Military Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2021-01-18

Armament

Designation System

The Swedish military designation system is as follows; Type of arms (often abbreviated) followed by a lower case “m” and a slash and the year when it first was adopted (two or four digits), for example, Kpist m/37. Kpist is short for “kulsprutepistol” (submachine gun) model m/37, i.e. adopted in 1937.

Rifle m/1896

Swedish name: Gevär m/96. At the outbreak of WWII, the majority of the Swedish infantry soldiers were armed with the rifle m/96. Rifle m/96 is a repeater, system Mauser, caliber 6,5 mm (6,5 × 55 mm) adopted by the Swedish armed forces in 1896. Initially, the rifles were acquired from Waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf, Germany, but thereafter manufactured in Sweden under license by Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna and by Husqvarna Vapenfabrik. The image to the right shows the Mauser rifle m/1896. Image: Armémuseum. The Swedish Mauser is a bolt-action rifle based on an improved variant of Mauser's earlier Model 1893, but using the 6.5 × 55mm cartridge, incorporating unique design elements as requested by Sweden. The family of Swedish Mauser rifles consists of the m/94 carbine, m/96 long rifle, m/38 short rifle, and m/41 sniper rifle. All Swedish Mauser rifles were chambered for the 6.5×55mm cartridge with a 5-round stripper clip, internal magazine. Between 1942 and 1944, Husqvarna Vapenfabrik manufactured about 88,000 of the 14 cm shorter rifle m/38. Further, between 1938 and 1940, Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori converted 55,000 rifles m/96 into m/38 short rifle. About 5,300 rifles m/96 selected for accuracy were rebuilt into sniper rifle m/41 fitted with telescopic sights between 1941 and 1944. Rifle m/1896 was equipped with a bayonet mount for knife bayonet m/1896. The rear sight of the m/96 was graduated for 6.5×55mm service cartridges from 300 to 2,000 m (328 to 2,187 yd) in 100 m (109 yd) increments. Rifle m/38 had a different rear sight, in three models, graduated from 250 to 600 m, 150 to 600 m, and 100 to 600 m.

Submachine guns

Swedish name: kulsprutepistol or simply kpist. A submachine gun (SMG), is a magazine-fed, automatic carbine designed to fire handgun cartridges. Submachine gun Kpist m/37 was the first submachine gun adopted by the Swedish armed forces and was a Swedish version of the Finnish submachine gun KP-31. After the First World War, submachine guns were developed in many countries. In the 1930s, Sweden began the rearming of its armed forces and submachine guns was a need. The submachine gun chosen was the Finnish KP-31 or M31. The Swedish Army used 9mm ammunition and the KP-31 was acquired in this caliber (9 x 20mm). The Swedish version of the submachine gun had a 56-round magazine. The submachine gun (SMG) was adopted in 1937 and designated Kpist m/37. About 35,000 m/37 were made under license by Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB just before and during World War II. In 1939, Sweden acquired about 1,800 SMGs of the type MP35 and 1,500 army pistols Walther HP (P38) from Germany. The ammunition used was also 9mm (9 x 19mm) and the submachine gun was designated Kpist m/39. In 1939, the m/37 submachine gun then was converted to the new type of ammunition (9 x 19mm) which was more powerful. The converted version of the m/37 SMG was designated Kpist m/37-39. The Kpist m/39 was a German submachine gun, Maschinenpistole 35/I. The Kpist m/39 was manufactured in two variants, with a 200mm standard or 320mm barrel. In 1945, the Swedish Army replaced all of the above-mentioned SMGs with the new Swedish submachine gun Kpist m/45. The image to the right shows a submachine gun m/39 with a long barrel. Photo: Armémuseum. Submachine gun m/45 Carl Gustaf (Kpist m/45) is a Swedish manufactured submachine gun 9 x 19mm adopted in 1945. It is a fully-automatic-only weapon without any option for semi-automatic fire. Single shots are also easy to achieve (with very little training) by letting go of the trigger before another round is cycled. It was manufactured at the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna, Sweden, and the m/45 was the standard submachine gun of the Swedish Army from 1945 to 1965. It was produced in three models; m/45, m/45B, and m/45C. The m/45B model features fixed magazine support, smaller holes in the barrel shroud, a strengthened bolt buffer (in the receiver-rear), and a hook securing the buffer cap in place. Early m/45B models had the same metal finish as the m/45 but most had a dull green lacquer finish. The m/45C is an m/45B with a bayonet mount on the barrel sleeve which was used for parade and guard duties. The Swedish Police used the m/45 as a reinforcement weapon. Unlike the military model, it was equipped with a selector switch for full auto or semi-auto fire. The police model designation was m/45BE. The Kpist m/45 was replaced in the Swedish Armed Forces during the mid-1960s with the 7.62mm AK 4 battle rifle, and starting in 1986 with the 5.56mm AK 5 assault rifle. In addition to Sweden, several other countries have used the weapon, with versions of the weapon being produced in Egypt and the United States. During the Vietnam War, the US Navy SEALs used the m/45 extensively. One of the gun's qualities that appealed to the US Navy was that the m/45 can fire almost immediately out of the water (over the beach). In US service it was largely known as the "Swedish-K" or "K-Rifle". The image to the right shows the SMG Kpist m/45B with the very reliable 36- round magazine. Image: Wikipedia.

Automatic Rifle m/42

Swedish name: Automatgevär m/42 (Ag m/42). The Ag m/42 was a semiautomatic rifle 6,5 mm (6,5 × 55 mm). The Ag m/42 was designed by Erik Eklund of the AB C.J. Ljungmans Verkstäder company of Malmö around 1941 and entered production at the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna in 1942. Some 30,000 rifles were manufactured in all for the Swedish Army. The Ag m/42 uses the 6.5×55mm cartridge loaded into a removable 10-round box magazine. In practice, however, the magazine usually remained attached to the rifle while it was loaded from the top with five-round stripper clips. The image to the right shows an Ag m/42. Photo: Gotlands försvarsmuseum and Wikipedia.

Machine Guns

Swedish name: Kulspruta or short Ksp. A machine gun (MG) is a heavy firearm used for suppressive automatic fire of rifle cartridges, usually attached to a mount or supported by a bipod. Depending on size, weight, and role, machine guns are divided into heavy, medium, and light machine guns. The ammunition is often belt-fed. Machine guns are designed to be mainly used as infantry support weapons and are used against infantry, low-flying aircraft, small boats, and lightly/unarmored land vehicles. Other automatic firearms such as assault rifles and automatic rifles are designed more for unleashing short bursts than for continuous fire and are not considered machine guns. Because they become very hot, the great majority of designs fire from an open bolt, to permit air cooling from the breech between bursts. Early machine guns were often water-cooled and while this technology was very effective, the water jackets also added considerable weight to an already bulky design. Light machine guns are designed to provide mobile fire support to a squad and are typically air- cooled weapons.

Machine Gun m/36

Swedish name: Kulspruta m/36 (Ksp m/36) . Kulspruta m/36 (Ksp m/36) is a water-cooled machine gun of a Browning type. It was foremost used as an infantry support weapon, caliber 6,5mm (6,5 × 55mm), mounted on a tripod. The m/36 is at large identical with the American MG Browning M1917. The m/36 was manufactured in two varieties; single- barreled and doubled-barreled. The double-barreled 8 mm MG was used as an anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on a gun carriage. The image to the right shows a Ksp m/36. Image: Arsenalen, Digitaltmuseum.

Machine Gun m/42

Swedish name: Kulspruta m/42 (Ksp m/42). Kulspruta m/42 (Ksp m/42) is an air-cooled machine gun of a Browning type. It is a heavily modified, license-built variant of the M1919A6 chambered in 6.5×55mm or 8×63mm patron m/32 and from 1975 in 7.62×51mm NATO. The Ksp m/42B is a lighter version with a distinctive bipod, shoulder stock (used in a similar way as the M1919A6), and a spade grip chambered in 6.5×55mm and later in 7.62×51mm which can be recognized in its corrosion-resistant green finish. It was foremost used as an infantry support weapon. The image to the right shows a Ksp m/42. Image: Armémuseum, Wikipedia.

Machine Gun 58

Swedish name: Kulspruta 58 or short Ksp 58 The Swedish Army adopted a new machine gun in 1958 designated Ksp 58. The machine gun is a Swedish variant of the Belgian FN MAG general-purpose machine gun that is currently being manufactured by the Swedish company Carl Gustav. The initial Ksp 58A version used by Sweden was chambered for 6.5×55mm, while the B and later models were chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO. The image to the right shows a Kulspruta 58 (Ksp 58) machine gun. Photo: Armémuseum, Wikipedia.

Mortars

Swedish name: Granatkastare or short Grk. A mortar is usually a simple, lightweight, man-portable, muzzle-loaded weapon, consisting of a smooth-bore (although some models use a rifled barrel) metal tube fixed to a base plate (to spread out the recoil) with a lightweight bipod mount and a sight. They launch explosive shells in high-arcing ballistic trajectories. Mortars are typically used as indirect fire weapons for close fire support with a variety of ammunition.

Mortar m/41 - 12cm

Swedish name: Granatkastare m/41 - 12cm. The Granatkastare m/41, originally manufactured in Finland by Tampella with the designation 120 Krh/40, is a mortar with the caliber12cm. The Finnish mortar was exported to Sweden between 1941 and 1944 and later produced under license in Sweden. The image to the right shows a Granatkastare m/41 – 12cm. Image: Wikipedia.

Related Links

Swedish military war units 1939 - 1945 Signals Intelligence - Crypto Department 1939 - 1945 Swedish military intelligence Norwegian and Danish police-troops established in Sweden during WWII Operation Save Denmark Swedish Volunteer Corps in Finland in 1940 Swedish regiments The organization of the Swedish armed forces in the 20th century - conscription Uniforms of the Swedish Army - the 1900s History of the Swedish Air Force Military Uniforms of the Swedish Women’s Voluntary Defense Service Service Uniforms of the Swedish Lotta Corps (Swe: Lottakåren) Aircraft Warning Service - Female Aircraft Observers, Sweden Swedish Voluntary Defense Services

Source References

Svenska försvarets hemsida: http://www.forsvarsmakten.se/sv/ Krigsmäns erinran, beredskapen 1939 - 1945, Åke Williams, 1989. Svenska arméns förband, skolor och staber, Björn Holmberg, 1993 Från Brunkeberg till Nordanvind, 500 år med svenskt infanteri av Bertil Nelsson, 1993 Beredskapsverket, AD. “Den svenska militära beredskapen 1937 - 1945”. Nationalencyklopedin Wikipedia Top of Page

Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle m/48

Swedish name: Granatgevär m/48 Carl Gustaf, (Grg m/48). A recoilless rifle, recoilless launcher or recoilless gun, sometimes abbreviated "RR" or "RCL" (for ReCoilLess)[1] is a type of lightweight artillery system or man-portable launcher that is designed to eject some form of countermass such as propellant gas from the rear of the weapon at the moment of firing, creating forward thrust that counteracts most of the weapon's recoil. The Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle m/48 is an 84-mm man-portable reusable anti-tank weapon produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics (formerly Bofors Anti-Armour AB) in Sweden introduced in 1946. In Sweden, it is officially called the Grg m/48 (Granatgevär – "grenade rifle", model 1948). The weapon was first introduced into Swedish service in 1948 as the 8,4 cm Grg m/48. The Carl Gustaf is a lightweight, low-cost weapon that uses a wide range of ammunition, which makes it extremely flexible and suitable for a wide variety of roles. The Gustaf was soon sold around the world and became one of the primary squad-level anti-tank weapons for many West European armies. The image to the right shows a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle m/48. Image: Wikipedia.

Bofors 37mm Antitank Gun m/38

Swedish namne: Bofors 37mm pansarvärnskanon (pvkan m/38) The Bofors 37 mm pansarvärnskanon (pvkan m/38) was an anti-tank gun designed by Swedish manufacturer Bofors in the early 1930s and adopted by the Swedish Armed Forces in 1838. It was exported to several countries during the 1930s. Licensed copies were produced in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Poland. The barrel was of monobloc type, with a semi-automatic vertical sliding breech block and a small muzzle brake. It was mounted on a split trail carriage that had suspension and metal wheels with rubber tires. To give the crew some protection from firearms and shell fragments, the gun was equipped with a 5 mm thick shield, with a folding lower plate. The Bofors gun saw combat for the first time in the Spanish Civil War, where it could easily pierce the armor of contemporary light tanks. Rate of fire: 12 rounds per minute. The image to the right shows a troop of Swedish infantry soldiers wearing uniform m/1939 at a Bofors 37mm pansarvärnskanon m/1938. Fordonsmuseet Arsenalen, Strängnäs. Photo, Hans Högman 2016.

Bofors 20mm Automatic Gun m/40

Swedish name: Bofors 20mm automatkanon m/40. The 20 mm automatkanon m/40 is an autocannon (automatic gun) with a caliber of 20mm made by Swedish Bofors. The weapon was intended as both an anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapon. It was chambered for a unique and quite powerful 20×145R cartridge and could fire at 360 rpm. On a wheeled AA mounting, it weighed 300 kg, on a low tripod for anti-tank use, it weighed 65 kg (the same gun was used in both installations, and could be switched between mountings). In anti-tank form, it was given the nickname "grasshopper" as it jumped about so much on firing. The ammunition feed consisted of an exposed 28-round rotary magazine above the gun, which in the AT mounting meant that the sights had to be fixed to the side. About 2,700 Bofors 20mm autocannon m/40 were produced for the Swedish army. It was also fitted to about forty PB m/31 armored cars and to fixed AA and "combination" mountings. AT = Antitank and AA = Anti-aircraft. The image shows a Bofors 20 mm automatic gun m/40 on a wheeled AA mounting m/40. Image: Armémuseum.

Bofors 40mm Anti-Aircraft Autocannon Lvakan m/36

Swedish name: Bofors 40mm automatkanon lvakan m/36. The Bofors 40 mm gun, often referred to simply as the Bofors gun, is an anti-aircraft autocannon designed in the 1930s by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors. It was one of the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft systems during World War II. The Bofors gun was adopted by the Swedish Armed Forces in 1936, hence the designation m/36. Most forces referred to it as the "Bofors 40 mm L/60". The Swedish Navy adopted the weapon as the m/36 in hand-worked single air-cooled, and power operated twin water-cooled version. A twin air-cooled mounting, was also used by the Swedish Navy. Variants: 40 mm lvakan m/36 – single barreled 40 mm lvakan m/40 – twin variant 40 mm lvakan m/36-43 – twin variant for lvkv m/43. Specifications: Caliber 40 mm Rate of fire 240 round/min, later 300 round/min Muzzle velocity 1005 - 1025 m/s depending of ammo Maximum firing range: 12,500 m The image shows a twin Bofors 40 mm lvakan m/40, aboard the Swedish Cruiser HMS Tre Kronor. Image: Wikipedia. In the post-war era, the original design was not suitable for action against jet-powered aircraft, so Bofors introduced a new model of significantly more power, the 40 mm L/70, designated 40 mm lvakan m/48 in Sweden.

Sweden’s Military Preparedness 1939 - 1945

Introduction

When World War II broke out on 1 September 1945, about twenty European countries declared themselves as neutral states, among these states were Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. Out of the initial 20 European neutral states, only seven managed to hold their neutral status during WWII, among them Sweden. Sweden wasn’t at war 1939 - 1945, but the war nevertheless had a great effect on the population of Sweden. Rationing was imposed, civilian vehicles had to be converted to run on producer gas (Swe: Gengas), and men of draft-age were called up for military service for long periods. The Industry switched-over to meet the needs of the armed forces. At the outbreak of WWII on 1 September 1939, Sweden made a partial mobilization two strengthen its military preparedness. These forces were called the Neutrality Watch (Swe: Neutralitetsvakten) and were in service throughout the war. However, the size of the Neutrality Watch varied a lot during the war depending on how Sweden at various times experienced the threats upon the nation. On 30 November 1939, the Soviet Union invaded our neighboring country Finland, the so-called Winter War. Therefore, on 2 December, Sweden made a more extensive partial mobilization, in connection with the Soviet attack on Finland. An army division of 100,000 men was mobilized to protect Sweden’s north-eastern border with Finland and on 5 December, the Swedish Navy began laying mines in the Åland Sea between Sweden and Finland, east of Stockholm, to keep Soviet submarines away from the Gulf of Bothnia. When Denmark and Norway were invaded by the German armed forces on 9 April 1940, a majority of the Swedish military units were deployed to northern Sweden, to protect the border with Finland in the eventuality of a Soviet attack against Sweden. Therefore, on 11 April 1940, Sweden carried out a General Mobilizing, and the number of soldiers under arms was raised to 320,000 within two weeks. Also, many extra regiments were established, the so-called “redoubling regiments” (Swe: dubblerings-regementena.) The image to the right shows Swedish soldiers in service during WWII ”somewhere in Sweden”. Photo: Sture Högman. From 23 June 1940, all Swedish warships were carrying two white stripes painted abeam on upper decks and sides to clarify that they were ships of a neutral nation to avoid accidental shootings by the belligerent nations. The image to the right shows a Swedish motor torpedo boat with two white stripes abeam. Photo: Sjöhistoriska museet, ID: Fo88651AB. In March 1941, Sweden’s military preparedness further raised in connection with the so-called March Crisis (Swe: Marskrisen) when a great tension arose between Sweden and Germany because of the Germans increasing nonchalance of the transiting agreement. Sweden, therefore, mobilized considerable forces in openness to show Germany that Sweden wasn’t going to give in. The crisis soon wore off. However, the now mobilized units were kept in service and were part of an extensive winter maneuver. At the outbreak of WWII in 1939, in a State of the Nation Address, Swedish Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson stated “our military preparedness is very good”. This wasn’t entirely true. A few years after the First World War, Sweden downsized its armed forces. This of course had a big effect on Sweden’s preparedness in 1939. The major problem wasn’t the reduced number of soldiers but fewer trained officers. In 1939, when Sweden was rearming its armed forces, there was a shortage of trained, experienced officers. Already in 1936, the rearmament began when new military equipment was acquired, foremost modern arms, not the least armored tanks and combat aircraft. At the beginning of the war, there were still a great need for further armament and many extra regiments were established, the so- called redoubling regiments (Swe: Dubbleringsregementen). In 1942, a new Defense Act was passed in the Swedish Parliament (FB 42) witch implied a considerably raised defense budget, ”Swe: Försvarets femårsplan”. The military training of draftees was increased to 450 days. At the beginning of WWII, the Crypto Department with the Swedish Military Intelligence managed to crack the German encrypted messages and was thereafter able to read the German conversation with its forces in Northern Europe. In February 1942, the so-called February Crisis occurred. The Germans were then considerably strengthening their forces in Norway for a possible invasion of Sweden. This was known by the Swedish General Staff since the Swedish military intelligence was listening in on the German telecommunications. The Swedish answer was a further mobilization and about 300,000 Swedish soldiers were participating in a gigantic military maneuver in Jämtland by the Norwegian border. The Swedish units were well trained and well equipped. The hard-pressed situation in Europe 1939 - 1945 and Sweden’s severe position indeed increased the Swede’s willingness to defend themselves and the solidarity was strong to keep the nation prepared for potential acts of war. In total, about 1,000,000 Swedish conscripts were, in different stages, drafted for military service during the war, 1939 - 1945. This period in Sweden, 1939 – 1945, is known as the “Beredskapstiden” or “Beredskapsåren” by the Swedes.
xxxxx Swegen xxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Infantry – Organization and Armament, WWII

Each infantry regiment was organized into 3 battalions and each battalion consisted of 4 companies. Each regiment had, besides the 12 regular companies, also 2 further companies; 1 machine gun company (13th) and 1 special company (14th). In total, a wartime regiment numbered 3,500 men. In 1939, horses were still the predominant means of transportation and each infantry regiment was equipped with 343 horses and 280 carts. Besides the horses, there were also 58 vehicles for the baggage. The machine gun company (13th) was organized into 3 machine gun platoons equipped in total with 12 machine guns “ksp m/36”. The special company (14th) was organized into an anti-aircraft machine gun platoon equipped with four double-barreled anti-aircraft machine guns mounted on a tripod gun carriage, an anti-tank platoon equipped with four 37 mm anti-tank guns, and an army engineer platoon. A battalion consisted of a headquarters, a battalion company including battalion baggage & quartermaster unit, three rifle companies, and a heavy weapons company. The battalion company consisted also of a ranger surveillance company. The heavy weapons company consisted of a machine gun troop, a mortar platoon equipped with four 8 mm mortars, and combined anti-aircraft and antitank platoon equipped with three 20 mm anti-aircraft automatic guns that could be mounted on gun carriages for antitank duties. A rifle company consisted of a headquarters, three rifle platoons, a heavy weapons platoon, and a company baggage unit. The heavy weapons platoon consisted of a machine gun troop equipped with two machine guns m/36 and a mortar troop equipped with one 8 cm mortar. Each rifle platoon consisted of a platoon commander, deputy commander, 4 rifle squads, and a light mortar squad (47 mm mortars). Each rifle squad consisted of a squad commander, a deputy, and eight men organized into a light machine gun team and a fire team. The image to the right shows a Swedish sentry on guard duty somewhere in Värmland during WWII. Photo: Armémuseum på Digitaltmuseum. On 1 April 1943, the armament and organization of the rifle companies were changed. Each rifle squad was now equipped with yet another submachine gun. Two automatic rifles m/42 were assigned to each rifle team. Further, each rifle platoon was supplied with a 20 mm antitank gun m/42. In each rifle company, the heavy machine gun m/36 was replaced by the lighter air-cooled machine gun m/42. The special companies were supplied with the 12 cm mortar m/41. Each platoon was equipped with 3 mortars each. Sweden now had a modern infantry rifle and combat support units. However, the marching speed was still slow, about 4 – 5 km/h on roads and 2 km/h off-road. Each rifle platoon had a horse and cart for the transportation of heavy weapons. However, on the back of a truck, the platoon could move at a speed of 40 – 50 km/h.
Dictionary
Abbreviation
Swedish
English
Kpist
Kulsprutepistol
Submachine gun (SMG)
Ksp
Kulspruta
Machine gun (MG)
Kg
Kulsprutegevär
Light machine gun (LMG)
Ag
Automatgevär
Automatic rifle
Pvg
Pansarvärnsgevär
Antitank recoilless rifle
Pvkan
Pansarvärnskanon
Antitank gun
Lvkan
Luftvärnskanon
Anti-aircraft gun
Lvakan
Luftvärnsautomatkanon
Anti-aircraft automatic gun
Pluton En underavdelning till ett kompani och brukar bestå av 20–40 soldater. En pluton är i sin tur indelad i ett antal grupper.
Platoon A sub-unit of the company composed of 20–40 soldiers. A platoon is subdivided into three or four squads (US: sections)
Tropp En underavdelning till pluton eller batteri, oftast motsvarande en halv pluton eller 2-3 grupper.
Troop A sub-unit of the platoon or the battery corresponding to a half platoon or 2 - 3 squads.
Grupp Ex: skyttegrupp
Squad For example: rifle squad
Omgång Ex: skytteomgång
Team For example: fire team
Jägarkompani
Ranger Company
Skyttekompani
Rifle Company
Military Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2021-01-19

Armament

Designation System

The Swedish military designation system is as follows; Type of arms (often abbreviated) followed by a lower case “m” and a slash and the year when it first was adopted (two or four digits), for example, Kpist m/37. Kpist is short for “kulsprutepistol” (submachine gun) model m/37, i.e. adopted in 1937.

Rifle m/1896

Swedish name: Gevär m/96. At the outbreak of WWII, the majority of the Swedish infantry soldiers were armed with the rifle m/96. Rifle m/96 is a repeater, system Mauser, caliber 6,5 mm (6,5 × 55 mm) adopted by the Swedish armed forces in 1896. Initially, the rifles were acquired from Waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf, Germany, but thereafter manufactured in Sweden under license by Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna and by Husqvarna Vapenfabrik. The image to the right shows the Mauser rifle m/1896. Image: Armémuseum. The Swedish Mauser is a bolt-action rifle based on an improved variant of Mauser's earlier Model 1893, but using the 6.5 × 55mm cartridge, incorporating unique design elements as requested by Sweden. The family of Swedish Mauser rifles consists of the m/94 carbine, m/96 long rifle, m/38 short rifle, and m/41 sniper rifle. All Swedish Mauser rifles were chambered for the 6.5×55mm cartridge with a 5- round stripper clip, internal magazine. Between 1942 and 1944, Husqvarna Vapenfabrik manufactured about 88,000 of the 14 cm shorter rifle m/38. Further, between 1938 and 1940, Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori converted 55,000 rifles m/96 into m/38 short rifle. About 5,300 rifles m/96 selected for accuracy were rebuilt into sniper rifle m/41 fitted with telescopic sights between 1941 and 1944. Rifle m/1896 was equipped with a bayonet mount for knife bayonet m/1896. The rear sight of the m/96 was graduated for 6.5×55mm service cartridges from 300 to 2,000 m (328 to 2,187 yd) in 100 m (109 yd) increments. Rifle m/38 had a different rear sight, in three models, graduated from 250 to 600 m, 150 to 600 m, and 100 to 600 m.

Submachine guns

Swedish name: kulsprutepistol or simply kpist. A submachine gun (SMG), is a magazine-fed, automatic carbine designed to fire handgun cartridges. Submachine gun Kpist m/37 was the first submachine gun adopted by the Swedish armed forces and was a Swedish version of the Finnish submachine gun KP-31. After the First World War, submachine guns were developed in many countries. In the 1930s, Sweden began the rearming of its armed forces and submachine guns was a need. The submachine gun chosen was the Finnish KP-31 or M31. The Swedish Army used 9mm ammunition and the KP-31 was acquired in this caliber (9 x 20mm). The Swedish version of the submachine gun had a 56-round magazine. The submachine gun (SMG) was adopted in 1937 and designated Kpist m/37. About 35,000 m/37 were made under license by Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB just before and during World War II. In 1939, Sweden acquired about 1,800 SMGs of the type MP35 and 1,500 army pistols Walther HP (P38) from Germany. The ammunition used was also 9mm (9 x 19mm) and the submachine gun was designated Kpist m/39. In 1939, the m/37 submachine gun then was converted to the new type of ammunition (9 x 19mm) which was more powerful. The converted version of the m/37 SMG was designated Kpist m/37-39. The Kpist m/39 was a German submachine gun, Maschinenpistole 35/I. The Kpist m/39 was manufactured in two variants, with a 200mm standard or 320mm barrel. In 1945, the Swedish Army replaced all of the above- mentioned SMGs with the new Swedish submachine gun Kpist m/45. The image to the right shows a submachine gun m/39 with a long barrel. Photo: Armémuseum. Submachine gun m/45 Carl Gustaf (Kpist m/45) is a Swedish manufactured submachine gun 9 x 19mm adopted in 1945. It is a fully-automatic-only weapon without any option for semi-automatic fire. Single shots are also easy to achieve (with very little training) by letting go of the trigger before another round is cycled. It was manufactured at the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna, Sweden, and the m/45 was the standard submachine gun of the Swedish Army from 1945 to 1965. It was produced in three models; m/45, m/45B, and m/45C. The m/45B model features fixed magazine support, smaller holes in the barrel shroud, a strengthened bolt buffer (in the receiver-rear), and a hook securing the buffer cap in place. Early m/45B models had the same metal finish as the m/45 but most had a dull green lacquer finish. The m/45C is an m/45B with a bayonet mount on the barrel sleeve which was used for parade and guard duties. The Swedish Police used the m/45 as a reinforcement weapon. Unlike the military model, it was equipped with a selector switch for full auto or semi-auto fire. The police model designation was m/45BE. The Kpist m/45 was replaced in the Swedish Armed Forces during the mid-1960s with the 7.62mm AK 4 battle rifle, and starting in 1986 with the 5.56mm AK 5 assault rifle. In addition to Sweden, several other countries have used the weapon, with versions of the weapon being produced in Egypt and the United States. During the Vietnam War, the US Navy SEALs used the m/45 extensively. One of the gun's qualities that appealed to the US Navy was that the m/45 can fire almost immediately out of the water (over the beach). In US service it was largely known as the "Swedish-K" or "K-Rifle". The image to the right shows the SMG Kpist m/45B with the very reliable 36- round magazine. Image: Wikipedia.

Automatic Rifle m/42

Swedish name: Automatgevär m/42 (Ag m/42). The Ag m/42 was a semiautomatic rifle 6,5 mm (6,5 × 55 mm). The Ag m/42 was designed by Erik Eklund of the AB C.J. Ljungmans Verkstäder company of Malmö around 1941 and entered production at the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna in 1942. Some 30,000 rifles were manufactured in all for the Swedish Army. The Ag m/42 uses the 6.5×55mm cartridge loaded into a removable 10- round box magazine. In practice, however, the magazine usually remained attached to the rifle while it was loaded from the top with five-round stripper clips. The image to the right shows an Ag m/42. Photo: Gotlands försvarsmuseum and Wikipedia.

Machine Guns

Swedish name: Kulspruta or short Ksp. A machine gun (MG) is a heavy firearm used for suppressive automatic fire of rifle cartridges, usually attached to a mount or supported by a bipod. Depending on size, weight, and role, machine guns are divided into heavy, medium, and light machine guns. The ammunition is often belt-fed. Machine guns are designed to be mainly used as infantry support weapons and are used against infantry, low- flying aircraft, small boats, and lightly/unarmored land vehicles. Other automatic firearms such as assault rifles and automatic rifles are designed more for unleashing short bursts than for continuous fire and are not considered machine guns. Because they become very hot, the great majority of designs fire from an open bolt, to permit air cooling from the breech between bursts. Early machine guns were often water-cooled and while this technology was very effective, the water jackets also added considerable weight to an already bulky design. Light machine guns are designed to provide mobile fire support to a squad and are typically air-cooled weapons.

Machine Gun m/36

Swedish name: Kulspruta m/36 (Ksp m/36) . Kulspruta m/36 (Ksp m/36) is a water-cooled machine gun of a Browning type. It was foremost used as an infantry support weapon, caliber 6,5mm (6,5 × 55mm), mounted on a tripod. The m/36 is at large identical with the American MG Browning M1917. The m/36 was manufactured in two varieties; single-barreled and doubled-barreled. The double-barreled 8 mm MG was used as an anti- aircraft machine gun mounted on a gun carriage. The image to the right shows a Ksp m/36. Image: Arsenalen, Digitaltmuseum.

Machine Gun m/42

Swedish name: Kulspruta m/42 (Ksp m/42). Kulspruta m/42 (Ksp m/42) is an air-cooled machine gun of a Browning type. It is a heavily modified, license-built variant of the M1919A6 chambered in 6.5×55mm or 8×63mm patron m/32 and from 1975 in 7.62×51mm NATO. The Ksp m/42B is a lighter version with a distinctive bipod, shoulder stock (used in a similar way as the M1919A6), and a spade grip chambered in 6.5×55mm and later in 7.62×51mm which can be recognized in its corrosion-resistant green finish. It was foremost used as an infantry support weapon. The image to the right shows a Ksp m/42. Image: Armémuseum, Wikipedia.

Machine Gun 58

Swedish name: Kulspruta 58 or short Ksp 58 The Swedish Army adopted a new machine gun in 1958 designated Ksp 58. The machine gun is a Swedish variant of the Belgian FN MAG general- purpose machine gun that is currently being manufactured by the Swedish company Carl Gustav. The initial Ksp 58A version used by Sweden was chambered for 6.5×55mm, while the B and later models were chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO. The image to the right shows a Kulspruta 58 (Ksp 58) machine gun. Photo: Armémuseum, Wikipedia.

Mortars

Swedish name: Granatkastare or short Grk. A mortar is usually a simple, lightweight, man- portable, muzzle-loaded weapon, consisting of a smooth-bore (although some models use a rifled barrel) metal tube fixed to a base plate (to spread out the recoil) with a lightweight bipod mount and a sight. They launch explosive shells in high-arcing ballistic trajectories. Mortars are typically used as indirect fire weapons for close fire support with a variety of ammunition.

Mortar m/41 - 12cm

Swedish name: Granatkastare m/41 - 12cm. The Granatkastare m/41, originally manufactured in Finland by Tampella with the designation 120 Krh/40, is a mortar with the caliber12cm. The Finnish mortar was exported to Sweden between 1941 and 1944 and later produced under license in Sweden. The image to the right shows a Granatkastare m/41 – 12cm. Image: Wikipedia.

Related Links

Swedish military war units 1939 - 1945 Signals Intelligence - Crypto Department 1939 - 1945 Swedish military intelligence Norwegian and Danish police-troops established in Sweden during WWII Operation Save Denmark Swedish Volunteer Corps in Finland in 1940 Swedish regiments The organization of the Swedish armed forces in the 20th century - conscription Uniforms of the Swedish Army - the 1900s History of the Swedish Air Force Military Uniforms of the Swedish Women’s Voluntary Defense Service Service Uniforms of the Swedish Lotta Corps (Swe: Lottakåren) Aircraft Warning Service - Female Aircraft Observers, Sweden Swedish Voluntary Defense Services

Source References

Svenska försvarets hemsida: http://www.forsvarsmakten.se/sv/ Krigsmäns erinran, beredskapen 1939 - 1945, Åke Williams, 1989. Svenska arméns förband, skolor och staber, Björn Holmberg, 1993 Från Brunkeberg till Nordanvind, 500 år med svenskt infanteri av Bertil Nelsson, 1993 Beredskapsverket, AD. “Den svenska militära beredskapen 1937 - 1945”. Nationalencyklopedin Wikipedia Top of Page

Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle m/48

Swedish name: Granatgevär m/48 Carl Gustaf, (Grg m/48). A recoilless rifle, recoilless launcher or recoilless gun, sometimes abbreviated "RR" or "RCL" (for ReCoilLess)[1] is a type of lightweight artillery system or man-portable launcher that is designed to eject some form of countermass such as propellant gas from the rear of the weapon at the moment of firing, creating forward thrust that counteracts most of the weapon's recoil. The Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle m/48 is an 84-mm man-portable reusable anti-tank weapon produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics (formerly Bofors Anti- Armour AB) in Sweden introduced in 1946. In Sweden, it is officially called the Grg m/48 (Granatgevär – "grenade rifle", model 1948). The weapon was first introduced into Swedish service in 1948 as the 8,4 cm Grg m/48. The Carl Gustaf is a lightweight, low-cost weapon that uses a wide range of ammunition, which makes it extremely flexible and suitable for a wide variety of roles. The Gustaf was soon sold around the world and became one of the primary squad-level anti- tank weapons for many West European armies. The image to the right shows a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle m/48. Image: Wikipedia.

Bofors 37mm Antitank Gun m/38

Swedish namne: Bofors 37mm pansarvärnskanon (pvkan m/38) The Bofors 37 mm pansarvärnskanon (pvkan m/38) was an anti-tank gun designed by Swedish manufacturer Bofors in the early 1930s and adopted by the Swedish Armed Forces in 1838. It was exported to several countries during the 1930s. Licensed copies were produced in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Poland. The barrel was of monobloc type, with a semi- automatic vertical sliding breech block and a small muzzle brake. It was mounted on a split trail carriage that had suspension and metal wheels with rubber tires. To give the crew some protection from firearms and shell fragments, the gun was equipped with a 5 mm thick shield, with a folding lower plate. The Bofors gun saw combat for the first time in the Spanish Civil War, where it could easily pierce the armor of contemporary light tanks. Rate of fire: 12 rounds per minute. The image to the right shows a troop of Swedish infantry soldiers wearing uniform m/1939 at a Bofors 37mm pansarvärnskanon m/1938. Fordonsmuseet Arsenalen, Strängnäs. Photo, Hans Högman 2016.

Bofors 20mm Automatic Gun m/40

Swedish name: Bofors 20mm automatkanon m/40. The 20 mm automatkanon m/40 is an autocannon (automatic gun) with a caliber of 20mm made by Swedish Bofors. The weapon was intended as both an anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapon. It was chambered for a unique and quite powerful 20×145R cartridge and could fire at 360 rpm. On a wheeled AA mounting, it weighed 300 kg, on a low tripod for anti-tank use, it weighed 65 kg (the same gun was used in both installations, and could be switched between mountings). In anti-tank form, it was given the nickname "grasshopper" as it jumped about so much on firing. The ammunition feed consisted of an exposed 28- round rotary magazine above the gun, which in the AT mounting meant that the sights had to be fixed to the side. About 2,700 Bofors 20mm autocannon m/40 were produced for the Swedish army. It was also fitted to about forty PB m/31 armored cars and to fixed AA and "combination" mountings. AT = Antitank and AA = Anti- aircraft. The image shows a Bofors 20 mm automatic gun m/40 on a wheeled AA mounting m/40. Image: Armémuseum.

Bofors 40mm Anti-Aircraft Autocannon

Lvakan m/36

Swedish name: Bofors 40mm automatkanon lvakan m/36. The Bofors 40 mm gun, often referred to simply as the Bofors gun, is an anti-aircraft autocannon designed in the 1930s by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors. It was one of the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft systems during World War II. The Bofors gun was adopted by the Swedish Armed Forces in 1936, hence the designation m/36. Most forces referred to it as the "Bofors 40 mm L/60". The Swedish Navy adopted the weapon as the m/36 in hand-worked single air-cooled, and power operated twin water-cooled version. A twin air- cooled mounting, was also used by the Swedish Navy. Variants: 40 mm lvakan m/36 – single barreled 40 mm lvakan m/40 – twin variant 40 mm lvakan m/36-43 – twin variant for lvkv m/43. Specifications: Caliber 40 mm Rate of fire 240 round/min, later 300 round/min Muzzle velocity 1005 - 1025 m/s depending of ammo Maximum firing range: 12,500 m The image shows a twin Bofors 40 mm lvakan m/40, aboard the Swedish Cruiser HMS Tre Kronor. Image: Wikipedia. In the post-war era, the original design was not suitable for action against jet-powered aircraft, so Bofors introduced a new model of significantly more power, the 40 mm L/70, designated 40 mm lvakan m/48 in Sweden.

Sweden’s Military

Preparedness 1939 - 1945

Introduction

When World War II broke out on 1 September 1945, about twenty European countries declared themselves as neutral states, among these states were Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. Out of the initial 20 European neutral states, only seven managed to hold their neutral status during WWII, among them Sweden. Sweden wasn’t at war 1939 - 1945, but the war nevertheless had a great effect on the population of Sweden. Rationing was imposed, civilian vehicles had to be converted to run on producer gas (Swe: Gengas), and men of draft-age were called up for military service for long periods. The Industry switched-over to meet the needs of the armed forces. At the outbreak of WWII on 1 September 1939, Sweden made a partial mobilization two strengthen its military preparedness. These forces were called the Neutrality Watch (Swe: Neutralitetsvakten) and were in service throughout the war. However, the size of the Neutrality Watch varied a lot during the war depending on how Sweden at various times experienced the threats upon the nation. On 30 November 1939, the Soviet Union invaded our neighboring country Finland, the so-called Winter War. Therefore, on 2 December, Sweden made a more extensive partial mobilization, in connection with the Soviet attack on Finland. An army division of 100,000 men was mobilized to protect Sweden’s north-eastern border with Finland and on 5 December, the Swedish Navy began laying mines in the Åland Sea between Sweden and Finland, east of Stockholm, to keep Soviet submarines away from the Gulf of Bothnia. When Denmark and Norway were invaded by the German armed forces on 9 April 1940, a majority of the Swedish military units were deployed to northern Sweden, to protect the border with Finland in the eventuality of a Soviet attack against Sweden. Therefore, on 11 April 1940, Sweden carried out a General Mobilizing, and the number of soldiers under arms was raised to 320,000 within two weeks. Also, many extra regiments were established, the so- called “redoubling regiments” (Swe: dubblerings- regementena.) The image to the right shows Swedish soldiers in service during WWII ”somewhere in Sweden”. Photo: Sture Högman. From 23 June 1940, all Swedish warships were carrying two white stripes painted abeam on upper decks and sides to clarify that they were ships of a neutral nation to avoid accidental shootings by the belligerent nations. The image to the right shows a Swedish motor torpedo boat with two white stripes abeam. Photo: Sjöhistoriska museet, ID: Fo88651AB. In March 1941, Sweden’s military preparedness further raised in connection with the so-called March Crisis (Swe: Marskrisen) when a great tension arose between Sweden and Germany because of the Germans increasing nonchalance of the transiting agreement. Sweden, therefore, mobilized considerable forces in openness to show Germany that Sweden wasn’t going to give in. The crisis soon wore off. However, the now mobilized units were kept in service and were part of an extensive winter maneuver. At the outbreak of WWII in 1939, in a State of the Nation Address, Swedish Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson stated “our military preparedness is very good”. This wasn’t entirely true. A few years after the First World War, Sweden downsized its armed forces. This of course had a big effect on Sweden’s preparedness in 1939. The major problem wasn’t the reduced number of soldiers but fewer trained officers. In 1939, when Sweden was rearming its armed forces, there was a shortage of trained, experienced officers. Already in 1936, the rearmament began when new military equipment was acquired, foremost modern arms, not the least armored tanks and combat aircraft. At the beginning of the war, there were still a great need for further armament and many extra regiments were established, the so-called redoubling regiments (Swe: Dubbleringsregementen). In 1942, a new Defense Act was passed in the Swedish Parliament (FB 42) witch implied a considerably raised defense budget, ”Swe: Försvarets femårsplan”. The military training of draftees was increased to 450 days. At the beginning of WWII, the Crypto Department with the Swedish Military Intelligence managed to crack the German encrypted messages and was thereafter able to read the German conversation with its forces in Northern Europe. In February 1942, the so-called February Crisis occurred. The Germans were then considerably strengthening their forces in Norway for a possible invasion of Sweden. This was known by the Swedish General Staff since the Swedish military intelligence was listening in on the German telecommunications. The Swedish answer was a further mobilization and about 300,000 Swedish soldiers were participating in a gigantic military maneuver in Jämtland by the Norwegian border. The Swedish units were well trained and well equipped. The hard-pressed situation in Europe 1939 - 1945 and Sweden’s severe position indeed increased the Swede’s willingness to defend themselves and the solidarity was strong to keep the nation prepared for potential acts of war. In total, about 1,000,000 Swedish conscripts were, in different stages, drafted for military service during the war, 1939 - 1945. This period in Sweden, 1939 – 1945, is known as the Beredskapstiden” or “Beredskapsåren” by the Swedes.

Infantry – Organization and

Armament, WWII

Each infantry regiment was organized into 3 battalions and each battalion consisted of 4 companies. Each regiment had, besides the 12 regular companies, also 2 further companies; 1 machine gun company (13th) and 1 special company (14th). In total, a wartime regiment numbered 3,500 men. In 1939, horses were still the predominant means of transportation and each infantry regiment was equipped with 343 horses and 280 carts. Besides the horses, there were also 58 vehicles for the baggage. The machine gun company (13th) was organized into 3 machine gun platoons equipped in total with 12 machine guns “ksp m/36”. The special company (14th) was organized into an anti-aircraft machine gun platoon equipped with four double-barreled anti-aircraft machine guns mounted on a tripod gun carriage, an anti-tank platoon equipped with four 37 mm anti-tank guns, and an army engineer platoon. A battalion consisted of a headquarters, a battalion company including battalion baggage & quartermaster unit, three rifle companies, and a heavy weapons company. The battalion company consisted also of a ranger surveillance company. The heavy weapons company consisted of a machine gun troop, a mortar platoon equipped with four 8 mm mortars, and combined anti-aircraft and antitank platoon equipped with three 20 mm anti- aircraft automatic guns that could be mounted on gun carriages for antitank duties. A rifle company consisted of a headquarters, three rifle platoons, a heavy weapons platoon, and a company baggage unit. The heavy weapons platoon consisted of a machine gun troop equipped with two machine guns m/36 and a mortar troop equipped with one 8 cm mortar. Each rifle platoon consisted of a platoon commander, deputy commander, 4 rifle squads, and a light mortar squad (47 mm mortars). Each rifle squad consisted of a squad commander, a deputy, and eight men organized into a light machine gun team and a fire team. The image to the right shows a Swedish sentry on guard duty somewhere in Värmland during WWII. Photo: Armémuseum på Digitaltmuseum. On 1 April 1943, the armament and organization of the rifle companies were changed. Each rifle squad was now equipped with yet another submachine gun. Two automatic rifles m/42 were assigned to each rifle team. Further, each rifle platoon was supplied with a 20 mm antitank gun m/42. In each rifle company, the heavy machine gun m/36 was replaced by the lighter air- cooled machine gun m/42. The special companies were supplied with the 12 cm mortar m/41. Each platoon was equipped with 3 mortars each. Sweden now had a modern infantry rifle and combat support units. However, the marching speed was still slow, about 4 – 5 km/h on roads and 2 km/h off-road. Each rifle platoon had a horse and cart for the transportation of heavy weapons. However, on the back of a truck, the platoon could move at a speed of 40 – 50 km/h.
Dictionary
Abbrevi- ation
Swedish
English
Kpist
Kulsprutepistol
Submachine gun (SMG)
Ksp
Kulspruta
Machine gun (MG)
Kg
Kulsprutegevär
Light machine gun (LMG)
Ag
Automatgevär
Automatic rifle
Pvg
Pansarvärnsgevär
Antitank recoilless rifle
Pvkan
Pansarvärnskanon
Antitank gun
Lvkan
Luftvärnskanon
Anti-aircraft gun
Lvakan
Luftvärnsautomatkanon
Anti-aircraft automatic gun
Pluton En underavdelning till ett kompani och brukar bestå av 20–40 soldater. En pluton är i sin tur indelad i ett antal grupper.
Platoon A sub-unit of the company composed of 20–40 soldiers. A platoon is subdivided into three or four squads (US: sections)
Tropp En underavdelning till pluton eller batteri, oftast motsvarande en halv pluton eller 2-3 grupper.
Troop A sub-unit of the platoon or the battery corresponding to a half platoon or 2 - 3 squads.
Grupp Ex: skyttegrupp
Squad For example: rifle squad
Omgång Ex: skytteomgång
Team For example: fire team
Jägarkompani
Ranger Company
Skyttekompani
Rifle Company