(Article by Cheng, Yu-Chen)
The history museum of Arsenal 202, the Production and Manufacturing Center (the PM Center) of the Armament Bureau, Ministry of National Defense has a complete collection of armaments developed and produced in Taiwan over the years, including those that have been decommissioned. A plan is made to prepare the museum for public access as part of the all-out defense education. The public will have an opportunity to witness how the military equipment has come to what we see today and give them a pretty good idea what the all-out defense means to them. Greeting visitors at the reception area is the “interactive guided tour system,” a system that walks visitors through the history and introduction of the arsenals under the Armament Bureau using user-friendly human-machine interface on large touch screens. The interactions consist of the geologic location, aerial photos and landscapes of each of the arsenals, and the introduction of presentation in detail at the Arsenal 202 History Museum. As visitors set foot into the A/V area, the cabinets house the seals and banners used at Arsenal 202 previously. The historic and important events that happened in the past are the complete record of top officers visiting the arsenal. It is like a tunnel through time that shows the visitors how Arsenal 202 has become what it is today. A special area is designated in the museum to display the emblems that represent the Arsenal itself and its honors throughout its history. A complete introduction is provided to explain their design concepts, honor the spirits of harmonic cooperation and teamwork, and display the professional technology of the Arsenal that has developed through time. Arsenal 202 of the PM Center was established in Shanghai in September 1946 as the “Preparatory Office for Tank Factory, Armament Administration, Combined Logistics Command.” The Arsenal has been 68 long years including national mobilization for communist rebellion, and battles in Taiwan Strait and the relocation to Taiwan. The Arsenal has helped design, produce and test recoilless guns, mortars, howitzers and free-firing rockets, as well as involved in the development and production of M2A4 landmines, short-barrel artillery pieces, ammunition, propaganda shells, training shells and extended range shells. The development of and the technologies used in the armaments made in Taiwan are presented in perfect detail for public viewing at the Arsenal history section. What catches the most eyes has to be the product display section where the products made at the Arsenal, mostly artillery pieces, are presented. There are traditional mortars, recoilless guns and tank guns, as well as optically/electrically/electronically consolidated weaponry the Arsenal has been working very hard on in recent years. These scaled-down models show the true color of what these guns, large and small, really look like. Arsenal 202 points out that the museum has a good collection of multiple decommissioned weapons and artifacts that tell their own histories and stories. They are placed in a temperature and humidity controlled environment as in most of museums in the world to ensure that these historic pieces will last. The plan is to open up the museum for local people and school for visits on request, allowing people to witness the history of the Armed Force’s armament development and facilitate a mutual consent in all-out defense.