Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Invading Liechtenstein

Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein
No American Invasion
Liechtenstein is one of only three countries in the world that has never been invaded by or militarily involved  with Americans.  The other two that Americans have missed, as you can read about in our new book America Invades (www.americainvades.com), are Andorra and Bhutan.

Liechtenstein makes beautiful stamps
Liechtenstein is a tiny European state sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland.  The Principality of Liechtenstein abolished its small army in 1868.  Liechtenstein today is a prosperous little nation in the heart of Europe.
Thomas Tileston Wells (1865 - 1946)
Liechtenstein remained neutral during both World Wars.  Thomas Tileston Wells, my maternal great grandfather, paid a brief visit to Liechtenstein with his family in the summer of 1914 as World War I was about to break out.  In his An Adventure in 1914 Wells wrote...

Original Schaan-Vaduz Bahnhof
Seen by Wells in 1914
"When we left Zurich we went right through in the train to Innsbruck in the Tyrol.  On our way we passed the picturesque lake of Wallensee, surrounded by high mountains, and then crossed the Rhine into the little principality of Liechtenstein, and as the train stopped for a few minutes near he capital, Schaan-Vaduz, we got out to be able to say that we had been in that country.  This little state has no taxes as its Prince personally pays all the expenses.  He has vast estates and generally lives in Vienna."
Train, Buchs, Switzerland
The story of Wells' amazing journey through a Europe that was about to explode into war, An Adventure in 1914 will be edited by me and published for the first time in 2016 -- seventy years after the death of its author.
Coming October 2015!
Italians Invaded Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein may have avoided the ravages of two World Wars and never been militarily involved with Americans but the territory of Liechtenstein HAS been invaded.  In our new book, Italy Invades: How Italians Conquered the World we discuss several invasions of Liechtenstein...

"When the Romans arrived in the area of what is now Liechtenstein, they found a people called the Raeti living there. Now, it is possible that the Raeti were the first invaders of Liechtenstein with Italian links, since Pliny describes them as being originally Etruscans driven into the area by Gallic pressure. Modern archaeology has suggested links between parts of Raetia and Etruria, though in the farther northern areas of Raetia, these may have been restricted more to trade links and cultural influence.
Roman Legionnaires
Great North Museum, Newcastle, UK
P. Silius Nerva defeated the Raeti in a battle in 16 BC. Then things got even worse for the Raeti on the independence front, when Drusus the Elder and Tiberius conquered and occupied the whole region, including the little bit that’s now Liechtenstein. They eventually created a province they called, not very imaginatively, Raetia.

Roman rule did not bring total security to the area. For instance, the Marcomanni swept into Raetia, causing havoc in the second century AD; and in the third and fourth centuries, the Alamanni would repeatedly invade the area. The Romans would constantly clash with them and try to expel them, but in the end, the Alamanni would settle the entire area in the fifth century.

At various times after that, soldiers with Italian connections did enter Liechtenstein. Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland border Liechtenstein to the south. In 1499, at the Battle of Triesen, the forces of the Three Leagues, an entity including some Italian-Swiss regions, were among those that defeating the troops of the Hapsburgs and the Swabian League.
Marshal Massena
Musee de l"Armee, Paris
And, in the early nineteenth century, the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor with the Italian heritage, also occupied Liechtenstein. Their commander was one General Masséna, a man born near Nice in an area that had been frequently a subject of dispute between France and Italian powers. Masséna had joined the French army’s Royal Italian Regiment in 1775, then became an officer in the revolutionary government’s Army of Italy.

The army of Liechtenstein was abolished in 1868. It’s worth pointing, however, out that on some slightly bizarre level, Liechtenstein can claim to be the last extant bit of the Holy Roman Empire. The prince of Liechtenstein and his successors were made princes of the Holy Roman Empire, and while the empire is gone, they live on."  (Coming in October 2015...www.italyinvades.com).


America Invades Liechtenstein!
I had the great pleasure of launching an all too brief personal "invasion" of Liechtenstein this summer on a rail tour that traced the footsteps of my great grandfather.  I stayed at the charming Park Hotel Sonnenhof in Vaduz (http://www.sonnenhof.li/en/index.html).  The staff was very helpful and the restaurant was top notch.  I even had a chance to meet with a reporter from Liechtenstein's Vaterland newspaper (http://www.vaterland.li/)!
Looking for Clues in Liechtenstein!
Kelly / Laycock with Emperor Trajan

Many thanks to Stefano Dal Cin of the Vaterland and the gracious staff of the Park-Hotel Sonnenhof hotel in Vaduz.
Vaduz Vineyard
You can purchase a copy of America Invades here...www.americainvades.com
or on Amazon...www.amzn.com/1940598427

Order your copy of Italy Invades here on...www.italyinvades.com 
or on Amazon.com...www.amzn.com/1940598729

For the Ultimate Italy Invades Gift Package please visit...
http://store.italyinvades.com/products/italy-invades-gift-package

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