This lone photo is no proof of course: Neither of what the text tell of it's origin nor that swedish warships escorted german army or navy transports at any time during the second world war. But it did. Recover our danish text-site, below this photo is another swedish destroyer HMJ 5 GÖTEBORG over the heads of a dozen german mountain infantrymen. Some without caps showing they are off duty. That 's on board as passengers. Handwritten in german on the backside are the words: "Ende Aug.Sept.1941 - In schwedischem Geleit [en: swedish convoy] nach Finnland - schwed. Küste entlang [en: along the swedish coastline] - Schiff ISAR Bremen 12000".
Those photos were no secrets. ISAR is known to JANE´s Fighting Ships 1944. In the second photo, one vessel seen in the background could be the lead vessel, a fast freighter purched by the navy for this duty. Swedish escorts herded ore-ships to Germany, and after the assault on Russia, from aug. 1941 to oct. 1942, german army transports going north through the Gulf of Bothnia for the Northern Front* or Finland. Finnish navy waiting at Åland Isles. The enemy being russian submarines. - On the edge of speculation say half a dozen GERMAN transports in average. Not the size of the Allied Atlantic convoys. We don't know the frequency of GERMAN ARMY VESSELS. A photo of the GJ-Regiment embarkation in Stettin got two. (Below)
But these convoys were secret then and later. The tight swedish official security on the subject has been eagerly discussed by interested for years.
Webmaster is NO expert on swedish marine history, but saw nothing "outside" the swedes own web-discussions until Göran Melders study of 2006: Nordenskjöld (image pag.dwn) i eskorttjänst 1942, (Hunting russian subs in The Baltic) in Karlskrona Marinmusei Vänner Årsbok 2006.
Political biographies from the hands of swedish historians also began to tare down the veil. Then August 2009 in Göteborg Sweden my wife caught a glimse of a new novel: De svarta molnens tid. (Times of the black clouds). se 2009. The first novel as far as we know, on this subject, which the navy men and the coastal village dwellers old enough always knew. They saw the ships, "forstås" (en: ye' understand?).
FIRST ALERT - In 1962 two men met in a garden at Christian Sonnes Vej, Odense, Denmark, having quite opposite views concerning the swedish engagement during the second world war. The host, once connected to danish resistance, all the family knew of it were the occasional sights of boxes partly hidden under the sofa, was our mothers older brother. His guest, a little younger from southern Germany, had participated in the war at the Litza-front, south of the Kola Peninsula as "Gebirgsjäger". Talking of mutual experiences the german guest said: Sweden supported the germans escorting marine transports on their way to a finnish port. - This is impossible, his host declared: It was an undisputable fact: Sweden was the friendly exile of thousands of danes and norwegians on the run to escape the claws of the Gestapo.
The german guest was, very much like his host, unaccustomed to be questioned. Maintained his story: August 1941: At Stettin his army unit boarded the Kriegsmarine-transport ISAR going to Tornio, Finland. Her escorts showed up to be swedish warships! The waves of the debate led as it should to the provoking recognition that both had had alone his half of still unrevieled chapters of the second world war in The Baltic and The Northern Front.
For years this was all we saw of it. Nothing in the schoolbooks or the thriving marked of second world war books, films and magazines. Bros. Siebken both developed an early taste of thorough inquiery. Grown ups around us were eager story-tellers - whose were fiction, whose were not? - Once I caught a few seconds of a documentary on TV: At night a Junkers Ju-52 landed, people gathered around it, on both sides of the plane were white letters: SCHWEDEN,
To some extent the striving towards secrecy concerning ways and means of nazi pressure have been tainted with a strange naivity. In Denmark as in Sweden.
The case is NOT to mend old fires of a swedish debate on World War Two archives - but to spike the arrogance - that struck us as youngster - of stubbornly hiding rutine war logs like matters endangering state survival, when people already knew. Everywhere. In Denmark: Crown correspondance of The 1864 Peace Negotiations with Preussia surpriced even the finder, T.Buk-Swienty, by its likeness to high treason.
Steen Siebken - [Photo left: Sorry, no update available]
By late summer 1941 these top-secret Nazi escort demands were communicated to a Swedish Navy representative, in Stockholm from the German Stockholm embassy. Then Alert Ordre was delivered by messinger or telephone. - Never anything in writing, our "Aug.2008" source said. Southern Navy District voiced rendevous position, speed ect... The german ships, two? Six? [not fourty] would show up at the twelve mile limit carrying flagsignal 'Maneuvering difficulties' as a diplomatic "fig leaf".
This text emphazises conditions facing the swedish navy by 1941. Svensk eskorte af tyske skibe demonstrates the case in point:
Tight naval archive overtaken by postwar international socializing and photo exchange.