This small museum in the impressive Círculo Militar overlooking Plaza San Martín is very helpful for gaining a better understanding of the Argentine side of the Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands War. In Argentina that war is called the Guerra de las Islas Malvinas, using the name of the island chain from when it was part of the Spanish Empire, which is the basis for Argentina's dispute with Great Britain. Despite losing the war, Argentina still lays claim to the islands. Calling them by their English name is likely to cause an argument even with the most polite Argentine. The curator of the museum is Isidro Abel Vides, a veteran of the war. Among the items of note related to the war is a display about the sinking of the General Belgrano, where 323 Argentines perished -- the greatest individual loss of life in a single event of the war. Other displays show uniforms of the time period. Children will like the huge collection of toy soldiers showing the history of military costume in Argentina and other countries up to the 1940s. There are also models of old forts from the Argentine frontier.
Gun collections show arms used in Argentina and other parts of the world. Most of these weapons were produced in the United States, demonstrating that, by the time of the U.S. Civil War, U.S. companies were the major suppliers of arms used throughout the Americas. Other items of note include rifles spanning 5 centuries, cannons, samurai suits, swords, and replicas of armored suits. The museum also contains a small library of military books and records and is of note for scholars looking for information on Argentina's various military dictatorships and the Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands War. The Círculo Militar, located in the former mansion of the Paz family, is a social club for retired members of the military. Here, there is also a private section of the museum containing more historical military documents and artifacts, which is not open to the general public. However, if you are a current or retired member of the military in your home country, they sometimes make exceptions.
- © Frommer's 2013
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