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Keeping the Legends Alive
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Working on the last Ju 88 A-1 at the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection in Gardermoen

War Thunder is all about historically accurate vehicles that battled during a tumultuous time in human history. While there is some stretching in the variety of encounters for balance, the overall goal is an immersive and accurate virtual depiction of warfare - and to make players aware of the people and events that took place some 75 years ago.

Gaijin encourages you to see in real life what we emulate in the virtual world, and to be inspired and energized to be more active in game and in reality.  Most importantly, bring your friends and make new ones as you explore history both real and virtual!

Preserving these ancient relics is however a major endeavor.  Aircraft are a thin shell and the materials are not only easy to damage, but also easily decay, especially if made out of wood and fabric.  Even tanks and battleships will rust into nothing over time.

The great majority of work at museums is simply operations, like opening for visitors and janitorial work to refreshing displays and adding more. Most museums also plan public and private events for additional revenue or advertising and require a lot of setting up and taking down, so there is far more work than just taking care of objects.

The “glamorous” work is restoring, repairing, and maintaining the vehicles on display. Most of this kind of work is not difficult, but does require huge patience because of the time and care needed to carefully disassemble, document, process, disposition, clean, repair and finally reassemble the objects.  Some artifacts will likely be preserved and displayed as parts while others can be fully functional. The “Smithsonian” is extremely thorough, taking years to do one vehicle due to careful analysis and research. 

It is documenting the artifacts that is one of the most time consuming and vital aspects of museum work because in many cases it is all that remains.  Sometimes a “close relative” may be used to fill in gaps about another.  For Gaijin this is also a vital source of data in making the models accurate, especially if it affects game play.

Volunteering is easy, all you need is the right attitude, energy, and simply speaking up. Museums will teach you what to do.

There are thousands of museums and collections around the world, that can generally be separated into four types: small fixed - e.g. fortification museums like “MO-S 19 Alej” in the Czech Republic or “Casemate de Marckolsheim Sud” in France which have armour on display or a single hangar at airbases, and  Private Collections or Foundations like “Texas Flying Legends”, and “Collings Foundation” that only do events or tours. Also, there are Large Organizations  with huge collections like “Shuttleworth Collection”, “Planes of Fame”, and “Fantasy of Flight”.  By far the largest is “Commemorative Air Force (CAF)” with about 60 locations in the US and four abroad.

Finally the National Public Museums; these usually have volunteer requirements from simple application to requiring security clearance or certain qualifications, yet the opportunity to be involved with the rarest artifacts on earth is especially unique.  “Kubinka” and “Bovingdon” armour museums, for example, are semi-national.

Flying or driving your favorite vehicle in War Thunder to victory is fun, but going to see the real thing is just as exciting.  Why not get your gaming friends to volunteer with you at the museum, and maybe arrange a game event under the wing of a B-17 or beside a T-34?

If you have the time - use it! It will surely be a unique experience, that you will not want to miss.

Joe 'Pony51' Kudrna


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