“In the future it will be impossible to authoritatively discuss Switzerland during the dark years without having read Halbrook.”–Dr. Jurg Stussi-Lauterburg, author of Federalism and Freedom
In 1943, Adolf Hitler proclaimed that “all the rubbish of small nations still existing in Europe must be liquidated.” In his diaries, Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels described Switzerland as “this stinking little state.” And as the Nazis readied to invade, the Gestapo prepared lists of Swiss to be executed once the Germans overran the country. Yet as the Nazi tide swept across continental Europe from the Pyrenees to the Volga, one nation still stood free, its flag unbowed in a sea of swastikas.
Although countless books have been written on the military history of World War II, there is astonishingly little information on the one country that stared the Nazis down during the reign of the Third Reich. Target Switzerland is the first book in English to provide an objective, year-by-year account of Switzerland’s military role in World War II, including the Swiss policy of resistance, Nazi plans for invasion, and Switzerland’s secret links to the Allies.
With the strong reputation of the Swiss as valiant fighters and freedom-loving people in the spirit of William Tell, for centuries the powers of Europe knew better than to contest her citizens in their own mountainous terrain. In a country where marksmanship is the national sport, the Swiss could call on highly trained soldiers (a higher percentage per capita than that of any other nation in Europe), all fully prepared to use their alpine terrain to best advantage. Thus Switzerland became isolated–but not intimidated–as surrounding countries fell.
Here is the story of one small nation’s heroic resistance to Nazism, leading the reader to wonder how history might had been different had all of Europe been equally well-equipped to resist Nazi terror.
“A fascinating and enlightening explanation of the dilemma Switzerland found itself in during the 1930s and 1940s.”–Publishers Weekly