How to come
Rue Lazare Ponticelli - 77100 Meaux
Phone : 01 60 32 14 18
09.30 to 6.00, open throughout
Closed Tuesdays, 1 May, 25 December.
Annual closure from January 8 to January 19
Full price : €10
Reduced price : between €5 and €9 (On presentation of proof)
MUST SEES IN THE MUSEUM
In the chronological route:
In the thematic route:
German camouflage helmet - Room A - A NEW WAR
This German stahlhelm, literally meaning “steel helmet” is in the new war section. Firstly, intended to protect the combatant from enemies’ gaze, camouflage was developed during the First World War due to pressure from aerial reconnaissance and was applied to all areas: artillery, vehicles, warehouses, planes, warships or merchant vessels... Throughout the conflict they didn’t stop until they perfected it.
The array of children - Room B - A TOTAL MOBILISATION
The array of children August 1914: towns and villages are empty of millions of men between 18 to 45 as they go to bear arms. Women, children and the elderly should take charge of the daily routine while participating in the war effort. All are called upon to carry the burden. The youngest help in the house while teenagers work in the fields or in a factory. Supervised by the education system, children are invited to emulate their fathers, they played as them in their games and showed their gratitude through the patriotic actions they participated in - parades, quests, etc.
Manufacturing tour (France) - Room C - WOMEN AND SOCIETIES
Manufacturing tour From September 1914, the shell stocks reduced due to their huge use in the first weeks of the war. Convinced it would be a short war, there was no planned manufacturing program. At the end of 1914, production is restarted, and women join the artillery factories. Nicknamed the “munitionnettes”, these workers, subjected to very poor working conditions, manufactured 2 500 75 shells which used 4500 kg of metal, 14 hours a day.
The helmet mandolin - Room D - DAILY LIFE IN THE TRENCHES
This object made in the trenches is an instrument of luck, made from elements being used in a way which is not their primary function. Indeed, while the handle comes from a real musical instrument, the sound box is made from the base of an Adrian shell helmet. In the trenches, playing or listening to music becomes a way to survive mentally. Instruments are brought by soldiers or shipped by families while others are purchased or retrieved from the front. Some are made there by improvised instrument makers with the means available. These instruments, ranging from the rudimentary case to the sculpted pieces, accompany men who thus put a little music and humanity back into their daily lives.
Prostheses - Room F - BODIES AND SUFFERING
Prostheses the Great War led to a number of amputees who had to be taken care of and equipped in order to allow these men to find their place in society. The tools changed to meet the functional needs of the victims of war - there were several research projects dedicated to developing prosthetic feet, knees or hands, etc.
Infantry uniform (Japan - 1914) - Room H - A WORLD WAR
The infantry uniforms of the Allied powers of the Entente since the Russian-Japanese war (1904-1905), Japan declares war on Germany on 23 August 1914. For Japan, it was an opportunity to extend their influence in Asia by recovering German colonies. At the start of the 20th century, the Japanese army was reorganised, and their equipment was modernised. The so-called M.45, worn from 1913, was made up of a khaki uniform. Their equipment, practical and very complete, was not the envy of a European infantry soldier.
Uniform of a Senegalese skirmisher - Room I - FROM BLED TO THE TRENCHES
The French army included units made up of soldiers from North Africa. The “Black Force” advocated by General Mangin and which the German State Major considers unworthy of a civilised country. These regiments of “Senegalese skirmishers”, actually recruited from across all of French northern Africa, proved to be formidable combatants. Often used as shock troops, their losses are still slightly lower than those from mainland France.
American showcase from the Great War - Room J - THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The United States of America. When they engaged in the conflict, the United States only had a small volunteer army who didn’t have much equipment. The first wave landed in Saint-Nazaire on 26 June 1917 on General Pershing’s orders and were greeted with enthusiasm. But the American troops still only represented 180 000 men at the end of November 1917. From July 1918 more began arriving! They landed at a rate of 250 000 a month. On the day of armistice, there were nearly 2 million Americans in France.
ADDRESS AND CONTACT
Rue Lazare Ponticelli,
Lat : 48.971432 Long : 2.904724
Telephone No. : 01 60 32 14 18
09.30 to 6.00, open throughout
Closed Tuesdays, 1 May, 25 December, January 1st
Annual closure from January 8 to January 19, 2018
Full price: €10
Reduced price: between €5 and €7 (On presentation of proof)