Introduced in 2011, HMS Belfast’s Gun Turret Experience: A Sailor’s Story 1943, is an immersive museum installation created by Sarner.
Through this experience, visitors to HMS Belfast (a branch of the Imperial War Museum docked in London’s River Thames) are able to experience what it would have been like to fight at sea during World War II.
Sarner combined lights, imagery, sound, smoke effects, movement and smells to accurately recreate the atmosphere and conditions of a cramped Gun Turret, complete with crew members at their action stations for this realistic exhibition.
The Gun Turret Experience, which is housed within one of the original triple gun turrets overlooking the ship’s quarterdeck, has been developed with the help of Royal Navy veterans as well as being based on eye-witness accounts from the Imperial War Museum’s collections; including a letter from a young sailor, M-D Withers, sent to his mother shortly after the Battle of the North Cape where HMS Belfast was instrumental in the destruction of the Scharnhorst.
Phil Reed, Director of HMS Belfast says: “The Gun Turret Experience gives visitors an exhilarating new perspective on life at sea and really enhances the ship’s historic surroundings. By immersing people in the sights and sounds of a naval battle we hope visitors will leave HMS Belfast with not only a greater knowledge of the Second World War but also a deeper understanding of its impact.”