MARKTBERGEL, Germany (June, 11, 2023) – The Muna Museum of Military History of the Franconian Heights held its annual military exhibit on June 11, opening its doors for local families and visitors, including the local U.S. military community.
Tucked behind U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach’s Franken Kaserne and
Oberdachstetten Training Area, the Muna Museum has a long tradition and a very important role in local history. The Association for Military History
of the Franconian Heights (Gesellschaft für Militärgeschichte der
Frankenhöhe e.V.), founded in March 2001 as a non-profit association,
maintains the museum with the help of volunteers.
While the volunteers are mainly German citizens, there are also a few U.S. citizens who devote their time to maintaining the museum. These volunteers assist in the restoration of the museum and display of historic military equipment, materials, and documents from both German and American military units as well as documenting the military history of the region.
“Historically, there were several military installations in the Ansbach area
that were part of the German military until the U.S. Army arrived on April
17, 1945. One of these installations was then a secret munitions factory,
the Munitions Plant (Muna), which remained hidden from Allied forces until the U.S. ground forces arrived. Most of the smaller buildings, the
munitions and more than 100 bunkers were destroyed by the Allied forces, apart from the Franken Kaserne post and Building 116, which now serves as the Muna Museum,” according to Muna Museum officials.
Also, “In 1936, the building was originally constructed with four separate
wings in the shape of a cross or a spider. For safety reasons, another
structure was added to the end of each wing to prevent complete destruction if an accidental discharge or explosion occur in one of the wings. The attachments at the ends of these wings give the building a very special appearance, that of a swastika, which can only be seen from a bird's eye view. In order to see this special building structure from above, visitors on Sunday had the possibility to enter a cage, which was then hoisted meters high by a professional crane into the sky, to give the guests the best possible chance to see this extraordinary structure,” said Muna Museums officials.
The indoor and outdoor exhibits cover nearly an acre of land filled with
intricately restored military equipment, including tanks, helicopters, and
rocket launchers. Inside of the museum, visitors will find historic photos,
documents, sweets & treats and dioramas depicting life in the military
during various time periods.
During the event, approximately 139 volunteers and helpers gathered to keep the show running and assist in keeping visitors and families entertained. At the event, visitors were able to view various military exhibits from World War I through the Global War on Terror and receive one-on-one explanations from tour guides. Additionally, guests were able to have a meal from the authentic field kitchen on-site.
Among the exhibits were various American and German tanks and military
vehicles, an 8.8-centimeter Flak German anti-aircraft and anti-tank
artillery gun, several Multiple Launch Rocket System (MARS) launchers, and the latest highlight - a 120-kilogram aerial bomb that was dropped on
Ansbach during World War II, which was discovered at the Ansbach train
station in 2021.
Another highlight for the visitors to view at the museum are the donated
military uniforms from different eras from many former U.S. and German
commanders who were stationed in the region, commemorating their
contribution to the region's military history.
Since 2005, thousands of people have visited the Muna exhibit each year to see the artifacts and military equipment collected and to learn more about the region's turbulent military history, which was strongly influenced by both the German and American armies.
According to Fritz Wittmann, head of the Muna Museum, around 3.500 people visited the Muna Museum exhibit this year.
“It was a great success for us”, said Wittmann.
However, not just historical equipment was represented at the event, but
also a current tactical vehicle from 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense
Artillery (5-4 ADAR), stationed out of USAG Ansbach’s Shipton Kaserne, who supported the display with one of their Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) Strykers for visitors to marvel. Additionally, the USAG Ansbach Fire Department out of Storck Barracks in Illesheim attended the event with their ladder trucks and members of the fire crew, who welcomed families to tour the trucks and view a display of firefighting equipment.
“It was very well appreciated that we were supported by the U.S. Army with the Stryker and the fire trucks”, emphasized Wittmann.
If you are interested and you want to learn more about the Muna Museum and its role, visit www.muna-museum.de.
The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach military community is located in the
Franconian region of Bavaria and is spread across six sites and nine
kasernes dispersed around the city of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim.
Today, Ansbach is home to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, the community's largest tenant unit, as well as the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. The garrison takes pride in its support to more than 8,000 Soldiers, civilians and family members working and living in the Ansbach area.
For more news from U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, visit