Part 1…A military day…Australia’s and other country’s involvement in the world wars…

Located on Highway 91 on the way to Cairns, The Australian Armour & Military Museum is a popular point of interest for tourists and locals.

Deciding on the venues we’d like to see in our surroundings is relatively easy for us. In our desire to inspire one another we often choose sightseeing that is befitting both of our interests.

Tom in front of a restored tank outside the building.

However, on occasion, one of us bites the bullet and we visit a botanical garden (Tom’s least favorite) and in the case of yesterday, a historical military venue, The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum

As the photographer in the family, thinking in terms of the next day’s post, I can usually be easily be entertained attempting to take good photos. However, the topic surrounding world wars has never been of particular interest to me. 

These two boys were wearing hats and equipment while playing with this military mockup. It was obvious they were having a great time.

The sorrowful loss of lives has always gripped my heart in a manner that elicited disinterest in the means by which these horrific human losses occurred. Looking at such equipment and vehicles was a stretch for me.

Mortar shells.

Over the years I’ve observed how some men seem to have an innate interest in military equipment in a similar manner that some women show more interest in flowers and botanical gardens. Yes, we are different in some ways. This is not intended to stereotype the sexes. It’s a mere observation. 

Various land mines.

Yesterday, when we returned home and I was busy downloading photos and Tom was busy responding to cruise booking inquiries from our new rep, a fabulous TV show came up, David Attenborough’s documentary on lion cubs learning to hunt in their first two years of life. 

This land mine was referred to as “Bouncing Betty.”

Since we’ve been in Australia we’ve watched several of these high-quality documentaries as the finest we’ve ever seen presented by the BBC from which we watch a number of excellent programs at night as we wind down.

More land mines.

As we watched the show on lions, a tremendous number of references were made as to how the male and female lions have distinct roles, totally predicated by their gender. I often believe this is also the case with humans. This is not a political statement. It’s a human (or animal) nature statement. 

Artillery was located in the first area we perused.

Thus, my interest in military tanks, trucks, and artillery is very limited, not beyond how they look in a photo.  Regardless of this reason, I happily went along as we perused each and every item in The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum with nary a complaint with boredom or from standing for several hours. 

This wheel is used for the elevation and aiming of the cannon.
Tom, whom I consider very knowledgeable about the world wars was explaining the functioning of this artillery shell to me.

On many occasions, Tom who was enjoying every moment asked me if I was bored to death and of course, I said I was fine. There was no way in the world I would attempt to shorten his enjoyment or diminish the value or meaning of his experience.

Notice the camouflage hanging over the tank’s barrel.

We continued on through the massive building in awe of the size of the collection. Not only were there Australian representations but many other countries were represented, both allies and enemies. Undoubtedly, it was an impressive collection.

A British breech-loading Howitzer.

Most of the items had been restored to what in many cases appeared to be almost new condition. We noticed a restoration center across a field from the building where we imagined much of the restoration was taking place.

A variety of Australian military items used during the wars.

In some cases, the interior of the various tanks and vehicles were available for viewing when doors were left open. Peering inside the various vehicles was of particular interest to both of us imagining how these soldiers could possibly fit inside the tight spaces. 

More sophisticated equipment with gauges was developed over time.

Tom surmised that many soldiers were young men, as young as 18 years old, and may not be fully grown at that time. Also, as shown over most recent decades, the size of men and women has changed and they are generally larger at this time than they may have been during the world wars.

Imagine a soldier sitting on this seat turning these wheels for firing accuracy.
Loading end of the breach of the barrel in the above photo.
Actually, seeing these small spaces was heartbreaking only adding to our angst over the ravages of wars. We are incapable of even imagining how these soldiers existed in these horrible circumstances. There’s no way we can offer enough reverence and respect for those who fought for our freedom.
Anti-aircraft shells. There were skylights above us that reflected the midday sun in some of our photos.

On a few occasions, I found myself peering outside a door or window to the grounds surrounding the enormous building noticing a few birds, the cable cars that travel to the rain forest (not of much interest to either of us), and the groundskeeper mowing the lawn inspiring me to take a few photos. 

A Russian ground to air missile S-75. 

Finally, after Tom had read every sign describing each item in the museum, he meandered toward the exit, looking to me to come along. He asked, “Is there anything else you’d like to see?”

I smiled, “No, thanks honey,” I answered, “I’m good.”

This is the interior which is under renovation of the US M3 scout car in the photo below.
USA M3 scout car.

Hand and hand we walked out the door reminded and grateful for our freedom, our health, and our lives on a bright sunny day in Australia.

This is a Jerrycan used for carrying fuel.

Tomorrow, we’ll share a new story but complete our photos from The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum.

Have an extraordinary day!

                                               Photo from one year ago today, July 16, 2014:
One year ago today we boarded a huge catamaran in Funchal, Madiera to go whale watching. We spotted a few whales at a distance but more so we saw pods of dolphins. Claudio, a professional photographer on board the boat kindly let us use some of his photos taken with much more skill than I and a much better camera. For more of these photos, please click here.