The Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) is a national military museum of France in the seventh arrondissement of Paris. It was created in 1905 with the merger of the Musée d'Artillerie and the Musée Historique de l'Armée. The Musée de l'artillerie (Museum of Artillery - "artillerie" meaning all things related to weapons) was founded in 1795 in the aftermath of the French Revolution and expanded under Napoleon. It was moved into the Hotel des Invalides in 1871, immediately following the Franco-Prussian War and the proclamation of the Third Republic. Another institution called the Musée historique de l'Armée (the Historical Museum of the Army) was created in 1896 following the Paris World Fair. The two institutions merged in 1905 within the space of the former Musée de l'Artillerie.
Today, the Musée de l’Armée’s seven main spaces and departments contain ‘historical’ collections that represent a chronological tour from ancient times through to the end of the Second World War. The museum’s collections comprise over 500,000 artefacts, including weapons, armour, artillery, uniforms, emblems and paintings, making it one of the three largest arms museums in the world.
The contemporary department tells the story of the French Army from 1871 to the end of the War, covering the two great conflicts of the twentieth century. The Historial Charles de Gaulle (the Charles de Gaulle Monument) is an interactive multimedia space dedicated to Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French Forces and founding President of the Fifth Republic.
From 10 April 2015 to 26 July 2015, the Musée de l’Armée is hosting a temporary exhibition entitled ‘Churchill - de Gaulle’. Beginning with the meeting between de Gaulle and Churchill during the Second World War, the exhibition aims to explore their lives, their careers and their way of thinking before, during and after the war, as well as the role they’ve had in the history of their respective countries, in Europe and worldwide.
The exhibition will also show the role of language - through speeches and writings - in their military and political work; sound and audiovisual archives, as well as manuscripts, typescripts and books, will therefore have a major place among the items displayed in the exhibition. Artefacts which belonged to Churchill, de Gaulle or any other relatives will flesh out the background of their respective experiences.