Located at the southern end of the historic Hanoi Citadel and adjacent to the Flag Tower, the Vietnam Military History Museum is set in former French barracks, comprising a complex of 30 galleries. Tracing the development and history of Vietnam’s armed forces over the centuries, this museum is one of the most important war museums of the country. It features a varied collection of displays relating to the country’s early battles against the Chinese and the Mongols. Precedence is, however, given to the nation’s more recent wars against France, Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, China, and the US. The exhibits include films, black-and-white photographs, and other archival footage. The diorama of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu is definitely worth seeing. The courtyard outside the museum is filled with several reminders of war, including wrecked French, Soviet, and American military equipment, weaponry, and fighter planes, as well as a carefully preserved Soviet MIG-21, a must-see. Next to the museum is the hexagonal Flag Tower or Cot Co. Like the Turtle Tower on Hoan Kiem Lake, the tower is an important symbol, not just of Hanoi, but of Vietnamese armed forces. Opposite the museum, situated in a small park is a commanding statue of Lenin.