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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Swiss vs. Swedish Military History

A Swedish Saab Gripen in Switzerland during the 2011 Sion airshow.

Today it became known that 22 Swedish Saab Gripen multirole fighters will most likely join the Swiss Luftwaffe. The Swiss Army already operates Swedish combat vehicles. Thus the military of Sweden and Switzerland have come yet a bit closer and there is reason to look back at our somewhat similar military history.

Well, a short but fact-filled summary in English about Swiss military history in comparison to Sweden's is part of the last chapter of Swedes at War by yours truly and Lennart Westberg. As we write there, "There are several good reasons for casual observers to confuse Sweden with Switzerland."

In my opinion, not least because I spent four wonderful years of my youth in Switzerland, we Swedes really have a lot to learn from the Swiss Armed Forces. Thus I hope the new fighter deal will stimulate not only more trade between our countries but also an exchange of ideas about national defence and security policy.

I seem to recall that while I was living in the Swiss capital in 1978-82 there were thoughts about purchasing Saab Viggen. That did not come about then and I believe I even said some words about this on Swedish radio in 1981 or 1982, as a flight-interested Swedish kid living in Switzerland.

Well, congratulations I say, especially to all Swiss and Swedish readers of this blog.

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