View Full Version : Neutral Countries

07-04-2006, 07:33 PM
I've been thinking about this for a while and I would like to know what everyone here thinks. War has literally surrounded Switzerland and Sweden. Why is it that these two countires set themselves neutral? In 1940 after France falls why does Hitler not invade Switzerland? She is land locked and cannot recieve any support dirrectly, thus making her an easy target. Lets say the war ends and the Axis win. Will Hitler then take Switzerland? After finishing up Finland why doesn't Stalin just go ahead and invade Sweden? He would link up with his so called ally in Norway. Not to mention valuable materials he will need for his war machine. I know I have a lot of questions on my mind. So does anyone have any idea why they made the decisions they made?

07-04-2006, 07:58 PM
Existence of Switzerland as neutral country was convenient for both Allies and Germans. Partly due to financial deals, partly because Swiss industry was working for both sides - just to mention Oerlikon.

And beside that, it is another story to start war with Switzerland and completely different winning this war.
Swiss had and have even today excellent territorial defence. Every man between 18 to 65 armed. In their terrain it would be like Greece multiplied by 50 or 60.
Completely hopeless exercise.
Sweden always based their neutrality on "armed to the teeth principle".
After soviet experiences in Finland, Germans were careful.
And major point was that Swedish iron ore was transported to Germany by Swedish ships and Allies could not touch them.
Anyway both sides needed iron ore.



07-04-2006, 09:38 PM
I just like to add that later in the war Switzerland supply much of the ammunition to the Germans, althought I think if the axis would won Hitler will eventually invade and annex Switzerland to the Reich as it's fitted his pan-germanic views.

Finland was never occupied and she just cut a deal with the Soviets, invading Sweden would be a bad idea for several reasons:

1. Just like the Finns the Sweds would give uncle Joe a bloody nose.

2. This was not the time to get sidetrack, Stalin needed to occupy the most part of the Reich he could and more importenly he needed to concolidate it under the banner of Communism.

3. Again, no sidetrack, Stalin wants to be the first in Berlin for propoganda reasons.

4. Invading a neutral country would certenly piss his western allies, in that time he actually try to be in good relationship with them, invading Sweden wasn't pary of the plan made between him and his allies to split the Nazi empire.

Man of Stoat
07-05-2006, 02:07 PM
I'm not sure I've ever seen anything which suggests that the Swiss ever supplied ammunition to the Germans, although I would be delighted to be corrected.

07-05-2006, 02:20 PM
I'm not sure I've ever seen anything which suggests that the Swiss ever supplied ammunition to the Germans, although I would be delighted to be corrected.

Not quite supplying ammunition but Tony Williams wrote:

Solothurn in Switzerland, which carried out much interwar development work for Rheinmetall-Borsig of Germany, introduced the self-loading S18-100 series (the numbers of the variants went up to S18-500) in a unique 20 x 105B calibre. This round was later used to develop an aircraft cannon, the Lb 204, although by the time this was adopted for use in German naval aircraft as the MG 204 the case design had been changed slightly to a rimless 20 x 105. The S18-100 series was quite widely used and the rounds are not too difficult to find.

One cartridge was used by two different ATRs. This was the 20 x 138B 'Long Solothurn' originally designed for a range of Swiss / German developed automatic cannon which saw service in WW2 as the FlaK and KwK 30/38 and the MG C/30L. As a result, the cartridge is the easiest to find of the big ATR rounds. The ATRs in this calibre were the Swiss Solothurn S18-1000/1100 and the Finnish Lahti L/39. The self-loading S18-1000 was a scaled-up version of the earlier S18-100 series. The S18-1100 was similar but automatic in operation; this facility being probably intended for AA use on a special mounting


I didn't search for other references as long as I'm waiting Tony to explain.;)

SS Tiger
07-05-2006, 02:20 PM
Swiss also had just about every bit of infrastructure in the mountains rigged to be demolished should anyone invade. The Swiss military strategy was to retreat and dig in in the mountains. They had and still have many forts/bunkers in the mountains for this purpose. This may have made Hitler more reluctant to take her.

07-05-2006, 02:29 PM
I didn't search for other references as long as I'm waiting Tony to explain.;)

In fact I found other interesting fact. A report on 20-mm automatic weapons, from "Tactical and Technical Trends", No. 28, July 1, 1943.

The 20-mm-type automatic gun can be traced back to the German Becker 20-mm gun of 1918. After World War I the patents were sold to a Swiss concern because of treaty limitations on German armament, but in 1928 the Oerlikon Company of Zurich, Switzerland, a German-controlled concern, took over all these patents and turned out the Oerlikon 20-mm gun. The German-controlled Waffenfabrik Solothurn Company of Switzerland shortly thereafter produced the "Solothurn"-type gun. In 1916 the French developed a 37-mm semi-automatic gun for aircraft use. This gun was redesigned during the period from 1920 to 1930 and appeared in the 20-mm series now known as the Hispano-Suiza type.
At the present time, the following 20-mm weapons or their prototypes exist:
Name Countries Used By Type of Action and Feed Use
Solothurn Germany Recoil, magazine AA/AT
Oerlikon United States, England, Germany, Japan, and others Blowback, magazine Aircraft & AA/AT[...]

07-05-2006, 06:34 PM
I've also read that the Germans had Swiss bank accounts with lots of gold in them. Could this be another reason they didn't invade?

2nd of foot
07-05-2006, 06:37 PM
Not wishing to split hairs but designing and producing are slightly different. The bren/BESA was of Czech design but produced in UK. The little john tank gun was the same and I think the 6 pdr or some of its ammo was also. I am not sure how the Swiss would export its ammo to the allies as its is land locked by axis countries.

07-05-2006, 06:41 PM
IIRC the Swedes also had their iron ore mines rigged for demolition - or at least the Germans thought they did. As that was a large fraction of their iron ore supplies, they had good reasons not to invade (quite apart from the terrain being rather nasty and the Swedish army rather large).