Switzerland has attacked Liechtenstein 3 times by mistake

On December 5, 1985, the Swiss Army was conducting a training exercise which included the use of surface-to-air missiles. The weather was not good and a strong wind was blowing but the Swiss continued anyway. The missiles went straight to a forest in Liechtenstein. Now Liechtenstein is heavily forested, add to that the strong wind and a massive fire broke out in their forest. Fortunately there were no causalities. There was a diplomatic chaos for some time about the intention of the “attack” and Swiss had to eventually pay millions of Swiss francs in compensation for the environmental outrage.

Came October 13, 1992 and Swiss Army cadets received written instructions to set up an observation post in Treisenberg. That’s a small, picturesque village with a population of about 2,564 people.The only problem was that the Swiss officials and cadets forgot that Treisenberg was a part of another country, yes Liechtenstein. Cadets came to know about it only when the locals asked curiously what they were doing there. The other amusing part is that the Swiss army which had come on an army maneuver otherwise had no ammunition with them, yes just the weapons. The Liechtenstein government learned about the invasion only when Swiss government officially apologized. The response from the government was,”That’s fine, nobody really realized it”.

Then came March 1, 2007. On that fateful day Swiss Army infantry soldiers went on training maneuvers on a rainy dark night. As they were moving ahead a heavy downpour gave them company. But they kept moving. In the morning they came to know that they were no longer in Switzerland and were few miles into Liechtenstein territory. Needless to say they retreated as soon as they realized the mistake. Liechtenstein government again did not realize they were “attacked” unless they were officially told and apologized to.

In Swiss defense, Swiss nationals tend to view Liechtenstein as their 27th state. Besides there is no border guards or something. By agreement, Switzerland is responsible for Liechtenstein’s security and also has the power to represent the latter in some diplomatic situations.