Stealth Week

Hidden Swiss Defences

Sometimes stealth involves hiding what you have from the enemy. Particularly today, with satellites buzzing high overhead, being able to camouflage your defense network and military strength can give an invader second thoughts about crossing your borders.

The Swiss have almost a national paranoia about defense. It stems from the fact that they live at the crossroads of some of the most important routes through the Alps. Before man took to the air, the passes through the Alps were critical for any megalomaniacal midget bent on world domination. Exacerbated by the Cold War, the Swiss built a national defense system that rivals that of anywhere in the world.

First, let’s start with the Army. Switzerland is famously neutral, but has one of the largest — if not the largest — armies on a per capita basis. While the official Army is fairly small, men between 18 and 30 may be conscripted. Often times, conscription consists of getting a gun and storing it at home as part of the militia. If anyone were to invade Switzerland, they would find a nation armed to the teeth.

The Swiss maintain a small air force. They have 33 F-18 Hornets and 54 F-5 Tiger IIs. While small, the Swiss Air Force is just as secretive. Along side their air bases are hardened tunnels where the planes are kept. Flying overhead you see taxiways disappearing into the mountains. For all we know, they could have twice the number of aircraft officially tallied. Or none at all. Do you want to risk it?

The ground forces maintain defense networks of fortified cannon placements, bunkers, and a national building code that requires every home to either have a bunker or pay into a fund to maintain community bunkers. Some of these cannon placements are very well hidden, and it would be a nasty surprise for a column of unlucky invaders to find themselves within firing range of one.

[Image Credits: www.airsceneuk.org.uk, Clément Dominik via Wikimedia Commons]

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