The Joburg war museum (now Ditsong museum of military history) is a bit of an odd beast. Located right next to the Joburg Zoo, it's sort of small and kind of schizo in terms of content. It's also partly a monument to the fallen, partly a conference/events venue and partly a warehouse for all the odds and ends that the country has collected over the years and isn't sure what to do with.
Anyway, I went there recently with my son and brought back tonnes of photos. These will be dumped around the forum in the appropriate places (tanks, planes, big guns and small arms), with this thread serving as an overview.
The entrance is like the rest of the place: tucked away a bit and kind of pokey.
A few metres away, though, is an impressive monument to the British dead from the second Boer war. Nothing screams 'empire' like crushing your enemies and then putting up a huge shrine to your own war dead in their former city.
The museum is divided into a few big halls, some narrow glass-fronted galleries, an open park area and a central conference venue. One thing which should be noted is that two of the galleries do not allow photography. The interior pictures from these halls posted below are merely accurate replicas made from memory and a bunch of 1:72 models I happened to have lying around.
Brink Hall from the front and back. It has a number of aircraft and related gear, as well as stuff related to the Boer war and First World War. The Brink Hall is pretty much the first thing you're going to wander into, as its close to the entrance.
Between the two halls is a little artillery display. From here you can either go right to the open park area or straight into the Adler Hall.
The Adler Hall from a few angles. This one is dedicated to small arms, uniforms, a POW exhibit and just about everything else you can cram into a small hall and still fit. It also has a few vehicles (M3 light, Sexton, M4) that are opened up and/or have stairs so that you can look into them.
Past the uniform exhibit (which snakes around the sides and back of the hall) is a rather random exhibit on Cuito and the Border war. The cut-up Ratel in there has a driver's station with a display above it. The display shows grainy footage from the battle on a loop.
Just past the artillery display thingy there are a few naval objects on display. The most interesting is probably this Nazi mini-sub which we got from who-knows-where. The placement of the sub did something strange to my phone camera, so there are no photos with it in perfectly focus.
Most of the outdoor park stuff is going into other posts, so I'm just putting this there. These are the only two things that kids are allowed to clamber all over in the museum, and the little tykes seem to have stripped them down to bare metal over the years in doing so. I actually have lots of photos of these, as my little one was very insistent on spending time driving the jeep/flying the plane.
All in all: a decent little museum, and home to a few interesting odds and ends that I'll put up in other places.
This article, specifically; http://businesstech.co.za/news/general/83023/south-africa-refuses-to-let-go-of-its-nuclear-explosives/
As far as I know, the uranium itself should be good for quite a while (235 has a shorter half life than 238, but 704 million years is still damn long). However, I'm not sure about some of the other components, such as the neutron sources. Po-210 only has a half life of 138 days, which means that they'd be long dead. I don't know about the specific design of South African bombs (beyond them being gun type, and therefore using HEU), or whether they have the ability to acquire neutron sources. They probably do, since they have operating reactors.
Having conclusively proven that the Olifant is the best (and most terrifying) MBT ever released into the wild in a tragic move for which we all suffer on an continuous basis, I thought that interested parties might like to know some more about recent military developments in South Africa.
First off: here is a picture of the SAS Thabo Mbeki (our recently acquired President-class carrier) seen entering Cape Town harbour:
The South African Navy, who obtained the vessel for what has been described as a 'suspiciously low' price from an anonymous third-party vendor, are reputedly very happy with the increase in long-range striking power that it provides to our armed forces, along with the freshly repainted finish.
Another new development has been the recent acquisition by the SANDF of a large amount of 'surplus' equipment. This has begun showing up at army exercises, where it has proved popular with the troops:
Note the light-weight rifle and snazzy sunglasses - two items especially appreciated by our hard-working lads.
Other recent equipment purchases - widely praised for their 'made-in-China affordability', have been focused towards filling specific niches which have become apparent over the last few years:
Finally, the SANDF is proud to introduce a new line of MBTs to our existing fleet - the Iphisi Main Battle Tank:
It is hoped that these placid, benign vehicles will help to stem the Oliphant scourge which we, in our arrogance and pride, unleashed upon the country.