Published in 1983, the book paints an inspiring picture of the Swiss Army and Switzerland’s strategy of defense – the Swiss “aptitude for war”. They have combined their country’s topographic barriers with careful planning to “prevent war with a price of entry that is too high.” McPhee calls it the “Porcupine Principle”.
To interrupt the unity of bridges, tunnels, highways, railroads, Switzerland has established three thousand points of demolition. That is the number officially printed. It has been suggested to me that to approximate a true figure a reader ought to multiple by two. Where a highway bridge crosses a railroad, a segment of the bridge is programmed to drop on the railroad. Primacord fuses are built into the bridge. Hidden artillery is in place on either side, set to prevent the enemy from clearing or repairing the damage. All purposes included, concealed and stationary artillery probably number upward of twelve thousand guns… Every railroad and highway tunnel has been prepared to pinch shut explosively. Nearby mountains have been made so porous that whole divisions can fit inside them. There are weapons and soldiers under barns. There are cannons inside pretty houses. Where Swiss highways happen to run on narrow ground between the edges of lakes and the bottoms of cliffs, man-made rockslides area ready to slide.