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View Full Version : OT: Switzerland had all bridges filled with explosives!



Black Forest
11-18-2014, 08:09 AM
I just read in the paper that Switzerland had all the bridges that come into the country filled with high explosives. They have just completed removing the explosives from the bridges and tunnels. Even newly built bridges had explosives in the foundations and pillars. It was done to stop tanks from entering the country if they were under attack.

Now this was all in German and I might have some of the details wrong as I am not perfect in German but I asked my wife to read it and she confirmed my understanding of what I had read.

One of these bridges I cross on at least a weekly basis! There were tons of explosives in the pillars. Gave me the creeps learning about this being the case.

Maybe Dian can shed some additional light on the subject????
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/switzerland/11236094/Swiss-remove-last-Cold-War-era-explosives-from-German-border-bridge.html

HWooldridge
11-18-2014, 08:23 AM
You probably shouldn't be surprised in light of Switzerland's history. The interesting thing to me is that the Swiss military refuses to comment due to "national security" but the US military is continually leaking to the media about whatever terrorist they are after. I wonder what happened to the old saying, "Loose lips sink ships"?

A.K. Boomer
11-18-2014, 08:25 AM
probably a good idea removing it all - I think with the main threat now being terrorism it could make it all too easy for the gutless wimps to trigger it off.

Rustybolt
11-18-2014, 08:38 AM
Every tunnel you drove through is a fallout shelter. Those concrete awnings above the tunnel opening come down to cover the entrance.
Every cross road whether a highway, gravel road or path has a least two mortar tubes permanently sighted on it.
The Swiss take that sh*t seriously.

EddyCurr
11-18-2014, 10:59 AM
probably a good idea removing it all - I think with the main threat
now being terrorism it could make it all too easy for the gutless
wimps to trigger it off.Shame there weren't more bridges likes these along the border
of the Crimean Peninsula. Those folks on flight MH17 might have
completed their trip in safety.

.

Ironwoodsmith
11-18-2014, 11:02 AM
The Swiss used to be the most sought after mercenaries in the world. It led to a shortage in the number of men available to defend the homeland. In 1874, it got so bad the Swiss government had to pass laws forbidding the recruitment of citizens by foreign powers. Every Swiss male, 18 and older, must serve in the military in some capacity unless unfit for service. The Vatican still uses Swiss guards to protect the pope. Interesting people!

EddyCurr
11-18-2014, 11:13 AM
Switzerland's Jungfrau Region: Interlaken and Swiss Military Secrets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3JbMUUilXk)

.

flylo
11-18-2014, 11:34 AM
Probably just removing it to install new better explosives.

gzig5
11-18-2014, 12:42 PM
It wasn't just the bridges that came into the country. I lived there for a year in 1991 and found out most of the large bridges would have a row of square man hole covers in the road at each end of the bridge. These holes were pre-wired for explosives and all they had to do was drop the stuff in and wire it up to blow in case the enemy was advancing. There isn't a square inch of that country that is not covered by pre-positioned artillery in the mountains. I saw some pretty wild (comparatively) stuff while there. The citizen soldiers going to maneuvers with their STG 57 automatic rifles slung on their shoulders in the train station was mild. We ran across tanks and APC's on maneuvers in tiny mountain villages. The coolest thing was when they closed down a section of highway and a fighter jet (F5?) pulled out of a hanger cut into the mountain, lined up on the highway and took off. Part of their emergency readiness training. I don't know if they still do that, but it was pretty impressive back then.

SGW
11-18-2014, 12:58 PM
See John McPhee's book La Place de la Concorde Suisse for a lot of information about the Swiss defenses.

superUnknown
11-18-2014, 03:00 PM
I very often work near modern high explosives, they are very stable, it's the angry young men you need to worry about...

John Stevenson
11-18-2014, 03:31 PM
I just read in the paper that Switzerland had all the bridges that come into the country filled with high explosives.

What about the bridges they export then ?

Toolguy
11-18-2014, 03:39 PM
Those would be of no concern as they are coming into someone else's country.:rolleyes:

loose nut
11-18-2014, 05:58 PM
The Swiss where/are wise to be proactive. During the cold war the Swiss intelligence wasn't taken seriously by the west, they called them the chocolate spy's. The Swiss maintained the the main thrust of a Soviet invasion of the west would come through Switzerland and not the northern plains (Fulda gap) of Germany as NATO figured an attack would have to come. After the fall of the USSR when the Russians started talking to the west about these things, it was proven that the Swiss where absolutely right. The Swiss have one of the best intelligence organizations on the planet. They may be removing the old explosives but I wouldn't be surprised if new explosives where quietly installed, especially with the new cold war starting to heat up.

boslab
11-18-2014, 06:37 PM
Every Swiss Army knife has built in defences that stop you getting the right blade out too.
When I left school I went to work for the Swiss Aluminium Company, Alussuise as it was called, they had an extrusion plant in a place called Chipis, big presses, massive rams about 10' diameter, I detract, on a visit driving along a road the traffic was stopped, a jet fighter taxied out of a side tunnel and took off from the road, over our heads, impressive!
It was a SAAB btw
Apart from that it was a very expensive place!, I had a Swiss bank account, but not the right kind!
Mark

wyoske
11-18-2014, 07:05 PM
The Swiss secrets video is pretty cool, did not know that.

Rustybolt
11-18-2014, 07:15 PM
What about the bridges they export then ?

They're filled with chocolate. Yum

mickeyf
11-18-2014, 07:51 PM
They're a bit fussy at the borders too. Meanwhile, when crossing say, from Germany to France, who a mere 70 years ago were bitterly at war with each other, now all you see is a sign saying "Welcome to ...".

Mike Nash
11-18-2014, 08:20 PM
Wow, sounds like paranoia from here! Borders are for greeting guests and guns are bad and, and, and...

I'll bet the UN just hates them.

(No, I don't stand behind or represent any of the statements I just made. These are all just tongue in cheek, or would be if my cheeks weren't packed with high ex...)

Axkiker
11-18-2014, 08:38 PM
I wouldnt see why they or anyone would need bridges packed with explosives in todays world. I would think its just easier and safer to blast it remotely with a missile

Rustybolt
11-18-2014, 10:09 PM
I wouldnt see why they or anyone would need bridges packed with explosives in todays world. I would think its just easier and safer to blast it remotely with a missile

In a mountain country the only way to control the land and by extension the populace is to control the roads.

Axkiker
11-18-2014, 11:08 PM
In a mountain country the only way to control the land and by extension the populace is to control the roads.

I get that, but in todays world I would think its just easier to blast it remotely with a missile. Why take the chance of leaving explosives in or around a bridge that someone could compromise. Just launch a missile from whatever location to destroy it via a few gps coordinates.

CalM
11-19-2014, 12:29 AM
I hear the Swiss are getting ready to blow up the worlds monetary convention as well!

Switching to a "Gold Standard" if the measure passes vote.

Good For the Swiss! and all those secret Swiss bank accounts ;-)

ikdor
11-19-2014, 07:35 AM
It's not only the Swiss. I've read that all the German bridges have a pit next to it to drop atomic demolition munitions into.

Igor

Rustybolt
11-19-2014, 08:45 AM
I get that, but in todays world I would think its just easier to blast it remotely with a missile. Why take the chance of leaving explosives in or around a bridge that someone could compromise. Just launch a missile from whatever location to destroy it via a few gps coordinates.

Bridges can be rebuilt. Once you own the battlespace you own the bridges and you can move your people in.
The whole philosophy of Swiss warfare is area deniability in depth. The Swiss make it cost prohibitive in both men and material to invade. Therefore they are not invaded.

oil mac
11-19-2014, 12:06 PM
Sounds to me that "The Swiss are bang on the button"!

loose nut
11-19-2014, 02:50 PM
Taking out a bridge with a missile depends a lot on the type of bridge and on other factors like do the Swiss have anything that would do the job, how much of the bridge do you want to destroy, will a missile be intercepted. No matter how prepared the Swiss might be, an invasion from a major power (Russia) would still be to much to stop, at best they could make it to difficult and hope the invaders get bogged down or just quit (see 1939-40 Russo-Finish war, the Finns gave the Russians a severe beating but still lost). You don't want a bridge left in repairable condition after a missile blows a bit of it up, you want to drop it into the water so you blow it up with explosives. Pretty much fool proof and cheap. Missiles are expensive, you have a limited number and no time to make or acquire more so you don't use them if something else would do. The missiles would be air launched so the launch aircraft has to get within range in what would probably be very contested air space or even enemy controlled airspace. The Swiss would have far fewer available aircraft compared to the invaders and therefor less able to withstand the loss of these launch aircraft.
The down side of pre-loaded bridges is that an invader would probably drop paras into capture strategic points like those bridges and disable the explosive before they can be used. Having intelligence of a immanent invasion would make all the difference, although the "it won't happen to us" syndrome usually delays effective action until it is to late.

Zero_Divide
11-19-2014, 05:34 PM
Shame there weren't more bridges likes these along the border
of the Crimean Peninsula. Those folks on flight MH17 might have
completed their trip in safety.

.
So, which one is not your strong suite, geography or history? :)

Rustybolt
11-19-2014, 06:18 PM
Taking out a bridge with a missile depends a lot on the type of bridge and on other factors like do the Swiss have anything that would do the job, how much of the bridge do you want to destroy, will a missile be intercepted. No matter how prepared the Swiss might be, an invasion from a major power (Russia) would still be to much to stop, at best they could make it to difficult and hope the invaders get bogged down or just quit (see 1939-40 Russo-Finish war, the Finns gave the Russians a severe beating but still lost). You don't want a bridge left in repairable condition after a missile blows a bit of it up, you want to drop it into the water so you blow it up with explosives. Pretty much fool proof and cheap. Missiles are expensive, you have a limited number and no time to make or acquire more so you don't use them if something else would do. The missiles would be air launched so the launch aircraft has to get within range in what would probably be very contested air space or even enemy controlled airspace. The Swiss would have far fewer available aircraft compared to the invaders and therefor less able to withstand the loss of these launch aircraft.
The down side of pre-loaded bridges is that an invader would probably drop paras into capture strategic points like those bridges and disable the explosive before they can be used. Having intelligence of a immanent invasion would make all the difference, although the "it won't happen to us" syndrome usually delays effective action until it is to late.


That's the whole point. The point is to make n invasion so expensive for n invader so as to not make it worth their while. Not just few bridges, but every bridge no matter how small. The same hols true for every tunnel, every cross road, everything that could be useful to an invader. Plus every male citizen under 55 has a fully automatic assault rifle. In a country where every citizen is marksman.

loose nut
11-19-2014, 07:47 PM
Yes, any important or strategic facility, even crossroads would be cratered. It wouldn't matter much though. A country with the resources such as Russia would plan out every detail, drop in paras or helicopter troops and take every important point or facility in a matter of hours in a small country like Switzerland, before any anti-invasion plan could be activated. The Swiss military would be down to guerrilla warfare, hit and run strikes as the only viable option. This would quickly degenerate to an attack and counter retaliation war with the civilians suffering the most. The only outcome would be either to surrender or if the people could stand it keep fighting until the invaders bleed out like the Russians did in Afghanistan.

In Sweden, where they have only a tiny full time military, everybody is in the reserves (or they used to be my info is dated). All the reservists have their equipment ready to go at there house for immediate activation. To give them time to form up for deployment the "to old, to young and unfit" are the first to go into battle. It would be their job to buy the army 24 hours to get to their positions, strictly a suicide mission. Again this info is dated so it may have changed.

Black Forest
11-20-2014, 02:51 AM
No country will invade Switzerland because all The politians keep their ill gotten
money in secret Swiss accounts!

macona
11-20-2014, 04:33 AM
I get that, but in todays world I would think its just easier to blast it remotely with a missile. Why take the chance of leaving explosives in or around a bridge that someone could compromise. Just launch a missile from whatever location to destroy it via a few gps coordinates.

Tanks have tech that can blow even a RPG out of the air before it gets to it now so I am sure there is equivalent tech that could blow a missile out of the air before it gets even close to the bridge. This is one of those KISS concepts. Just put the bomb in the bridge, simple and effective.

adatesman
11-20-2014, 10:15 AM
Plus with most everyone in the reserves there's a good chance someone's nearby to hit the button. Much, much simpler that way.

loose nut
11-20-2014, 11:02 AM
No country will invade Switzerland because all The politians keep their ill gotten
money in secret Swiss accounts!

The US might, they want all the money the 1%'s have squirreled away there.

krutch
11-20-2014, 12:47 PM
With what is happening in the world today maybe the explosives should go back in.

loose nut
11-20-2014, 02:23 PM
Germany might invade Switzerland. Saturday night nothing better to do. It's what they do.

Rustybolt
11-20-2014, 06:36 PM
Yes, any important or strategic facility, even crossroads would be cratered. It wouldn't matter much though. A country with the resources such as Russia would plan out every detail, drop in paras or helicopter troops and take every important point or facility in a matter of hours in a small country like Switzerland, before any anti-invasion plan could be activated. The Swiss military would be down to guerrilla warfare, hit and run strikes as the only viable option. This would quickly degenerate to an attaSeeck and counter retaliation war with the civilians suffering the most. The only outcome would be either to surrender or if the people could stand it keep fighting until the invaders bleed out like the Russians did in Afghanistan.

I highly doubt it.

Zero_Divide
11-20-2014, 09:22 PM
Every invasion must have goals.
You know. Whether its certain mineral resources or something else. Switzerland has always mainatained neutrality, plus as mentoned before every regime on earth keeps some of its money in there. Why would someone blow up his own bank? I doubt even the crazed you-know-whos would do something like that!

QSIMDO
11-20-2014, 10:13 PM
I'll see your bridges and raise with dozens of nuclear war heads in New London, CT.

Nothing like working alongside potential global annihilation to sharpen your day and clear your senses.

loose nut
11-21-2014, 01:11 PM
Every invasion must have goals.
You know. Whether its certain mineral resources or something else. Switzerland has always mainatained neutrality, plus as mentoned before every regime on earth keeps some of its money in there. Why would someone blow up his own bank? I doubt even the crazed you-know-whos would do something like that!

Rational people would see the value of keeping a neutral country stable for business and political reasons but there are plenty of megalomaniacs/crazy people in the world. The you-know-whos would do it, if they could, just to destabilize the world. Again, it's what they do, it doesn't have to make sense to us.

loose nut
11-21-2014, 01:13 PM
I'll see your bridges and raise with dozens of nuclear war heads in New London, CT.

Nothing like working alongside potential global annihilation to sharpen your day and clear your senses.

I'll raise with weaponized Ebola.

EddyCurr
11-21-2014, 05:32 PM
Shame there weren't more bridges likes these along the border
of the Crimean Peninsula. Those folks on flight MH17 might have
completed their trip in safety.So, which one is not your strong suite, geography or history?Guess we have a difference of opinion regarding causality of events
in Kiev, Crimea and Donetsk over a timeline from Feb 22 to July 17.14
and up to the present.

In deference to forum rules, I'll let it rest at that.

.

Zero_Divide
11-21-2014, 06:44 PM
Guess we have a difference of opinion regarding causality of events
in Kiev, Crimea and Donetsk over a timeline from Feb 22 to July 17.14
and up to the present.

In deference to forum rules, I'll let it rest at that.

.
What i meant to say is that there are no bridges at all between mainland Russia and Crimea. The only land connection is going through Ukrainian territory.
Sorry if i offended you. I only pointed to the fact that there is no connection whatsoever between explosive bridges, tunnels and events in Crimea and East of Ukraine, regardless of how anyone feels about them, and this thread.

PS. Some like to start the countdown of catastrophe in Ukraine from Crimea. Others from ..... what some think of as an unconstitutional (are there any other kinds?) government overthrow back in Feb 21, allegedly supported by certain leaders of democratic world. the Libya style. Only difference this time is the president managed to flee the country before justice(or something else) was done to him. Some say next country to get democracy will be Belorussia. Others say it will be my native Kazakhstan (which really scares the bejesus out of me).

I will leave the facts here without my personal opinion.

And the boeing? Ukraine, Russia, rebels? North Woods?
Unless its rebels we will never know. Some secrets are just too great for common folk to know. All i can say is BUK that allegedly shot it down can not be operated by ragtag militia. It could only be Russia or Ukraine itself.

loose nut
11-21-2014, 06:53 PM
I think the question that needs to be asked is why would anyone (non-military commercial flight) fly into an active war zone and not expect to get shot at.

Zero do you currently reside in Kazakhstan?

Zero_Divide
11-21-2014, 07:28 PM
I think the question that needs to be asked is why would anyone (non-military commercial flight) fly into an active war zone and not expect to get shot at.

Zero do you currently reside in Kazakhstan?
I grew up in there. I met my wife in Kazakhstan.
My friends and my extended family are still there.

Though i have been living in Canada for past 10 years and now call this country my home, it really makes me sad when i imagine foreign meddling could cause something that has happened in Ukraine.