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Old April 19th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: OOB 066 Sweden [WIP]

- The Swedish Naval Service -

During the Cold war the Swedish Naval service had two main branches; one was the Navy and the other the Coastal Artillery.

The Navy
Following the Second World War Sweden had a conventional navy. The prospect of nuclear war and the threat from enemy aircraft led to the navy transforming to a coastal fleet of small fast attack craft along with submarines. The navy was entirely geared to meet the Soviet invasion, something known as “the curse of the Red Arrow”. There was a very limited understanding of any other maritime task than that of sinking Soviet transport ships in a total war environment. Only the submarines had the capability of offensive action. The surface attack craft would have to wait for the Soviet invasion fleet – “the Red Arrow” to come close to the Swedish coast before joining the battle. The navy also lacked an anti-ship missile for quite some time which was a great problem. During the 80s this changed, due to two main factors – one was the possibility of a surprising strategic assault (the navy was less dependent on mobilising forces than the army), the second factor was the supposed Soviet submarine activity in the Baltic. For a decade the hunting of Soviet submarines transformed the navy to a force in near constant readiness with much experience of anti-submarine service in the tricky conditions of the Baltic Sea. New weapons, including anti-ship missiles were also introduced. By the end of the Cold War the navy had swung from “the Curse of the Red Arrow” to contest a Soviet dominance of the sea, a first line of defence. Ironically by that time the Soviet Union fell apart.

The Coastal Artillery

The Costal Artillery had been established in 1902. It included an elaborate string of artillery fortifications, mine stations and mobile coastal artillery units eventually with both field artillery and missiles established along sensitive areas of the Swedish coast, mostly in the southern parts. The Coastal Artillery also operated smaller naval vessels.

Although the primary mission was to engage enemy shipping it was also to work, when necessary, in conjunction with the Army.

The Coastal Artillery also included the Coastal Ranger formations established in the late 1950s – a sort of light infantry operating in the archipelago areas. They were and remain one of the more fabled groups in the entire Swedish armed forces, although today their mission has changed somewhat.

The Coastal Artillery was disbanded in 2000 and replaced with the much smaller Amphibious Corps. Virtually all of the artillery emplacements and fortifications were taken out of comission.
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