About Me

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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Swedish Marines, Who Are They?

Swedish marines conquering the world without a shot being fired.

The "Grease Lightning" video made by Swedish marines in Afghanistan has within a few days been watched by millions around the globe. But are there really marines in Sweden? Well, sort of. I have written about them in two of my books, one of them available in English.

Strictly speaking, Sweden has no marines. But it does have amphibious soldiers belonging to the now (sadly) only 1-battalion strong Amphibious Corps. In Swedish this type of soldier is called an amfibiesoldat and we have become rather used to this expression - it came about in the year 2000 when the Amphibious Corps was created from the Coastal Artillery.

But saying "amphibious soldier" sounds a bit strange as there are already two designations in the English language for this type of soldier, i.e. marine and naval infantryman. Thus the unofficial and more practical "Swedish marines".

I have written a book explaining the history and traditions of all Nordic elite units (Elitförband i Norden) including of course the Amphibious Corps, but it is not yet available in English. However, Swedes at War, available in English since 2010, does include some spectacular Swedish marines, such as Maths Holmström, decorated with the Order of the French Legion of Honour. Another extraordinary person in our book is Kurt Björklund, who as a Swedish volunteer in No. 6 Commando, Royal Marines, stepped ashore in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

One of the largest photos in Swedes at War actually shows three Swedish marines not unlike the now world-famous dancing Swedish marines. These marines are in the chapter "Sequels and Successors" and are shown on patrol in Chad in 2008. These kind of UN/NATO/EU-missions have largely replaced the wars in which Swedes volunteered in 1914-1945.

No comments:

Post a Comment