Let's Swallow Switzerland: Hitler's Plans Against the Swiss Confederation

Overview

Why was Switzerland spared a German attack during World War II? Was its existence actually endangered at any time? In "Let's Swallow Switzerland," historian Klaus Urner reveals new data uncovered about the actual threats Switzerland faced during the war. Extensive archival research into the events at the Führer's headquarters discloses that Hitler, in cooperation with Mussolini, initiated a surprise pincer operation against Switzerland during the final phase of the French campaign. On June 24, 1940, Army Corps C ...

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Overview

Why was Switzerland spared a German attack during World War II? Was its existence actually endangered at any time? In "Let's Swallow Switzerland," historian Klaus Urner reveals new data uncovered about the actual threats Switzerland faced during the war. Extensive archival research into the events at the Führer's headquarters discloses that Hitler, in cooperation with Mussolini, initiated a surprise pincer operation against Switzerland during the final phase of the French campaign. On June 24, 1940, Army Corps C received orders to prepare for the "Special Task Switzerland." In early July, the 12th Army, with nine divisions, was deployed near the Western border of Switzerland. Urner proves that German operational plans were not fictitious designs worked out by a bored staff, as has been claimed, but in fact were serious preparatory measures for an attack. The second half of this fascinating exposé provides a discussion of German economic warfare against Switzerland, revealing that Germany's goal was to control every interaction between Switzerland and the Allies—such attempts continued until the total occupation of France on November 11, 1942. Numerous original documents attesting to Hitler's plans, historic photographs, and a detailed bibliography make this book a fundamental work for understanding Switzerland's difficult predicament during World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

Neue Zurcher Zeitung
Klaus Urner's fascinating study is an important contribution to the history of Switzerland during World War II.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Klaus Urner's fascinating study is an important contribution to the history of Switzerland during World War II.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739102558
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 8/15/2001
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Klaus Urner is Professor and Head of the Archives for Contemporary History at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. He is the author of numerous studies that deal primarily with twentieth-century history, including Die Deutschen in der Schweiz [Germans in Switzerland] (1976) and Der Schweizer Hitler-Attentäter [The Attempt of a Swiss to Assassinate Hitler] (1980).

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Search for New Sources Part 2 Hitler's Plans against Switzerland: Summer 1940 Chapter 3 Overlooked Setting of German Explorations about Invading Switzerland Chapter 4 Dangerous Tendencies of Aggression among Germans and Their Leaders Chapter 5 Military Measures of the Axis Powers for a Total Encirclement of Switzerland Chapter 6 Hitler's Orders of June 23, 1940: Explore a Surprise Occupation of Switzerland Chapter 7 Evening of June 23, 1940: Angry Outburst in the Führer's Headquarters Chapter 8 Readying the 12th Army for the "Special Task" Switzerland Chapter 9 Unsteady Security until Spring 1941 Part 10 German Economic Warfare to Close the Gap: Between Geneva and St. Gingolph Chapter 11 Historical Aspects of the Last Escape Hatch between Switzerland and the Allies Chapter 12 Transition Phase after the Armistice Chapter 13 Creating Loopholes in the German Export Prohibitions Chapter 14 Extortion Measures against Switzerland: The Offensive of the HWK Special Staff Chapter 15 Partial German Success Due to French and Swiss Concessions Chapter 16 Importance of the Gap until the Agreement of July 18, 1941 Chapter 17 Semi-legal and Illegal Attempts to Break Through the Counter-Blockade Chapter 18 The "Little Border Traffic": The Hidden Door to the West until November 1942 Chapter 19 The Special Emigrant Railroad Car of the Swiss Alien Police Chapter 20 The Final Phase: Contacts with the Resistance and Final Rescue Attempts Part 21 Documents

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