Thursday, October 11, 2007

Swiss Guns

I was going to include these thoughts in last nights post:

Rick Steve's Travels in Europe was on a couple nights ago, and he was in the Swiss Alps, in one of the Glacial Valleys they have....and he came upon a "curator" who showed him the museum guns of the cold war. All over these high altitude valleys the Swiss secretly built cold war redoubts...artillery emplacements, underground barracks, bomb shelters, hospitals, all in preparation for the grim day.

Now they show them to tourists, I guess, or at least Steve's got a personal showing...a barn made of camouflaged like wood concrete with an artillery canon in it!

The Travels in Europe show is fun to watch, but it's a bit sugary! Europeans seemed to be in denial about all the wars they've get passed them they make memorials and monuments which become tourist spots.

There's a building hereabouts with camouflaged wood concrete, the Awhanee Hotel, but it was made that way from the experience of the previous wooden hotels in the Valley, and much later Glacier Point, which were vulnerable to lightning strikes, and some burned down, so they built the whole thing out of concrete. Kinda disappointing...the beams inside look cool, but I have the impression of concrete overpass beams painted with Indian designs.

Institute of Noetic Sciences...the Kid's Channel, Discovery Kids is on, and they started out with Druids (this is the ghost show, earlier they were trekking in the arctic, a survival show) now it's remote viewers.

See if I can find a pic of the Swiss redoubts..brb

While looking I found Steve's script:

Rick: Fifteen thousand underground installations?
Fritz: Yes.
Fritz: This barn looks like many other ones in Switzerland, but this one hides a secret. Let's have a look inside.
Rick: Wow, look at this thing. What was this for? Why did they have this here?
Fritz: For World War II. It protected the fortress: the Alps.
Rick: Did it get used after WWII?
Fritz: Yes, it got updated over the last decades and has new technology in it.
Rick: So, actually, this gun works?
Fritz: This gun works.
Rick: Now, children could have grown up outside these doors and not known this gun was sitting here?
Fritz: Not only children. Generations were not aware what was in these buildings.
Rick: And this is not wood.
Fritz: No, it's solid concrete.
In this town, four innocent-looking hay barns conceal a network of tunnels connecting several big guns. With the end of the Cold War, many of these once top-secret sites are now open to the public as museums.
Rick: This is the gun we just saw?
Swiss Man: (Speaks in German.)
Rick: So, Fritz, from headquarters they would tell them what coordinates to set the gun on?
Fritz: Yes, they would put the coordinates into that calculator, and the gun gets adjusted.
A quick demonstration shows how the gun was prepped and loaded.
Rick: This is not just a museum piece — it feels like it could still work.
Fritz: Yes, if we had a live round, we could still fire it today.
And these wooden houses look cheery and vulnerable from the outside… but, like nearly all modern Swiss houses, Fritz's family home sits upon a no-nonsense concrete bomb shelter.
Fritz: This is the door to our bomb shelter.
Rick: Oh, man. How much must this weigh?
Fritz: A couple of thousand pounds — concrete and steel.
Rick: If you have a nuclear attack…
Both: You all run in here.
Swiss men are required to spend time in the military, including about 20 years in the reserve. And — like minutemen awaiting an invasion — they have their guns, gas masks, and ammo ready and waiting.
While the Swiss may be ready for war, they seem most at peace with nature.

And the pic is 19th century painting of the Eiger by:

Maximilien de Meuron

There's a lot of web sites about the Swiss and their war preparations. They could do in a natural disaster too. As a small nation it's possible for these preparations.

Preparations for a grim day can only be..grim..


Tree in the Door

Oct. 11, 2007

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