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National War Museum of Scotland

15 March 2017

55° 56′ 57″ N / 3° 12′ 06″ W

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The National War Museum of Scotland has the air screw from the Sopwith Baby seaplane flown by Flight Lt. Ronald Graham of the Royal Naval Air Service to shoot down a German seaplane (note the self-inflicted bullet holes due to lack of an interruption mechanism)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

The National War Museum of Scotland is a multiple threat institutions since visitors also explore Edinburgh Castle as well as other museums (including one with Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny.

The National War Museum of Scotland is charming and quaint as well as being a world class facility. Artifacts from on as well as off the battlefield are displayed with art and grace but it is the large paintings which set this museum apart. It’s not that large painting, even murals, cannot be seen in other museum of course—it’s that visitors can stand so near them, near enough to see each brush stroke. It is breathtaking to observe the minute detail in these artworks, the combat illustration of the day, as well as where the artists purposefully obscured detail for effect. Individual facial expressions, odd body posturing, smoke, confusion and emotion are all there to see and get a thing of vicarious experience.

The largest artifact is a field cannon so most artifacts are light weapons, medals and the like—along with a fantastic amount of art. Many of the objects are hundreds of years in age but look absolutely pristine and amazingly so.

Entry is free and children are welcomed with most displays at their sighting level. An immensely enjoyable café is nearby that has a gorgeous vista of Edinburgh as well as the 105mm howitzer used at the 1pm signaling so that ship captains may set their chronometers.

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The painting entitled Short Stirlings: The Return of MacRobert’s Reply by Colin Cundall in 1941 at the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Short Stirlings: The Return of MacRobert’s Reply detail by Colin Cundall National War Museum of Scotland (the MacRobert clan lost two sons while serving in Bomber Command of the RAF during WW II)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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7.62mm calibre machine gun recovered from a shot down He 111 bomber in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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A compass and cigarette tin recovered from shot down he 111 bombers as well as a gun site from a downed Luftwaffe Bf 109 fighter at the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Only a few of the India pattern muskets provided by Sir James Grant in 1794 and displayed beautifully in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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A variety of muzzle loading black powder pistols in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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A brace of muzzle loading pistols in a custom kit as exhibited in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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A cap and ball pistol kit displayed in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Closing of the Gates at Hougoumont by artist Robert Gibbs in 1903 displayed at the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Closing of the Gates at Hougoumont by artist Robert Gibbs detail at the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Closing of the Gates at Hougoumont by artist Robert Gibbs detail in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Closing of the Gates at Hougoumont by Scotland’s Robert Gibb shows the closely run moment during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 when British soldiers rushed to close the gates at the fortified farmhouse occupying a key position protecting Wellington’s right flank and was the first action at Waterloo.

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Storming of Tel-el Kebir by the painter Alphonse Marie de Neuville on exhibit in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Storming of Tel-el Kebir by the painter Alphonse Marie de Neuville detail in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Storming of Tel-el Kebir by the painter Alphonse Marie de Neuville detail in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Storming of Tel-el Kebir by Alphonse Marie de Neuville showing the decisive moment when, after a night march, the British forces stormed the Egyptian defenses in 1882. The artist studied the faces of many of the soldiers after the battle so that their faces would be accurately portrayed in this painting.

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The Battle of Camperdown by painter William Adolphus Knell illustrates the naval action between the British and Dutch navies in 1797 where the Royal Navy was overwhelmingly victorious and is in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The Battle of Camperdown by painter William Adolphus Knell detail in the National War Museum of Scotland showing sailors abandoning their sinking vessel—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The Battle of Camperdown by painter William Adolphus Knell detail in the National War Museum of Scotland showing one of the wrecked Dutch ships—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The Thin Red Line by artist Robert Gibb illustrating the 1854 Crimean War action between the British forces and the Russian forces. Though the Russian cavalry approached only to with a hundred yards or so the artists made them closer so the individual figures could be recognizable. What became known as “The Thin Red Line” was formed of only two ranks (multiple ranks were required to maintain a volume of fire) to cover the breadth the high ground and so few soldiers indicated to the Russians that a larger force must have been reserved. The point became moot when the Russians withdrew to meet the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava. This painting is in the galleries of the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The Thin Red Line by artist Robert Gibb detail of the Russian cavalry forces in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The Thin Red Line by artist Robert Gibb detail in the National War Museum of Scotland—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 15 March 2017 01:20

    Fantastic paintings!

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