Category: war

Sweden fought in its last war in 1814, and Switzerland fought in its last war in 1815. So although Swiss neutrality is more famous, Sweden’s neutrality is older.

For those interested, Sweden’s last military action was an invasion to force Norway under Swedish control. Switzerland’s was fighting on Napoleon’s side until Waterloo.

Neither Sweden nor Switzerland participated in either world war, and today, neither are members of NATO.

The land ceded was relatively small. Still, it was a big change for the people living there! They woke up one day and were suddenly French citizens

Technically, the Taiwan Republic was the first independent republic in Asia. The Republic of Formosa was established on May 25th, 1895. However, on May 29th, 1895, a Japanese military force of over 12,000 soldiers landed in Northern Taiwan and turned Taiwan into a Japanese colony.

“Kleptomania” and “kleptocracy” come from the same Greek word,

kléptein, “to steal.” Another descendant of 
kléptein

is
Kléftis.

In modern Greek, Kléftis
were highwaymen turned self-appointed anti-Ottoman insurgents. They were descendants of
Greeks who retreated into the mountains during the 1400s after the Ottomans conquered the Greek-speaking world, and they maintained a war of harassment against the Ottomans until the 1800s and Greek’s independence. Being an insurgent was a family tradition!

During Word War II, the Imperial Japanese Navy used Kaiten submarines, which were the torpedo equivalent to kamikaze pilots. Kaiten subarines were manned torpedoes that would engage in suicide attacks on enemy ships.

They were relatively ineffective and there are only three confirmed successful kaiten attacks in the Pacific theater.

Couple in Penn Station sharing farewell kiss before he ships off to war during WWII, 1943. Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt-LIFE.

In 1529, it looked like Switzerland would fall into war between its Protestant and Catholics. Similar religious wars, both small and large, were raging across Europe.

Switzerland’s cantons were divided by religion. To the north was the Protestant-favouring canton of Zürich, led by Martin Luther-like reformer Ulrich Zwingli, a parish overseer who was spreading reform. To the south was Zug and the allied Catholic cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy, who felt their rural union should remain aligned with the Vatican and Rome. In June of 1529 diplomacy failed and the Zürich soldiers marched south to fight.

When the armies met, negotiations between the leadership continued. Meanwhile the soldiers in both armies were hungry, and Zürich had plenty of bread and salt, while Zug had a surplus of milk from its farms. They pooled their resources to make a simple soup of milk and bread. The men who ate together would not fight against each other, and no fighting would happen that year. And the legend of the miltschuppe was born. Even today, politicians in Switzerland share miltschuppe to (symbolically) help resolve disagreements.

In World War I, the German navy disguised one of their ships as a British ship, the RMS Carmania, and sent it to ambush British vessels. Unfortunately for the Germans, the very first British ship she encountered was the real RMS Carmania. Who promptly sank its doppelganger.

Before World War II, that is.

Answer

In German East Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania) during World War I, soldiers painted this pony to resemble one of the local zebras so it could be tethered in the open without being shot. The Imperial War Museum adds, “Two white ponies behind anxiously await their makeovers.”