Spur Street , Valletta , Malta
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 9:00 - 17:00
- Adults: € 6.00
- Youth/senior: € 4.50
- Child: € 3.00
National War Museum was opened in 1975 to compliment the Palace Armoury. National War Museum is made of a large vaulted hall, 2 long annexes, and 3 small rooms.
National War Museum situated in Lower St. Elmo, facing Marsamxett Harbour. St. Elmo played very important roles in the history of Malta, especially during the Siege of Malta and also during World War II.
The fort was built in 1552 by military engineer Pietro Pardo and fell under heavy bombardment by the invading Ottomans during the Great Siege of 1565. When the siege was over and the Maltese emerged victorious, it was retaken and reconstructed.
The Germans dangerously disregarded this warning when they chose to go up against the Maltese, not once but twice, in both of the World Wars. Twice the Germans finished on the losing side. And while the Maltese would never claim to be responsible entirely for those defeats, they certainly played their part in both conflicts.
The War Museum focuses on the island’s military role when it was under British rule, so there is particular emphasis on the two World Wars. You’ll find it in an apt location too. It’s in the former Drill Hall of Lower Fort St Elmo, in Valletta.
How it became a Nation War Museum is quite a story. It stems from Malta’s Museums Department setting up a Gloster Sea Gladiator – a warplane called "Faith" along with a War Relics Exhibition in the Drill Hall in 1974. This was done with help from the Armed Forces of Malta and the newly formed National War Museum Association.
That Gladiator is still a museum highlight along with the famous George Cross medal awarded to the entire island King George VI. This unprecedented move was to "bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people". It’s a unique achievement and for that reason an image of the medal is shown on the Maltese flag. That’s what the cross is in the corner!
You can also see a scroll presented by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, many awards and decorations received by Maltese servicemen and civilians plus uniforms and other equipment.
The War Museum essentially depicts what Malta and its people went through during World War II and the important role that the island played during the war.
One of the long annexes is dedicated to the Royal Navy. So here, you will get to see various uniforms, equipment, armaments, relics, sections of aircrafts, instruments.
Through the photos you will also be able to see the amount of war damage that was suffered between 1940 and 1943.
In this Malta War Museum, you can also see many impressive awards and decorations which were awarded during the war to Maltese servicemen and also civilians, for their acts of bravery.