Military Museum Recounts Saddam's Capture

When U.S. troops pulled Saddam Hussein (search) from the hole in which he was hiding, the dictator was gaunt, dirty and disheveled, with a bushy beard, matted hair and a glazed-over look.

It was not Saddam's best look, but it is how he will be remembered by the soldiers who collared him.

A lifelike mannequin of a beaten-down Saddam anchors a new exhibit at the 4th Infantry Division Museum (search) that recounts his capture in Iraq in December 2003.

The nighttime raid outside his Tikrit (search) stronghold was conducted by the Fort Hood-based 4th Infantry's 1st Brigade Combat Team and Army special operations forces.

Celia Stratton, the museum's director, said the designer of the $7,500 mannequin asked how to depict Saddam.

"We said 'slumped and defeated' because that's what he is," Stratton said.

In the glass display case he wears a dirty, knee-length navy blue shirt. His hands are in military-issue black plastic handcuffs, and leaves stick out of his hair.

At his feet is one of two authentic items found with Saddam in his underground lair — a metal valise that held about $750,000 in U.S. $100 bills. Bundles of photocopied currency stand in for the real money.

Stratton said the museum rushed to finish the display so it would be ready for the Memorial Day weekend, a popular time for people to visit the Army base.

The mannequin case will eventually be part of a larger display commemorating the 4th Infantry's tour of duty in Iraq. It will include a full-scale replica of the hole where Saddam was caught, with an opening so that museum visitors can crawl in and see for themselves what it was like.

Arthur Fonzo, an Air Force veteran visiting from Atlanta, got a little choked up while taking a long look at the mannequin when the exhibit opened Thursday.

"That is great, just terrific," he said. "It's realistic, it's history. It makes me feel that what our soldiers did was so impressive."