The Duchossois Family Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries brings to life the drama, sacrifices, personal stories, and strategies of America’s campaign to defeat the Axis powers and preserve freedom. 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 digital displays dive deeper into the story. The result is a richly layered, multimedia experience that invites exploration and connection. Visitors are able to walk in the shadow of Normandy's brutally dense hedgerows and imagine the challenges that followed D-Day; attend a mission briefing with the Bomber Boys and gain perspective inside America's all-important air strategy; and see personal artifacts—cigarette boxes, photographs—scattered over real Normandy sand, providing 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.
Set in an abandoned farmhouse in North Africa, the Briefing Room recreates the immense pressures faced by Allied strategists and covers the events and status of the war as of November 1942, including the strategic choices that the Allied war effort faced in early 1942 and the landings in North Africa later that year. Learn the rationale behind the decision to go to “Germany first,” and be introduced to the issues faced in deciding to invade North Africa and Europe before turning to the Pacific.
Explore the story of how American and British troops assaulted the Axis in Africa to secure a Mediterranean stronghold before attempting an attack on Hitler’s “Fortress Europe.” This immersive 1,500-square-foot space conveys the landscape of Tunisia as American forces first attempt to stem the Nazi tide. Surrounded by desert and rocky landscape, visitors see projections of tanks rolling over the sand and get up close to dozens of weapons of Europe displayed in an enormous artifact case. Macro artifacts include a 105mm Howitzer and a 1943 Jeep.
A wood-beamed Sicilian villa is filled with sights, sounds, and artifacts of the Allies' conquest of Palermo and advance toward Italy. Although this first Allied liberation of an Axis capital city was a piercing blow to the “soft underbelly” of Axis Europe, bitter rivalries among Allied leaders and a horrific friendly fire accident showed that citizen soldiers were still not a polished fighting force.
The Italian Campaign gallery tells the story of the Allies’ mainland assault on Italy, which turned into a hard, deadly slog consuming many months. American forces and their allies achieved the surrender of Italian leaders—who, amid political turmoil and confusion, switched sides and declared war on Germany.
Hear soldiers’ experiences in their own words through oral histories which recount battles and everyday life in the war. This gallery communicates both the broad strategic complexity of warfare and the individual bravery and leadership of the servicemembers who took part in it.
Surrounded by a recreated Nissen hut, much like those mass-produced in England and used for storage and operational needs, hear the story of air power in the war—from the famous Tuskegee Airmen, to the formidable German Luftwaffe, to America’s relentless air strikes in Europe. Artifacts, videos, and oral histories illustrate how mastery of the skies over Europe was essential to all that came after—including the critical invasion of Normandy.
Featuring an informative D-Day film, this exhibit captures the courage and sacrifice of the many thousands of men who invaded the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, allowing the Allies to secure the beachheads and start their drive across France. Catch a glimpse of the aftermath of D-Day through a small exhibit dedicated to the soldiers who were killed on the beaches.
The breaching of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall and establishment of a secure beachhead in Normandy was followed by a campaign of dramatic highs and lows, wins and losses. This gallery illustrates the obstacles experienced by the Allies—from the disheartening struggle amid the dense hedgerows to the German counterattack at Mortain to the major setback in Operation Market Garden. Follow the Allies as they liberate Paris and finally push Germans back to their border.
The Allied advance grounded to a halt as it encountered the Siegfried Line, a network of bunkers, minefields, and barbed wire built into hilly terrain. This gallery mimics the interior of a blown-out German bunker, allowing you to see the formidable infrastructure employed by the Germans in defense of their homeland. It also focuses on the stories of the Allied advance into Germany, including the capture of Aachen, the first German city to surrender, while also foreshadowing the many battles that still lay ahead for the American forces.
This immersive gallery sets the scene for the six-week Battle of the Bulge—the US Army’s largest battle of World War II. Hitler launched a surprise winter counter-attack through the Ardennes forest to drive the Allies back. Grappling with bitterly cold weather, more than 30 divisions and 600,000 men fought desperately to halt the Germans. Oral history stations, artifacts, and content panels guide visitors from the surprise German attack to the siege, to the ultimate hard-won Allied victory.
American troops advancing into Germany witnessed and experienced unimaginable violence and destruction. Our final gallery reveals the last major obstacle of taking German bridges on the Rhine, the discovery of Ohrdruf concentration camp (the first Nazi death camp liberated by American forces), the capture of Cologne, the lengths Hitler would go to, almost destroying his own people in the process, and, finally, the ultimate surrender of Germany, thus ending the war in Europe.
The Louisiana Memorial Pavilion exhibits take visitors into the monumental efforts on the Home Front and to the beaches of Normandy—focusing on the thousands of men and women who made Allied victory in World War II possible.
In a war where the terrain was as deadly as the enemy, this pavilion tells the story of American servicemembers abroad—and how they overcame unprecedented challenges on multiple fronts to win victory in World War II. In over 19,000 square feet of exhibit space, two extraordinary exhibitions bring visitors inside the epic story of the war in its most infamous settings, bringing to life jungles, beaches, mountains, and oceans in 19 immersive galleries.
The Solomon Victory Theater is home to Beyond All Boundaries, a 4D cinematic experience produced exclusively for The National WWII Museum by Tom Hanks—who narrates the film—and Phil Hettema.
The Hall of Democracy represents the center of the Museum’s expanding educational outreach initiatives—providing a space that will enable the institution to share its collections, oral histories, research, and expertise with audiences across the world.
In World War II—the war that changed the world—freedom hung in the balance. Americans answered the call to protect that freedom with 16 million men and women serving in uniform and an untold number of citizens of all ages doing their part on the Home Front. In US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, we honor their contributions.
The official Hotel of The National WWII Museum, this stunning art-deco style property offers first-class accommodations, meeting spaces, and dining options providing a sophisticated lodging experience for guests.
The John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion features glass exterior walls that allow the public a permanent, behind-the-scenes view of the restoration and preservation of priceless WWII artifacts. New to the pavilion is the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Innovation Gallery, which focuses on how problems were solved during World War II through ingenuity and innovation.
Founders Plaza creates an impressive entryway to the Museum campus, safe passage for Museum guests, and a pleasant setting for rest and reflection as part of the visitor experience.
The soaring Bollinger Canopy of Peace, set to stand 150 feet tall, will unify the Museum's diverse campus and establish the Museum as a fixture on the New Orleans skyline.
Three building levels will explore the closing months of the war and immediate postwar years, concluding with an explanation of links to our lives today.