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Encyclopedia > Henri Guisan
Henri Guisan (monument at Avenches)
Henri Guisan (monument at Avenches)
Equestrian statue of Henri Guisan, in Lausanne, Switzerland
Equestrian statue of Henri Guisan, in Lausanne, Switzerland

Henri Guisan (21 October 1874 - 7 April 1960) was the most recent General of the Swiss army, as Commander in Chief during World War II, and probably Switzerland's most famous soldier. Image File history File links Henri_guisan2. ... Image File history File links Henri_guisan2. ... Avenches is a commune in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, seat of the district with the same name. ... Image File history File links Henri_guisan. ... Image File history File links Henri_guisan. ... October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 71 days remaining. ... 1874 (MDCCCLXXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Military of Switzerland On May 18, 2003, Swiss voters approved the military reform project Army XXI that will drastically reduce the size of the Swiss Army. ... A Commander-in-Chief is the commander of a nations military forces or significant element of those forces. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead...


He is best remembered for effectively mobilizing the Swiss army and Swiss people in order to prepare resistance against a possible invasion by Nazi Germany in 1940. Map of a planned German invasion of Switzerland during World War II (12 August 1940) Map of a planned Italian invasion of Switzerland during World War II (12 August 1940) Nazi Germany started planning the invasion of Switzerland during World War II on 25 June 1940, the day France surrendered. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ...


Henri Guisan was born in 1874 in Mézières, in the canton of Vaud, a Protestant part of French-speaking Switzerland. He was the descendant of Huguenot Protestants who emigrated from France in 1685. He attended school in Lausanne, and initially studied agricultural medicine. Upon entering the Swiss military in 1894, he was assigned to a horse-drawn artillery unit in Biere as a Lieutenant. He was promoted several times, reaching the rank of Colonel in 1920. Mézières is a municipality in the district of Oron of the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. ... The Canton of Vaud is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland located in the southwestern part of the country. ... Protestantism is one of three main groups within Christianity. ... In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name of Huguenots came to apply to members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, historically known as the French Calvinists. ... Lausanne is a city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, situated on the shores of Lake Geneva (French: Lac Léman), and facing Évian-les-Bains (France) and with the Jura hills to its north. ... 1894 (MDCCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ...

Contents

Defense of the nation

The field of Rütli where Guisan delivered his address to the entire Swiss Officer Corps.
The field of Rütli where Guisan delivered his address to the entire Swiss Officer Corps.

On August 28, 1939, the Swiss Federal Assembly was called in order to elect a General, a rank only chosen in time of war or national emergency. On August 30, 1939, Guisan was elected as General, by 204 votes out of a total of 227 valid votes.[1] He was given the directive to safeguard the independence of the country and to maintain the integrity of the Swiss territory. In 1939 the Swiss military could muster 430,000 troops, approximately 20% of the work force. However, Swiss military equipment was not on a par with that of the German military.[2] Image File history File linksMetadata Ruetli01. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Ruetli01. ... Photo from Seelisberg of Rütli Rütli is a mountain meadow near Urnersee in Seelisberg where the legendary oath of the Rütlischwur first occurred. ... August 28 is the 240th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (241st in leap years), with 125 days remaining. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


On July 25, 1940, General Guisan delivered a historic address to the entire Swiss Officer Corps assembled on the hallowed ground of Rütli, where the first oath of the Swiss Confederation, the Rütlischwur, was sworn in 1291. July 25 is the 206th day (207th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 159 days remaining. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Photo from Seelisberg of Rütli Rütli is a mountain meadow near Urnersee in Seelisberg where the legendary oath of the Rütlischwur first occurred. ... Oath on the Rütli, Henry Fuseli, 1780 The Rütlischwur is a legendary oath of the Old Swiss Confederacy, best known by the Wilhelm Tell drama of 1804 by Friedrich Schiller. ... For broader historical context, see 1290s and 13th century. ...


He made it very clear that Switzerland would resist any Nazi invasion. If they ran out of bullets they were to resort to the bayonet. He said that Switzerland would defend itself against any invader and would never surrender.[3] The Swiss government had a decentralised structure, so even the Federal President was a relatively powerless official with no authority to surrender the country. Indeed, Swiss citizens had been instructed to regard any surrender broadcast as enemy lies and resist to the end.


As a consequence, General Guisan developed his famous "Reduit Concept" in summer 1940, according to which the Swiss Army would have retreated into the Alps relatively soon if attacked, but would have kept up resistance based on some sort of guerilla tactics from there. The main strategy, however, was deterrence rather than fighting. Even though tiny Switzerland had an army of only 430,000 men, Germany never risked invasion. On August 20, 1945, General Guisan left his command, considering his mission was fulfilled. He died on April 7, 1960. Commonly, the réduit is a fortified defense structure which is used in order that the defending troops can survive and hold out an attack. ... The West face of the Petit Dru above the Chamonix valley near the Mer de Glace. ... August 20 is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1945 (MCMVL) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ...


Notes and references

  1. ^ Resultate der Wahlen des Bundesrats, der Bundeskanzler und des Generals (PDF), compiled by the services of the Swiss Parliament.
  2. ^ Edgar Bonjour, Neutralität, Bd. IV, 1970, p. 379 quoted after Independent Commission of Experts Switzerland - World War II, final report, German edition, p. 92.
  3. ^ http://www.thingsworthhaving.com/mot-books/book/972557202.html

PDF is an abbreviation with several meanings: Portable Document Format Post-doctoral fellowship Probability density function There also is an electronic design automation company named PDF Solutions. ...

See Also

Map of a planned German invasion of Switzerland during World War II (12 August 1940) Map of a planned Italian invasion of Switzerland during World War II (12 August 1940) Nazi Germany started planning the invasion of Switzerland during World War II on 25 June 1940, the day France surrendered. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... During both World War I and World War II, Switzerland managed to keep a stance of armed neutrality, and was not involved militarily. ...

External links

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Henri Guisan

 
 

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