Swiss planned A-bomb
Sunday 16 April 1995
Classified memos and reports, made public for the first time, show that, for 18 years after the Second World War, senior Swiss army commanders and scientists actively studied Switzerland's nuclear capability with government approval.
In 1946, a government- appointed commission was ordered to examine the feasibility of a Swiss bomb. By 1958, while the Swiss were completing a network of bomb shelters, the army told the government that "the deployment of an atomic bomb for our army . . . is urgently necessary . . . . We need the atomic bomb.''
Extracts from the documents, published in the Swiss press, indicate that the military considered that an atomic weapon could be used inside Switzerland against an invading force. Its potential as a deterrent was also mentioned. In 1957, at a meeting of the country's defence commission, which included the then defence minister, Paul Chaudon, leading army officers said they feared a Switzerland without the bomb would be considered "the number one target for the Russians" since it was "well-known as an anti-communist bastion within Europe". Yet during this period the government publicly repeated Switzerland's neutrality.
By 1963, the army's chief of staff secretly recommended that more than 500 nuclear warheads of various kinds, ranging up to l00 kilotonnes, would be necessary for the country's defence. One option in his report included a stock of 30 one-megatonne bombs for retaliatory attacks on "demographic" targets "in enemy hinterland".
Plans to join the nuclear arms race were buried in 1964 as doubts grew over the cost.
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 3 Toby Sheldon: Justin Bieber lookalike found dead in motel room
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Nazi gold train: 'Significant' discovery made in Poland
Toby Sheldon: Justin Bieber lookalike found dead in motel room
Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Newborn baby dies after being attacked by rats in hospital
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing, ambitious, en...