March 2nd, 2007


RED ALERT: Swiss invade Liechtenstein

...okay, not so much red alert, but a company of Swiss soldiers on a training exercise did get lost and wind up crossing about a mile over the border into Liechtenstein before realizing their mistake and heading home. Both nations played down the incident, and nobody in Liechtenstein witnessed the brief invasion. I bet the phone call next morning was interesting.

SWITZERLAND. "Hello, good morning. Listen, just so you know, we invaded you last night."
LIECHTENSTEIN. "I'm sorry, what?"
SWITZERLAND. "We invaded you. Look, we feel really bad, it was totally an accident. If it helps, it was only for about an hour. And our soldiers didn't even have any live ammunition."
LIECHTENSTEIN. "How many soldiers?"
SWITZERLAND. "Erm, a hundred and seventy."
SWITZERLAND. "You all right?"
LIECHTENSTEIN. " do know we don't have an army, right?"
SWITZERLAND. "Yes, good thing our officer in charge didn't have much sense of initiative."
SWITZERLAND. "I mean, we could have killed your whole government, plundered your riches, set fire to everything in sight, you know. Ha ha ha!"
SWITZERLAND. "We'd worry about you lot getting us back, but, as you say, you don't have an army, while we've got universal militia service and all have assault rifles in the closet at home, so..."
LIECHTENSTEIN. *hates Switzerland so much*

This sort of thing happens occasionally, and it's always entertaining. In 2002, a British Royal Marines training exercise went awry when the Marines got lost in a fog off Gibraltar and managed to storm the beach of a coastal resort town. In Spain. Local fisherman were very surprised, to say the least, but managed to put off the invading force by giving them directions.

Quoth The Guardian, "The marines beat a hasty retreat and went off to find the real Gibraltar. This, locals observed, was easily recognisable because it had a 1,398ft high rock sticking out of it."