A website by War Heritage Institute

The history of Gunfire

The history of Gunfire

Gunfire is a museum site located in the town of Brasschaat.

Brasschaat is inextricably linked with the Belgian armed forces’ rich past. Many military units were billeted here, but – more importantly – the town was the cradle of Belgian artillery.

The Ministry of Defence’s 2004 transition plan brought about a major turnaround. The then artillery museum (stemming from the Artillery School Brasschaat) and a large part of the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History (RMM) depot housed in Fort Kapellen were indeed transferred to the vacant hangars of the Light Aviation Company on Belgium’s oldest military airfield in Brasschaat. When the RMM was incorporated in the War Heritage Institute (WHI) in 2017, Gunfire Brasschaat became one of the WHI external sites. Thus arose the "Site Gunfire Brasschaat-WHI".

Gunfire houses a rich collection of vehicles and material, either or not armoured. Most of these vehicles and equipment pieces were used by the Belgian Armed Forces in Germany. The collection gives a clear overview of the different weapon systems within the Belgian Armed Forces: field artillery, anti-aircraft artillery, infantry, cavalry (tanks and reconnaissance units), military engineering and logistical units. It mainly dates from after the Second World War - a period marked by the Cold War - but some valuable objects were already in use before the First World War or during the inter-war period.

Gunfire Brasschaat also exhibits a collection related to the Belgian army Light Aviation System, as well as a unique collection of Belgian uniforms.

Besides the three exhibition halls, Gunfire Brasschaat has its own repair and restoration facilities, as well as an extensive military, technical and historical library.

The volunteers of the non-profit organisations KVVL-SRAMA and Tankmuseum (passionate ex-soldiers and/or interested civilians, who deeply care about the collection) are responsible for maintenance, repair and restoration of the military equipment; they also give guided tours in the various hangars.