The museum starts with artifacts from the famous 30-years-war, including a very old musket that took about a minute to load and was very complicated from the looks of things. The soldiers weren’t even educated enough to know how much powder to put in the guns so they had to carry convenient little pouches with the right amount of the stuff in them.
Another interesting weapon to see was the first hand-grenades. I’m surprised they had some left over because I thought those nifty exploding devises would be used left and right. These hand-grenades were simply glass bottles with powder so the explosion probably wasn’t nearly as large as today’s. I’m not even sure how they went off. Maybe I missed the part about a fuse or something.
I was surprised, once again, by the unnecessarily lavish living conditions of the army leaders. Just like the monks, they lived in almost inconvenient and costly style. They had great big fancy embroidered tents filled with luxuries and entertainment so that they could enjoy themselves while they attacked their enemies. Professor Heuberger even told us some of them brought their girlfriends along. I for one would not join my inappropriate lover near the battlefield no matter how lavish or expensive his tent was.
The coolest (and therefore most advertised) part by far was the uniform that Franz Ferdinand had been wearing when he was assassinated, and the car he had been in. I had known before that Franz had been the Arch Duke whose murder began WWI, but I had no idea before I came here that he was the heir to the Hapsburg throne, a family that had bee in power for hundreds of years! Nor had I known that his actual assassination was just a stroke of luck by his enemies. The original attempt at his life had failed, and the Serbians had only managed to hit a few of his guards with their bullets. Later, when Ferdinand told his driver to take him to the hospital to visit these wounded men, the driver accidently took a wrong turn. While they were lost, a Serb student just happened to be in their path, and took the fatal shot to Ferdinand’s chest.