Neutral Countries

#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
Spank-it said:
Serious Question:

How does a country declare itself to be neutral in a time of war, and why do the belligerents honour that agreement. ?
Not declaring war on either side is a good start and either having a relatively strong military or no useful resource helps too.
 
#3
Spank-it said:
Serious Question:

How does a country declare itself to be neutral in a time of war, and why do the belligerents honour that agreement. ?
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.
 
#6
exile1 said:
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.
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
D4rK said:
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.
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
D4rK said:
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.
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.
 
#12
BPS666 said:
Spank-it said:
Serious Question:

How does a country declare itself to be neutral in a time of war, and why do the belligerents honour that agreement. ?
You are 'Iamadinnerjacket' and I claim my crispy new five pound note!
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.
 
#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
Spank-it said:
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.
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.
 
#16
sjb615 said:
Switzerland are the only sovereign country not to be a member of the UN
However they still deploy some specailist troops to assist in some international missions e.g. helicopters for EUFOR in Bosnia.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Spain wasn't that neutral, they sent the Blue Division to fight on the Eastern Front.
 
#19
rockhoppercrab said:
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.

Must have been quite exciting!

BOAC
Between 1943 and the end of the war, Mosquitos were used as transport aircraft on a regular route over the North Sea between Leuchars in Scotland and Stockholm. Lockheed Hudsons and Lodestars were also used but these slower aircraft could only fly this route at night or in bad weather to avoid the risk of being shot down. During the long daylight hours of summer, the Mosquito was the only safe alternative.

Because Sweden was neutral, the aircraft carried civilian markings and were operated by crews who were nominally "civilian employees" of BOAC. They carried small, high value cargos such as precision ball bearings and machine-tool steel. Occasionally, important passengers were carried in an improvised cabin in the bomb bay, one notable passenger being the physicist Niels Bohr, who was evacuated from Stockholm in 1943 in an unarmed Mosquito sent by the RAF. The flight almost ended in tragedy as Bohr did not don his oxygen equipment as instructed, and passed out. He would have died had not the pilot, surmising from Bohr's lack of response to intercom communication that he had lost consciousness, descended to a lower altitude for the remainder of the flight. Bohr's comment was that he had slept like a baby for the entire flight.
 
#20
These days, Ireland is officially "non-aligned", not neutral, and the military can only be deployed around with UN approval. However, the fact that unlike Sweden and Switzerland, Ireland has a rather piddly defence force has not gone un-noticed in some Irish circles, resulting in a de-facto dependence on the UK, US or France for its defence and not true neutrality.

NTM
 

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