The last groundpounder in Liechtenstein


Herr Kieber, late of the Royal Liechtenstein Army, shown hanging around Schlosses Vaduz in 1935, aged 91. Note the Schutzenschnur cord award for rifle marksmanship. The medal? That’s for the 1866 War, of course. Photo via Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum

The tiny principality of Liechtenstein, cuddled between Austria and Switzerland, today has a population of about 37,000 and has always been one of the smallest modern nations since its inception. With alliances going back to the old Holy Roman Empire, the country was smushed up by Napoleon into the Confederation of the Rhine and later became part of the 38-member German Confederation in the 19th Century after he was sent to Elba. Membership in the latter forced the principality to form its own military force, by terms of the confederation.

Garrisoned at Vaduz Castle, they drilled on its grounds and mounted regular guard duty. With a national population of just 6,000 souls…

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