Military Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2018-07-01

The Swedish Home Guard

Introduction

The Home Guard was formally established on May 29, 1940, during World War II as a voluntary local defense service. The plan was to established a Home Guard force of 50,000 volunteer soldiers. However, there was a great interest in the Home Guard and they soon numbered 100,000 soldiers. The Home Guard was composed of local volunteers of otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those too young or too old (47+) to be drafted the armed services. Their role was to act as a secondary defense force. The Home Guard were to try to slow down the advance of the enemy, even by a few hours in order to give the regular troops time to regroup. The first Commander of the Swedish Home Guard was Colonel Gustaf Petri (1940 - 1947). There were a shortage of uniforms for the Home Guard and older military uniforms were initially used. The very first soldiers of the Home Guard were wearing civilian clothes with armlet m/1911 which was composed of the branch insignia of the predecessor to the Home Guard, the Landstorm. The image to the right shown the Landstorm armlet m/1911. Additional voluntary forces, such as the Lotta Corps (Women’s Army Corps ( Women's Voluntary Defense Service)), helped with additional tasks that the Home Unit was unable to perform themselves, for example cooking service and medical treatment. The Swedish name of this corps is Lottakåren. Also the Red Cross collaborated with the Home Guard. An important task of Home Guard during the Cold War was to guard and watch over the many mobilization depots around the country. The Home Guard was to secure and defend these depots in case of a mobilization so that the called up men could safely be equipped, armed  and uniformed. The Home Guard continued to grow and in 1980 the guard counted 120,000 men and women. The equipment and arms were improved over the years. The first Marine Home Guard units were established in 1985. The Home Guard is equipped with their of military vehicles. The image to the right shows soldiers of the Home Guard wearing uniform m/1941. The soldier in the center, in front of the others, is wearing three stripes on the lower part of his sleeves which denotes that he is the Platoon Commander (Sergeant). The soldier on his right side is wearing two stripes which is the insignia for Team Commander (Corporal). Photo: Arsenalen Museum, Photo Archives, Strängnäs, 2017.  The image to the left shows the Home Guard branch insignia m/1940 worn on the left upper sleeve. The Home Guard of Today The National Home Guard - National Security Forces (Swedish: Hemvärnet – De nationella skyddsstyrkorna) is today a military reserve force of the Swedish Army. As such they are an important unit of the national defense forces. The personnel in the Home Guard are made up of locally recruited volunteers and consists largely of experienced soldiers and officers with a background in mission-based units. In addition, the Home Guard also includes a large proportion of specialists, for example, paramedics, motorcycle orderlies and dog handlers, that are recruited and trained by voluntary defense organizations. Some units of the National Home Guard located near the coast also have marine companies equipped with Combat Boat 90. The main tasks of the Home Guard are as follows: Guarding/protection of infrastructure that is most vital for Sweden's total defense such as power supplies, command and communication systems, communications and other installations to prevent sabotage. Guarding/protection of important installations such as airfields and naval bases against sabotage. Guarding/protection of ammunition and mobilization depots and sensitive entry points against sabotage. Assistance in incident preparedness, surveillance of territory and in civilian disaster/rescue readiness. The platoon is the normal combat unit. The companies are formed by the platoons, as are the battalions by the companies. The units are spread all over the country and today there are approximately 70 battalions consisting of approx. 300 companies. Every battalion has or will have at least one emergency/alert platoon with very high readiness, good training and efficient equipment. Territorial surveillance, base security, escort duties, transport protection, target identification and artillery spotting are other typical Home Guard duties. Rapid Response units have more combat tasks compared to the rest of the Home Guard. The units of the Home Guard have a response capability that is measured in hours, as opposed to days or weeks. When the Armed Forces are called in to help with forest fires, flooding or missing person searches, it often falls to Home Guard units to support the police and Rescue Services. See also: Uniforms of the Swedish National Home Guard

Source References

1. The Swedish National encyclopedia 2. The Swedish Armed Forces 3. The Swedish National Home Guard Top of page
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Military Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2018-07-01

The Swedish Home

Guard

Introduction

The Home Guard was formally established on May 29, 1940, during World War II as a voluntary local defense service. The plan was to established a Home Guard force of 50,000 volunteer soldiers. However, there was a great interest in the Home Guard and they soon numbered 100,000 soldiers. The Home Guard was composed of local volunteers of otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those too young or too old (47+) to be drafted the armed services. Their role was to act as a secondary defense force. The Home Guard were to try to slow down the advance of the enemy, even by a few hours in order to give the regular troops time to regroup. The first Commander of the Swedish Home Guard was Colonel Gustaf Petri (1940 - 1947). There were a shortage of uniforms for the Home Guard and older military uniforms were initially used. The very first soldiers of the Home Guard were wearing civilian clothes with armlet m/1911 which was composed of the branch insignia of the predecessor to the Home Guard, the Landstorm. The image to the right shown the Landstorm armlet m/1911. Additional voluntary forces, such as the Lotta Corps  (Women’s Army Corps ( Women's Voluntary Defense Service)), helped with additional tasks that the Home Unit was unable to perform themselves, for example cooking service and medical treatment. The Swedish name of this corps is Lottakåren. Also the Red Cross collaborated with the Home Guard. An important task of Home Guard during the Cold War was to guard and watch over the many mobilization depots around the country. The Home Guard was to secure and defend these depots in case of a mobilization so that the called up men could safely be equipped, armed  and uniformed. The Home Guard continued to grow and in 1980 the guard counted 120,000 men and women. The equipment and arms were improved over the years. The first Marine Home Guard units were established in 1985. The Home Guard is equipped with their of military vehicles. The image to the right shows soldiers of the Home Guard wearing uniform m/1941. The soldier in the center, in front of the others, is wearing three stripes on the lower part of his sleeves which denotes that he is the Platoon Commander (Sergeant). The soldier on his right side is wearing two stripes which is the insignia for Team Commander (Corporal). Photo: Arsenalen Museum, Photo Archives, Strängnäs, 2017.  The image to the left shows the Home Guard branch insignia m/1940 worn on the left upper sleeve. The Home Guard of Today The National Home Guard - National Security Forces (Swedish: Hemvärnet – De nationella skyddsstyrkorna) is today a military reserve force of the Swedish Army. As such they are an important unit of the national defense forces. The personnel in the Home Guard are made up of locally recruited volunteers and consists largely of experienced soldiers and officers with a background in mission-based units. In addition, the Home Guard also includes a large proportion of specialists, for example, paramedics, motorcycle orderlies and dog handlers, that are recruited and trained by voluntary defense organizations. Some units of the National Home Guard located near the coast also have marine companies equipped with Combat Boat 90. The main tasks of the Home Guard are as follows: Guarding/protection of infrastructure that is most vital for Sweden's total defense such as power supplies, command and communication systems, communications and other installations to prevent sabotage. Guarding/protection of important installations such as airfields and naval bases against sabotage. Guarding/protection of ammunition and mobilization depots and sensitive entry points against sabotage. Assistance in incident preparedness, surveillance of territory and in civilian disaster/rescue readiness. The platoon is the normal combat unit. The companies are formed by the platoons, as are the battalions by the companies. The units are spread all over the country and today there are approximately 70 battalions consisting of approx. 300 companies. Every battalion has or will have at least one emergency/alert platoon with very high readiness, good training and efficient equipment. Territorial surveillance, base security, escort duties, transport protection, target identification and artillery spotting are other typical Home Guard duties. Rapid Response units have more combat tasks compared to the rest of the Home Guard. The units of the Home Guard have a response capability that is measured in hours, as opposed to days or weeks. When the Armed Forces are called in to help with forest fires, flooding or missing person searches, it often falls to Home Guard units to support the police and Rescue Services. See also: Uniforms of the Swedish National Home Guard

Source References

1. The Swedish National encyclopedia 2. The Swedish Armed Forces 3. The Swedish National Home Guard Top of page