COLLECTION OF WEAPONS
The collection of weapons is a very important part of the collections of the Vytautas the Great War Museum. Its origins go back to the weapons received from the Lithuanian Armed Forces in 1921, when the Museum was founded. Among these exhibits, there were artillery guns, rifles, machine guns, pistols, swords, and ammunition used during the Wars of Independence in 1919-1920, soon after the Lithuanian Armed Forces had been established. Later, weapons were taken over from the Armed Forces, accepted as gifts, purchased in our country and abroad. Some most valuable exhibits were purchased from the collections preserved in the manors of Lithuanian aristocracy. The collection was also enlarged during the Soviet period. After the restoration of the independent state in 1990, the Collection of Weapons has been systematically supplemented with exhibits that reflect the history of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, global military history, and the history of weapons. Therefore, during nearly a century of existence, the collection has formed, which comprises firearms and cold weapons, ammunition, protective weapons, and special equipment. Most exhibits are military; in addition, there is a substantial number of weapons used in hunting, sport, entertainment, and civilian self-defence. The collection contains not only well-known weapons, but also the items of atypical construction and purpose, some of which are made by skillful craftsmen by special orders. Some exhibits of the collection reached Lithuania from Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa. They are a part of the global history of weapons. The group of exhibits, which has been collected for the longest time and the most consistently and which is constantly expanding, is firearms, which date back from the 16th to the 21st centuries. Currently, the collection also contains the belongings of transatlantic pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas and the wreckage of their plane Lituanica I.