Text: Marc Arys - Pictures: Jacques Vincent & Bruno Ghils  sbap 2016
The new museum @ Soesterberg Air base (Courtesy Nationaal Militair Museum) Brand new and modern building (Bruno Ghils)

The collection of the National Military Museum (NMM) at Soest emphasizes on what the Netherlands Defence Forces ment during the past, means at present and will imply in the future with attention drawn on the Army and the Air Force. These collections originate from the Army Museum at Delft and the Military Aviation Museum of Soesterberg. The NMM is incorporated in the Koninklijke Stichting voor Defensiemusea (Royal Foundation of Defence Museums).


In 2000, the exhibition possibilities and facilities of both museums, the Army Museum at Delft and the Military Aviation Museum at Soesterberg, became insufficient and so the plan arose to build a new common museum site at the Bernhard base located at Amersfoort. Parliamentary approval was given on February 13, 2003, but when it became clear that the airbase at Soesterberg would be closed due to economical downsizing within the Defence component, this latter location was chosen for the project.

In July 2006 the Secretary of State of Defence informed the Chamber on the relocation of the collections of the Army and Military Aviation Museum to their new site at Soesterberg. The new museum would not only reflects on the Army and Air Force but would draw a general overview on the entire Defence Forces.

Public tendering started on September 01, 2010 and on May 08, 2012, the Ministry of Defence signed a Design, Built, Finance, Maintain & Operate agreement with contractor Heijmans. Building started in 2013 and on December 11th, 2014 the museum was inaugurated by his Majesty King Willem-Alexander and officially opened to the public on December 14th.

The new museum occupies 45 ha on the site of the former Soesterberg airbase and comprises a main building, a big depot facility, besides other buildings the museum has also an arena and various facilities on the outside, including the oldest aeronautical building in the Netherlands (Building 45).


The NMM collections encompass artifacts ranging from arrowheads from the Stone-Age, through swords and armours from the Middle-Ages, untill the present weapon systems of the Netherlands defence Forces. Airplanes, canons and tanks, including seven jets involved in a 'dogfight', a Leopard 1V and 2 combat-tanks, a M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. A masterpiece in this collection is a V2-rocket, which the Germans used at the end of the Second World War to bomb Southern Netherland, Belgium and England. The V2 was the first operational rocket and Netherland was the first country from which these rockets were fired.

Regarding the aviation side, there is an enormous difference with the former Aviation Museum whos closed his doors in 2013. A great part af the former collections is no more exhibed. Let's hope that the actual museum will grow up and give the capacity to show all the treasures we could see in the past. To give you an idea of the differences, you can see our 2013 report by a simple click on:


  The inauguration on December 11th, 2015
 (Courtesy Nationaal Militair Museum)
His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
(Courtesy Nationaal Militair Museum)
Netherland Forces today  (Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
 (Courtesy Nationaal Militair Museum)
Henri Farman HF.22 (Jacques Vincent)
Fokker D VII  (Bruno Ghils) (Jacques Vincent)
(Jacques Vincent) Koolhoven F.K.51  (Jacques Vincent)
Aviolanda Curtiss P-6 Hawk I  (Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Bruno Ghils) Brewster B-339C Buffalo (replica)  (Jacques Vincent)
V-1 Flying bomb  (Jacques Vincent) Supermarine Spitfire LF.IX  (Bruno Ghils)
Lockheed 12A  (Jacques Vincent) North American P-51K Mustang  (Jacques Vincent)
North American B-25J Mitchell  (Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Bruno Ghils) De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth  (Jacques Vincent)
Douglas C-47A Dakota  (Jacques Vincent) Hiller OH-23C Raven  (Jacques Vincent)
Gloster Meteor F.4  (Jacques Vincent) (Bruno Ghils)
(Bruno Ghils) Republic F-84F Thunderstreak  (Jacques Vincent)
Hawker Hunter F.4  (Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Bruno Ghils) Lockheed F-104G Starfighter  (Jacques Vincent)
Northrop NF-5A Freedom fighter  (Bruno Ghils) (Jacques Vincent)
Sud Aviation SE3160 Alouette III  (Jacques Vincent) Bolkow Bo-105CB-4  (Jacques Vincent)
(Jacques Vincent) Lockheed Martin F-16A  (Jacques Vincent)
McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle  (Bruno Ghils) (Jacques Vincent)
When the Air Force meet the Navy  (Bruno Ghils)
The Royal Dutch Navy in the golden years  (Bruno Ghils)
Hawker Sea Furry Mk.50  (Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Bruno Ghils) Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6  (Jacques Vincent)
Sikorsky S-58  (Bruno Ghils) (Jacques Vincent)
(Bruno Ghils) Dornier Do-24T-3  (Jacques Vincent)
A beautiful presentation of engines  (Jacques Vincent) (Bruno Ghils)
(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Bruno Ghils)
Fokker F.27-300M Troopship  (Bruno Ghils) (Jacques Vincent)
(Jacques Vincent) Lockheed SP-2H Neptune  (Jacques Vincent)
Brequet Atlantic  (Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Bruno Ghils) North American F-86F Sabre  (Jacques Vincent)
Convair F-102A Delta Dagger  (Jacques Vincent) (Bruno Ghils)
(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
To be reassembled...  North American F-86K Dog Sabre, Lockheed F-104G Starfighter and  North American F-100D Super Sabre  (Bruno Ghils)
Leopard I at entrance  (Bruno Ghils)
Bonze gun 20 inch (1693)  (Bruno Ghils) (Bruno Ghils)
Technical trailer  (Jacques Vincent) Ambulance "Kromhout"  (Jacques Vincent)
Ambulance 1906 model  (Jacques Vincent) Renault FT-17  (Jacques Vincent)
M4A1E9 Sherman (Jacques Vincent) M4A1 Sherman used as air to ground target   (Jacques Vincent)
Daimler Ferret MkII  (Bruno Ghils) M24 Chaffee  (Jacques Vincent)
Ford V8  (Jacques Vincent) M3A1 Halftrack  (Jacques Vincent)
Chevrolet CGT "quad"  (Jacques Vincent) GMC  CCKW 353  (Jacques Vincent)
Willys Overland M38A1C Jeep  (Jacques Vincent) AMX-13  (Jacques Vincent)
AMX 105mm gun  (Jacques Vincent) M109A2/90  155mm gun  (Jacques Vincent)
M106A1  (Jacques Vincent) Guepard Anti aircraft tank  (Jacques Vincent)
DAF  YA-28  (Jacques Vincent) DAF  YP-408  (Bruno Ghils)
Patria XA188 GVV  (Jacques Vincent) DAF  YA-126  (Jacques Vincent)
AMX Infantry Trooper  (Jacques Vincent) Centurion Mk 5-2  (Jacques Vincent)
Leopard 2A6  (Jacques Vincent) Land Roover 109 commando  (Jacques Vincent)
M4 high speed tractor 18 tons  (Jacques Vincent) M139D "Honest Jones" Launcher  (Jacques Vincent)
Chevrolet C60L  (Jacques Vincent) M-113 Commando  (Jacques Vincent)
Centurion mine fighter  (Jacques Vincent) M110A2 8 inch caliber  (Jacques Vincent)
M752 "Lance" missile laucher  (Jacques Vincent) DAF YA-66  (Jacques Vincent)
Fennek prototype  (Jacques Vincent) Mercedes Benz 290GD  (Jacques Vincent)
YPR-765 PRI  .50 UNPROPFOR  (Jacques Vincent) DAF  YP-408 PWI  (Bruno Ghils)
BSA G14   (Jacques Vincent) AGA JAP  (Jacques Vincent)
Moto Guzzi V50  (Jacques Vincent) Triumph 3TA  (Jacques Vincent)
Matchless G3  (Jacques Vincent)
Anti tank US model 37 x 222R  (Jacques Vincent) Anti tank 6-Ponder   (Jacques Vincent)
Anti tank 17 ponder Mk 1  (Jacques Vincent) M2 155mm gun on M1 trail (Jacques Vincent)
Anti aircraft guns  (Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
Anti aircraft gun 10tl Vickers Mk III  (Jacques Vincent)
For more details you can check their website by a simple click on the picture
(Courtesy Nationaal Militair Museum)

Museum main page- Homepage