The National War Museum established to preserve Nigeria’s war relics and to serve as a center for research and information on warfare in Nigeria, has now become a well visited tourist site attracting hundreds and hundreds of people daily. To some, it is to relive the period of the war through items on display, while to others, it is for study purposes. There are yet others who come simply for curiosity.
The War Museum has three major galleries: the traditional warfare gallery, the Armed Forces gallery, and the civil war gallery in the traditional warfare section. The War Museum is symbolic in many respects. To all Nigerians and foreigners alike, it is a grim reminder of the evils of war. But more importantly, the National War Museum stands as evidence to the technological possibilities in Nigerians in the face of necessity and absence of alternatives.
The army weapons on display include anti-aircraft guns and Squid Mortar MK4 anti-submarine gun said to be carried by the Navy warship N.N.S. Nigeria. According to the explanation by the side of the weapon, it is an ‘ahead’ throwing weapon that was used to destroy enemy sub-marine. It was mostly deployed for the demolition of suspected mine fields along the channel for the safe passage of Nigerian Navy ships during the civil war.
Other weapons are the Biafran red devil armoured personnel carrier; the famous Ogbunigwe (Ojukwu bucket) launcher; artillery gun 105mm Howitzer said to have been used by the Italians during the Second World War in 1943 and that the particular weapon on display was used at the Aba/ Ikot Ekpene axis during the Civil War and NAF 102 Donier 27 aircraft. According to the history of the plane, it came from Luftwaffe Training Mission.
The National War Museum, Umuahia is a memorial to the soldiers, civilians and all other casualties of war and conflicts in Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian Civil War. It is a place for research and tourism, preservation of war relics, convocation of several masterpieces of military science, peace building and exhibition of war time technology.