The Museum of Military History – Military History Institute (German: Heeresgeschichtliches Museum – Militärhistorisches Institut) in Vienna is the leading museum of the Austrian Armed Forces. It documents the history of Austrian military affairs through a wide range of exhibits comprising, above all, weapons, armours, tanks, aeroplanes, uniforms, flags, paintings, medals and badges of honour, photographs, battleship models, and documents.
The Museum of Military History examines the history of the Habsburg Monarchy from the end of the 16th century to the end of the monarchy in 1918, as well as the subsequent years up until 1945.
The first hall of the museum is dedicated to the history of Europe in the 16th and 17th century. The collections of the Museum of Military History begin at a time when military history is undergoing a transformation from the Volksaufgebot (people's volunteer corps) to the standing army. The Imperial armies, which up to the Thirty Years' War were inconsistently equipped and enlisted only for the period of a campaign, were now transformed into a salaried, "standing" army. A lot of space is dedicated to the Ottoman Wars, in particular the Second Siege of Vienna in 1683.
Hall II is dedicated to the 18th century and is also called the Maria Theresia Hall, though the beginning of this section is still dominated by the personality of Prince Eugene and his achievements.
The Hall of Revolutions (1789 - 1848) is dominated by the battles against Napoleon in Austerlitz, Würzburg, Aspern, Deutsch-Wagram, and Leipzig. A highlight of the exhibition is the world's oldest remaining military aircraft, the French war balloon „L' Intrépide“, captured by Austrian troops at the battle of Würzburg on 3 September 1796.
Hall IV is dedicated to Joseph Radetzky von Radetz and his era.
Hall V is dedicated to Franz Joseph and his era.
A separate bay is dedicated to the Assassination at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.
Between 2012 and 2014, the group of halls dedicated to World War I was completely converted, modernised, and redesigned. As a result of these measures, some 2,000 items relating to World War I are now accessible to the public.
Hall VII is dedicated to the quite turbulent history of the First Republic and World War II.
A separate hall (VIII) is dedicated to the history of the Austrian navy. The exhibition covers the entire period from the creation of the first Danube flotilla to the end of the k.u.k. war navy in 1918.
The special exhibition "Protection & Assistance" is dedicated to the Austrian Armed Forces between 1955 and 1991
Artillery halls: The collection of cannons of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum comprises a total of 550 guns and barrels, making it one of the most important collections of its kind in the world. The majority of the exhibits in the collection are still from the old Imperial armoury.