The Swiss Army – Ready To Blow Their Country To Smithereens

We have been learning a bit more about the Swiss Army.  It’s more than just fancy knives.  We saw the Toblerone Line, Fortress Fürigen, and learned why Hitler didn’t invade Switzerland.  After World War II, the Swiss didn’t let up.  They continued with their network of secret fortresses and bunkers built into the mountains.

At one point, Switzerland had 15,000 hidden fortresses protecting roads, railways, and mountain passes.  We see evidence of them hidden everywhere.  On hikes, we regularly see doors in the sides of mountains, fake stonework, etc. in the middle of nowhere.  Knowing that they likely concealing something for the military, we stay well away.

Did you spot the camouflaged door?

Most forts were shut after the end of the Cold War.  This was the result of a change in strategy, not a lack of belief in the importance their objective (to remain independent and neutral).  Switzerland decided that if it was invaded, it would probably be for use as a supply line as it has virtually no natural resources.  It’s a sound premise, that’s how Hitler and Mussolini used it during WWII.

To counter this, The Swiss military has wired the country’s extensive infrastructure of roads and bridges to blow.  In fact, they have over 3000 points of demolition!  Its mountain tunnels will be sealed from within to act as nuclear-proof air raid shelters, or blow up too.   In the side of mountains, airstrips are built in with camouflaged doors.  They let everyone know about their plan in the event of a foreign invasion.  It’s a pretty cost-effective deterrence strategy.

Although Swiss armed forces have a purely defensive role, military service is still compulsory (Women can volunteer for most units).  Heck, with a plan like that you need more than just a couple of people around who have practiced how to blow their country up.

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6 thoughts on “The Swiss Army – Ready To Blow Their Country To Smithereens

  1. Interesting post. Do you know how they handle gun control in Switzerland? I was aware of the compulsory service, but I heard that for the amount of the population that have guns, they have a very low gun violence rate. Which would make sense given that 1.) everybody is properly trained in using them and 2.) everybody knows that everybody else is properly trained in using them 🙂

  2. I checked with a friend because he once mentioned that his gun wasn’t operational. According to him, none of the guns issued for to Swiss men by the army to keep at home have triggers. They are stored at a separate location by the army. In other words, although every army member’s home has a gun, they not operational and can’t be made operational on-site.

  3. Pingback: I Have Spent More On Highway Tolls Than Shopping In France | schwingeninswitzerland

  4. Pingback: A Page from the Swiss Rule Book: Duties of Swiss Citizens | The Swiss Watch Blog

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