COUNTDOWN TO ROAD TO BERLIN
We are proud to present to you the Road to Berlin, the first floor European Theater galleries within our newest pavilion, Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Theaters. These galleries are a major component of the Museum’s capital expansion and are essential to fulfilling the Museum’s mission to tell the story of the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.
All design for these galleries is now complete and construction of the exhibits has begun, ensuring that we will be ready for the Road to Berlin’s Grand Opening in December of this year!
As we count down to the Grand Opening of one of the most anticipated exhibit spaces in the entire capital expansion, we want to give you a sneak peek of the galleries and spotlight the generous donors who have made the construction of these exhibits possible.
We will debut this series of blog posts with an overview of the Road to Berlin. This collection of galleries features the European-Mediterranean Theater, which spanned several years and engaged hundreds of thousands of people in the air, at sea, underwater, on the beaches, and in the mountains and the desert. Through eight galleries, Road to Berlin will present a comprehensive narrative of the fascinating stories and events in Europe, helping visitors to understand and appreciate what proceeded D-Day in June 1944—the challenges, strategies, and operations that secured the path to Normandy, as well as the bloody battles that followed. The Road to Berlin will come alive through images, oral histories, artifacts, and stunning displays that mimic the environments of the battle scenes.
Rendering of the Into the German Homeland gallery with the Road to Berlin
The Road to Berlin will focus on the American path to victory that led to the capitulation of Germany at the end of the Second World War. These galleries will paint the entire American picture in Europe, so that our visitors will understand the amount and scope of sacrifice that led to our victory over Germany in WWII.
Visitors will begin in a Briefing Room that orients them to the big picture of the war in Europe. Then visitors continue on to the first stop of the journey alongside Allied forces: The Desert War –North Africa, where the Allies struggled but ultimately defeated German and Italian forces. Next, visitors will follow the Allies into Sicily, or the so-called “soft underbelly” of Europe, where they won glory with the first liberation of a major European city, Palermo. The journey then continues through the long, bloody Italian Campaign up the peninsula.
Visitors are then transported to a Nissen hut, like those used in England during the war, to learn about air power in Europe – from the infamous German Luftwaffe to the relentless American airstrikes across Europe. This serves as the launching point for visitors to join the Allies as they invade Nazi–occupied France on the history-making D-Day at Normandy. Visitors will then travel all over France, before entering the Ardennes Forest for the historic Battle of the Bulge. Finally, visitors break through the Siegfried Line for the final push into Germany.
Up next, the first stop in Road to Berlin: The Briefing Room
Post by Lauren Bevis, Donor Relations Manager, and Ashley Nash, Prospect Coordinator.