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?).

WHY's the big question, so secret for sixty years? "Norway on April 9 1940 took on the Nazis for two weeks, Denmark for two hours, Sweden for the two minutes it took Göring to call, and tell someone double to Berlin to get The Nazi Sweden-Plan." Irony by LC Arvid Cronenberg, Kungl. Krigsvetensk.4 2004

Note* The german demands concerning railroad transports from Trelleborg in Sweden to Norway are well known. But Swedish Navy discipline made it dangerous to question command attitudes during wwii even to postwar officers. - Our source Aug 2008 used the words, "Absolut Tabu" which though swedish will be understood by a much larger audience.



..................................NEW - for comparison and details: Next-in-line to the Klas-class above, flottansman.se J7 MALMÖ completet Aug. 1939










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,
that´s german!
- A swede, "en svensker" calls his country, Sverige, so do we.

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]



Below: GJ-regiment embarkation in Stettin. Written (at the back): "Oster-Nothafen Swinemünde Aug. 1941"





Below: Jan. 2011 New image "Iceclad" KMJ1 Ehrensköld [photo before 1941 - no white stribe!]. Page.down sistership J2 Nordenskjöld. both upload. se.wikifiles by Marcusross. Postcard view at "Svensk eskorte..."





The Ehrenskölds and their immediate followers had a clear architectural familiarity with the US Fourstackers of which the British had 50 as a Stop Gab-Deal in Sep. 1940. World War II in the Baltic was fought by sight. Few swedish vessels had search hydrophones


Amer. fourstacker 1941 - british recognition nr.
G 19



Above the HMS Leamington G19
--_________________________ Same ship another day in canadian waters






THE WHITE NEUTRALITY-stripe on swedish warships 1941-45 may still today solve some mysteries.

Our topmost photo may be one of the last of the KMJ4 before the Hårsfjärden Disaster - Sep 17 1941 the three vessels, J5 Göteborg, J3 Klas Horn and J4 Klas Uggla were severely damaged at the wharf at Märsgarn by a torpedo exploding in a tube on the J5. 33 men were killed and the J3 considerer a total loss; the J6 Stockholm at anchor was the only ship of The First Destroyer Division not damaged. - By the end of 1944 the swedish nayy counted 21 destroyers.

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".

The Destroyer Division in Karlskrona lying on short notice would run out through the Blekinge Archipelag, to take over the convoy in the vicinity of Utklippan Light [55*57N 15*42E], and then proceed through Kalmar Sound west of Öland and north along the east coast, in an effort to keep actions of war inside swedish waters.

Naval actions in the Baltic was always a question of being icebound or not. By March# 1942 an swedish icebreaker worked hard to open the sea-route between Sassnitz Germany and Trelleborg in Sweden. Gävle [60*40N] was opened on May 8.

Two weeks later, one russian sub sneeked under the enormous se. fi. Åland Minefields into the Gulf of Botnia. Thus ready for the south-going ore-ships. And north-going german army convoys - the one we know from the photoes left Stettin in late August 1941. Tornio is situated north in The Gulf of Botnia [65*55N]. The ore-port Luleå at [65*39N].

50 nautical miles south of Åland the finnish steamer ARGO was torpedoed by the russian submarine SC-317#. T
he J 2 Nordenskjöld patroling in the area, in one day issued [visually] submarine warnings to 27 swedish vessels, 4 finnish, 7 dutch and 7 german. 5 more sinkings would follow the ARGO.

During 1941 Danish Marine Casualty Statistics has no war loss in swedish og finnish waters, although 5 ships - all in the class 2.500 to 5.500 ton
@ - ran into groundings or kollisions to and from Luleå. One attack on a danish ship off Sweden occured in 1942, when the steamer ORION was torpedoed underway to Luleå@, between Visby, Gotland, and Landsort Light [58*44N 17*52E].

This ship didn't sink and evidence was again recovered: Torpedo splinters with russian signs were scattered inside the hull. Two days later the swedish ore-steamer ADA GORTHON were torpedoed at Öland. Targets of war, nobody left in doubt and by late 1942 british pressure in the fuel-import question called a halt to this escorting german vessels.


source to
@details: Dansk Søulykke-Statistik 1941 & 1942 [eng.: Dan. Maritime Casualties Statistics 1941 & 1942]

source to #details: Göran Melder, Nordenskjöld i eskorttjänst 1942, 2006, Marinmusei Venner Årsbok.

other sources:
1) chr.gunter.se 2) Jagare, C.Borgenstam 2002. 3) chap.7 narkhammar.se 4) research, swedish blogs and edu.sites. 5) Transiteringsfrågan vol I-II. April - Dec. 1940, official FM source-collection. 6) Talks to "Aug.2008" see: *Svensk eskorte af tyske skibe... Link (catch) at frontpage



Below swedish destroyer KMJ2 Nordenskjöld with white neutrality stripe. Like sistership above: wikifile/ marcusross


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.


All rights reserved, Steen Siebken