Springfield Armory National Historic Site is proud to announce a new exhibit commemorating the centennial of the First World War, which features original artifacts from the conflict. The Spoils of War: Relics from the Front will open to the public with a special reception on Thursday, March 8 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The event will include light refreshments and a cash bar. Admission is free.
In the immediate aftermath of World War I, at that point the largest war the world had ever seen, the occupying allied armies sifted through vast amounts of war materiel left behind by all former belligerents. Officers of the US Army’s Ordnance Department scoured trenches, repair depots and arsenals for items of interest. Many of the objects collected were gathered specifically for the museum at Springfield Armory.
“The Armory’s museum, already 50 years old by World War I, was a renowned technical collection of military small arms. The variety of artifacts found in Europe were not necessarily gathered as war trophies or curios, but rather as current or historical pieces that were intriguing to the engineers, machinists, and designers who used the museum as a resource for their normal day-to-day work making rifles at Springfield Armory,” says curator Alex MacKenzie.
A rare opportunity for a “sneak peek” at these artifacts before they are put on display will occur on Saturday, March 3 at 2:00pm during the next Curator’s Corner presentation. Curator Alex MacKenzie will tell the fascinating stories behind the objects that were brought back from the front lines of World War I.