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Why didn't Germans attack Switzerland?

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by patryk8820, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. patryk8820

    patryk8820 Member

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    Why Germans didn't attack the Swiss? I heard Swiss army was well equipped and trained, app. 500,000 soldiers, but Germans could send twice or thrice as many soldiers. Of course, Alps would have been a great natural barrier, but did only military reasons convince Hitler not to attack the Switzerland?
     
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  2. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Perhaps because Hitler considered Swiss as suitable waiters to serve Germans in the future Lebensraum at the East! ;)

    (No, this isn't a joke: this Hitlers idea was recorded in Tischgespräche)
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Yes, the Alps are formidable barriers to invasion, reason one. Why rob your own bank, reason two. What is to be gained as opposed to what is lost if he does so, win, lose, or draw? The Swiss trains and tunnels were simply the best way to reach your main "ally", Italy and ruining those would be dumb as a bag of hair.
     
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  4. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

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    Couple reasons,

    1. You risk ruining some important infrastructure the goes between the 2biggest European Axis powers.
    2. What strategic gains would be made taking Switzerland? From hat I can see none.
    3. The Swiss then and still today had a very large army well suited to fighting in the terrain, Any attack on there would make the Russian attack in the Winter war look professional. Casualties would be massive and with more likely then not no actual victory.
     
  5. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Locking up the world supply of Cuckoo clocks, Toblerone and Swiss Army knives would be a huge strategic advantage. (or not :D )
     
  6. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

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    Locking up the Toblerone?! If my mum was around in those day's she would force the Allies to surrender so she could get her Toblerone :D
     
  7. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    The Swiss basically guaranteed, financially speaking, the war making powers of the Third Reich.

    And for a nuetral country, warprofitiering, the number of Jewish refugees the Swiss took in was negligable. 15,000 or so I believe.

    An altogether shameful performance.

    We should have bombed the Swiss as well as the Germans. Such persuasion may well have caused them to cease trading gold and other monetary 'products' with the Germans.....boom.....war over immediately.

    I don't know why nobody thought of this at the time. Sounds like a pretty quick way to end the war....and get rid of the Swiss at the same time.
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Easy there Volga.

    Did the Swiss act at times in a less than honorable manner, yes. Should they have been more forthcoming with the Jewish fortunes locked away in their vaults after the war, again yes.

    Recall the west had ample opportunity to accept Jewish refugee's and does not have a spotless record there either. The Swiss knew that if Germany wanted to, or was given enough provocation, they could and would over run Switzerland. So they co-operated. So did Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and the Vatican.

    We can not bomb everybody that doesn't take the moral high ground, especially since occasionally, we don't ourselves.

    Czechoslovakia Anyone?

    We too used these nations, for diplomatic and espionage activities, because it suited our needs.

    For a long time the Swiss have been survivors in a continent that has repeatedly gone to war. They have never started these wars (for at least a few hundred years now) that were basically based upon greed when you get down to it. Others did, playing the Game of State. They have acted as Banker to any who wished it, and at some point everybody has.

    In the great scheme of things they have been better citizens of Europe than its leading nations.

     
  9. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Ireland, or Eire too matey....I seem to remember my cousins across the Celtic sea benefiting from the Allied convoys but politicaly at least Mr..Del...can't bring myself to say his name...my mum would better describe him as the Divil....Family were of the Collins faction I'm afraid...But old mr.D was quite supportive of the Germans in ww2. But did not refuse the goods brought across Atlantic that kept his like our nation alive.
     
  10. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Perhaps not as as easily as one might think at first glance, they had a fairly strong army and the terrain is ideal for defence, mountainous - much like that in Italy, as the Allies found out later
     
  11. vakarr

    vakarr Member

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    The German plan for the invasion of Switzerland was called Operation Tannenbaum Hitler wanted to invade Switzerland for ideological reasons, i.e. integrating the German speaking part of Switerland into Greater Germany. Italy was going to help so it could get the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. Hitler called for the plan but the oly timie he could have done it realistically was in 1940 after the fall of France. Maybe it would have gone ahead after a successful attack on Gibralter, which was also planned for late 1940. That would have left Switzerland a real little island in a Nazi sea and the Germans hoped that the could get the German Swiss to acquiese to a takeover like the Austrians and Sudeten Czechs. Instead Htiler did nothing and it ended up in the waste paper basket.
     
  12. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Wasn't there a definite pro-Nazi lean in Switzerland? If Germany's fortunes in the war, especially in the east would've been better, I could see Switzerland go the way of Austria. With a little strong-arming of course, but I don't think it would be avoidable with a German victory on the continent. Big "what if" here in the making.
     

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