 

French Renault FT-17, created for WWI but not finished in time. It is the first tank to have a fully rotating turret main gun. Less than fifty of these revolutionary fighting vehicles exists today in various museums throughout the world.

And this is the Tank Mark VIII, one of three surviving anti-infantry tanks from pst WWI. It was created to be able to push through infantry lines and over battle-scarred fields with ease. It was outfitted with various heavy machine guns and would have been able to cut through the front lines with ease. However, it didn't enter into production until just after WWI ended.

A scale modle since the actual tank takes up an entire room and is difficult to photograph. There were plenty of tanks parked outside the museum, but these two were the most interesting.

The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday, but open to the public from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Wednesday through Saturday and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Sunday. It's free to the public, but donations are gladly accepted.

If you find yourself in the neighborhood and just don't want to make it north or south for a big city, check this place out.

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