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| || |Yes. This is my first post and I hope you'll cut me some slack.
I used to wargame a million years ago and Swiss Mercenaries were the ultimate troops.
In later years the Swiss acquired a reputation for being neutral.
Historically Swiss mercenaries were second only to the German Landsknecht ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landsknecht ) as elite troops.
My question is, do the Swiss still enjoy fighting?
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Sorry, but first of all do you need to get your facts right:
- Neutrality. Switzerland did not become neutral after the age of their mercenaries and definitely not in order to avoid conflict. You need to be neutral to supply mercenaries, otherwise you are considered part of a war. And that's bad for business. Being neutral also means that you can supply mercenaries to BOTH sides of a war, something that happened frequently during the high time of the "Reisläufer" and one of the reasons why the population did not support it in the end.
- The Swiss infantry was the role model that invented the strategies (for example the "Gewalthaufen") which the Landsknechte copied. The Germans later took over because they were cheaper and easily available in larger numbers. (... all just a little bit of history repeating...)
- The mercenaries made few people very rich, but brought poverty to many. So the Swiss abandoned it with the exception of the Swiss guards in Rome.
Do the Swiss like fighting?
All I know is that there is no other country
- where the kids shoot real military attack rifles as a competition (Zürich's Knabenschiessen)
- where every man has a rifle at home
- the biggest sport event is not football or another team sport, but wrestling. Here is a picture of the federal competitions. This "stadium" is a temporary structure just build up for the event!!!