How Switzerland Managed To Remain Unconquerable During The World Wars?

Switzerland During The World Wars

Switzerland is known for five things: The Watches, The Alps, The Chocolate, The Banks, and Roger Federer.

Ever wondered why Switzerland remained neutral during the World Wars? Or why Hitler or anyone else never invaded Switzerland during the World Wars?

Before we begin, we must get to the basics. Switzerland was a small country, surrounded by The Allied Forces on one side (France and Italy), and The Central Powers on the other (Austria and Germany).

switzerland during world wars
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The First World War was fought between The Allies and the Central Powers after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Serb. Many European countries took sides in this matter and fought on behalf of each other; whereas the main policy of Switzerland stated that Switzerland should not get involved in a conflict of other states and this can be dated back to the 16th century.

In the 18th century, this was compromised when Napoleon invaded Switzerland. But after Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo, he had to retreat his forces, and the primary European powers concluded that it would be beneficial if Switzerland served as a buffer zone between France and Austria to help stabilize the region. During the Congress of Vienna in 1815, a declaration was signed stating perpetual neutrality of Switzerland within the international community.

swiss army
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Apart from this, the Swiss were extremely organized and prepared for the worst. Marksmanship was encouraged amongst young boys, and military service was mandatory for all young men.

The K31 rifle was owned by most of the Swiss in Switzerland during the World Wars. They had built their infrastructure in such a way that in the case of an emergency it would help them. Over that, Switzerland was surrounded by mountains which were very difficult for the opposition to invade and at the same time, there were soldiers stationed; ready to defend their country. Switzerland during the World Wars was not a strategically desired land.

Hitler came to power after the First World War. His main agenda was to conquer and fight against all the countries that caused humiliation to Germany. Since Switzerland was not one of them, Switzerland was not one of the main targets of Germany.

The significance of Swiss Banks can be dated back to history. Not only did the banks help the Nazi’s get away with the loot, but Switzerland was also a center for the wealth of all European countries. Hence, invading Switzerland would decrease the wealth dramatically.

Hitler, however, did plan the invasion of Switzerland, which was named Operation Tannenbaum. However, people advised him against it, and it was called off.

Out of all the terrible decisions Hitler made, this probably was the smartest move, wasn’t it?

Nikita Kamath

I'm a Bombay girl who loves her Vada pav, currently studying in Bangalore. I'm always up for Good food and a good tennis match. I'm a "glass half full" kind of person who strongly believes that more than hard work paying off, it's smart work that pays off.

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