08 Oct 2014

Swiss Story


General Ulrich Wille, commander of the Swiss Army during WWI

A good story from Michael Z. Williamson.

    While traveling around Switzerland on Sundays, everywhere one hears gunfire, but a peaceful gunfire: this is the Swiss practicing their favorite sport, their national sport. They are doing their obligatory shooting, or practicing for the regional, Cantonal or federal shooting festivals, as their ancestors did it with the musket, the arquebus or the crossbow. Everywhere, one meets urbanites and country people, rifle to the shoulder, causing foreigners to exclaim: ‘You are having a revolution!”

— General Henri Guisan

Switzerland has not been invaded in 800 years, because every man and most of the women are issued guns which they keep at home. Imagine a government that not only allows but INSISTS its citizens keep military grade weapons. That’s points right there. Even more, they hold quarterly Schuetzenfests, at which shooting, carousing and drinking are expected. And it’s entirely possible you will have your ass handed to you by a 13 year old girl shooting a select-fire StG90 assault rifle that she carried to the range from school, slung across her back while pedaling her bicycle. Swiss GIRLS are better men than most allegedly-male American liberals.

There is a story, possibly apocryphal but awesome nonetheless, that a ranking German (possibly the Kaiser) was visiting and watching the Swiss military on their summer maneuvers. He asked the Swiss commander, “How big a force do you command?”

The Swiss general confidently replied, “I can mobilize one million men in twenty-four hours.”

The German asked, “What would happen if I marched five million men in here tomorrow?”

The Swiss replied, “Each of my men will fire five shots and go home.”

Hat tip to commenter Darius.

3 Feedbacks on "Swiss Story"


OK, I own three of the top ten manliest firearms. I have the Enfield, the Mosin and a Glock, and I get extra credit for the Glock because it’s in .40S&W rather than 9mm. And I don’t think it was fair to exclude all French weapons from the list. The MAS39 from WWII was reputedly a fine weapon. I’ve seen several ads for them – “Never fired and only dropped once”.

T. Shaw

I have a 1917 Lee Enfield Mk2. Am in the market for a bayonet. Just bought a box of ammo. Hasn’t been fired in years. It kicks.

The Swiss general’s point was: marksmanship, training, and planning. Each Swiss citizen/soldier can hit what he aims at; knows his assignment/how and where he will fight; and is able and ready to make well and truly blest anybody that invades his country.

Seems to work: 800 years and counting.


You have me beat. I have only two: model 29 S&W and 1911.


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