Italy / Museum
The Museo dello sbarco e Salerno Capitale (Museum of the Landing and Salerno Capital) is dedicated to the history of the Salerno landing of the Allied troops, which began on 9 September 1943. The museum overlooks the shoreline where two hundred thousand soldiers landed during Operation Avalanche led by General Clark, after whom the same street where the museum is located is named. Operation Avalanche is remembered for being the most important amphibious operation before the Normandy landings.
Set up in 2012 on the initiative of the association 'Parco della Memoria della Campania', the museum is located on the eastern outskirts of the city of Salerno and it is dedicated to Operation Avalanche and the fighting between the Anglo-Americans and Germans that took place from 9 September 1943, and to the historical phase in which Salerno was chosen as the capital of liberated Italy, between 11 February and 15 July 1944. Intended by the Allies as the third phase of the Italian campaign, after the landings in Sicily in July 1943 and in Calabria on 3 September, the landing at Salerno led to the establishment of a bridgehead aimed at the conquest of the southern areas of the peninsula and, first and foremost, Naples.
The museum is home to a permanent exhibition on Operation Avalanche that occupies several pavilions rented by the Campania Region. The exhibits, from the collection of the 'Parco della memoria della Campania' association, number around 200, including posters, flyers, uniforms, helmets, flags, weapons, as well as various Italian, Allied and German military equipment, and are accompanied by a number of wall panels illustrating the historical phases, including those relating to the period of Salerno as capital city. The collection continues outside, where other memorabilia is placed, including an M4 Sherman tank, two pieces of Italian anti-aircraft artillery, a landing pontoon and a plumbed railway car, used by the Nazis to deport Italian Jews to concentration camps, added to the exhibition (only temporarily) on Remembrance Day on 27 January 2013. The wagon, a rare reminder of WWII, was one of those heading to Auschwitz. Several dozen deportees were crammed inside who, due to the poor conditions, often died during the journey. The museum is frequently visited not only by school groups, but also by associations and tourists, and it is often the site of official visits by representatives of the NATO armed forces. Private visits by relatives of Anglo-American soldiers who took part in the landing are also very frequent.
The museum can only be visited by appointment.