Neutral Countries

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Spank-it, Jul 17, 2008.

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  1. Serious Question:

    How does a country declare itself to be neutral in a time of war, and why do the belligerents honour that agreement. ?
  2. Not declaring war on either side is a good start and either having a relatively strong military or no useful resource helps too.
  3. You are 'Iamadinnerjacket' and I claim my crispy new five pound note!

    PS I don't think the yanks will fall for it..................just a thought like.

    Edited to add that "on second thoughts, Bush might"
  4. Usually parasitic countries who make capital out of other peoples misery. WWII = Switzerland, Sweden.
    Ireland whilst neutral in the WW's did not really make capital. Probably becasue so many Micks fought on the Allied side anyway.
  5. Switzerland are the only sovereign country not to be a member of the UN
  6. Ireland was only neutral in WW2, even though a lot of their lads joined up. In WW1 it was still part of the British Empire.

    I would imagine countries declare neutrality in the same way you keep out of a pub fight - just stay away from the protagonists. It's respected only insofar as there's no advantage to either side in violating it. Look at Belgium. If you must.
  7. Sweden wasn't neutral at all. They fought with the germans and Switzerland wasn't neutral, too. They shot german planes flying across their territory.
  8. Good point. Why didn't the Germans just goosestep over the Alps and help themselves to all those lovely safe deposit boxes and gold laden vaults?

    They had embassies in other nominally neutral European countries that they could use to communicate with 'enemy' emabssies. Although, having said that, the bit at the beginning of Battle of Britain where the British and German ambassadors sip tea wouldn't have been quite as good if they'd been speaking Portugese.
  9. IIRC they also shot down Allied planes and I seem to remember reading somewhere that there were cases of Swiss border guards returning Allied PoWs to the Germans after they had crossed the frontier...
  10. Generally if you read into WW2 histories, everyone who was neutral was more neutral towards one side or the other.
    e.g. the Swedes provided the Germans with a lot of their steel requirements
    e.g. the Dublin Fire Brigade being sent up north during the blitz and a deliberate lack of enthusiasm in pursuing allied PWs or Soldiers from the Irish army who went AWOL to enlist in the British Army.
    Also the practice adopted later on of returning all allied aircraft that landed more or less intact on Irish soil.
  11. From memory the Swiss threatened to blow up the Alpine tunnels, making occupation more of a hassle than it was worth.
  12. Praise to Allah, - sussed in two posts :oops:

    I meant for example, how come Belgium or Holland didn't declare as a neutral prior to WW2, Spain and Switzerland did and kept themselves relatively out of it, could France have done the same thing, I doubt it.
  13. IIRC the Swedes also provided us with ball bearings that were quite vital to our war effort. Some civvy airline operated mosquitos' on this route.
  14. IIRC I have seen a documentary where Italian and perhaps Greek Jew deportation trains were routed through Switzerland. Also the Swiss were not really supportive of escaping Allied PWs, after all they could have made that fence slightly lower so Steve McQueen could have jumped over it!
  15. Just because you declare yourself neutral doesn't mean that the nasty men just go away.

    Belgium and Holland both declared themselves neutral before WW2, but they were in the way so the Germans went straight through them. That's why the Maginot Line stopped where it did, that's why the British and French weren't already in Belgium when the Germans invaded, and it's probably one of the reasons that we got spanked while moving up into the pre-planned defensive positions.

    Spain wasn't in the way, and Switzerland promised (as mentioned above) to blow up the Alp tunnels, making it more bother than it was worth to capture.

    It's like a pub fight; if you're standing quietly at the pool table between the Rangers and Celtic fans, you can either join in on one side or the other, get malleted as they sweep towards you, step smartly to one side and get the hell out of it, or offer something to pay them off. Belgium and Holland were the ones asking nicely if anyone had seen their pint, Sweden offered steel, Spain sent a few troops then drifted out the fire exit and Switzerland stood there looking hard and daring them to try anything.