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

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Lexington Books, 2001 - History - 200 pages
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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Contents

Overlooked German Plans for Invading Switzerland
3
German Hostility toward the Swiss
15
Total Encirclement of Switzerland
25
Hitlers Orders of June 231940 A Surprise Occupation of Switzerland
37
Evening of June 241940 Angry Outburst in the Fuhrers Headquarters
45
Readying the 12th Army for Special Task Switzerland
53
Status of Swiss Security before the Spring of 1941
63
GERMAN ECONOMIC WARFARE TO CLOSE THE GAP BETWEEN GENEVA AND ST GINGOLPH
75
Extortion against Switzerland
93
Partial German Success Due to French and Swiss Concessions
99
Importance of the Gap until the Agreement of July 181941
105
Semilegal and Illegal Attempts to Break through the Counterblockade
109
The Little Border Traffic Hidden Door to the West
115
The Special Emigrant Railroad Car of the Swiss Alien Police
123
The Final Phase Contacts with the Resistance and Final Rescue Attempts
127
Documents
133

Last Escape Hatch between Switzerland and the Allies
77
After the Armistice
81
Loopholes in German Export Prohibitions
85
Bibliography
177
Index
191
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

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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