Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Switzerland is ready to become a post-apocalpytic fortress

So during the second World War, the Swiss began booby-trapping themselves in the event that neutrality didn't pan out. The Cold War did nothing to slow them down and now the country is rigged to become a self-contained bunker, says BLDG BLOG. An excerpt:

To interrupt the utility of bridges, tunnels, highways, railroads, Switzerland has established three thousand points of demolition. That is the number officially printed. It has been suggested to me that to approximate a true figure a reader ought to multiply by two. Where a highway bridge crosses a railroad, a segment of the bridge is programmed to drop on the railroad. Primacord fuses are built into the bridge. Hidden artillery is in place on either side, set to prevent the enemy from clearing or repairing the damage...


Near the German border of Switzerland, every railroad and highway tunnel has been prepared to pinch shut explosively. Nearby mountains have been made so porous that whole divisions can fit inside them. There are weapons and soldiers under barns. There are cannons inside pretty houses. Where Swiss highways happen to run on narrow ground between the edges of lakes and to the bottoms of cliffs, man-made rockslides are ready to slide...
This is where it gets really interesting:
McPhee points to small moments of "fake stonework, concealing the artillery behind it," that dot Switzerland's Alpine geology, little doors that will pop open to reveal internal cannons and blast the country's roads to smithereens. Later, passing under a mountain bridge, McPhee notices "small steel doors in one pier" hinting that the bridge "was ready to blow. It had been superceded, however, by an even higher bridge, which leaped through the sky above—a part of the new road to Simplon. In an extreme emergency, the midspan of the new bridge would no doubt drop on the old one."
Describing titanic underground fortresses—"networks of tunnels, caverns, bunkers, and surface installations, each spread through many tens of square miles"—McPhee briefly relates the story of a military reconnaissance mission on which he was able to tag along, involving a hydroelectric power station built inside a mountain, accessible by ladders and stairs; the battalion tasked with climbing down into it thus learns "that if a company of soldiers had to do it they could climb the mountain on the inside."
I'd say Switzerland would make for one exciting Gamma-strain campaign! I wonder if there's any old WWII maps out there to make use of. Lots of hidden weaponry and sealed bunkers to pick at, and of course explosives hidden everywhere. And the lot of it defended by mutant ibexmen. Then when the PCs get close to their goal, the Under-Alps 9000 Megafort implodes!

Oh, another idea stuck me: it's been suggested that Switzerland was the basis for the peaceful planet of Alderaan in Star Wars. Imagine if they'd sucked themselves into a wormhole planetary escape hatch a split second before the Death Star's green beam of doom vaporized their planet as a fail safe from Imperial invasion or destruction. Somewhere the planet still exists, booby trapped to the brim--on the other side of the galaxy....

Via Boing Boing.

1 comment:

  1. Even if the Alderaanians were forced to go to hyperspace from any of ten thousand points on the planet's surface (and some of those buildings look halfway to being starships already)--METAL.

    As are the Swiss. They don't futz around.