Mixed-blood on November 23, 2006, 12:30:15 pm
Can't claim expertise wrt the Swiss military, but here are a few things I do know:

1). Every able-bodied adult Swiss male keeps a battle rifle in his house (under lock and key, unfortunately), ready to use in extremis.

2). The Swiss have some really BIG guns set up at various strategic points in their entirely-mountainous country. When the Nazis came to power, the Swiss generals invited their German counterparts to visit for a demonstration. The Germans were reportedly very impressed.

3). It has been alleged that the Nazis stayed out of Switzerland because the banks there were holding stolen Nazi gold and cash. But if you think carefully about this, you'd realize that those same banks were holding a whole lot more gold and cash belonging to a great many others, and for that reason would have made a tempting target for the thieving Nazis.  War is basically about stealing, after all.


Adding some more to Scott's points, based on both visits to Helvetia in the 1980s and 2005, and research.

It is not uncommon to see a Swiss reservist on a bike with a machine gun (not just a rifle) slung across his back, on his way to or from training.

In addition to the big guns, Switzerland is a land honeycombed with fortresses.  Technically, it is illegal to take a picture of Swiss military installations, but there are so many of them that any landscape shot is likely to catch one or more, such as runways attached to hangers carved out of mountain walls on the side of narrow valleys (or straight stretches of autobahn with just easily removable metal guardrails down the paved median to make conversion to airfields simple), little fortified motor pools with a half-dozen or so military vehicles parked in them, observation bunkers, and much more.  Virtually all Swiss highways (like those of the Westzone in Germany prior to reunification, have prechambers placed in them to simplify placing demolition charges to crater highways - large round concrete "manhole covers" are the major sign of these - with specific units and personnel assigned to place the explosives and then detonate as needed.  Rumors were that many of these weren't just dug and ready, but actually had explosives already in them to prevent surprise.  Since militia units normally (especially on the frontiers) are expected to defend their immediate area (just as fire departments in the US are expected to primarily protect their own districts), they are familiar with the terrain and can make improvements and tweaks to improve their defense over the decades.

I assume that FST would have a very similar, if more informal system.  Except for areas like the Ozarks and the Guadalupes and Jeff Davis Mountains, since they don't have much rugged terrain, the exact tactics are going to be very much different, and built on the Ranger/Home Guard methods common from 1836 to the end of the War Between the States in OTL: motorcycles replacing horse cavalry, for example.  I would have expected helicopter technology to be advanced a lot more than I've seen so far - helos being cheaper and more flexible for ranching, pipeline maintenance, AND home defense.  And bridges along the Arkansas or Kansas, Mississippi, and Rio Grande would be done up Swiss style.

KiloSeven on March 17, 2007, 01:07:37 pm
Yeah but you can't really do that with Nuclear weapon because radiation will fall on those who where looking killing them. The radiation might go on several milles because of the wind and all.

Airbursts have very little fallout. Only the fissionables which didn't fission (since fission bombs are very wasteful) and the structural/electronic components can become fallout.

At Trinity site, there were three bunkers, each 10,000 yards from Ground Zero.  No one died there.

The illo also clearly shows a Bikini-style test, with leetle teeeny ships staked out as examples of weapon effect. If you're that far away that a battleship looks that small, you are MUCH farther way than 10,000 yards.

"Do the math!"
--
"We're not living in a simulation. We're living in a collaborative SF novel... and now, of course, it's Philip K. Dick's turn.  In a back room somewhere, Vernor Vinge and George Orwell are currently arguing about who gets to take over in 2025." (Ross Smith)   K7AAY PDX OR USA TERRA

Propertarian02 on March 26, 2007, 01:31:22 pm
As To why you would want to invade Switzerland; money, consolidate power, not leave a Redoubt in the middle of United Europe,etc. Could it be done? Sure. But why? As  a "proper "  libertarian thought, it would much easier to buy Switzerland than invade it.

Story I saw on the web (maybe even this forum, so apologies to author); when asked what the Swiss would do if the Germans invaded with an army twice the size of the Swiss Militia. a Swiss diplomat repiyed "Shoot twice,then go home."

Rocketman on March 26, 2007, 07:45:02 pm
Propertarian02:
  The Swiss quote was from me and a far as just buying Switzerland, what if the inhabitants saw that their lives and the lives of their children and their children's children would be made immeasureably worse if they would sell their country to some socialist swamp of a nation that would then turn their land into the mess that they had already turned that country into?  That would be reason enough to pick up the rifle as far as I'm concerned.

Sphynx on March 28, 2007, 11:41:44 am
Addendum to Scott & Mix-Blood Swiss data: I remember seeing, back in the late 70's or early 80's a National Geographic article on Switzerland, that had a picture showing to Swiss militia members servicing a machine-gun nest/pill box.  Only unusual thing about it was that the concrete nest was disguised as the stump of a large evergreen tree stump cut off about 2' above the ground.

The whole "stump" was counter-balnced  to hinge up for access to the gunner's station.  Note that Switzerland has LOTS of forested land between the tree-line and the tillable valley floors!

I'll grant that this photo could have been staged as a subtle propaganda tool, but it would make me cautious of marching foreign troups down logging trails.

jayphailey on April 10, 2007, 07:11:55 pm
I am now having a fantasy life of being wealthy resident of Texas, and taking part in a Flying Circus/Air Defense Militia.

We'd paint our planes funny colors and do demonstration flying (Areobatics) at county fairs across the nation,  and try to set up a "Mock Combat League" with other militia/teams - with points for various things like gunnery competitions, bombing accuracy, ground crew turn around and mock dog fights.

It'd wind up something like NASCAR with wings.

(sigh)  that would be about half past cool.

The big initial competition would be to hire Kelley Johnson to design the winning Sport/combat planes.

Jay ~meow!~

Rocketman on April 10, 2007, 11:38:21 pm
I read about 6 months ago about a "Rocket racing league"  that was being set up in southern New Mexico.  They want to have rocket planes go around pylons like the Reno Air Races only these would be genuine liquid rocket engines.  I don't know how far along that they've taken it.

jayphailey on April 11, 2007, 01:39:57 pm
Rockets are notorious fuel hogs.  I wonder how long the course is?

Jay ~Meow!~

Dr. No on April 17, 2007, 11:47:18 pm
Yeah but you can't really do that with Nuclear weapon because radiation will fall on those who where looking killing them. The radiation might go on several milles because of the wind and all.
I wonder if underground nuke explosions are detectable by orbital gamma-ray detectors?  I've only heard the press talk about seismic detection.

It is my understanding, coming from a man involved in CD preparedness during the late 70s who would know. He told me there are devices that hang under aircraft and can detect radiation as weak as an x-ray machine.  This technology has improved over time, I suspect.
 
I remember reading recently, Ike and many others in the Military opposed using the bomb on an actual target. A 10 to 20 Kt. nuke set off a few miles away and downwind from a city would have harmed very few. The Monsters in the white house pushed for a world with the US and USSR sharing power (and the bomb) were insistant on using the bomb, to generate fear to bolster support for the Dulles Brother's Brilliant Cold War Marketing Plan. It worked like a charm. We have been paying ever since.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 11:50:07 pm by Dr. No »