Czech Republic / Museum
The Patton Memorial Museum Pilsen was opened in May 2005, on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the city of Pilsen. The museum retraces the advance of the US Army led by General Patton in int he Seccond World War. More than a thousand exhibits from private collections present gear and equipment of the time and war relics left behind by US soldiers.
More than a thousand exhibits are on display at the Patton Memorial Museum in Pilsen. The first section provides information about the last air campaigns in Western Bohemia and the bombing of the Škoda factories. Visitors are plunged into the final battles of the Second World War by the sound of sirens, accompanied by authentic films and photographs from the period. The exhibition retraces the progress of the American army in Czechoslovakia and the deployment of American soldiers. Through authentic images, visitors can relive the last days of the conflict, the arrival of the American troops, moments of relaxation and friendly encounters with the local population. There are also recordings of certain important events, such as an inspection of the troops on 15 June 1945 in the presence of the President of Czechoslovakia, Dr Edvard Beneš.
Other exhibits in the museum show the extent to which economic support from the United States helped the local population to overcome the difficulties of the post-war period. These include food rations, empty and unopened tins, sacks of flour and corn, and packets of chewing gum. The exhibition also features medical supplies, field rations, sports and relaxation equipment, handmade tools, paper documents and numerous objects left behind by American soldiers. The exhibition is largely devoted to George S. Patton, head of the 3rd US Army, and his old friend, General Ernest N. Harmon. Harmon provided technical and material assistance for the reconstruction of Czechoslovakia after bidding farewell to the population with the American troops during the final inspection in November 1945. The museum also displays documents, newspapers and magazines from the period 1948 to 1989. These texts illustrate the Communist regime's desire to conceal the facts surrounding the American liberation of Pilsen.