Sjöänds - Fort 118


Sweden as a state never participated in direct battles during the second world war. But immediately after the Germans’ invasion of Norway, Sweden was put on standby and along the western border there was feverish activity during the war years. If the Germans had decided to attack Sweden, it is likely that the attack has come along the border in Värmland and Dalsland. Therefore, a number of defensive positions were built in these areas to face a possible German attack. Such a defence facility, or redoubt, was built in the Glass Forest outside the county of Årjäng in western Värmland. Teh redoubt was built between 1940 and 1943 and its official name was Fort 118. From 1943, a German military attack on Sweden was considered non-existent and therefore the construction was completed. Although the war never came, the redoubt was used until 1969 for military exercises.

Current status: Preserved (2006).

Location: 59° 28.4' N 12° 16.9' E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The redoubt is Sweden’s best preserved and consists of archers and bunkers and is beautifully located at Holmtjärn inside the Glass forests’ nature reserve. That Sweden was neutral is a truth with modification. Between 1940 and 1943, Sweden allowed the Germans to use the Swedish railway network for the transport of soldiers on leave and for injured soldiers. This was called the permittent traffic. Shortly after the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, Sweden approved a joint request from Germany and Finland to transport the fully military-equipped Engelbrechts division through Sweden from Norway to Finland. This is called transit traffic. When the tide of the war turned against Germany in 1943, Sweden dared to terminate the perennial agreement with the Germans. The policy of concessions to the Germans was thus definitely over.

Follow up in books: Gilmour, John: Sweden, the Swastika and Stalin - The Swedish Experience in the Second World War (2011).