Why Switzerland Has 374,142 Bunkers (and likely more)

Hunting for Switzerland’s Hidden Mountain Fortresses
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I went to Switzerland to hunt for bunkers, something I’ve been planning and dreaming about for years. The result wasn’t just a wild trip through the mountains. It was an uncovering of something much deeper: the story of this peculiar country and the cost and benefits of choosing neutrality.

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Johnny Harris is an Emmy-winning journalist. He currently is based in Washington, DC, reporting on interesting trends and stories domestically and around the globe. Johnny’s visual style blends motion graphics with cinematic videography to create content that explains complex issues in relatable ways.

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Comment (42)

  1. Here in Singapore, we have similar "bunker-like" rooms called bomb shelters in every building. The purpose is similar to a bunker but instead, it's a small room (roughly 3m x 3m) made out of thick concrete and steel doors. We mainly use it for storage space

  2. Imagine being the unfortunate army to try and invade Switzerland, thinking you are moving into a quiet mountain village when suddenly the barns open fire with highly accurate 75mm artillery rounds.

  3. In my country India we never tries to build more bunkers rather than we make nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles and tryes to increase defense budget and do army enough strong that anyone never thinks to attack on you. Because making bunkers for 1.4 billion people it makes no sense.

  4. Sweden is just the same. We spent a good 100 years hollowing out mountains to hide inside. I am from an area where we are supposed to stop the russian advance. Every bridge over the river was built to be blown up.

  5. Question…
    How might these bunkers cope with nuclear attacks and fallout resulting from an all-out nuclear war on the European continent?

    These bunkers are, at best, suited to heavy shelling from WW2 guns or even some rockets (might not cope with MOAB, FOAB, or even Bunker Buster rockets used in 2nd Gulf War let alone a nuclear warhead).
    I personally believe Switzerland will have to completely revamp its bunker defences to meet the needs of the 21st Century World War at enormous costs far exceeding those spent on their older bunkers.
    Even being a neutral nation might not work because the fallout and the extinction level global climate change will affect Switzerland, whether it likes it or not.

  6. Hi, Johnny Harris, I wonder if I can give you an advice to chill a bit with camera shake and fast-paces frame switching. I am not sure that everyone is like this, but for me these segments where pictures stay on the screen for only several frames are uwatchable. I try to understand what is in the frame, focus and then it is switched to another and another and another, have to stop video alot. I think this fast frame switching does not add value to the video but only reduces it. Storytelling segments are great though.


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