CAMPAIGNS OF COURAGE:
EUROPEAN AND PACIFIC THEATERS
The newest pavilion of The National WWII Museum brings to life the drama, sacrifices, personal stories, and strategies of America’s campaign to defeat the Axis powers and preserve freedom. Dramatic exhibits explore how US citizen soldiers and their Allies secured victory in the 20th century’s titanic struggle—a fight for civilization itself.
The heart of the Museum experience, the 32,512-square-foot pavilion Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Theaters brings visitors inside the story of how the war was won. Two immersive exhibits—The Duchossois Family Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries and Richard C. Adkerson & Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries—feature environments that guide visitors through the chronological narrative of each theater of combat, using a sophisticated mix of set design, period newsreels, virtual missions, interactive oral-history kiosks, digital artifacts, and dynamic displays for a uniquely evocative experience. In recreated battle sites and beaches, jungles and bunkers, visitors come face to face with the staggering challenges that shaped the war, from brutal enemies to deadly terrain—and learn of the courage and ingenuity of the soldiers and strategists who met those challenges. With its masterful blend of storytelling and technology, Campaigns is a thrilling new way to experience the epic story of the war that changed the world.
ROAD TO BERLIN
From faltering first battles in North Africa to the bloody struggle at Germany’s doorstep, the immersive galleries in Road to Berlin recreate actual battle settings and villages—with crumbling walls, bomb-torn rooftops, icy pathways, and a chillingly realistic soundscape—as the evocative backdrop for period newsreels, video histories, interactive kiosks, macro artifacts, and tag-able digital displays that dive deeper into the story. The result is a richly layered, multimedia experience that invites exploration and connection: Visitors walking in the shadow of Normandy’s brutally dense hedgerows can imagine the challenges that followed D-Day; attending a mission briefing with the Bomber Boys brings visitors inside America’s all-important air strategy; seeing personal artifacts—cigarette boxes, writing papers, photographs—scattered over Normandy beach sand is a touching perspective on the human cost of the war. Expansive in its scope, exhaustive in its detail, and captivating in its innovative design, Road to Berlin is a whole new way to understand America’s story of the war in Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean.
ROAD TO TOKYO
The newly opened Road to Tokyo retraces the grueling trail that led from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay by way of New Guinea and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, Burma, the islands of the Pacific, China, India, and Alaska. Exhibits explore the evolving strategy for fighting relentless Japanese forces in Asia and the Pacific, examining cultural differences, logistical challenges, and the staggering range of extreme conditions that confronted American military forces in Asia and the Pacific. Conveyed through artifacts (including a shark-faced P-40 Warhawk), oral histories, serialized “Dog Tag” profiles, short films, and recreated environments, this is the story of a world that was unimaginably alien to American GIs, a conflict of searing brutality, and a victory so devastating it is hotly debated even today. But this is also the story of the American spirit that carried the day: the dogged hard work of Seabees literally paving the way for island-hopping aircraft, scientists in a race to create vaccines against devastating new diseases, daring commanders facing ever-changing obstacles with equal parts innovation and courage. Exhibit treatments bring to life the naval and air forces, the soldiers and marines, as well as engineers creating the machinery to cross vast distances, carry massive cargo, create ships that are cities at sea. This is the story of the Americans who forged a road to Tokyo through courage, ingenuity, and great sacrifice, and ended the war at last.