The exhibition “The Army in Times of Change” opened its doors on July 14, 2020. The event is realized on the occasion of the 141 st anniversary of the establishment of the Ministry of Defence and the 104 th anniversary of the foundation of the National Museum of Military History.
The exhibition traces the development of the Bulgarian Army throughout the long and sinuous transition from communism to democracy, on the nature of which political, public, academic consensus is still lacking. Re-orientation along the East–West axis, transition from a conscription to a professional army, arguments on armament and on relations with the U.S. and Russia are just some of the issues addressed by the exhibition. Through the personal judgements and opinions of the participants in the processes; through the personal effects of those who over the past 30 years had bound their lives with the Army is shown the testing road and the hard choices of that difficult time. Authentic audio and footage from the period, as well as a timeline of the key events, present visitors with the social and political context in which the grand reformations of the Army were effected.
The exhibition includes personal effects of emblematic of this stage of the evolution of the Bulgarian Army figures – military and political leadership and ordinary soldiers, who had fulfilled their duty to homeland. Those include belongings of the first men at the head of the Army – Chiefs of the General Staff, Commanders of the three branches of the Armed Forces, Ministers of Defence, officers and NCOs. With the displayed effects of participants in the overseas missions, the exhibition pays tribute to all servicemen who lost their lives in the line of duty. The portrait of the Armed Forces is augmented by the featured of different weapon systems Civilian life, a permanent companion of Bulgarian Army’s growth, is represented by fascinating exhibits – pre-denomination bank notes, ration tokens and ration coupons – symbols of the taxing years of the transition.