Swiss Army Night Maneuvers


Jeeps in a 1955 Newsreel Film

This two-minute newsreel, narrated in German, shows a cross-country Jeep rally in Thun, Switzerland on 12 February 1955, with 150 three-person teams of military personnel covering a 160 km course overnight.

Translation of the narration:

"150 teams of three, among them 18 Women's Service groups, have competed in the 4th Motor Sports competition in Thun. At nightfall, the Jeeps start the extremely difficult test in snowy terrain. In a well-defined average time, the individual stops are reached, where always new, surprising tasks are assigned.

"Here, the driver has to search for a new target while his two companions with hand grenades must hit a dimly lit rectangle. The Women's Service now do other tasks. The reunited crew uses terrain sketches to find their new route at night, a route that demands high-speed driving on icy terrain.

"A new test: The compass march, which here is being undertaken by the mixed crew of the Swiss television service. The compass pointer leads the slowly groping teams to the shooting range, where the Women have their own questions to solve, while their comrades aim at briefly lit targets.

"And again and again, new maps announce new tests in the light of flashlights. The whole route is over 160 kilometers. Finally the frozen Gürbe is crossed, and the goal finally beckons. All have gone through the heavy competition with the highest zeal. The winners are a Zurich officer team."

Video courtesy of the Swiss Federal Archives.
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Last updated 5 January 2019 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
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