Why would Sweden invade Switzerland?
September 8, 2005 9:20 PM   Subscribe

Why would Sweden invade Switzerland?

A friend and I decided a few months ago that why he was on a business trip to Philadelphia, he would write letters to me, but write them as if he had just gone off to war, even getting old Air Mail envelopes and staining them. He's been back for a month now, but we're still writing the letters so he determined if we were going to keep writing war letters, we need a ficticious war. His contribution was 1940's, Sweden has just invaded Switzerland. Now i'm supposed to come up with a reason why two normally neutral countries would go to war and i've been stumped for a week even after doing some research. Help, the more detailed and absurd the better. Thanks!
posted by Ugh to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (32 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, you've got a tricky situation there, but here's what I'd suggest. It's just after WWII, and while the Allies deal with a partitioned Germany, a crazy former clockmaker in Zurich is gaining support for his extremist political party, the Clockzis. He stages a violent coup, and begins gearing up the world reknowned Swiss Army for a post-war land grab (watch out Liechtenstein!). The Allies realize that something must be done to stop him, but there pretty well tired out from their own war, and since the Swiss Army's greatest weapon is the corkscrew, they ask the Swedes to swing down through Germany and put down the Clockzi Party and their aggressive tendencies.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:32 PM on September 8, 2005

Perhaps your friend is an American secret agent sent to infiltrate war-torn Switzerland to try to bring folding-knife-and-chocolate technology to the States, without the knowledge of the Swedes, who would certainly try to keep that information for themselves.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:34 PM on September 8, 2005

It would have to be about the Nazi gold. Iron ore sales to Germany were to be paid with by gold, which was banked, for various obscure reasons, in Switzerland. And now the swiss wont give it back.

Is this really what AskMeFi is for?
posted by wilful at 9:45 PM on September 8, 2005

Copious amounts of Nazi gold, stolen artwork and other valuables are found to be stored in Swiss banks. The banks look to the government for support and not only does the government support the banks, but it turns out that they have encouraged and aided the banks' efforts in procuring the aforementioned items. The US, UK and other Allies are hesitant to act due to political pressure from investors that hold shares/deposits in the Swiss banks. Swedish investors either do not have significant investments/deposits and/or have the moral fortitude to toss their financial well-being aside for a higher good.
posted by mullacc at 9:45 PM on September 8, 2005

I hate how nobody ties in Lutefisk. It seems obvious to me.
posted by ernie at 9:55 PM on September 8, 2005

This brief conflict was known as the 'volleyball war' after Sweden's controversial defeat in the 1938 olympic games, due to a disputed line call by a half Swiss judge.

It initially started by rioting in Berne by expat Swedes and swiftly got out of control. A diplomatic crisis was caused by, shall we say, overly patriotic remarks by the Swedish king, which quickly sparked off a trade war with high tarrifs on cheese being introduced.

In retaliation, the Swiss banned herring and imprisoned several Swedish fish importers.

Things took a turn for the worse when Sweden started smuggling in flat pack cuckoo clocks throughout the Cantons.

Within weeks the Swiss clock making industry was on it's knees and protests were seen in most towns. At this moment of high tension, Sweden announced it was going to export their new type of self assembled, minimalist furniture into Switzerland at a price below what Swiss manufacturers could pay.

In Swedish elections the centre right party was returned to power with the slogan 'A Swedish wardrobe in every Swiss bedroom'.

A summit meeting was called, but little progress was made. At lunch on the first day, the Swiss representative, in a calculated move intended to cause offense, reached over to the Swedish ambassador's plate and defiantly put a piece of bread on top of his open sandwich, saying 'an open sandwich is only suitable for reindeer'.

the ambassador rose from his chair and walked out, but not before sneaking a herring into the brim of the Swiss Representative's hat, just as the final photo call was being made.

Two days later the residents of Basel were woken by the sound of a thousand Volvo's.

And the rest is history
posted by quarsan at 10:13 PM on September 8, 2005

There is rarely a single cause for a war. According to one account, the Swedish government wished to cajole the von Trapp family into emigrating. Other documents suggest that they simply wanted the family to quit singing about edelweiss.
In an interview with an unnamed source, an undercover reporter discovered that there was a plot to undermine the Swiss watch monopoly in retailation for the Swiss refusal to sell Sweden enough butter to make Chrsitmas cookies.
posted by Cranberry at 10:17 PM on September 8, 2005

er Christmas and retaliation. See what happens when I try to hurry?
posted by Cranberry at 10:19 PM on September 8, 2005

*writes quarsan about taking over a country to be named later*
posted by Cranberry at 10:22 PM on September 8, 2005

I was hoping for some long-forgotten war between the two countries, but there doesn't seem to be one, so there goes the payback angle. Sweden was much more belligerant in the past, having been in 31 wars between 1521 and 1814 (going 18-9-4).

Sweden's King Gustav IV Adolf abdicated the throne and ended up in Switzerland. Maybe some Swiss descendants want to reclaim the throne?

Lenin was an exile in Switzerland, then passed through Sweden on his way to Russia and the Russian Revolution.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:31 PM on September 8, 2005

Oooh, a war over chocolate. This could get... delicious!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:06 PM on September 8, 2005

In an unsigned editorial in the Svenska-Dagbladet newspaper, published on April 1st, 1940, while the Swiss-German trade agreement was being negotiated, it was claimed that ‘some countries were more neutral than others:’ the clear implication being that some Swedes at least, felt that they were staying out of it more successfully than the Swiss. Henri Guisan, the Swiss commander-in-chief, was incensed, and it is thought Guisan had a hand in authorizing the subsequent SRG broadcasts from Zürich that included barbed, anti-Swedish broadsides scripted by disaffected German dadaists, in which King Gustav was portrayed as secretly mobilizing cadres of Swedish volunteer fighters for the conflict in Karelia between the Finns and the Russians. The King, smarting at the way his high-pitched voice had been caricatured, persuaded senior air-force officers to launch a covert strike on SRG transmitters using their experimental B-5 aircraft based at Linköping…
posted by misteraitch at 12:46 AM on September 9, 2005

To hell with the damn Christmas cookies, my counsin's rosti is FAR superior to any stooopid Scandahoovian cookies! The butter will STAY in Zurichercanton!

Besides, have you seen the sorry excuse those Swedes dare to call 'cheese'?! Bah!
posted by Goofyy at 2:09 AM on September 9, 2005

pre-emptive strike against the gnomes of zurich?
posted by juv3nal at 2:30 AM on September 9, 2005

"Why would Sweden invade Switzerland?"

To liven their countries up, presumably.
posted by Pericles at 2:40 AM on September 9, 2005

Due to geography, I can't see this sort of war happening.

If you really want Sweden involved, it would be best to do the 30 Years War Redux.

WWII is over, but the Soviets suffered even more in this conflict than in reality and is successfully pressured by the US to leave the Baltic States independent. Knowing Sweden's long dormant imperial ambitions are starting to rise, the US quietly starts selling surplus hardware to the Swedes and encourages them to invade Estonia on some pretext.

Thus begins the first proxy war of the Cold War. The Swedes, with a fighting force fresh from sitting WWII out, with the help of newly bought P-51'a and an alliance with Finland, which is looking for its own revenge against the USSR, successfully invades Estonia, thus cutting Leningrad off from the outside world.

The US has put Estonia and the rest of the Baltic States under its nuclear umbrella, thus forcing Stalin into a situation where he only sends arms to the beleagured Estonian army, and not troops. However, the situation is tenuous. Stalin knows his own a-bomb is only a year or two away from completion, and therefore a Russian invasion is inevitable. However, for the moment, Sweden is triumphant and is blinded by its brief military glory.

I think that would make a lovely time for correspondence. The correspondent in Stockholm would be caught up in the euphoria of a seemingly easy victory and the accompanying feelings of invincibility. The correspondent in Estonia, knowing the Red Army is massing outside the borders, would try to give the sense of doom to his friend, but without much success.
posted by newgrl at 4:35 AM on September 9, 2005

There has to be a Dala / Trojan horse in the story too... (wikipedia on Dala)
posted by whatzit at 6:46 AM on September 9, 2005

It's 1939 and two friends, deeply troubled by the developments in Europe, decide to write about a fictitious war between Sweden and Switzerland, mainly as a way to relieve the tensions of the day. They're having trouble with the plot line though, so they post a query for help on a community bulletin board maintained by a local newspaper near the entrance to their building. It just so happens that the Swedish and Swiss consul-generals pass by this bulletin board on their way to work, and read it with some interest as the possible plots develop.

One day they encounter each other while reading the bulletin board and begin discussing their country's histories. Fact and fiction blur, words are said, and the bulletin board is copied and sent back to their home countrys for analysis.

Incensed by each other's growing sense of hostility towards the other, both countries decide the other must have been playing at the whole "neutrality thing" and aren't "true believers". Diplomatic contact stops, but the nations hatred for each other does not. Extremist groups develop, searching for information on the fabled Volleyball and Chocolate wars. Eventually a document is uncovered in the rattled old barn of a small farm outside of Interlaken. It is an account of successful Swiss plot to install a puppet regime in Sweden, a country that was a growing economic competitor back in 1920, when it was written.

The document passes from citizen to citizen until finally it found itself in the possession of none other than the Service de renseignement stratégique (SRS), the Swiss intelligence and security service. Given their threat reduction since neutrality the SRS had less of a need to focus on intelligence than security, and so the growing Swiss/Sweedish resentment greatly concerns them.

Operation Golovinski, as it is to be known, is created by an overworked and underpaid SRS employee (Mr. Jacques Roch Sadecky) seeking only the return to the way of life he knew before the latest tensions. Rumors are abounding that Hitler himself has approached the Swiss about joining his league after he'd heard of the genius tactics employed by the Swiss to take over Sweden. Op. Golovinski is to publish the Interlaken document in Sweden, to show the Swedish that their already Swiss, so why bother raising any trouble?

Shot down by his superiors Sadecky is desperate for the return of his favorite Swedish foods, especially Gravad lax, which his recently deceased Swedish wife used to make for him around the holidays now fast approaching. He decides to act alone, and publishes the document in Svenska Dagbladet, a well read Swedish newspaper.

The plan backfires though. The publishing of the Interlaken document tips nationalistic resentment in Sweden over the brim and citizens band together to reclaim their government and "sock one" at the Swiss too.

{insert burgeoning war here, from first person perspective, possibly of Sadecky, consul-generals, etc..}

Concerned by the great loss of life on both sides the citizens of both countries band together to prevent it from ever happening again, instead focusing on chocolates, Gravad lax, and other culinary developments. A slogan is born: Choose Peace - it tastes better. The world celebrates.
posted by jwells at 6:49 AM on September 9, 2005

ernie: I think Lutefisk is a Norwegian dish. (Although, in every other respect, it's enough to provoke a war. I'll declare war on the next bastard who suggests I eat it again...)
posted by Jofus at 6:52 AM on September 9, 2005

"July 01, 2004 -- Waldemar Ingdahl and Alexander Sanchez from the Eudoxa think tank have written an analysis for the Associazione Società Civile in Lugano, Switzerland: "The Swedish model, an example for Switzerland?" In the report Ingdahl & Sanchez make a comparision between Sweden and Switzerland in regard to economic development, fiscal pressure, purchase power, labor market and unemployment rates, public health, habitation, product development and scientific research. Posted by Waldemar at July 1, 2004 04:02 PM"

I have no idea what was in the analysis, but surely one country felt extremely offended and insulted the other. The next thing you know, Sweden is dropping paratroopers into Switzerland.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:13 AM on September 9, 2005

ernie: I think Lutefisk is a Norwegian

Busted. But I wanted to see if someone would tie in something about the supply of lye and war rationing.

posted by ernie at 7:27 AM on September 9, 2005

The Norwegians may have it too, but Lutfisk is Swedish, and it's also quite harmless. The fish that brings war and destruction is the Surströmming.
posted by springload at 8:54 AM on September 9, 2005

springload, I disagree. Surstromming is edible (possibly because you smother it in potatoes and down it with strong beer), whereas lutefisk is just a big flavorless blob of chewy fish jello. bleah.
posted by luneray at 10:28 AM on September 9, 2005

Why would Sweden invade Switzerland
To end the confusion of Sweden being mixed up as Switzerland.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:41 AM on September 9, 2005

Switzerland is harboring terrorists and WMDs! Neutral just means they hate everyone equally and probably are gonna commit acts of evil against ALL freedom loving people the world over.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:47 AM on September 9, 2005

The immortal words of Zapp Branigan may inform:

"I hate these filthy neutrals, Kif! With enemies, you know where they stand, but with neutrals—who knows. It sickens me."

"What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?"
posted by kindall at 11:33 AM on September 9, 2005

Sweetheart in Sweden Swipes Swatches and Switches them for Swizzlers. Swiss SWATs Swoop to undo Swap and Swedes Swarm with Swords.
posted by vega5960 at 11:35 AM on September 9, 2005

Funny, no one mentions Pippi Longstocking. Just have her travel to Switzerland for gold and chocolates thus causing a war...since she is the world’s strongest girl.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:41 AM on September 9, 2005

luneray: Lutfisk also relies on its side dishes (potatoes, green peas, white sauce, beer and snaps). Without those it would be a horror, but when you have them aplenty, it's rather tasty. It's a bit like tofu or Quorn in that way.
posted by springload at 11:50 AM on September 9, 2005

Response by poster: More than I could ask for guys. Thank you SO much. Now I have to decide which one i'm going to pass off for as my own.
posted by Ugh at 7:34 PM on September 9, 2005

Somebody told Sweden that Switzerland's navy was undefeated.
posted by dhartung at 1:59 AM on September 10, 2005

posted by dhartung at 2:01 AM on September 10, 2005

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