Why didn't Hitler invade Switzerland?

Erm, hello?

Image: Victorinox

No one wants to fight a man who has time to file his nails, open a bottle of wine and then stab you.

Seriously though, let’s look at what happened.

In 1937 Adolf Hitler made many reassurances that:

at all times, whatever happens, we will respect the inviolability and neutrality of Switzerland.

There you go then. If he said it, you can trust him. It’s not like Hitler would lie.

Unfortunately, Hitler would change his tune a little bit in later years. In 1941 he gossiped with fellow dictator Mussolini, and stated that:

Switzerland possessed the most disgusting and miserable people and political system. The Swiss were the mortal enemies of the new Germany.

In 1942 he went even further, calling them:

a pimple on the face of Europe.

Now that’s just mean.

Hitler and Germany had actually started planning Operation Tannenbaum (the invasion of Switzerland) once France had surrendered, back in 1940.

Why didn’t it go ahead? Well, Switzerland’s mountainous terrain meant that an invasion would be a drawn-out and costly affair. There wasn’t that much strategic gain to be had, either. What did Switzerland have that other occupied countries didn’t?

The answer? Not much.


Worth it. You can’t get that in Poland. (Image: Swisstime)

Even though Hitler had said some nasty things about it, lil old Switzerland wasn’t really a threat to Germany either. While Germany could have successfully invaded, it was just a bit pointless to direct resources towards that goal.

In the end, Hitler never gave the order. Simply put, the costs outweighed the benefits.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

What are your thoughts concerning this topic?

#History #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Rebecca Merkli
My husband's family is of Swiss origin and the family story is that the Swiss are armed and the mountainous terrain both were deterrents to Germany.
Jan 18, 2019 12:31PM
I always was told Hitler was using Switzerland to store and exchange, transfer, move, sell, etc. MONEY, gold, diamonds, etc. to help support his war efforts? Wasn't Switzerland also being used as the "go between" for people ransoms as well? I thought even to this day there are Swiss bank accounts related to NAZI plundering, confiscations and concentration camp proceeds? Am I wrong?
Feb 6, 2019 6:02PM
Roy Mead
During World War 2 Switzerland allowed Germany to send military equipment through their country so did not require to invade to get that privilege also a great many art treasures taken by the German's were stored in Switzerland
Oct 11, 2019 8:59AM
Charles J. Russell III
Switzerland has always been a neutral country.
Dec 4, 2019 10:04PM
Darrell Cole
Hitler would be at a disadvantage since most fighting would be uphill. As all military strategists know, whoever has the high ground has the advantage . Wise move on Hitler to forgo that fiasco. ( Glad he got his come-uppance the way he did)
Feb 8, 2020 7:27PM
Maggie Hatton
Plus Braun Boveri Swiss company that makes trolly buses made gas ovens’!
Oct 17, 2021 5:42PM
Richard Perkins
He didn't really like their cheese.
Sep 16, 2021 10:04AM
Marie Pettigrew
Yes, and had many financial benefits.
Sep 4, 2021 4:24PM
Marie Pettigrew
That is what I understand. They took the Gold plundered from gold teeth from the massacred Jews and turned it into coinage for the Bazi war effort and handed rich Jews to the Nazis so they could keep their money and jeweljety and art banked in Switzerland. Not neutral at all.
Sep 4, 2021 4:23PM
Every Swiss man was trained as a soldier and could shoot. Hitler wanted to invade as it was a shortcut to Italy and he viewed Switzerland as being “German “ but his generals stopped him. Also Switzerland made it clear that they were prepared to destroy all their infrastructure and retreat to the mountains to stop him. Under these circumstances it would have been too costly for Germany in terms of time, men and material to invade.
Aug 20, 2021 7:21PM
Joe Mangan
Anne Roberts, I shall leave it to the Germans to argue the issue of who did hard work and what was defended in the East. They could start the discussion by referencing the Amritsar massacre, the Bengal Famine, the torture of Mau Mau and Malayans in the 1950s and the expulsion of the population of Diego Garcia. Before doing so, they might best study the relevance of Brexit to WWII. In deference to your religious sensitivities and prejudices, let's hope that only Protestant Germans engage.
Aug 17, 2021 8:19PM
Angeles Dembowski
Also because the Swiss were armed to the teeth, had many hidden fortified bases, and all the men had military training.
Aug 6, 2021 8:52AM
Bonny Sidhu
You are absolutely right jerryltaylor,
Dec 23, 2020 4:19PM
Had he not invaded Russia, it would hv been a total diff story today or US was not involved
Dec 3, 2020 7:52AM
Allison Aspden
Interesting background information.
Dec 15, 2019 8:25PM
Terry Selzler
Actually it would have been more realistic to invade Sweden with it's natural resources.
Dec 4, 2019 6:21PM
Terry Selzler
Davidlozano, Yep. In the end it is always about money.
Dec 4, 2019 6:18PM

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