People from Middle Europe - The Swiss, some Germans, the poor bastards stuck up in the Alps in Italy  - are seriously bad-ass.
The assorted varieties of Germans, once they got their stuff squared away at the end of the 19th century, took on the entire world, not once, but twice. The Swiss are known for their banking laws and complicated knives because they were so freakin' scary that the rest of Europe ganged up on them and forbade them from exporting their mercenaries.
Those guys are so bad-ass because as children not only do they get Santa Claus rewarding the good boys and girls with treats but also a monster who travels with Santa Claus and beats the bad children with sticks.
Be good or I'll smash your head in.
This is the kind of thing that will create really tough scary obedient children able to run really awesome banks and build cuckoo clocks and also really tough scary obedient children who will think nothing of climbing into a tank to make a quick run at Russia or France 'just once more, for old time's sake.'
 Including my wife's family. Yeah - I just thought they were a bunch of jolly sort-of-Italians yuking it up in the Alps. I had no idea.