What is Switzerland Joined the Allies in WW2?

Oct 2017
66
United States
The title is quite self explanatory. What if Switzerland joined the Allies in WW2? Would it really have made a huge difference?

What about if they secretly invaded Germany's southern border without announcing their involvement in the war? Would that have even been possible, or would they have been immediately repulsed?
 
Apr 2017
1,654
U.S.A.
Depends on when. Generally though I would say it would have had little impact on the war. Also Switzerland has a strict neutrality policy, I can't see them giving that up for anything. Their main strength is defending the mountainous terrain of their homeland, invading Germany would forego that completely.
 
Oct 2010
404
Glasgow
It sounds an almost ludicrous propostion at first but when you think about it could have been a bit of game changer.

Looking at the question I think there could have two possible periods were Swiss intervention could have been advantagious for the Allies. These periods being the very outset either 1939 or early 1940 or possibly 1944 in the wake of the Allied advance after the Normandy breakout. I will deal with the former scenario to begin with and then the latter.

Had Switzerland declared war on Germany in either late 1939 or early 1940 it would have caused major strategic problems for the Germans with regards to their offensive preparations against the western powers. Switzerland's central location would be an advantage to the allies as they could pass troops through Switzerland to threaten Germany's souther flank in Bavaria and also Austria, also Swiss airbases would facilitate direct bombing raids into the heart of the Reich. The Swiss army although small was also modern and professional as was her airforce and would also be a valuable asset against the Germans. Swiss involvment may also have deterred Mussolini and the Italians from joining the war against France in the Summer of 1940.

With potential threats on several fronts the Germans may have been forced to overstretch themselves and this in itself may forced a revison of strategy in the West and perhaps even lead to a defensive rather than offensive posture for the Germans a policy which Hitler could not possibly entertain as this would lead to the Germans using up most of their oil stocks whilst the full effects of the Anglo-French blockade hit home. Russian supplies of oil may not have been adequate to supply the Germans in the long term and the USSR may also see an opportunity to intervene on the Allied side for purely opportunistic reasons. In any case if this scenario was played out the war would be quite short as the Wermacht would probably oust Hitler perhaps in favour of Goering or a General such as Runstedt and seek to sue for peace on the best terms they could get.

Of course Germany could attempt to invade Switzerland but this would surely prove to be a long drawn out campaign that Switzerland could probably maintain with French and British assistance. Whilst during this period Germany would become weaker and the Allies would become materially stronger. It is very possible that the German economy would collapse and the scenario involving a military coup as described above would transpire.

Had the Swiss involved themselves in 1944 in the wake of the Allied breakout from Normandy this would also have been [FONT=&quot]catastrophic for Germany. The involvement of the Swiss would have threatened Austria and Southern Germany, Occupied France and probably most critically at this time the Italian Front. I believe that Swiss involvment would be primarily and most keenly felt here. Allied air squadrons would immediately deploy to Swiss airfields and this would lead to the rapid reduction of German industry to mediocre capacity. Anglo-American forces would quickly push up the Italian[/FONT] peninsula in the face of a German collapse and be in Vienna before Christmas 1944. Their counterparts in the west would push over the Rhine and probably be in Berlin before the Russians. Also very possible that Hitler would be ousted during all this and a General possibly "Rommel" If he were still alive be selected to discuss peace terms?

Ok thats what I think lol
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,580
Dispargum
I see no potential for Switzerland to voluntarily enter the war. More likely, Germany or Italy or both would invade Switzerland. Hitler could have seen the Germanic Swiss in the same way that he saw Austrians, Sudeten Germans, Germans living in Poland, Alsace-Lorainers, etc - as captive Germanic peoples who wish to be incorporated into the Greater German Reich.

I'm currently reading a book about the German invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940. According to that book, Hitler initially thought he was doing the Danes and Norwegians a favor by invading them and bringing them into the Reich. He was later surprised and disappointed when the Danes and Norwegians formed resistance groups and did other things to help the Allies win the war. So I find it credible that during this early phase of the war when Hitler thought that all Germanic peoples wanted to be part of Germany, that he may have invaded Switzerland.

I've never heard anyone speak of the offensive capabilities of the Swiss Army (at least not in the 20th century). I have heard of elaborate Swiss plans in the 1940s to blow up all of the road and railroad tunnels through the mountains and to use those mountains as a base of defense.
 
Oct 2010
404
Glasgow
I see no potential for Switzerland to voluntarily enter the war. More likely, Germany or Italy or both would invade Switzerland. Hitler could have seen the Germanic Swiss in the same way that he saw Austrians, Sudeten Germans, Germans living in Poland, Alsace-Lorainers, etc - as captive Germanic peoples who wish to be incorporated into the Greater German Reich.

I'm currently reading a book about the German invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940. According to that book, Hitler initially thought he was doing the Danes and Norwegians a favor by invading them and bringing them into the Reich. He was later surprised and disappointed when the Danes and Norwegians formed resistance groups and did other things to help the Allies win the war. So I find it credible that during this early phase of the war when Hitler thought that all Germanic peoples wanted to be part of Germany, that he may have invaded Switzerland.

I've never heard anyone speak of the offensive capabilities of the Swiss Army (at least not in the 20th century). I have heard of elaborate Swiss plans in the 1940s to blow up all of the road and railroad tunnels through the mountains and to use those mountains as a base of defense.

I dont agree bro. The premise of the question was: "What if the Swiss joined the Allies?" So what Hitler or the Swiss felt about their racial ties is irelevant. In this scenario the Swiss join the Allies for whatever reason? Swiss history like Scottish history for a close example has been one of opposing bigger powers especially ones deemed as tyrannical so it is a very much a feasible proposition.

I dont really think the Swiss need "offensive capabilties" their location is everything. Firstly Switzerland due to it topography is extremely hard to conquer. Thats was true in ancient, medieval and modern times. Had the Swiss joined the Allied cause early in the war this would have given Germany big problems as Switzerland straddles several borders. This would allow Anglo-French forces to move easily into positions that would threaten Germany proper and Austria. Allied aircraft would also be able to use Swiss air bases to strike directly at the heart of Germany, the Rhur and easily Berlin. Swiss involvement may have convinced the Italians to stay out as allied aircraft could bomb Milan , Turin or Rome as easy as Berlin.

The Swiss have and have always had a decent well trained and professional army modelled on the Prussian style. They have exceptional Alpine troops who know the terrain and would have I am sure been joined by French Alpine counterparts. The country would have been one giant castle and they would have made the Germans suffer in the same way as the Soviets in Finland should they have invaded. Coupled with RAF and French Air support the country would have been totally impregnable. The advantages of Switzerland being on board would have been an exceptionally tremendous boon for the Allies. Even if no Swiss soldier fought in a battle the very fact that allied troops could traverse and land planes on Swiss territory would have been enough to change the direction of the war.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,580
Dispargum
I dont agree bro. The premise of the question was: "What if the Swiss joined the Allies?" So what Hitler or the Swiss felt about their racial ties is irelevant. In this scenario the Swiss join the Allies for whatever reason? Swiss history like Scottish history for a close example has been one of opposing bigger powers especially ones deemed as tyrannical so it is a very much a feasible proposition.

I dont really think the Swiss need "offensive capabilties" their location is everything. Firstly Switzerland due to it topography is extremely hard to conquer. Thats was true in ancient, medieval and modern times. Had the Swiss joined the Allied cause early in the war this would have given Germany big problems as Switzerland straddles several borders. This would allow Anglo-French forces to move easily into positions that would threaten Germany proper and Austria. Allied aircraft would also be able to use Swiss air bases to strike directly at the heart of Germany, the Rhur and easily Berlin. Swiss involvement may have convinced the Italians to stay out as allied aircraft could bomb Milan , Turin or Rome as easy as Berlin.

The Swiss have and have always had a decent well trained and professional army modelled on the Prussian style. They have exceptional Alpine troops who know the terrain and would have I am sure been joined by French Alpine counterparts. The country would have been one giant castle and they would have made the Germans suffer in the same way as the Soviets in Finland should they have invaded. Coupled with RAF and French Air support the country would have been totally impregnable. The advantages of Switzerland being on board would have been an exceptionally tremendous boon for the Allies. Even if no Swiss soldier fought in a battle the very fact that allied troops could traverse and land planes on Swiss territory would have been enough to change the direction of the war.
So you reject the idea of Germany invading Switzerland and the Swiss Army never comes down out of the Alps or assumes the offensive. Just what would this war look like? No one seems to be attacking anyone. Is this another version of the phoney war or Sitzkrieg?

As to the French using Switzerland as a base to invade Germany or Italy, I don't think they need it or could use it properly. The French Army had a serious lack of offensive capability. Given that the French still had to protect everything from the English Channel to the Swiss border I don't think they had any extra troops for an expanded front in Switzerland. In May 1940, the French Army very quickly ran out of reserves. Where are these extra troops for the Swiss campaign going to come from?
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,189
Sydney
.
Switzerland was in no position to start a war with Germany until late 1944
they needed the coal and food from Germany ,
else they would have starved like the dutch starved in 1944 /45
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,514
Japan
I’d say if it as from the beginning the Switzerland is rolled over and occupied. Maybe there are a few Andreas Hofers fighting the good fight, but a Swiss SS division would be up and running in no time. They’d be another area to liberate after France or Italy. Their army was large though and the Germans would be taking very high casualties.

If they joined in 44, they might be able to send a Swiss Corps to fight alongside a French or British Army maybe. But other than handing over lots of stolen booth the impact would be slight.
 
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