Sweden in WWII?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    What if Germany had decided to take on Sweden in WWII, when would it have happened, where and how?

    In April '40 the Swedish army was consisted by 600.000 men, not including the homeguard or any other auxilary units.

    What we helped Finland with in the Winter War;

    •135,402 rifles, 347 machine guns, 450 light machine guns with 50,013,300 rounds of small arms ammunition;
    •144 field guns, 100 anti aircraft guns and 92 anti-armour guns with 301,846 shells;
    •300 sea mines and 500 depth-charges;
    •17 fighter aircraft, 5 light bombers and 3 reconnaissance aircraft.

    We would have kept to ourself...

    We didn't have many tanks, they ranged from 37mm to 75mm and the arillery from 84mm to 210mm. Can't find any numbers yet...

    As for the airforce, Gladiators, Fiat CR.42's and Reggiane's among other outdated types.

    "In 1936, the Swedish government started augmenting its military preparedness as the international situation worsened. Military spending went from $37 million in 1936, to $50 million in 1937, to $58.575 million in 1938, and then increased over fivefold to $322.325 million in 1939."
     
  2. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    I believe I've read somewhere that Hitler actually intended to invade Sweden after successful completion of operation "Barbarossa", that is in spring 1942.
     
  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    And we all know that it didn't pan out...!

    I've always thought that he'd would have a crack at us just after Denmark and Norway myself....but then, he was busy with the Sealion thingy.
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Had Sweden not supported Finland, how would that have impacted the Winter War?
     
  5. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Lucky
    At least some 40mm Bofors guns sent to Finland belonged to Swedish volunteer force and some of them returned to Sweden after Winter War, Finns might have bought some of them as well some of the 37mm A/T guns which Sweden had loaned for duration of the Winter War, some of the 37mm A/T guns had bought by Finns during the war.
    The a/c of F19 returned to Sweden. Excluding of course the losses IIRC 3 Gladiators Mk I and 3 Harts.

    Sweden had fairly large navy but mostly obsolete. And the main attack coming from Norway that would not have helped much.

    Summer 1940

    Air force
    53 Junkers Ju 86
    11 Heinkel He 114B
    12 Heinkel He 115A-2
    34 Fokker C VE
    64 Dougla 8A-1
    55 Seversky EP-106 (P-35)
    13 Gloster Gladiator

    Tanks
    48 Czech CKD AH-IV and 15 Strv m/38

    Juha
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Greetings Juha!

    You forgot the 72 J 11, Italian CR.42's bought from Italy. We had I think 53 J 8 Gladiators, from '41 we received 60 Re.2000 I's, I think that the right number for the B 5's (Northrop 8A-1's) is 103, the Caproni Ca.313 is missing too, 98....

    Writing from memory though....:oops:
     
  7. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #7 Juha, Sep 7, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
    Hello Lucky
    I didn't forget, as I wrote, summer 40. Those are planes in combat units. I took the numbers from Tarnstrom's The Sword of Scandinavia, maybe not the best source, but IIRC Sweden ordered J11s when US began confiscate planes ordered by Sweden, so it is well possible that they were not at service summer 40. IIRC Douglas, Douglas had bought Northrop's firm, were still in license production in Sweden in summer 40, so some were not produced by then.

    Fiat, Reggiane and Caprione are incl in spring 42 table

    Juha
     
  8. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Sweden was not strategically important. Norway and Denmark were due to the North Sea coastline which needed to be secure for transport of vital iron ore from Sweden to the Reich. And ballbearings. And Absolut. And flat pack furniture from Ikea in delicate pastel shades.

    Actually the last time I was in Stockholm the place looked like it had been invaded by the Finnish, probably without asking politely first. :D
     
  9. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    :oops: Sorry Juha. :oops:

    The Caproni was at F7 from '40.

    80 Caproni Ca 313Ss served with the Swedish air force between 1940 and 1946.
    30 as dive bombers, B 16A, between 1940-43, of which 26 were converted into reconniassance aircraft, S 16A, of which there was a total of 66 which served until 1945.
    16 were used as torpedo bombers, T 16A, between 1941-42, later converted into reconnaissance, S 16B, serving from 1942 until 1945.
    Two converted S 16A served as transports, Tp 16A, until 1946.


    The Re.2000 arrived first in mid '41.

    Got my Swedish Airforce book with my parents in Sweden, so I can't check for specific dates. So far I'm using this one...
    The Swedish air force 1926-
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #10 parsifal, Sep 7, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
    High Lucky

    Not sure if the Swedes were completely devoid of tanks either. The first Swedish Tank was completed in 1921 and was named the Stridsvagn M/21. They were similar in design and appearance to late war (WWI) german tanks, and came in male and female versions. In 1929 they were re-engined with more powerful engines (uprated from 55HP to 85 HP).

    Throughout the '20s the Swedes imported British Carden Lloyd Tankwttes and French NC-27 Renault tanks.

    In 1929 the Landsverk company was formed. Their first tracked vehicle was the L-5, followed by the L-10, which was purchased by the Swedish Army under the designation m/31. There then followed a series of mixed tack/wheeled designs. L-30, L-60 (not adopted by Sweden, but sold to other countries, and licence produced by Hungary). These were followed by the L-100 and L-101 ( which I have no data on).

    In 1938 came the first definitve design. It was the STRV-38, or m/38. It was followed by the m/39. It had an armament of an 8mm mg and a 37 mm gun. In 1941 came the STRV-40, STRV-41 and STRV-42, and its derivatives. It was the first tank manufactured in large numbers and in modified forms, remained in service with the Swedish army until the '70s. It was a very good design by all account and was adopted in large numbers by the Swedes.

    There were only 16 m/38s produced, and all other tanks before that were in similar limited production. The first big orders did not arrive until the m/41, which began delivery in June 1941. So in a sense you are right....Sweden had no substantial tank force to support her army. She did, however possess substantial numbers of Bofors 37mm ATGs

    The photo is of the m-38. For its time it was an advanced design. main armament was the 37 Bofors ATG. It also had an 8mm MG
     

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  11. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Parsifal
    Sweden also has a very good tank museum, most of the tanks used by Swedish Army are there. I visited it once but that was before I got digicamera, so I have only old fashion film photos on them.

    Juha

    Ps I wrote down what tanks Swedish had in summer 40 in message #5
     
  12. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't fancy taking on Sweden if I were the Germans. Attacking through all those hills with pretty well equiped army that knows the ground like the back of its hand with good numbers of anti tank guns and mortars

    Tanks would be of limited value, Art guns also limited but Howitzers would be effective, even the airforce would have a limited effect.

    It would be a lot of effort for a very limited benefit
     
  13. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I was just reading Conways All The World's Fighting Ship and I think the one thing Germany would have found attractive in Sweden would have been their Navy and merchant fleet.

    Location wise, don't really see the benefit except for securing the boarders.
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Only if they could have gotten the navy to surrender instead of scuttle. Or if the Navy had fought. IF the Germans don't get the Navy intact their isn't much point.

    And even then what do the Germans get?

    THe Three big coast defence ships aren't suited at all to the Atlantic. Coast bombardment against the Russians?

    2 Cruisers of under 5,000tons, slow and short ranged. Not much help against the Royal navy.

    A few Destroyers (small) a dozen or so submarines (also small).

    The Merchant fleet might be a better atraction but since the Germans couldn't use their own merchant fleet what is the point of adding more ships?

    As long as Sweden continued to trade with Germany (supply the iron ore,etc) what is the advantage in attacking?
     
  15. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Agreed, I believe Sweden was more valuable to Germany this way as well.
     
  16. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Good question....why was then plans made anyway? :confused:
     
  17. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Maybe since the German blockade of the North Sea severely hurt trade and every shipment out of Sweden had to be negotiated with British and German Authorities, German thought that Sweden was becoming of less importance, just a thought......
    :D
     
  18. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Plans were made because Hitler wanted time to time occupy Sweden, IIRC trice. The first time was in spring 42. Then Sweden had most of the Italian planes, which Lucky mentioned in message #6, in service as well most of the Douglas 8A-1s built in license in Sweden

    They also had got more tanks, the 1st Tank battalion had got its 16th and last Strv m/38 and they had formed a new tank battalion , the 2nd which had 84 Strv m/40Ls

    Juha
     
  19. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello B-17
    Sweden was very important to Germany and especially to Hitler because of Kiiruna iron ore pits and because of its ball bearing industry.

    Juha
     
  20. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Oh, okay, I was just reading about it in a book I have recently read, now I'm forgetting :oops: and I would think it would get frustrating for my trade to be regulated, so to speak, by Britain and having a blockade.

    Thanks for the information though!!
     
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