In outward appearance, Sweden stood alone and non-aligned during the Cold War, which lasted between 1945 and 1991. Official statements declared that the country would be neutral in war. But there never was a defence plan based on neutrality. In fact, there were a series of top secret collaboration with the Nordic NATO members Norway and Denmark.
This shows a new book, 'Den dolda alliansen – Sveriges hemliga Nato-förbindelser' (The Hidden Alliance – Sweden's Secret NATO association), by Michael Holmström, journalist at the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
A security guarantee from the United States was that the U.S. Marines had units that could be deployed in the northern or southern Sweden. The U.S. Air Force was able to land in Sweden within six to eight days.
Another finding in the book is that high-ranking officers and other key people were reported to military duty at Swedish embassies in strategic NATO countries.
Holmström also writes about a top secret air force unit: Flygenhet 66 (Air Unit 66), with the mission to, among else, secretly transfer people. The units military training could be about getting key figures out of the country, or deploy agents at the Finnish border to the Soviet Union. The unit used civilian air-planes, mostly small planes of Cessna-type.
Much of the planning was all about keeping the whole thing a secret. The Swedish Security Service protected the operations from civilian authorities. The pilots had code names, and got paid in cash.
One of the sources for the book, the chief of staff for Air Unit 66, Sven Hugosson, has today gone out in public and explain why he has chosen to talk about the secret military unit.
“I think it's time to talk about this since it has been surrounded by so much hypocrisy over the years,” he told public radio SR.