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Everyone knows that “Switzerland does not have an army. Switzerland IS an army,” quipped an observer. (1) Indeed, a little known fact is that the Swiss maintain, proportionally, the largest military force in the world, with more than twice as many active-duty soldiers per capita as the next proportionally-largest force, in Israel. Israel admired the Swiss model so much that it copied it. (2)
The military of Switzerland is a unique institution that falls somewhere between a militia and a regular army. A militia in the case of Switzerland is the entire able-bodied population of the country, which can be called to arms against an invading enemy in considerably less than 48 hours, according to one source, and within 12 hours, according to another. (4,2)
Every Swiss soldier receives a gas mask and a tin of 50 rounds of ammunition that is to be opened in case of war. The ammunition is loaded in the rifle magazine, which is carried in the soldier’s pocket, and engaged in the weapon only for the personal self-defense of the soldier in case he or she is attacked between home and the barracks.
Where a highway bridge crosses a railroad, a segment of the bridge is programmed to drop on the railroad. Primacord fuses are built into the bridge. Hidden artillery is in place on either side, set to prevent the enemy from clearing or repairing the damage. All purposes included, concealed and stationary artillery probably number upward of twelve thousand guns.
In Switzerland, there are people prepared to fight even against the government if the government were to capitulate.
"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass."
"I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."