By Lisa Taylor, West Point MuseumOctober 12, 2016
WEST POINT, NY - (Oct. 12, 2016) The West Point Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its second special display commemorating the centennial of the First World War. (The first display featured the ceremonial and traditional uniforms of the major European nations as the war began in 1914.)
The new display, entitled "1916," is composed of the field uniforms of five of the combating nations at mid-war. Colorful and distinctive uniforms were replaced with clothing of drab, khaki, field gray and horizon blue -- all more practical than those of 1914. Headgear in 1916 included steel helmets of varying designs meant to offer some extra protection from shrapnel and bullets. Of special note in this display is a rare Turkish uniform from the Ottoman Empire -- one of several imperial houses doomed to fall in the war.
As artillery, machine guns and even chemical warfare took the lives of ever increasing numbers in all the armies, civilians and soldiers alike grew more war weary. The French Army, suffering extraordinary losses, grew mutinous as the inconclusive trench warfare of 1916 slogged wearily into 1917. Ultimately, America's entrance into the conflict in 1917 would begin to tip the scales of the war, but the suffering continued for two more years.
As the four years of the war's commemoration proceed this and other displays will change, making use of the extensive collections of First World War artifacts. Of special note in the museum collection are complete uniforms of all the major warring nations which were assembled by the U.S. Army at the war's conclusion. The next display, will feature uniforms of women auxiliaries whose support was crucial to the war effort.
Additionally, exhibits in other galleries of the museum will have new artifacts from the war added as a continuing part of the war's anniversary.
• The exhibit is in the 'History of Warfare Gallery' located on the 1st floor of the Museum.
• The West Point Museum is open seven days a week, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
• The Museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
• Admission is free.