A neutral country is a state which is neutral towards belligerents in a specific war, or holds itself as permanently neutral in all future conflicts (including avoiding entering into military alliances such as NATO). As a type of non-combatant status, neutral nationals enjoy protection under the law of war from belligerent actions, to a greater extent than other non-combatants such as enemy civilians and prisoners of war.
Different countries interpret their neutrality differently. Some, such as Costa Rica, have demilitarized; whereas Switzerland holds to "armed neutrality" in which it deters aggression with a sizeable military, while barring itself from foreign deployment. Not all neutral countries avoid any foreign deployment or alliances, however, as Austria, Ireland, Finland and Sweden have active UN peacekeeping forces and a political alliance within the European Union. The traditional Swedish policy is not to participate in military alliances, with the intention of staying neutral in the case of war. Immediately before World War II, the Nordic countries stated their neutrality, but Sweden changed its position to that of non-belligerent at the start of the Winter War.
A neutral power must intern belligerent troops who reach its territory, but not escaped prisoners of war. Belligerent armies may not recruit neutral citizens, but they may go abroad to enlist. Belligerent armies' personnel and material may not be transported across neutral territory, but the wounded may be. A neutral power may supply communication facilities to belligerents, but not war material, although it need not prevent export of such material.
Belligerent naval vessels may use neutral ports for a maximum of 24 hours, though neutrals may impose different restrictions. Exceptions are to make repairs—only the minimum necessary to put back to sea—or if an opposing belligerent's vessel is already in port, in which case it must have a 24-hour head start. A prize ship captured by a belligerent in the territorial waters of a neutral power must be surrendered by the belligerent to the neutral, which must intern its crew.
Neutrality has been recognised in different ways, and sometimes involves a formal guarantor. For example, Austria has its neutrality guaranteed by its four former occupying powers, Switzerland by the signatories of the Congress of Vienna and Finland by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The form of recognition varies, often by bilateral treaty (Finland), multilateral treaty (Austria) or a UN declaration (Turkmenistan). These treaties can in some ways be forced on a country (Austria's neutrality was insisted upon by the Soviet Union) but in other cases it is an active policy of the country concerned to respond to a geopolitical situation (Ireland in the Second World War).
For the country concerned, the policy is usually codified beyond the treaty itself. Austria and Japan codify their neutrality in their constitutions, but they do so with different levels of detail. Some details of neutrality are left to be interpreted by the government while others are explicitly stated, for example Austria may not host any foreign bases and Japan cannot participate in foreign wars. Yet Sweden, lacking formal codification, was more flexible during the Second World War in allowing troops to pass through its territory.
Armed neutrality is the posture of a state or group of states that has no alliance with either side in a war, but asserts that it will defend itself against resulting incursions from any party. This may include:
Sweden and Switzerland are, independent of each other, famed for their armed neutrality, which they maintained throughout both World War I and World War II. The Swiss and the Swedes each have a long history of neutrality: they have not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and 1814, respectively. They pursue, however, active foreign policies and are frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. According to Edwin Reischauer, "To be neutral you must be ready to be highly militarized, like Switzerland or Sweden."
In contrast, other neutral states may abandon military power (examples of states doing this include Costa Rica and Liechtenstein) or reduce it, but rather uses it for the express purpose of home defence and the maintenance of its neutrality. But the lack of a military does not result in neutrality as countries such as Iceland replaced a standing military with a military guarantee from a stronger power.
The phrase "armed neutrality" sometimes refers specifically to one of the "Leagues of Armed Neutrality".
For many states, such as Ireland and Sweden, neutrality does not mean the absence of any foreign interventionism. Peacekeeping missions for the United Nations are seen as intertwined with it. The Swiss electorate rejected a 1994 proposal to join UN peacekeeping operations. Despite this, 23 Swiss observers and police have been deployed around the world in UN projects.
The legitimacy of whether some states are as neutral as they claim has been questioned in some circles, although this depends largely on a state's interpretation of its form of neutrality.
There are five members of the European Union that still describe themselves as a neutral country in some form: Austria, Ireland, Finland, Malta and Sweden. With the development of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy, the extent to which they are, or should be, neutral is debated. For example, former Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen, on 5 July 2006, stated that Finland was no longer neutral:
Mr Pflüger described Finland as neutral. I must correct him on that: Finland is a member of the EU. We were at one time a politically neutral country, during the time of the Iron Curtain. Now we are a member of the Union, part of this community of values, which has a common policy and, moreover, a common foreign policy.
However, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila on 5 December 2017 still described the country as "militarily non-aligned" and that it should remain so. Ireland, which sought guarantees for its neutrality in EU treaties, argues that its neutrality does not mean that Ireland should avoid engagement in international affairs such as peacekeeping operations.
Since the enactment of the Lisbon Treaty, EU members are bound by TEU, Article 42.7, which obliges states to assist a fellow member that is the victim of armed aggression. It accords "an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in [other member states'] power" but would "not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States" (neutral policies), allowing members to respond with non-military aid.
With the launch of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defence at the end of 2017, the EU's activity on military matters has increased. The policy was designed to be inclusive and allows for states to opt in or out of specific forms of military cooperation. That has allowed most of the neutral states to participate, but opinions still vary. Some members of the Irish Parliament considered Ireland's joining PESCO as an abandonment of neutrality. It was passed with the government arguing that its opt-in nature allowed Ireland to "join elements of PESCO that were beneficial such as counter-terrorism, cyber security and peace keeping... what we are not going to be doing is buying aircraft carriers and fighter jets". Malta, as of December 2017, is the only neutral state not to participate in PESCO. The Maltese government argued that it was going to wait and see how PESCO develops to see whether it would compromise Maltese neutrality.
The neutrality of Moldova is an interesting case. According to Ion Marandici, Moldova has chosen neutrality in order to avoid Russian security schemes and Russian military presence on its territory. Even if the country is constitutionally neutral, some researchers argue that de facto this former Soviet republic never was neutral, because parts of the Russian 14th army are present at Bendery. The same author suggests that one solution in order to avoid unnecessary contradictions and deepen at the same time the relations with NATO would be "to interpret the concept of permanent neutrality in a flexible manner".
|"Neutrality is a negative word. It does not express what America ought to feel. We are not trying to keep out of trouble; we are trying to preserve the foundations on which peace may be rebuilt.”|
|— Woodrow Wilson|
Many countries made neutrality declarations during World War II. However, of the European states closest to the war, only Andorra, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (with Liechtenstein), and Vatican (the Holy See) remained neutral to the end.
Their fulfillment to the letter of the rules of neutrality have been questioned: Ireland supplied important secret information to the Allies; for instance, the date of D-Day was decided on the basis of incoming Atlantic weather information, some of it supplied by Ireland but kept from Germany. as Axis or Allied pilots who crash landed in Ireland were interned.
Sweden and Switzerland, surrounded by possessions and allies of Nazi Germany similarly made concessions to Nazi requests as well as to Allied requests. Sweden was also involved in intelligence operations with the Allies, including listening stations in Sweden and espionage in Germany. Spain also pursued a policy of "non-alignment" though a Spanish volunteer combat division aided the Nazi war effort. Portugal officially stayed neutral, but actively supported both the Allies by providing overseas naval bases, and Germany by selling tungsten.
The United States was initially neutral and bound by the Neutrality Acts of 1936 not to sell war materiels to belligerents. Once war broke out, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt persuaded Congress to replace the act with the Cash and carry program that allowed the US to provide military aid to the allies, despite opposition from isolationist members.
Sweden also made concessions to the German Reich during the war to maintain its neutrality, the biggest concession was to let the 163rd German Infantry Division to be transferred from Norway to Finland by Swedish trains, to aid the Finns in the Continuation War. The decision caused a political "Midsummer Crisis" of 1941, about Sweden's neutrality.
Note: Some countries may occasionally claim to be "neutral" but not comply with the internationally agreed upon definition of neutrality as listed above.
|State||Period(s) of Neutrality||Notes|
|Austria||1920–1938 (after World War I to annexation by Germany)
1955–present (Declaration of Neutrality)
|Finland||1935–1939 (to Winter War)
1956–present (from return of Porkkala rental area)
|Related article: Finlandization
|State||Period(s) of Neutrality||Notes|
|Afghanistan||1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
1939–1945 (neutral during World War II)
|Albania||1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
1968 (attempted neutrality during the Prague Spring)
|Belgium||1839–1914 (to World War I)
1936–1940 (to World War II)
|Bhutan||1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
1939–1945 (neutral during World War II)
|Cambodia||1955–1970 (to Vietnam War)
|China||1904–1905 (neutral during the Russo-Japanese War)
|Denmark||1864–1940 (after Second Schleswig War to World War II)|
|Estonia||1938–1939 (to World War II)|
|Ethiopian Empire||1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)||
|Hungary||1956 (attempted neutrality during the Hungarian Revolution)|
|Persia||1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)||
|Kingdom of Italy||1914–1915 (to World War I)||
|Kingdom of Laos||1955–1975 (ostensibly neutral throughout the Vietnam War)||
|Latvia||1938–1939 (to World War II)|
|Lithuania||1939 (to World War II)|
|Luxembourg||1839–1914 (to World War I)
1920–1940 (to World War II)
|Netherlands||1839–1940 (to World War II)|
|Norway||1814–1940 (to World War II)||:Related article: The Neutral Ally
|Philippines||2010 (attempted neutrality during the Manila hostage crisis)||
|Portugal||1932–1945 (neutral during World War II)||
|South Korea||1954–1964 (to Vietnam War)
|Spain||1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
1940–1945 (neutral during World War II)
|Turkey||1940–1945 (neutral during World War II)||
|United States||1914–1917 (to World War I)
1939–1941 (to World War II)
|Ukraine||1990–2014 (to Ukrainian crisis)||
|Kingdom of Yugoslavia||1940–1941|
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The 1948 Winter Olympics, officially known as the V Olympic Winter Games (French: Les Ves Jeux olympiques d'hiver; German: Olympische Winterspiele 1948; Italian: V Giochi olimpici invernali; Romansh: Gieus olimpics d'enviern 1948), was a winter multi-sport event celebrated in 1948 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
The Games were the first to be celebrated after World War II; it had been 12 years since the last Winter Games in 1936. From the selection of a host city in a neutral country to the exclusion of Japan and Germany, the political atmosphere of the post-war world was inescapable during the Games. The organizing committee faced several challenges due to the lack of financial and human resources consumed by the war. These were the first of two winter Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Sigfrid Edström.
There were 28 nations that marched in the opening ceremonies on January 30, 1948. Nearly 670 athletes competed in 22 events in four sports. The Games also featured two demonstration sports: military patrol, which later became the biathlon, and winter pentathlon, which was discontinued after these Games. Notable performances were turned in by figure skaters Dick Button and Barbara Ann Scott and skier Henri Oreiller. Most of the athletic venues were already in existence from the first time St. Moritz hosted the Winter Games in 1928. All of the venues were outdoors, which meant the Games were heavily dependent on favorable weather conditions.Aero Portuguesa
The Aero Portuguesa (the AP, sometimes written Aero-Portuguesa, short names for the Sociedade Aero Portuguesa Lda. - Air Portuguese Society, Ltd.) was the first airline of Portugal with regular international services. It existed from 1934 to 1953, when its routes were integrated in the TAP service.
The AP was created with the main objective of providing a regular air connection between Portugal, Morocco and Brazil. The flights from Lisbon to Casablanca and Tangier started in 1934. The flights between Lisbon and Brazil started in 1936. There were also plans to establish routes between Lisbon, Madrid and Paris, between the Portuguese colonies of Guinea and Cape Verde and between the French Congo and the Portuguese colony of Angola, but the start of World War II didn't allow this.
During World War II, the AP gained the importance of being the only company of a neutral country to be authorized to fly to a belligerent territory. Because of this, the AP become the only way of communication of the allies with North Africa. These flights were used by many refugees from Europe, who were looking for refuge in Tangier. The AP route from Lisbon to Casablanca became world-famous for the movie Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
The AP was absorbed by TAP in 1953.Battle of Havana (1870)
The Battle of Havana on 9 November 1870 was a single ship action between the German gunboat Meteor and the French aviso Bouvet off the coast of Havana, Cuba during the Franco-Prussian War.
At 8 a.m. on November 7 the Meteor arrived in Havana harbour after leaving Nassau some days before. An hour later the French aviso Bouvet arrived from Martinique, steaming in from the opposite direction. The next day the French mail steamer SS Nouveau Monde left the harbour for Veracruz but was forced to return a few hours later due to fears that she would be captured by the Prussian gunboat. Later that day the Meteor's captain issued a formal challenge to the captain of the Bouvet to fight a battle the next day. The Bouvet accepted and steamed out of the harbour to wait for the Meteor. The Meteor had to wait 24 hours before it could meet the French vessel due to neutrality laws, since Spain was a neutral country during the conflict.
Upon the end of the 24-hour waiting period, the Meteor steamed out to meet the Bouvet which had been waiting 10 miles (16 km) off the border of the Cuban territorial sea. As soon as Meteor had passed the border line, Bouvet opened fire on the German gunboat. The battle came to an inconclusive end when the Bouvet, which had closed the range in an attempt to board the Meteor, suffered damage to a steam pipe which knocked out her propulsion and was forced to retreat into neutral waters under sail, whereupon she came under the protection of Spain once again. Neither ship was permanently disabled, mostly suffering damage to masts and rigging (the Bouvet's boilers and machinery remaining intact and functioning) and very few killed and injured on either side. The battle was not considered significant by commentators of the day.Bombings of Switzerland in World War II
Bombings of Switzerland in World War II consisted of initially sporadic bombing events that became more frequent during the later stage of World War II.Switzerland was a neutral country during World War II, but adjacent to and at times almost completely surrounded by Axis, or Axis-occupied, countries. On several occasions, Allied bombing raids hit targets in Switzerland resulting in fatalities and property damage. Such events led to diplomatic exchanges. While Allied forces explained the causes of violations as navigation errors, equipment failure, weather conditions, and pilots' errors, in Switzerland fear was expressed that some neutrality violations were intended to exert pressure on the country to end its economic cooperation with Nazi Germany. In addition to bombing raids, air attacks by individual fighter planes strafed Swiss targets toward the end of the war. The Swiss military, in turn, attacked Allied aircraft overflying Switzerland with fighters and anti-aircraft cannons.Carbon neutrality
Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal (often through carbon offsetting) or simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether (the transition to a "post-carbon economy"). It is used in the context of carbon dioxide-releasing processes associated with transportation, energy production, and industrial processes.
The best practice for organizations and individuals seeking carbon neutral status entails reducing and/or avoiding carbon emissions first so that only unavoidable emissions are offset or otherwise balanced out. Carbon neutral status can be achieved in two ways:
Balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon removal beyond natural processes, often through carbon offsetting, or the process of removing or sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make up for emissions elsewhere. Some carbon-neutral fuels work in much the same way by being made from carbon dioxide, either already offset or simply as part of natural processes, despite producing carbon emissions themselves. Much more extreme forms of carbon dioxide removal may also be used.
Simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether (the concept of the "post-carbon economy") through the use of renewable energy that does not produce carbon emissions at all (such as wind and solar power). Carbon projects and emissions trading are often used to reduce carbon emissions, and carbon dioxide can sometimes even be prevented from entering the atmosphere entirely (such as by carbon scrubbing).The concept may be extended to include other greenhouse gases measured in terms of their carbon dioxide equivalence. The phrase was the New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2006. The term "climate neutral" reflects the broader inclusiveness of other greenhouse gases in climate change, even if CO2 is the most abundant. The terms are used interchangeably throughout this article.Costa Rica
Costa Rica ( (listen); Spanish: [ˈkosta ˈrika]; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers (19,714 square miles). An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.The sovereign state of Costa Rica is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. It's known for its long-standing and stable democracy, and for its highly educated workforce, most of whom speak English. The country spends roughly 6.9% of its budget (2016) on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. Many foreign manufacturing and services companies operate in Costa Rica's Free Trade Zones (FTZ) where they benefit from investment and tax incentives.Costa Rica was facing a market liquidity crisis in 2017 due to a growing debt and budget deficit. By August 2017, the Treasury was having difficulty paying its obligations. Other challenges facing the country in its attempts to improve the economy by increasing foreign investment include a poor infrastructure and a need to improve public sector efficiency.Costa Rica was sparsely inhabited by indigenous peoples before coming under Spanish rule in the 16th century. It remained a peripheral colony of the empire until independence as part of the First Mexican Empire, followed by membership in the United Provinces of Central America, from which it formally declared independence in 1847. Since then, Costa Rica has remained among the most stable, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America. Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army.The country has consistently performed favorably in the Human Development Index (HDI), placing 69th in the world as of 2015, among the highest of any Latin American nation. It has also been cited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as having attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of the region.Costa Rica also has progressive environmental policies. It is the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. It was ranked 42nd in the world, and third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, and was twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation's (NEF) Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability, and was identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world in 2009. Costa Rica plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. By 2016, 98.1% of its electricity was generated from green sources particularly hydro, solar, geothermal and biomass.Dereliction of duty
Dereliction of duty is a specific offense under United States Code Title 10, Section 892, Article 92 and applies to all branches of the US military. A service member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties (or follow a given order) or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties. Such incapacitation includes the person falling asleep while on duty requiring wakefulness, his getting drunk or otherwise intoxicated and consequently being unable to perform his duties, shooting himself and thus being unable to perform any duty, or his vacating his post contrary to regulations. Article 92 also applies to service members whose acts or omissions rise to the level of criminally negligent behavior. The first such case charged occurred during World War II, when Army Air Force Lieutenants William Sincock and Theodore Balides were court-martialed for dereliction of duty when they mistakenly dropped bombs on Zürich, a city of Switzerland, which was a neutral country during that war. Both men were later acquitted.Espionage in Norway during World War I
Norway was a neutral country during World War I, but the country was subject to extensive espionage from both sides in the conflict.Foreign relations of Sweden
The foreign policy of Sweden is based on the premise that national security is best served by staying free of alliances in peacetime in order to remain a neutral country in the event of war. In 2002, Sweden revised its security doctrine. The security doctrine still states that "Sweden pursues a policy of non-participation in military alliances," but permits cooperation in response to threats against peace and security. The government also seeks to maintain Sweden's high standard of living. These two objectives require heavy expenditures for social welfare, defense spending at rates considered low by Western European standards (currently around 1.2% of GNP), and close attention to foreign trade opportunities and world economic cooperation.Iceland in World War II
At the beginning of World War II, Iceland was a sovereign kingdom in personal union with Denmark, with King Christian X as head of state. Iceland officially remained neutral throughout World War II. However, the British invaded Iceland on 10 May 1940. On 7 July 1941, the defence of Iceland was transferred from Britain to the United States, which was still a neutral country until five months later. On 17 June 1944, Iceland dissolved its union with Denmark and the Danish monarchy and declared itself a republic, which remains to this day.List of ambassadors of the United States to Portugal
This is a list of Ambassadors of the United States to Portugal.
Bilateral diplomatic relations between the United States and Portugal date from the earliest years of the United States. Following the Revolutionary War, Portugal was the first neutral country to recognize the United States. On February 21, 1791, President George Washington opened formal diplomatic relations, naming Col. David Humphreys as U.S. Minister Resident. Subsequent envoys were given the title Minister Plenipotentiary.National Forum (Georgia)
The National Forum (Georgian: ეროვნული ფორუმი, erovnuli p'orumi) is a political party in Georgia established on December 15, 2006 by the former diplomat Kakha Shartava. He is the son of Zhiuli Shartava, a Georgian politician in Abkhazia, killed by the Abkhaz militias during the secessionist war in the region in 1993. Several veteran politicians such as Revaz Shavishvili, Irakli Melashvili and Gubaz Sanikidze also joined the party.
Party political council of the organizational members are: Kakhaber Shartava, Gubaz Sanikidze, Revaz Shavishvili, Irakli Melashvili, Nodar Javakhishvili and Irakli Gobejishvili. A leading Party member was economic expert Niko Orvelashvili who died on 15 January 2010.
The party advocates a parliamentary republic as a form of government in Georgia. Unlike most other Georgian political parties, it does not support Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO, and argues Georgia should be a "neutral country." The National Forum was a member of the United Opposition alliance which staged mass anti-government demonstrations in November 2007 and ran on an opposition ticket in the parliamentary election in May 2008. For the 2012 elections it was part of the Georgian Dream alliance that won the election against United National Movement. On April 3, 2016 National Forum left coalition after party convention, majority of members voted to leave Georgian DreamNorwegian Armed Forces
The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret, "The Defence") is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Norway. It consists of four branches, the Norwegian Army, the Royal Norwegian Navy, which includes the Coast Guard, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and the Home Guard, as well as several joint departments.
The military force in peace time is around 16,048 personnel including military and civilian staff, and around 63,318 in total with the current military personnel, conscripts and the Norwegian Home Guard in full mobilization.
An organised military was first assembled in Norway in the 9th century and was early focused around naval warfare. The army was created in 1628 as part of Denmark–Norway, followed by two centuries of regular wars. A Norwegian military was established in 1814, but the military did not see combat until the German occupation of Norway in 1940. Norway abandoned its position as a neutral country in 1949 to become a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The Cold War saw a large build-up of air stations and military bases, especially in Northern Norway. Since the 2000s, the military has transformed from a focus on defence from an invasion to a mobile force for international missions. Among European NATO members, the military expenditure of US$7.2 billion is the highest per capita.Operation Pelikan
(German: Unternehmen Pelikan), also known as Projekt 14, was a German plan for crippling the Panama Canal during World War II. In mid-late 1943 the Wehrmacht had completed preparations to haul two Ju 87 Stukas with folding wings on two U-boats to an unnamed Colombian island near the coast of Panama, reassemble the planes, arm them with "special bombs", and then send them to attack the Gatun Dam. After completing the mission, the pilots would fly to a neutral country and seek internment. However, Germany called off the plan, for unknown reasons, at the last minute. Rumors among the Germans who planned the sabotage were that it had been called off due to betrayal.
Most of these types of plans involved acts of sabotage using agents in place and/or landed by U-boat.Outline of Switzerland
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Switzerland:
Switzerland – alpine country in Central Europe, located mostly in the Alps. Switzerland is the oldest neutral country in the world; it has not fought a foreign war since its neutrality was established by the Treaty of Paris in 1815. It is not a member of the European Union. Swiss icons include Switzerland's quality of life, its neutrality, the Swiss Alps, watches, yodeling, and chocolate.Portuguese-class trawler
The Portuguese-class trawlers of World War II were naval trawlers, built in Portugal for the Royal Navy.
These vessels were built in several Portuguese yards, and offered by Portugal to the Royal Navy. This aid to the British war effort solicited protests by Nazi Germany, since, officially, Portugal was a neutral country.
After the war the ships were sold, most of them becoming mercantile vessels, some under the Portuguese flag. The former HMT Product went to the Royal Hellenic Navy.Ruse de guerre
The French ruse de guerre, sometimes literally translated as ruse of war, is a non-uniform term; generally what is understood by "ruse of war" can be separated into two groups. The first classifies the phrase purely as an act of military deception against one's opponent; the second emphasizes acts against one's opponent by creative, clever, unorthodox means, sometimes involving force multipliers or superior knowledge. The term stratagem, from Ancient Greek strategema (στρατήγημα, "act of generalship") is also used in this sense.
Ruses de guerre are described from ancient to modern times, both in semi-mythical accounts such as the story of the Trojan Horse in Virgil's Aeneid, and in well-documented events such as the flying of the American flag by the RMS Lusitania in 1915 (whilst the United States was a neutral country) to deter attack by German submarines, and they also feature in fiction.
The term ruse de guerre is given legal meaning within the rules of war. Good faith is required, but at least 17 different types of ruse, including ambushes, false radio messages, the use of spies and the use of dummy guns, are considered legitimate as long as they do not involve treachery or perfidy. Landmines and similar traps can be considered perfidious under the rules in certain circumstances. Explicitly prohibited ruses under article 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 include improper use of a flag of truce or the military insignia of the enemy.Scottish Court in the Netherlands
The Scottish court in the Netherlands was a special sitting of the High Court of Justiciary set up under Scots law in a former United States Air Force base called Camp Zeist in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, for the trial of two Libyans charged with 270 counts of murder in connection with the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on 21 December 1988. A school on the former base was converted into a judicial court for the trial.