About Me

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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wehrmacht Chocolate Returns to Scandinavia

Even today you can find remains in the open of the Wehrmacht chocolate with caffeine called Scho-Ka-Kola. I took this photo in the mountains of Narvik just some hundred meters from the Swedish border. Note the rays from the eagle with swastika. Left is the cover, right the bottom piece.

The eagle is gone but the rays remain. Scho-Ka-Kola bought by yours truly in Luleå in March 2011.

I knew it did not disappear in May 1945 and that it is widely available in Germany. But until now I did not know it was exported. Well, to my great surprise, while shopping for shoes in Luleå in north Sweden the other day (my Salomon shoes from 1993 had to be replaced), I found it for sale in the local Naturkompaniet store.

Of course, I bought a can and thus you can now compare the Wehrmacht style Scho-Ka-Kola with the modern version.

What next, Scho-Ka-Kola in Narvik kiosks?

Scho-Ka-Kola was invented in 1935 and here is the history of this brand. However, Wikipedia does not (yet) answer a question of mine: could Scho-Ka-Kola be bought freely in Germany (abroad?) during WWII, or was it reserved for the Wehrmacht during the war? I imagine the latter to be the case but have no proof. Do you know more?

Coming Sepals Documentary

Monday, March 21, 2011

USAAF in Sweden Book

A B-17 Flying Fortress at Rotterdam Airport Airshow, May 1985. PHOTO: Jan Arkesteijn

I just recently became aware of one of the most amazing websites I have ever seen re. Sweden in WWII. The site belongs to Patricia Allen DiGeorge, the daughter of two US diplomats in Stockholm during WWII.

Mrs. Allen DiGeorge´s father flew as a B-17 bombardier in the 8th Air Force and had to force land on the Swedish island of Gotland in early 1944. He was interned by the Swedish Armed Forces but shortly thereafter could go to work at the American embassy in Stockholm for the American Air Attaché, taking care of the needs of the US internees. At the embassy he also worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with counterespionage against the Germans in Stockholm, working alongside his future wife.

As Mrs. Allen DiGeorge describes on her website, Stockholm became one of the world´s most important towns for espionage during WWII.

So, by all means, explore Mrs. Allen DiGeorge´s site and help her in solving some puzzles so that she may finish her book project.

Leif Oistad, RIP

At the OSS NORSO Group memorial in Krokoms kommun in north Sweden. To the right is Norwegian OSS-volunteer Leif Oistad, who passed away on Thursday. To the left is his wartime soldier and peacetime friend Sivert/Ron Windh of Sweden, who passed away in 2007.

On Thursday Leif Oistad, a Norwegian volunteer of OSS Operational Groups, passed away. This happened just twelve days after he was presented with a last medal from the King of Norway.

Here is the official obituary for Leif.

The last time I met Leif was ten years ago. He had experienced much during WWII, both as a sailor and soldier. Both Norway and the United States have now lost a good man.

In Sweden, by lake Landösjön, stands a memorial to the memory of Leif Oistad and his squad, on the spot where they landed by parachute. After having very briefly been "imprisoned" in Sweden, Leif and his men could join up with the main party of the OSS NORSO Operational Group on the Swedish-Norwegian border and perform some final acts of sabotage against German troop transports through Norway.

Both Leif Oistad and his best friend from the OSS, Sivert/Ron Windh, were born in 1922.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Finnish Vietnam Veterans

Thanks to blog reader "MM" I am now aware of that more Finns than I had imagined served as volunteers in Vietnam, and not only in Special Forces like Larry Thorne/Lauri Törni.

Seppo Hurme was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam with HMM-361; Markku Kanervikkoaho secured transportation; Timo Peltomaa was a medic.

There is a book about Finnish volunteers in Vietnam, Sinivihreat Baretit (Bluegreen Berets) by Kari Kallonen published in 2006. As I do not read Finnish, sadly, I´d like to know the total figure, how many Finnish volunteers were there all in all?

MM also suggested checking out the Australian War Memorial as it has several Nordic names. This is its online directory.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

NORSO Paratrooper News

Leif Oistad, who is on the cover of the Polish translation of my second book, is today being honoured by the United States and Norway. Here is the local TV news story about this event.