Saturday, March 03, 2007


Well, it might have if anyone had even noticed the 170 Swiss soldiers who had marched more than a mile into Liechtenstein. During a training exercise in the middle of the night, the Swiss infantry's GPS navigation unit failed, according to radio news reports. Although Liechtenstein has no army, they were still no match for the Swiss infantry which was heavily armed with assault rifles, but without a single bullet.

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.

According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers wandered just over a mile across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back.

A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.

"We've spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it's not a problem," Daniel Reist told The Associated Press.

Officials in Liechtenstein also played down the incident.

Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. "It's not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something," he said.

Liechtenstein, which has about 34,000 inhabitants and is slightly smaller than Washington DC, doesn't have an army.

"It was all so dark," one soldier told the Swiss newspaper Blick, the BBC said.

This wasn't the first time Switzerland has violated Liechtensteinian sovereignty, according to the BBC. Rockets fired by the Swiss Army went astray in 1985 setting the protected Bannwald forest ablaze and the two countries became embroiled in a lengthy dispute. Switzerland had to pay compensation to Liechtenstien for the damage done and the cost of fire suppression.

For want of a Swiss Army Knife w/compass, a large portion of the Swiss Army was lost. There is still a place for 'old school' low tech.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Anonymous said...

I think they should be forced to pay tribute in chocolate. I still havn't forgiven them for the Heidi Bowl!

Indigo Red said...

That was an especially aggregious episode. Though the Swiss were not directly to blame for the Heidi Game, they still have to take the blame for 'Heidi' and for that matter, 'The Sound of Music' which also had nothing to do with the game, but never the less...

For those of you not of U.S. origin or have been sleeping under a rock on Santa Catalina Island, the Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl "has gone down as one of the most infamous football games in American history. On November 17, 1968, a game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets was being televised on NBC-TV. When it was clear that the game was going to go into overtime, Dick Cline, then a broadcast operations supervisor at NBC, followed procedure, and gave the order to switch from the game to a scheduled broadcast of Heidi. Since the Jets were leading 32-29, at the time, it was believed that their victory was a safe bet.

"In fact, the Raiders came back to score two touchdowns in nine seconds, winning the game 43-32. Football fans were outraged and NBC, showing the final two minutes of the game on newscasts later that night, made a public apology. The game changed network policy, making it clear that no game would be preempted before completion. "If there was a Martian invasion, I think the league would understand," Fox Sports executive producer Ed Goren says."

Gayle said...

I'm not a fan, and so as far as the Heidi game is concerned, I've been hiding under a rock. LOL! But I can and do understand the consternation that would have caused to a multitude of fans. Thanks for the explanation.

Regarding your post, night-vision goggles may have helped too. Can you imagine a war starting because of an incident of troops in training getting lost? Wow! That's really sort of scary when you think how prone people are to making mistakes.