Friday, 25 July 2014
Military History Photo Friday: Swiss WWI Postcard
Back in high school, one of my friends had a father from Switzerland. He told me a story about how during World War Two, Hitler was speaking to the Swiss ambassador. The Nazi leader arrogantly pointed out, "The Swiss army only has 100,000 men. What if I sent a million men against you?"
To which the Swiss ambassador dryly replied, "Then my men would each have to fire ten times."
A wonderful bit of propaganda that has stayed in my memory for 25 years!
Right now I'm up in Oxford for my usual summer of research and travel. I'm busy researching and writing Digging In, book two of my Trench Raiders series of World War One action novels. While rummaging through various books I came across a collection of Swiss postcards from WWI. Switzerland never fought in the war but they were concerned with German expansionism. It turns out the anecdote about Hitler had been recycled from an earlier conflict. This card show a conversation between a Swiss soldier and the German Kaiser. A rough translation reads:
"In the land of the great marksmen.
Good job, son! You have 100,000 marksmen in Switzerland. What will you do when 200,000 Prussians come?
Ah, we'll shoot two bullets, Majesty!"