How Switzerland Became Unconquerable
Switzerland is the most unconquerable country on earth.
And this isn't, a new thing it's been this way for centuries.
No one has even dared to try for a very long time, not even hitler wanted to try and knowing what I know.
Now I completely understand this reluctance to invade switzerland, it's, not that they'll get angry per se, it's.
Most of the fact that if anyone chooses to go to war with switzerland, they'll have to deal with bombs.
And no, I don't mean, this with german language that is the equivalent of an atomic bomb for your ears.
I mean, real bombs, but they won't be pointed at the enemy, though instead the swiss will target themselves with these bombs.
Now, obviously they won't bomb their own cities, where people live instead, they'll bomb their marvelous infrastructure, roads, bridges tunnels, you name.
It switzerland has tnt explosives and bombs in any and all of the infrastructure that leads into the country, which might sound insane.
And it is, but switzerland is serious about staying out of conflicts.
And since there are only a few ways you can get into switzerland by land as a result of the mountains, surrounding the majority of the country, the swiss saw this as a golden opportunity to create what they saw as a necessary defense mechanism in order to keep hitler out and keep him out.
But part of the reason why switzerland never got conquered by big european superpowers back when they were expanding right at their doorstep is that those same european superpowers decided it would probably be a good idea to have a buffer zone between them.
Switzerland became that buffer zone.
And since then they've been a neutral power in the center of europe by neutral, I of course mean, insanely neutral.
They aren't part of nato or the eu.
And they only became part of the un.
19 years ago, they don't send their troops to fight in any wars, even though they're actually really good at fighting as we can see from their history back in the day.
Other european nations would actually hire swiss westmen to fight for them in wars.
But they put an end to that when they lost a big war to france, a few hundred years ago, these days switzerland, doesn't fight yet still, they can raise an army of 800 thousand almost instantly.
And even though they are unlikely to ever fight in any wars.
The swiss army is to say it mildly pretty remarkable.
You know, there is a saying switzerland does not have an army.
Switzerland is an army which refers to the fact that it has compulsory military service for all swiss men, but that's, not even the crazy part.
Everyone that's been in that mandatory military service up until 2007 has kept all their equipment everyone.
And I mean, everyone kept their uniform assault rifles and ammunition.
So that if a war were to start, they would be able to instantly jump into their military uniform at home, put their assault rifle on the back and go straight to the action in a way, it's insanely genius, but mostly it's just insane and the insanity doesn't.
Stop there have you ever wondered what the swiss might be hiding in the mountains.
It could be gold or money, which they are probably hiding some of in there.
But somewhere in switzerland inside of a mountain.
There is a secret air base in which multiple fa-18, hornets, sit, ready to take action.
Just imagine a swiss air force pilot firing up the engines of an fa-18 hornet behind camouflage doors inside a mountain, getting ready to take off and make a surprise attack on an unsuspecting enemy that could be on his way to bombing switzerland right now.
But little does he know behind him.
A fighter jet just got released from the inside of a mountain to take him down.
I don't know, it just seems like something out of a james bond movie to me and since it's, highly classified information, where exactly this base is located.
Chances are enemies wouldn't.
Notice before it's too late.
We actually only know of this airbase's existence because swiss soldiers have occasionally referred to it on social media, but they've always been requested to delete their mention of the airbase promptly after.
And as a senior swiss officer has said, the name and location of the base are highly classified information.
But knowing the swiss I'm, not so concerned about where it is more.
So how many there are as there's probably more than one? What there's definitely more than one of are bonkers? You see back when hitler was taking over most of europe, the swiss realized they had to have a place.
They could retrieve to in case.
Hitler did choose to invade.
And since most of the population lives in flat and easily maneuverable terrain, which is a bad thing in war times by the way they went to the mountains to build bunkers and tunnels.
And while these tunnels, obviously never got used for what they were intended for.
They are now used for anything from aging rooms for cheese to hotels and high tech server boards where you can store information that requires that extra level of security.
I guess, but bunkers aren't just limited to these swiss alps.
You see for a long time in switzerland.
It was required by law that when you build a house, it had to have a bunker that could fit all the people living in that house.
Nowadays the law has been changed a bit.
And it states that every inhabitant must have a protected place that can be reached quickly from that person's place of residence.
So basically you either need to install a nuke proof bunker in your basement, or you have to pay for access to a community bunker and have a designated place in one of those what's, rather curious, though is that since these bunkers haven't been used and probably never will get used the swiss typically just use them as storage rooms.
You know to make sure your wine is safe in the off chance that a nuclear bomb decides to hit your country, or if enemy tanks come knocking at the door tanks, as if those could even get anywhere close to swiss soil, don't, you think the swiss have already thought of that.
Well, of course, they have you remember the explosives from earlier, right? You know, the ones they put in place to destroy all routes going into switzerland if necessary, yeah, those ones if enemy tanks get past that then first of all well done.
And second of all you now have to deal with these.
They are called tank traps.
You heard me write tank traps.
These are long lines of giant concrete blocks specifically designed to block out tanks.
And if you go to the french speaking region, sui roman along the swiss side of the lake between geneva and the sun you'll find these lines of tank traps that stretch all the way from the lake side into the mountains and do you see these houses, they're actually bunkers disguised as houses.
And here the swiss hid cannons.
They could use when the tanks tried to go over the tank traps.
But the cannons wouldn't be pointed at the tank directly, though instead they would be aimed at the belly of the tank where there was little armor, it's genius, but but also quite terrifying.
Although I do find this one instance, where switzerland threatened germany, a tad more terrifying.
You see this river is called the rhine.
The head of this river is right here within switzerland's borders.
And it runs through a large part of western germany.
And eventually ends up here in the netherlands what's terrifying is that switzerland threatened to poison the rhine and in turn all of germany's water.
If they had made it a little aggressive switzerland, I gotta say but fair play.
Now obviously this never happened at least on purpose.
You see switzerland did actually poison the rhine in the 1980s, but that was considered an accident.
But ultimately it shows the swiss commitment to keep enemies from even thinking about invading their country.
What is weird though is that hitler actually did have a very detailed plan to invade switzerland.
And while he saw it as a challenge, it could certainly be done.
So why didn't he well, it's quite a complex topic, and the swiss as well as historians don't completely agree on why hitler didn't attack them? Some strongly believe that it was the strong swiss military and the graduate strategy and the alps that saved them.
Others said, it was the cooperation with nazi germany as it's likely, the nazis preferred to bank with them.
So they just let them stay neutral.
Because of it historians say that both were needed and that's.
Another important reason was that germany had a hard time in russia, germany could have easily invaded switzerland, but it would have cost them too many resources, which germany just couldn't afford to lose at this time because their russian expedition had bad luck.
The cooperation with switzerland also proved quite useful to the germans as switzerland had to deliver resources on credit to germany, which they obviously didn't need to pay for upfront as part of a contract.
Additionally, germany could sell their gold to the swiss national bank in exchange for foreign currencies without proving its origin.
This way they could sell gold.
They had stolen from countries.
They had invaded in return for this switzerland could stay out of the war and continue trading with allies for food and coal, which they really needed.
Now since the war ended, these things have shown to be quite controversial.
I don't personally have an opinion on this, but had switzerland not done these things.
They wouldn't have been the neutral nation.
We know them as today.
So the contingency of swiss independence and neutrality is a result of many different factors.
But above all, the swiss made sure that none of the parties in a war would benefit from attacking them and that's.
The mentality they've kept to this day, although they aren't as insane about it as they were back.
Then, for example, the swiss military said in 2014 that they had removed all bombs and explosives from their infrastructure.
Well done switzerland, that's, probably for the best, but in terms of bunkers and tank traps.
They are all still here because might as well be right? You never know when those could become useful.
But all in all switzerland remains the most unconquerable country on earth as a result of its continuing desire to stay neutral.
Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next one.
During World War I and World War II, Switzerland maintained armed neutrality, and was not invaded by its neighbors, in part because of its topography, much of which is mountainous. Germany was a threat and Switzerland built a powerful defense.How well defended is Switzerland? ›
Switzerland is a small, neutral country that has not been attacked by a foreign power since Napoleon came to call in 1798 - the last time Switzerland took part in a war - and it wasn't invaded by Germany in WWII.Why did Germany not invade Switzerland? ›
The 1940 Nazi invasion plan, Operation Tannenbaum, was not executed, and SS Oberst Hermann Bohme's 1943 memorandum warned that an invasion of Switzerland would be too costly because every man was armed and trained to shoot.Was Switzerland occupied by Germany in ww2? ›
During World War II Switzerland was completely surrounded by Germany (including Austria from 1938 to 1945), it's ally Italy and by France (partly occupied by German troops from Summer 1940, partly controlled by the Vichy-based regime collaborating with Germany after the french surrender in 1940).
Swiss neutrality is one of the main principles of Switzerland's foreign policy which dictates that Switzerland is not to be involved in armed or political conflicts between other states. This policy is self-imposed and designed to ensure external security and promote peace.Why didn't the Germans invade Sweden? ›
If Germany should decide to invade Sweden, the result would indeed be a costly victory for Hitler because of Germany8s great dependence on exports of Swedish iron ore. Thus the Swedes had in their economy their best weapon against German attack.Why is Switzerland so powerful? ›
The strength of the Swiss economy is largely due to its international outreach and strong intertwining with the economies of other countries. Switzerland has one of the highest export rates as a percentage of gross domestic product.Why is Switzerland so strong? ›
That's largely due to its status as a “safe haven” currency or defensive asset. The Swiss franc is heavily backed by large reserve of gold, bonds and financial assets, which help the Swiss National Bank ensure the currency's stability during times of volatility.What country is the most defended? ›
The United States of America is a North American nation that is the world's most dominant economic and military power.Is the US allies with Switzerland? ›
The U.S. is a major partner of Switzerland in all respects. The relations between Switzerland and the United States of America are extremely rich, diverse and long-standing.
An attack could disrupt its economic activity, potentially causing damage to the country's industries and businesses. This could have a ripple effect on the global economy, as Switzerland is one of most important financial hubs and has a significant role in international trade.Does Switzerland have an army? ›
Switzerland has mandatory military service for all able-bodied male citizens, who are conscripted when they reach the age of majority, though women may volunteer for any position.Why is Switzerland not in NATO? ›
A referendum to join the European Economic Area was rejected in 1992. Switzerland is at present associated with the EU through a series of bilateral treaties in which Switzerland has adopted various provisions of European Union law in order to participate in the Union's single market, without joining as a member state.What is the old name of Switzerland? ›
Helvetia. The Old Swiss Confederacy of the early modern period was often called Helvetia or Republica Helvetiorum ("Republic of the Helvetians") in learned humanist Latin. The Latin name is ultimately derived from the name of the Helvetii, the Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau in the Roman era.Did Switzerland shoot down planes in ww2? ›
Allied violations of Swiss airspace
In 1943, the Swiss military began attacking Allied aircraft breaching Swiss airspace. Six Allied aircraft were shot down by Swiss Air Force fighters and four by anti-aircraft cannon, killing 36 Allied airmen.
Security. The most significant threat facing travelers to Switzerland is from petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching, particularly in the main cities of Bern, Zurich and Geneva. The country does not face any conflict risk.Is Switzerland affected by Ukraine war? ›
Switzerland has not endeared itself to Western countries with its ban on the re-export of war materiel. The most prominent example of this was when Switzerland refused to send ammunition for the German Gepard tanks to help the war effort in Ukraine. It also rejected similar requests from Spain and Denmark.What are the most neutral countries in the world? ›
Sweden and Switzerland are independently of each other famed for their armed neutralities, which they maintained throughout both World War I and World War II. The Swiss and the Swedes each have a long history of neutrality: they have not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and 1814, respectively.Why did Germany invade Norway but not Sweden? ›
At the time of the German attack, Denmark and Norway were neutral. Germany still attacked the countries because it feared that Great Britain and France planned to occupy Norway. With Denmark's access to the Baltic Sea in German hands, Swedish iron ore could be transported undisturbed to Germany.Why did Spain not fight in ww2? ›
Spain was nominally neutral during World War II, though under General Franco's far-right Nationalist regime it was politically aligned with Nazi Germany. Spain did not actually join the Axis side but it collaborated with the Nazis in many areas.
The Liberation of Finnmark was a military operation, lasting from 23 October 1944 until 26 April 1945, in which Soviet and Norwegian forces wrested away control of Finnmark, the northernmost county of Norway, from Germany. It started with a Soviet offensive that liberated Kirkenes.What is the top 1% in Switzerland? ›
How much wealth do you need to be in the 1 percent in Switzerland? To be considered a member of the richest 1 percent in Switzerland, as of the end of 2022 you need to have a total wealth of 6,6 million US dollars - or 5,9 million Swiss francs.Can you own a gun in Switzerland? ›
Owning a weapon as a private individual
If you are a Swiss citizen, you are generally permitted to own a weapon if: you are at least 18 years old. you are not subject to a general deputyship or are represented through a care appointee. there is no reason to believe you may use the weapon to harm yourself or others.
The Swiss economyʼs high degree of development exists thanks to a liberal economic system, political stability, and close integration with the economies of other countries. The state creates the necessary framework and only intervenes when this serves the interests of society at large.Why is Switzerland important to the world? ›
Switzerland is the birthplace of the Red Cross, one of the world's oldest and well-known humanitarian organisations, and hosts the headquarters or offices of most major international institutions, including the WTO, the WHO, the ILO, FIFA, and the United Nations.Why does Switzerland have the highest quality of life? ›
The alpine nation's place on the podium was secured by its strong purchasing power, low pollution and good safety scores. In fact, the country placed in the top 10 in purchasing power (fourth), safety (seventh), and pollution (sixth) categories.Why Switzerland has the highest quality of life? ›
Switzerland is famous for its long-standing political neutrality, economic stability and superior craftsmanship of luxury goods. These have naturally all contributed to the affluence and security enjoyed by many residing in Switzerland today.What is the number 1 safest country? ›
The safest country in the world is currently Switzerland, followed by Austria and Germany. There have been few changes at the top of the table for years. Iceland, in particular, which is remote and only relatively sparsely populated, has always been right at the top.What is the hardest country to conquer? ›
The United States is by far the hardest nation to invade. Setting aside their population of over 325 million people, many of whom take the second amendment quite seriously, and the country's varied, often merciless terrain, their biggest advantage is a financial one.Where does the US rank in safety? ›
The following 10 countries are viewed as the safest, according to U.S. News. The United States failed to make the list, coming in at No. 47 after placing 38th in 2021.
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Surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks in the San Juan mountain range, Ouray, Colorado, is known as the “Switzerland of America.” This Victorian-era mining town is as authentic as it gets, so you'll only find locally-owned restaurants and boutiques.
In the wake of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, Switzerland adopted the EU's sanctions against Russia. Switzerland nevertheless remains in dialogue with Russia, for example in connection with Switzerland's term on the UN Security Council.Who is Switzerland's biggest allies? ›
Since 2010, China has been Switzerland's biggest trading partner in Asia and third largest globally after the EU and the United States.What is the future of Switzerland? ›
Economic Outlook Note - Switzerland
GDP is projected to grow by 0.6% in 2023 and 1.4% in 2024. Repercussions from Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine will further weaken foreign demand and thus slow trade and investment. Low consumer confidence will moderate consumption.
Trade. Russia is Switzerland's 23rd largest trading partners with a trade volume of $5.1 billion. Russia accounts for 1% of Swiss exports and 0.4% of Swiss imports. Switzerland mainly exports medicines, medical products, watches and machinery to Russia, while the chief imports are gold, precious metals and aluminum.What is Switzerland known for? ›
Switzerland is famous for its mountains, clocks and its food – especially cheese and chocolates. It's a fantastic place for winter sports. The British Royals love to snowboard in Klosters while skiing in Zermatt gives you fantastic views of the iconic Matterhorn mountain.Does Switzerland have any enemies? ›
Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and historically has served as a neutral intermediary and host to major international treaty conferences. The country has no major dispute in its bilateral relations.Who defends Switzerland? ›
Switzerland has been a neutral country since 1815, but this doesn't mean the country lacks military might. The Swiss army is in constant training to ensure the goals of self-defence and internal security.Where does Switzerland rank in military global? ›
The nation holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.7191 (a score of 0.0000 is considered 'perfect'). This entry last reviewed on 01/01/2023. *PwrIndx: Each nation is assessed on individual and collective values processed through an in-house formula to generate its 'PwrIndx' (Power Index) score.Why did France leave NATO? ›
In 1966, due to souring relations between Washington and Paris because of the refusal to integrate France's nuclear deterrent with other North Atlantic powers, or to accept any collective form of control over its armed forces, French president Charles de Gaulle downgraded France's membership in NATO and withdrew France ...
Some European nations have close cultural and economic ties to Russia, which usually keeps them out of NATO. Examples include countries like Armenia and Belarus, parts of the former Soviet Union. Ukraine could have been counted among this group until recently.Why is Japan not NATO? ›
As the name “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” suggests, NATO is essentially a treaty organization for nations in the North Atlantic region. Located on the rim of the Pacific, Japan is not eligible to join NATO because of its geographical location.What do Swiss call themselves? ›
The Swiss people (German: die Schweizer, French: les Suisses, Italian: gli Svizzeri, Romansh: ils Svizzers) are the citizens of Switzerland or people of Swiss ancestry.Do they speak English in Switzerland? ›
English is the most commonly spoken non-national language in Switzerland. It is regularly spoken by 45 percent of the population in Switzerland although it is more prevalent in German parts of the country than French and Italian. It is also more widely spoken in Switzerland's big cities such as Geneva and Zurich.Who are the Swiss descended from? ›
Originally inhabited by the Helvetians, or Helvetic Celts, the territory comprising modern Switzerland came under Roman rule during the Gallic wars in the 1st century BC and remained a Roman province until the 4th century AD.Why didn't Germany invade Switzerland in World War II? ›
The 1940 Nazi invasion plan, Operation Tannenbaum, was not executed, and SS Oberst Hermann Bohme's 1943 memorandum warned that an invasion of Switzerland would be too costly because every man was armed and trained to shoot.Why didn't Germany take over Switzerland in ww2? ›
During World War I and World War II, Switzerland maintained armed neutrality, and was not invaded by its neighbors, in part because of its topography, much of which is mountainous. Germany was a threat and Switzerland built a powerful defense.Did Switzerland sell weapons to Germany in ww2? ›
New studies probing Switzerland's wartime past have found that the country supplied munitions to the Nazis at the expense of the Allies. Seven studies released on Friday by the Independent Commission of Experts (ICE) show that the lion's share of Swiss munitions exports went to the Axis powers.Was Switzerland bombed in ww2? ›
Allied planes bombed Switzerland about seventy times during World War II, killing 84 people. Although these bombings were attributed to error, some historians have suspected that the Allies wanted to send a warning to Switzerland for having collaborated with Germany.How long has Switzerland been neutral? ›
The international community officially recognised Switzerland's neutrality in 1815. Swiss neutrality dates back to 1515 when the Confederates were defeated at the Battle of Marignano and the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which drew a line under the Thirty Years' War.
The would have defeated Switzerland. The Swiss had no air force and no ability to defend against air attacks. The Germans would have bombed them mercilessly day and night until they said "uncle" or until their cities were in ruins.How did Sweden stay neutral in ww2? ›
But by a combination of its geopolitical location in the Scandinavian Peninsula, realpolitik maneuvering during an unpredictable course of events, and a dedicated military build-up after 1942, Sweden kept its official neutrality status throughout the war.Has Switzerland ever not been neutral? ›
As Borer sees it, it no longer does. Switzerland has been neutral for more than 500 years—a status that was formally recognized at the Congress of Vienna, where Europe's great powers met to hash out a new political order in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, in 1815.Did Switzerland fight in the 30 Years war? ›
During the Thirty Years' War, the thirteen cantons managed to maintain their neutrality, partly because all major powers in Europe depended on Swiss mercenaries and would not let Switzerland fall into the hands of one of their rivals.Did Switzerland have any casualties in ww2? ›
In 1940 and again towards the end of the war, Switzerland was the victim of accidental bombardments by the Allied Forces. Schaffhausen was worst hit, with 40 people losing their life during an American aerial attack on 1 April 1944.When was the last time Switzerland fought in a war? ›
The Swiss army had last fought in 1847, during the Sonderbund, a short civil war. Since then, Swiss troops had only twice been mobilised against possible invasion, when threatened by Prussia in 1856-57, and during the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War.Why did Finland join Germany in ww2? ›
In fact, Finland allied itself with Nazi Germany during the second world war not to prevent Soviet conquest but to win back territories lost to the USSR as a result of the winter war of 1939-40. The peace treaty that ended the war in March 1940 left Finnish independence intact.Where was Hitler's mountain retreat? ›
In the 1930s, after becoming the German chancellor, Adolf Hitler was looking for the perfect spot to establish an official mountain retreat — a Camp David for his Nazi regime. He chose Obersalzberg, a dramatically scenic mountainside area a few miles uphill from the market town of Berchtesgaden.What happened to Switzerland after ww2? ›
At the end of the war, Swiss politics and neutrality were internationally compromised because Switzerland had maintained relations with Nazi Germany until its demise. The Soviet Union only reluctantly accorded diplomatic recognition to Switzerland, which had been a herald of anticommunism in the interwar period.Were any countries unaffected by ww2? ›
Only 14 countries remained officially neutral throughout the entire war. They included Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as well as the microstates of Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Vatican City.
It imported oil from the Soviet Union until the German invasion of that country in June 1941 and from Hungary and Romania (25 percent of its annual requirements by 1944) after April 1941 when these two countries became German allies prior to the Soviet invasion.