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Lance Murdoch
14th Oct 2004, 17:35
One recently visited Switzerland. I had a wonderful time climbing up and down some of the less challenging Alps.
Switzerland is famous for a number of things e.g. chocolate, cheese, cuckoo clocks, banking, mountains (see above) and most famously of all neutrality.
Why is Switzerland neutral and how come no one ever tried to invade it?

tony draper
14th Oct 2004, 18:08
Re their supposed neutrality, watched a documentry a while back about Switzerland co-operation financial and other wise with Nazi Germany before during and after the war,supprised quite a few Swiss weren't in front of the beaks at Nuremberg and strung up.
Their behaviour right up until recent times re monies they knew to be looted from a butchered people was also a disgrace.
So its not all cuckoo co clocks chocolate and neutrality, they also have a Dark history.

Onan the Clumsy
14th Oct 2004, 18:25
Yeah simple really. It's just a cheaper form of defense strategy. In fact it's one that earns money.

You can't tromp around Europe conquering and plundering without one day realising that you've amassed a huge collection of art, gold, chocolate etc. The problem is...what do you do with all this stuff. If you store it in a conquered country, you might lose it if you lose the country. If you store it at home, your own people might nick it. What you need is to find a country, who deep down are as amoral as you are and store it there.

Enter Switzerland.

Also, you might need people to act as go betweens between you and the enemy and some neutral territory to have meetings. You can''t very well invite Churchill's representative to Berlin for a chat.

Switzerland again. Plus it's easy to get to and it'd be difficult to fight a war there.

It's a little like the Free Parking square in Monopoly :ok:

Rushton
14th Oct 2004, 18:27
Remember being in the land of cuckoo clocks some 25 years ago and drove past a farm, off the beaten track and way-up in the hills, and saw chappy proudly strutting about his front yard in full Nazi uniform complete with machine gun! Honest - witnessed by rest of travelling party. Right foot down - hard. See ya.

Rushy

XXTSGR
14th Oct 2004, 22:02
"In Italy for 30 years, under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love. They had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock?" Orson Welles as Harry Lime in "The Third Man"

Bre901
14th Oct 2004, 22:11
Lesser know facts about WWII. The US Air Force bombed the Swiss town of Schaffausen twice, and apologised for the "mistake".

take a look here (http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/guide/northeast/schaffhausen.html) (scroll down a bit)

patdavies
14th Oct 2004, 22:11
The reason that nobody invades Switzerland is the prices.:O

Feeton Terrafirma
15th Oct 2004, 02:47
And I thought people were just waiting for the right time to invade!

:D

Spuds McKenzie
15th Oct 2004, 07:40
In 1798, the French armies of Napoleon invaded Switzerland.

More infos here:
http://www.settlement.org/cp/english/switzerland/alook.html

Oh and Herr Draper: Your stereotypical profanity is making me :yuk:

ORAC
15th Oct 2004, 07:58
Bre901, see here (http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj00/sum00/helmreich.html)

airship
15th Oct 2004, 12:37
Bre901, there were Iraqi weddings taking place in Schaffausen back then...? :confused:

panda-k-bear
15th Oct 2004, 12:56
Nah they're the pilots who trained the B-52 crew that displayed (or not) at Farnborough this year.

Binoculars
15th Oct 2004, 13:25
Onan's version sounded pretty close to me. The very clever Swiss worked out that with all the lying, greed, cheating, corruption, massive theft etc that are endemic everywhere, there was a market for SOMEONE to put their hand up and say "Listen guys, no matter your differences, at the end of the day you all need a safe haven. We don't care who you are, for a suitable fee we'll look after your money in perfect safety; try us, we offer a money-back guarantee".

And it came to pass that they proved true to their word. Criminals from every side delightedly pooled their funds in one place and accepted the conditions. Nobody would dare invade because so many untrustworthy nasties had their own wealth at stake. Any suggestion of an attack on the world's pooled stolen riches would cause the mother of all unholy alliances to unite for the cause.

It was a masterstroke of unequalled brilliance. Switzerland cornered the market and all sides knew their own ill-gotten gains were safe. Yeah, yeah, the Channel Islands and the Bahamas and a few other tinpot places have tried to set up in competition but can the big money really trust them? Naah. La Suisse is very expensive, but they deliver, and its customers can well afford it.

What's really annoying to the USA, the home of entrepreneurial vision, is that somebody else thought of it first. :hmm:

tony draper
15th Oct 2004, 13:36
Oh dear Mr Spuds, had one really let rip with ones stereo typical profanity? twould have made you really ill.
:confused:

airship
15th Oct 2004, 13:53
What's really annoying to the USA, the home of entrepreneurial vision, is that somebody else thought of it first. And they didn't send any troops there either?! ;)

tony draper
15th Oct 2004, 14:08
Actually historically the Swiss were famed for their fighting men who were much in demand as mercinaries, so much so that one Pope had them swear not to fight for anybody, but himself of course, hense the Swiss Guard at the Vatican, they have come down in the world since,being a mercinary is a much more honourable profession than being a Banker.
:cool: