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54

No country is impossible to invade. Andorra could invade the USA. The question you should have asked was "Was Switzerland Impossible to Conquer during World War II?". The answer is no country is impossible to conquer. But there is great variation in the probability that a specific country will actually conquer another specific country if it tries to ...


53

The claim comes from Machiavelli, and, for example, this site criticizes it. In this case, Machiavelli was arguing in favor of training militias instead of using mercenary forces. A similar case is Battle of Anghiari, where it is claimed that only one man died. This Wikipedia article offers some explanations: The casualties were indeed light, as condottieri ...


41

Ok, since I think I finally got your real question (as I see it): I'm simply asking if the defense of Switzerland during WW2 was overrated. Many people claim that the country was impossible to occupy, I just want to know if this is not clearly exaggerated. The emphasis is what I interpret as your "real" question (since there is a lot of confusion here) ...


29

tl; dr At least some of the archers who fought at the Battle of Agincourt almost were almost certainly suffering from dysentery contracted at Harfleur. However, most of the worst affected had been shipped home to England before Henry left Harfleur for Calais. Is there any evidence in the chronicles of the time that some or most of the English & ...


29

Perhaps Charles XII in 1713. The king himself killed at least one Ottoman soldier with his sword in hand-to-hand combat when he and Roos came under attack by 3 Ottomans. During parts of the fighting, Charles was also actively sniping with a carbine against the assaulting enemy from a window in his sleeping quarters, positioned in the building ...


25

What factors were Hitler's / Germany's motivations for WW2? Revanchism, stealing raw materials, and racial hatreds. The Swiss are largely German-speaking / Germanic, so there's no "racial superiority" factor to promote invasion and de facto depopulation/extermination and colonization. They don't have a excessive amount of arable land for "true German" ...


22

The Germans were certain they could. For instance, their 1940 plans for Operation Tannenbaum estimated that a force of 300,000 to 500,000 men would have been sufficient. Swiss military leadership also thought that an invasion would have been successful: Their revised military plan for the event of an invasion, the Réduit national, called for a delaying ...


15

Thucydides has been widely read and cited since ancient times, though not always to same extent in different periods. Martin Hammond, in his translation of The Peloponnesian War, observes: Thucydides was not as widely read in the fourth century and the hellenistic period as the more obviously attractive Herodotus and Xenophon, but he was far from ...


15

George VI of the United Kingdom served as a turret officer on HMS Collingwood and saw action at the Battle of Jutland, being mentioned in dispatches. This was of course before he became King.


11

There were many practical reasons why Switzerland was not occupied of which none of the first answer of @AmorphouBob apply Some of these reasons are: militarily Switzerland was considered a 'thorny' problem, as expressed in the question and the Swiss strategy there was no strategic advantage (Switzerland was surrounded by the Axis powers) an economic ...


9

The Belgium King Albert I led his troops, but also fought along them, during the First World War. Wikipedia contains a small section on this: During this period, King Albert fought alongside his troops and shared their dangers, while his wife, Queen Elisabeth, worked as a nurse at the front. During his time on the front, rumours spread on both sides of ...


8

This is an hypothetical question. I'll try to answer based only on the military concept. You have already answered your own question, in part 4. You don't need to conquer the whole country; only the main cities and the fields are desirable. Forget about the mountains; you don't need them. Once in a while they'll have to attack some places to prevent ...


8

Given that the question asks specifically for conventional weapons (so ruling out Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and is now limited to a 24 hour period in history, you are probably looking at Operation Meetinghouse where 279 B-29 bombers dropped 1,665 tons of bombs on Tokyo on the night of 9–10 March, 1945. Approximately 100,000 people were killed. The bombs ...


8

The last in the world it was Abdulla, Khalifa of Sudan that was killed at Umm Diwaykara in 1899. Definitely, that was the most personal participation. And Khalifa > Sultan = Emperor, so in the feudal sense, he was higher than any king.


7

The role of tanks changed substantially from their introduction in WWI, through WWII, the Cold War, and to the present day. Any attempt to get a single answer for something that evolved over a century is bound to fail. The very first tanks were pillbox and MG nest busters. Moving not much faster than a walking infantryman across shell-holed terrain, with ...


7

The Rwandan genocide is a fair contender for the top place in terms of casualties per day -- at 5-10k/day. Another is WW2, which resulted in 70 million to 85 million casualties depending on the estimates (50-56m from the war itself, and another 19-28m from disease and famine), over the course of 2,193 days (Sep 1 1939 to Sep 2 1945) -- 32-39k/day. A few ...


7

Napoleon was wounded at the Battle of Ratisbon on April 23, 1809: Napoleon was wounded in his ankle by a small artillery round. The shot had been fired at great distance and did not severely hurt the Emperor, but caused a contusion. We happen to know roughly where Napoleon was when wounded (about 900 metres from the Regensburg city walls), because he sat ...


6

As far as I know, "Instructions for training a ships crew in the use of arms in attack and defence" by Lieutenant William Pringle Green, is the first book on how a crew of the Royal Navy should train with swords and guns, how they should defend their ship in case of boarding, or to board an enemy vessel themselves. The year of publication is 1812, so not ...


5

Shields up!!! It was advantageous for the Germans not to conquer Switzerland, and this would be a major factor in deciding the merit of doing so. A few only examples: Switzerland provided the Nazis access to bank accounts and "safe" deposits of Jews and others. Exactly how these were divied up is unknown to me, but one can safely assume that the Nazis did ...


5

Yes, in the Awa'uq Massacre, or Massacre of Refuge Rock. In this episode Russians under fur magnate Grigorii Shelikhov fired on Koniag Alutiiq people (per Wikipedia, those of the Qik’rtarmiut Sugpiat tribe) massed atop the large rock. One source, Briutikov, is reported to have said that 500 were killed in their fall from the rock. Owen Matthews in his book "...


5

NO. The Roman army was made up of "professional" soldiers, who served 25 years (from their late teens to their early 40s, like modern ball players), before they were disbanded. No medieval armies had soldiers of this standing, although the Kommenians came closer than others. This started after the Punic Wars, when cheap grain acquired from Sicily (and ...


4

Impossibility of an invasion My answer is based on wikipedia article Operation Tannenbaum, which is about German plans for war against Switzerland during WW2: Germany started planning the invasion of Switzerland on 25 June 1940, the day that France surrendered. At this point, the German army in France consisted of three groups with two million soldiers ...


4

The Germans certainly tried, and did have some successes, but not on the same scale as the Western Allies. They read British naval ciphers until 1943, which contributed to their successes in the Battle of the Atlantic, and were able to eavesdrop on the scrambled telephone link between the UK and USA. Their lesser scale of success seems to have been due to ...


3

7-800 soldiers were forced or pushed off of a 1000 foot cliff in one of the unification battles of Hawai'i. Wikipedia article This was one of the last major battles of the campaign. The article details how the remains were discovered during construction 100 years later (in 1898).


3

Strictly following the question's specification deaths at the hands of others, or themselves, using any conventional weapons (swords, bow/arrows/guns, etc) On 14 January 1761 there was the Third Battle of Panipat (North of Delhi) when an Afghan army invaded India. The sources that Wikipedia gives add up to a total of minimum 70,000 killed and maximum ...


3

If you want within a single day and within a very confined area like a square kilometer, then the final suppression of the Nika riots on or about 18 January 532 AD is a good contender. (See here and here.) With 30,000-35,000 rioters in the Hippodrome in Constantinople, the imperial troops blocked the exits and slaughtered everyone. I realize there are ...


3

There was a documentary last year if I remember well on French/German tv Arte which covered the subject, and its point of view was that despite what Swiss people like to think, they were not the hedgehog in German feet, but more likely the bankers of the third reich, so it had nothing to do with military. It was explained that in this time, no country in ...


2

There are many cases, feel free to add more: Napoleon conquerer north of Italy, and recruited forces there for other wars. Later on, after defeating Austria and Prussia, Napoleon invaded Russia. The invasion of Russia was not only with french forces, both flanks of his advance where covered by prussian and austrian forces (north and south). As @Steven ...


2

Long time ago I wondered about the same. I always thought the Roman army (early imperial, of course) would beat the crap out of any opponent until the end of the middle ages. After learning a lot about history I had to change my opinion completely. No. 1: The Roman army was entirely professional. From the lowest recruit up to generals in command. Medieval ...


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