The museum exposition was basically composed of the materials taken the real city's life of the war time. Those things were got with great difficulties long before the liberation of the Smolensk Region. They were presented at the exhibition entitled "the Grate Patriotic Warin the Smolensk Region" andoccupied the building of the museum "Russian Antique". They were kept there till 1961, when a new building was transferred to the possession of the Regional Museum of the Local Lore (occupied by the History Museum now a days) at the center of the city.
A new museum named "the Smolensk Region in the years of the Great Patriotic War, 1941 - 1945" was opened in 1973 in connection with the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the Smolensk Region from the Nazi invaders. From that time up to the present day it is situated in a monument of architecture built in honor of the Patriotic War of 1812.
Authentic exhibits of the museum tell about the Smolensk Battle of 1941, about the birth of the Soviet Guard in the suburbs of Yelnya, about the underground activity and guerilla warfare at the rear of the enemy, about the liberation of the Smolensk Region.
The authentic photos and documents of the first months of the war time, of the terrible period of the Nazi occupation of Smolensk Region, of the underground activityguerilla movement, of the liberation of the Soviet Region, of the participation of Smolenskpeople in the liberation of the Eastern Europe are collected and presented at the museum. Visitors could be interested in the unique samples of small arms of the Red Army and of Hitler's Germany; in orders, medals, personal things of the participants of the battles for Smolensk, Yelnya, Vyazma; in personal things of the Marshal of the Soviet Union S. K. Timoshenko, generals M. F. Lukin and I. N. Russiyanov; in the uniform and rewards of the pilots of the legendary Normandy Neman Regiment; in the battle banners of the military units and formations awardedthe honorary title of "the Smolensk"; in the trophies of the depressed Nazi Germany.
Everybody can see the diorama "The Birth of the Soviet Guard" and hear the sound track at the museum exposition. There's also a real guerilla dug-out, well-known soldiers lockets, weapons taken from the battle places, impressed in the diorama "The Battle at the Solovyova River Crossing".
The museum exhibition of military equipment disposed out-of-doors has become a favorite place of interest of the Smolensk people, both adults and children. It presents such samples of artillery, armed weapons and equipment of the Great Patriotic War time and the past war local conflicts as the legendary "Katyusha" rocket launcher, the illustrious Medium Tank T-34, the Heavy Tank IS-2, the "toiler of war" truck ZiS-5, the "Shilka" self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, the fighter aircraft MiG-23 M.
In connection with the 1150th anniversary of the foundation of Smolensk a complete museum re-exposition is to be carried out