Invading Switzerland? Try after 5 PM or before 8 AM

(Photo: Ralf Manteufel)

Hitler considered invading Switzerland during World War II. But although the little confederation was surrounded by the Axis, it was fully prepared to fight. Germany decided that taking on the Swiss was too dangerous.

It has been a while since Switzerland faced a direct threat to its borders, so perhaps its national defenses have gotten a bit lax.

On Monday, the co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Rome hijacked his own plane and flew it to Geneva. He asked Swiss authorities for political asylum. The Swiss government instead plans to prosecute him.

During the hijacking, French and Italian fighter aircraft watched over the plane. But the Swiss Air Force did not because the hijacking took place outside of its normal office hours. Bloomberg News reports:

“You have a budget and you have to prioritize,” said Swiss Air Force spokesman Juerg Nussbaum. While Switzerland monitors airspace around the clock, intervention only occurs during routine business hours starting at 8 a.m., he said.

-via Marilyn Terrell

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