Category Archives: Austin

Texas Military Forces Museum, Austin, TX – Hands on History

(See my other Texas Military forces Museum related posts) – The Texas Military Forces Museum will host their annual Hands-On History Night on Saturday, 2 July 2022.

Photo from Hands-On History 2021

This is a unique opportunity to speak with members of the Living History Detachment. They will be in uniform and have kit on display from 200 years of Texas military history. Several vehicles on display inside the museum will be open.

Walk through 200 years of Texas military history in the 28,000 sq.ft. of interior Museum displays. View 50 vehicles and aircraft on display outside the museum. 

Enter Camp Mabry via the 35th street entrance. A photo ID is required for all visitors. For further information as to the location and entrance requirements see the website

Relive a Civil War battle at the Texas Military Forces Museum

On the weekend of March 12-13, B Company operating under the auspices of the Texas Military Forces Museum will present Battlefield 1863. B Company is part of the official living history detachment of the Texas National Guard. Officially the group represents B Company, Red River Battalion of the 4th Texas Infantry in Hood’s Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia.

Presentations will be made at 1PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free and there will be ample free parking. Enter Camp Mabry through the main gate off of 35th street. Full directions are on the website. A photo ID for all adults is required for admission to the post.

The Texas Military Forces Museum will be open from 10AM until 4PM on both days. Come inside the museum and browse through 26,000 square feet of exhibits. The museum documents the military heritage of Texas from the 1830s through today’s operations in the Middle East. Outside the museum are nearly 50 more military aircraft and vehicles on display.

Texas Military Forces Museum Event – Over There: 1918

(See my other Texas Military Forces Museum related posts) – The living history group at the Texas Military Forces Museum conducts reenactments several times each year. On both 20n & 21 November they will present a World War I battle reenactment.

The living history detachment operates under the auspices of the Texas Military Forces Museum. The members are all military history enthusiasts and volunteers with the Museum.

The 36th Infantry Division, which is what the Texas National Guard was federalized as in WWI, saw action in France. The Museum contains many artifacts from the WWI period. The reenactment brings to life some of the history of the war.

Texas Military Forces Museum Event – WWII Reenactment

(See my other Texas Military Forces Museum related posts) – The living history group at the Texas Military Forces Museum conducts a reenactment each year near Veterans Day. This year ‘G Company” will be presenting “Close Assault: 1944” the weekend of November 6–7, 2021.

G Company is part of the official living history detachment of the Texas National Guard. It operates under the auspices of the Texas Military Forces Museum. The members are all military history enthusiasts and volunteers with the Museum.

The 36th Infantry Division which is what the Texas National Guard was federalized as in WWII saw action in Europe. The Museum contains many artifacts from the WWII period. The reenactment brings to life some of the history from the war.

Further Information

  1. Book – From Texas to Rome: Fighting World War II and the Italian Campaign with the 36th Infantry Division

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If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

What it was like to be a Vietnam grunt

The Texas Military Forces Museum Foundation hosts a talk this coming Saturday evening. Foundation Board member John Eli will speak on his experiences in US Army Delta Company of the 27th Infantry Regiment. This is a great opportunity to learn a little about our military history and to support the Museum.

The talk will be held at the Museum from 5:30 – 8:00pm on Saturday 18 September. It is free for Foundation members and only $5 for non-members. To join the Foundation go to https://www.tmfhf.org. Directions for visiting the museum can be found here.

A valid, unexpired form of identification with a picture must be presented to enter the post.

USA, Texas, Austin – Illuminate Coffee Bar

(See my other Food related posts) – Not too many weeks ago (late May) Central Texas was subject to severe storm that left many without power. That included us. Desperate for coffee on the morning of Saturday May 29 we set out looking for a location that had power.

We found the Illuminate Coffee Bar at 12129 RR 620, suite 102 in Austin. It had just what we were looking for – good coffee and a quiet place to sit, read, and wait for the power to be restored to our home. It had several tables available in their serving area. We found one with available AC power to charge our devices while we savored the coffee. In addition to coffee, they had breakfast items and sandwiches. You can check out their full menu.

Whether you are suffering from a power outage or just in search for a good cup of coffee I can recommend Illuminati!

Texas Military Forces Museum – Hands On History 2021

{see my other TMFM related posts) – As restrictions are being relaxed following COVID-19 the Texas Military Forces Museum is once again able to host events. The first was the living history presentation of the Vietnam War on Memorial Day. The next event will be the annual Hands On History night.

While the museum is located on Camp Mabry, it is open to the public. A valid, unexpired form of identification with a picture must be presented to enter the post. Admission to the Museum is free. Those wanting early access at this event will pay $5. That would put you early in line to access the vehicles and talk to the living history crew. Here are detailed directions on how to get to the museum. 

Hands On History 2019

As the name implies many of the exhibits that normally can only be viewed will be available to touch. There will also be a contingent of the living history group on hand to show off their kit and answer questions. I had the opportunity to attend the last Hands On History night in 2019. I really enjoyed the evening. 

Hands On History 2019

If you are interested in history this is a unique opportunity to get closer to it.

Living Military History Memorial Day 2021

The Texas Military forces Museum will be open this Memorial Day weekend. The Living History unit will present Vietnam War reenactments on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the performance and the museum is free. Enter Camp Mabry through the 35th Street entrance (see Directions page for more details). A photo ID is required of all guests entering the Camp.

The Museum contains 45,000 sq. ft. of exhibits inside, and dozens of armored vehicles, artillery pieces, and aircraft on the grounds.

TMFM – Soviet DShKm 38/46 Heavy Machine Gun

This is a Soviet DShKm 38/46 Heavy Machine Gun. This particular gun is the infantry model. The wheels and armor plated shield identify it as such. The weapon (DK) was first produced in 1930 and had a 30 round drum magazine. An upgrade in 1938 allow for a belt feed mechanism. It received the DShK 38 designation because of this improvement. It was the standard heavy machine gun used by Soviet troops during WWII. The weapon serves in both infantry support and in anti-aircraft roles.

The DShK 38 was modernized in 1946 and redesigned the DShKm 38/46. The gun shown above is in the “Cold War to Global War on Terror” Gallery at the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin, TX. Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces used various models of the DShK during the Cold War. Many parties in the Middle East have them and they are still in use.

The DShKm fires a 12.7mm x 108mm cartridge and has a maximum range of 2000 yards. The unit with wheels and shield weighs 346 pounds. It is capable of firing up to 600 rounds per minute [1]. it is roughly equivalent to the US M2 .50 caliber Browning machine gun.

Per TMFM signage for this exhibit – “This particular weapon was captured during the Persian Gulf War (1991) by the 149th Aviation Battalion of the 49th Armored Division, Texas National Guard.

REFERENCES

1 – Signage for the DShKm at the Texas Military Forces Museum


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 520 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

TMFM – German Maschinengewer 08

The German Maschinengewer 08 or MG 08 was used by the German military in both World War I and World War II. It was considered a Heavy Machinegun. It was phased out of operation in 1942 by front line troops. Many were sold to the Chinese and they eventually produced their own models known as the Type 24 Heavy Machine Gun.

It is named the Maschinengewer 08 because it was adopted in 1908. It is a water cooled weapon with a firing rate of 450 rounds per minute. This was not a light weapon. It weighed in at 142 pounds – The tripod was 84 pounds and the gut itself 58 pounds. The effective range was 2,200 yards (2000 meters). The MG 08 required a crew of 4.

The MG 08 was ultimately used by more that 25 companies. More than 225, 000 of all variants were built over its service life.

This particular unit is on display in the Main Hall of the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin, TX.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 510 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.