A ban on the transport of these newspapers was imposed, since the printing of newspapers was protected in the Swedish constitution. There were indications that the bans imposed on the communist newspapers had served their political purposes by impressing the Germans, whilst at the same time not really restricting the work of the media. Perhaps the most important aspect of Sweden's concessions to Germany during the Second World War was the extensive export of iron ore for use in the German weapons industry , reaching ten million tons per year. The Swedish neutrality policy meant that the government could not interfere with the trade.
As Germany's preparations for war became more apparent and the risk of another war became obvious, international interest in Swedish iron ore increased. At the time, British intelligence had estimated that German industry relied heavily on Swedish iron ore and a decrease or halt in Swedish ore exports could have a disastrous effect on Germany's military efforts. This is a contentious view that has been debated in the aftermath of the war. Given that Britain had been unable to prevent the successful invasion by Nazi Germany of both France and Norway, the Swedish government was not convinced that the British could protect them and opted to continue exports.
The iron ore provided much needed gold bullion, food and coal from Germany. These shipments were attacked by British aircraft and submarines in the Atlantic and North Sea and by Soviet submarines in the Baltic. About 70 vessels were sunk and sailors lost their lives.
This was a choice made by individual Swedish citizens, contrary to Swedish government policy. With a blockade of the Skagerrak straits between Norway and the northern tip of Denmark, the Swedish merchant navy found itself physically divided. The vessels that were inside the Baltic Sea traded goods with Germany during the war, whilst the greater number of vessels was leased to the Allies for convoy shipping. Approximately 1, Swedish sailors perished during the war, mostly victims of mines and U-Boat attacks. German merchant raiders , too, would stop and capture or destroy Swedish vessels carrying cargoes for allies.
For example, this was the fate of MVs Trolleholm and Sir Ernest Cassel , both destroyed by German auxiliary cruiser Thor ; the same Thor also accidentally collided with HM Bothnia in the fog while carrying cargoes for Germany causing it to sink. Sweden made efforts to help the Allied Forces.
From May , a large part of the Swedish merchant navy that found itself outside the Baltic, totalling about 8, seamen, was leased to Britain. The traffic was encrypted with Germany's Geheimschreiber device, but the cypher code was broken by Swedish mathematics professor Arne Beurling  in early summer and the results from this espionage were sent to the Allies through the Polish resistance movement. When the German battleship Bismarck embarked on her voyage to attack the Atlantic convoys, Swedish intelligence informed the British of her departure from port.
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Swedish businessmen and diplomats were also actively spying for the Allies, in Berlin and in the occupied territories. In , as the Allies were planning to liberate Denmark and Norway, the United States wanted Sweden to co-operate in this action. After Denmark had been liberated, Sweden was to assist the Allies in the invasion of Norway. This proved to be unnecessary, but US planes were allowed to use Swedish military bases during the liberation of Norway, from spring to , and the Allies were also collaborating with the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service.
Sweden had also set up a series of training camps along the Norwegian border for the Norwegian resistance movement. Toward the end of the war Swedish intelligence cooperated with US air transport in relief efforts directed toward areas liberated by the Red Army. Such claims, however, use a different definition of the word "neutral" from that defined in the Hague convention , which set out the rights and duties of belligerents and neutral countries. At least seven of the internees committed suicide at their camp in the village of Rinkaby , rather than allowing themselves to be sent by Sweden to near certain death in the Soviet Union.
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This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. German Reich. Areas under German occupation. German allies, co-belligerents and puppet states. Allied -held territories. Other neutral territories. Sweden during World War II. Military operations affecting Sweden. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. June Main article: Sweden and the Winter War. Franco-British support was offered on the condition it was given free passage through neutral Norway and Sweden instead of taking the road from the Soviet-occupied Petsamo.
Main article: Midsummer crisis. See also: Project Big Ben. Svensk can mean both Swedish and Swede while tiger could be read as either the animal or keeps his mouth shut , giving the poster this double meaning: A Swedish tiger and A Swede keeps his mouth shut — comparable to Loose lips sink ships. The tiger's stripes are in the Swedish national colors. Part of a series on the.
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Great Power. Emerging Great Power — Swedish Empire — Age of Liberty — Age of Absolutism — Military history of Sweden Economic history of Sweden. Further information: Swedish extradition of Baltic soldiers. Helsingin Sanomat in Finnish. Ny Teknik in Swedish.
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May Svenska Dagbladet in Swedish. City: Regeringskansliet. Statens offentliga utredningar, Stockholm: Fritzes offentliga publikationer, Archived from the original on 9 December Manchester University Press. Lejdtrafik och kvarstad in Swedish. Expressen in Swedish. Retrieved 24 July Per Olov Enquist. Delacorte Press, History of World War II by region and country.
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The distance between these two, at least at the ideological level, became so great that the communists often referred to the social democrats as "the social fascists". Apart from a period termed "the vacation government" Sw: semesterregeringen between June 19 and September 28, , Per Albin Hansson was to be the Prime Minister of Sweden until his death in Sweden had very few tanks in the inter-war era. This was a design based upon a German First World War tank and had been secretly purchased by Sweden in the form of tractor assembly kits.
This required the purchase of their main piece of military hardware, tanks. Already at an early stage, it was clear to us that if we simply chose the cannon-equipped tanks, we could have at most 15—20 of them. To make sure training at the battalion level would be possible, machine gun -equipped tanks were purchased as well.
By , Sweden had 48 Czechoslovakian -built tanks with machine gun armament and about 20 Stridsvagn L tanks armed with a 20mm main gun. The Swedish army had been organized into four divisions since the s, with the regiments of northern Norrland and Gotland standing as separate units. This was outdated, and in , a new military organization was adopted. During World War II, Swedish industry had to supply an increased share of its own domestic goods owing to the British blockade of the North Sea , whilst satisfying the vastly increased demand for armaments.
Sweden's long-standing policy of neutrality was tested on many occasions during the s. The challenges came from a strongly rejuvenated, nationalistic Germany. From until , Sweden had been an active supporter of the League of Nations and most of Sweden's political energy in the international arena had been directed towards the preservation of the League of Nations.
Related Schweden während des Zweiten Weltkrieges (German Edition)
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