Swiss army

Do the Swiss really have an army? Neutrality and this country seem to go hand in hand. Do all four of them go on manouvers at the same time leaving the country defenseless. Odder still, do they have a Navy to protect them from a seaborn attack?

You here to mock or to learn? You’ll get more info quicker on Google – it’s not like this is specialized knowledge that only Dopers have.

If you want to stay neutral and not get overrun by a country that’s not, you have an army and air force to defend yourself. And there are more than four people in the Swiss armed forces – every male citizen must serve, and then must keep their rifles etc. at home as a sort of militia. There are also naval units that patrol the larger lakes.

Official Swiss Armed Forces webpage.

Wikipedia article.

Switzerland takes its military very seriously. All males are subject to compulsory service; most of the army is made up of conscripts. According to Wiki, the armed forces number about 200,000. Switzerland has several large lakes on its borders and maintains a fleet of patrol boats.

I assume you’re being sarcastic. Here is a summary of the Swiss military. Every male Swiss citizen is required to put in two years’ active service.

Switzerland does have water borders: Lakes Geneva and Constance, the Rhine at Basel, etc. As noted in the article, military patrol boats serve on them, though there is no navy per se.

There’s nothing odd about a relatively small country, with mountains on or near miost borders, maintaining a standing army to deter and if needed repel larger, potentially aggressive neighbors.

Lighten up already!

Army, as above, it would come out of the woodwork were somebody so foolish as to attack. Nobody messes with a porcupine. Been a long time since anybody invaded Sweden too.

Neither messes much with other peoples’ wars either.

Plus, if neighbouring allies need wine uncorked or stones removing from horses’ hooves, those guys are right on it.

The Swiss not only have their own army, they have a very long tradition of hiring out as mercenaries to other states.

Welcome to the Straight Dope, Hutch.

Generally in this General Questions (GQ) forum, joking around is reserved until after the question has been answered factually. Read a variety of questions here and you’ll get a feel for the typical tone of the place. Didn’t mean to bear down on you, I’m just not used to opening post (OP) questions put quite that way.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it here.

Fishers eat porcupines :slight_smile:

Yeah, look what happened to Alderaan. That’s what having no army gets you.

The Swiss would have bled anyone who tried to invade during WWII:

"Although not at war the Swiss fired a considerable amount of ammo between 1939 and 1945. I’m talking here of real fighting ammo not the training rounds !

380 million rifle cartridges
12 million pistol and revolver cartridges
28 million submachinegun rounds
2 million hand grenades
100.000 Infantry canon rounds
200.000 Mortar grenades
130.000 7.5 Field canon shells
15.000 10.5 Field canon shells"

I see one of the forum posters had the exact same response as I did: 2 million hand grenades?!

I’m having trouble believing these figures!

And there is the cool, true or not, story of how Hitler sent one of his Field Marshalls to meet with the Swiss Foreign Minister.

He asked him what would Switzerland do if Germany invaded.

We can immediately raise an army of a million men was the response.

And what would you do if we invaded with two million men?

Every man would shoot twice and we would go home.

Very good answer to the Field Marshal, excellent!
I went to school with a Swiss guy from age 11 to 18 and even as an eleven years old he was one of the best 22’’ or .303 rifle shots I’ve ever met, much better than the ex regular British Army guy who ran the Cadet Force.
Peter

I said invaders, not the Darth kind. :stuck_out_tongue:

I believe that during the cold war Switzerland also had a really extensive network of fallout shelters.

I read that and thought “wouldn’t a small country need a navy if it had mountains near moist borders?”

An initiative “Switzerland without army” was voted down by the people just a few years ago

http://gssa.ch/spip/

And we pay billions for jet fighters to fight against imaginary enemies. The country is so small they can’t even shift in second gear and they are already abroad. :rolleyes:

The Germans wouldn’t have needed to invade. Just stopped the coal trains rolling into Switzerland, and the place would have shut down and frozen/starved within a couple of weeks.