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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Reffye Mitrailleuse, Dresden Museum

We visited the Militar Historiches Museum in Dresden on 4th July. The building has been redeveloped in recent years, most obviously with a large addition by the architect Libeskind. The result is striking, I cannot decide whether I like it.

For me, the major piece in there was a French Army (Reffye) Mitrailleuse Model 1866. Captain Reffye served in the artillery and this affected how the mitrailleuse was used, not as anti-infantry but on counter-battery deployment which reduced considerably its effectiveness. It was mounted on an artillery carriage which made it sturdy but heavy.

Captured by Saxon troops in 1870/71

Not sure about the colour, I think it may have been repainted

25 barrels, in five tiers of five, firing 130 shots/minute, range 1200metres

Also of interest was an original officer's coat of the Seven Years War period. The young Saxon was wounded in the left arm, hence the damage to the left sleeve.

Conclusion. A very enjoyable visit. I only had time for the main ground floor exhibition areas, there were more upstairs. Everything was well laid out and lit with good explanations in both German and English. A painting of the Battle of Blenheim raised some eyebrows as this showed proper artillery fortifications around the village was the only fault we could find.


  1. Nice way to decorate your walls. I have never done that. My effort to beautify the walls in my house was to order big-sized canvas prints from, from images of western art. I use the same angel motifs in all of the rooms painted by different painters, such as this one by very interesting English artist Stanley Spencer,

  2. The new appendage to the museum looks rather like the monstrosity they put up at Mann Island, on the Liverpool Pier Head, and I absolutely hate that one. I suspect that, 100 years from now, architects and city planners will laugh at acts of vandalism like this which were considered bold and innovative in the early 21st Century.