The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 18 No 3 - December 2018

Military History around Southern Africa ... Gweru
A ZIMBABWE MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE A chance discovery of the Gweru Military Museum

By Adina Katz


An adventurous motorcycle tour provides opportunities to experience the landscape like no other form of transport. Sitting in the saddle of the motorbike is akin to being in the movie set as opposed to watching television. An exploratory trip into Zimbabwe yielded an unexpected historical gem in the form of the Gweru Military Museum.

The large Vickers Viscount at the entrance to the National Aviation Museum is an early indicator of the precious artefacts that lie within. The aircraft museum alone holds fine examples of a Tiger Moth, two DH100 Vampires, a DH 115 Vampire, an English Electric Canberra, a Hawker Hunter, an incredible Flying Flea, a Harvard, a Percival Provost, and a fantastic Supermarine Spitfire exhibit.

Next door houses the military museum which boasts a tremendous collection of police, army and air force uniforms, weapons, badges, and flags from the colonial times rightup to the present-day regime.

The collection is rounded off with an assortment of fascinating and rare armoured vehicles. It's an unlikely gathering of militaria in an even more unlikely location. The museum, obviously under-funded in a troubled environment, is lovingly tended to by its devoted curators. This article shares the unexpected and welcome discovery of a significant historical landmark deep into Africa.

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