Louisiana’s Fort Polk was at the center of preparations by the U.S. Army to modernize its fighting forces and strategies for the battlefields of World War Two. A half million troops converged on the forests of central Louisiana in 1940-1941 for the Louisiana Maneuvers.
A life-sized soldier on horseback greets visitors as they enter the military museum at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The museum traces the history of this major U. S. Army training center from its early days in the Louisiana Maneuvers at the start of World War Two. The Army used the Maneuvers to update its fighting force and develop doctrine and battlefield strategies for the war in Europe. The Maneuvers allowed the Army to replace horse-mounted cavalry and horse-drawn artillery carriages with a mechanized infantry. The Louisiana war games were the largest-ever training exercise by the U.S. military.
HISTORIC FILM FROM LOUISIANA MANEUVERS
The Fort Polk Museum has displays that show weapons used by the U.S. infantry during World War Two. The exhibit also includes weapons used by German troops. The weapons range from handguns to rifles and high-velocity machine guns.
fort polk history – world war to war on terror
This Louisiana Army base saw an influx of troops training for fighting in Southeast Asia during the Korean conflict of the 1950’s, and again during the 1960-1970’s for the war in Vietnam.
Today, Fort Polk is the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center. Army units from across the country will rotate through the Louisiana base for training prior to deployment. The advanced training allows soldiers to prepare for situations they may face when dealing with insurgents and terrorists.
TRAINING FOR TODAY’S CONFLICTS at fort polk
rewriting its own story
Fort Polk is one of ten U.S. Military bases that will be getting a name change. The Louisiana base was named after Confederate General Leonidas Polk. Congress directed the Pentagon to “remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America”. That process could take up to three years to complete.
A visit to the museum
The military museum is located on the grounds of Fort Polk and is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-4pm. The museum is open to the public, but you will need to stop at the visitor center to get a pass before passing through the base’s security gate. The visitor center is located to the right of the main entrance.
Heart of louisiana tv feature on museum
The Visitor Center is located in Building 5903 just outside the main gate. The base is near Leesville, Louisiana.