Large tanks, planes and helicopters. They are usually seen in movies, but also in real life at the National Military Museum in Soest. The test team goes on the warpath.
The testers start their tour of the museum with an introductory film. All sorts of pictures about wars pass by. Then Wilhelmus is played. Isild sings softly along. On the way to the first part, the testers think of a war. What would it be like to fight in the army itself? ‘Fortunately, we no longer have conscription, because now we cooperate with many countries,’ says IJsbrand. ‘Yes, in NATO’, adds Joas. There is not much time to think about this anymore, because it is already time for the next part.
The tests start the audio tour Classes ’45† They put on a headset and the doors to the first part open. They start in an old classroom on old wooden school benches and are briefly part of a class from 1945. A number of school children are introduced, all of whom have experienced World War II. Once the explanation is over, a door goes up by itself. The tests continue through a dark tunnel. bom! A loud bang echoes through the room. Elin is startled and Mathilde presses her hands against her ears.
In the pile they end up in, they hear about Cor. He tells about the battle of Grebbebjerget and that soldiers came to his house. After each story, the door to the next room opens automatically. Mathilde points out: ‘We’re going there.’ The tests go into a large plane. They look out the window. In the headphones, Jack talks about his father, a pilot who flew to England during the war. Jack says he does not really miss his father, for it is good that he is fighting in the war. “I really can not imagine not missing your father,” says Elin.
Afterwards, the testers also listen to the stories of Frits, Corrie and Ad. They tell of resistance fighters, camps and liberation. The route is so fascinating that the testers keep listening attentively. ‘It’s really nice, as it’s all made,’ says Elin. “It feels like you’re there yourself.” Joas also finds it very interesting. “Really nice way to do this.”
At the museum there is not only a lot to see, but also a lot to do yourself. For example in the new play area: Xplore. There, the testers play a game together. They control a submarine with a joystick. “See how good I am!” exclaims Icefire. In the room are also large play equipment in the form of military vehicles. The testers take a ride on a horse, dive into a submarine and look out of the helicopter windows.
Then they continue through a large hall with giant real vehicles: tanks, planes and helicopters. As impressive as it may be, testers do not dwell on it for long. Because their eye has fallen on the outdoor area. ‘Oh an assault course! Can we go there? ‘ they shout in chorus. And they storm the pitch. They climb over the appliances, climb ropes and swing on a long rope swing.
Eventually, they visit a large dome. A film about various wars is being played in the Netherlands. The picture is all around them. The tests are amazing. Elin wants to see it all. “It’s so beautifully made and I like watching movies.” The boys move on to the games that can be found next to the dome. IJsbrand immediately sees what he has to do. “You have to come up with a tactic here to win. You can get puppets to attack and defend.”
Interactive and educational
Then it’s time for the final verdict. ‘I really recommend it. Here you can do really nice things’, says Elin. Mathilde agrees. “There’s a lot for kids to do, and there are a lot of movies to watch, too.” And according to Joas, those films are not the only benefit: ‘It’s all very interactive and educational.’ IJsbrand knows another great advantage of this museum: ‘It’s so much fun that you hardly realize you’re learning so much.’
+ lots to do for kids
– too much to see everything in one afternoon