During the invasion of Scandinavia, Sweden kept neutral, but
because much of their income was generated by exporting iron, they
continued to sell it to Nazi Germany. Sweden would not help Finland
fight off the Soviet attack, but 8,000 Swedes volunteered for the
Finnish army. Sensing the impending trouble, nearly everyone in the
country pitched in to bolster the Swedish defense lines. The meager
Swedish army nearly doubled overnight from volunteers and by war’s
end tripled from that. Civilians built shelters, scanned the skies
for enemy aircraft, donated time and money and made military
vehicles and supplies. Germany told Sweden to stay neutral, but
"pro-German," meaning they would have to abide by Germany’s demands.
The Swedes would not listen to Germany’s threats and told them if
Sweden was invaded they would blow up the iron ore mines. Although
Sweden was surrounded by chaotic war, its citizens led relatively
normal lives. However, every Swedish family was affected by it
because so many civilians were called into the military reserves.
After Germany conquered Denmark and Norway they blockaded Sweden
from the outside, forcing Sweden to deal exclusively with Germany.
This imposed terrible food and supply shortages, but the resilient
Swedes made the best out of a bad situation. They pushed their food
production to the limit and used enormous amounts of timber for
countless by-products. Censorship was rampant and anti-German and
anti-Communist sentiments abounded, which was only compounded when
Sweden’s King Gustav V let Germany move their troops across Swedish
land. Hitler did not invade Sweden because he did not want to waste
valuable troops in Scandinavia when he had other concerns. The
Swedes proved their neutrality by not letting Germany use Swedish
airspace: when the Germans flew over Sweden to attack Norway, the
Swedes fired back with anti-aircraft guns. The Swedish reluctance to
bend under German pressure infuriated Hitler, but he had more
important things to worry about--the invasion of western Europe.
Hitler did not invade Sweden because Sweden was traditonally a
neutral country for over 200 years and Hitler did not want to bother
Sweden when he already had Norway, a more strategically located
Germany was already receiving iron ore from Sweeden on a cash and
carry basis. Germany also needed a neutral country as a conduit for
goods and foreign currency, and a stage for negotiations and an
outlet to the world. As bizarre as it sounds, some goods and
materials were purchased by neutral 3rd countries from Allied
nations (the US for example) and sold to the Germans via Sweeden.
Why should they? The Swedes were willing to trade freely with
Germany, offered no great strategic improvement to Germany should
they be occupied, and had a military that was of no threat to any of
Contrast this with Russia which had a highly aggressive and
expansionist military and political system. Occupation of their
territory was Germany's PRIMARY goal in WWII. Also, Stalin, while
willing at times to trade vital materials with Germany was extremely
unreliable and would have cut off trade when he thought it would
best leverage the Soviet position.
Only nations that posed a threat to Germany, one way or the
other, were attacked by the Germans. Despite popular mythology to
the contrary, Germany was not on a rampage to take over the world in
WWII. They were interested in improving their national security and
sought to do this via military means.
Because of its geographic location it was not strategically
important, it had no vital resources they wanted to steal and since
the Swedes are Nordics the Nazis did not want to eliminate them.
"since the Swedes are Nordics the Nazis did not want to eliminate
People being Nordic did not stop them invading Norway...
Sweden actually did provide Germany with iron ore throughout most
of the war. The Swedes were cooperative with the Germans (while they
were still powerful) knowing full well they were at risk of invasion
otherwise. As long as they cooperated the germans had no need to
launch a costly invasion.
The invasion of Norway was to: Protect the shipping route for
Swedish iron from any Allied interdiction.
Actually, this question should be in one of the top positions in
questions asked. Sweden provided steel to the nazis, the even
provided their railways to them when they invaded Norway. There are
many documents on the net and documentaries aired on swedish state
television regarding the "swedish-nazi" cooperation during WWII. It
was not by chance that Sweden was Europes richest nation at the end
of WWII. Today, pro-nazi sentiments still exist making Sweden the
No.1 country in the world for self-declared nazis pro-capita...they
even have their own political party which is allowed to exist
despite WWII and despite present and on-going acts of violence and
brutality towards non-native/immigrant individuals. Alot is
hush-hush and very little is mentioned in the papers...racism is a
problem which unfortunately is underplayed. To be factual..there
race or neo-nazi related crimes in Stockholm everyday but they are
often just reported for the "text-book" crimes that are committed
and the fact that the individuals perpetrating these crimes are
neo-nazis and in most of the cases are not first-time offenders is
Im half Swedish and have been wondering about that question
forever. Sweden did help Norway when they were invaded. They made a
sort of underground resistance with Norway. If a German pilot
crashed in Sweden then the Swedes would put him in jail, but if an
Allied pilot crashed in Sweden they would let him walk about freely.
My grandfather says he rembered seeing a few Allied pilots at some
parties in Sweden. What I dont get is that why would Sweden help
Norway and also provide the Nazis with iron because if they got
caught things could go downhill very fast with the Germans.
sweden had really bad with military units during this time but
they played it smart. they took almost all of their units and walkt
along the danish line so they germans sholud see thet they had many
military (witch they didnt have) and when they had walkt along the
line they walked like a D after they had walked with the line they
walked back over the land and walked beside the line again :).. and
german got ALOT of iron from sweden and was afraid thet if they got
bad with sweden they shold loose the war becaus they hadent enough
iron to built weapons for.
The reason Sweden wasnt invaded were because the germans needed
their troops elsewhere.
Germany had planned to attack Sweden several times during world
war II, last time was in 1944 when they planned to shoot Vi and V2
rockets against Stockholm from Norway.
As the swedish military grew and became stronger Sweden started
to say no to German demands and cutting down on the iron ore export.
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