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Why has Sweden never feared Germany or any of the other Great Powers pre ww1 and ww2?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 05:04:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Norway is a buffer against the UK (and besides, the UK would have to cross a mountain range to get to Sweden - the UK may be a lot of things, but "good at land war in harsh topology, against enemies that shoot back" isn't one of them). Denmark is a buffer against Germany. Germany is a buffer against everything else. And besides, with Russia the main competitor for naval dominance over the Baltic, Swedish-German relations have usually been reasonably good. So Russia is the only major power they don't have a buffer state or two against.

Well, that and the fact that Russia usurped their status as the big fish in the Baltic pond in the 18th and 19th century.

- Jake

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by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 05:47:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would add that in the 1871-1914 period it also clearly was not in Germanys interest to attack Sweden as that would benefit Russia. Also Sweden leaned pro-german (german being the dominating second language, lots of intermarriage in the upper classes of Sweden and Germany) and was in 1914 fairly close to joining the war on the German side (against Russia).

Pre 1871 Prussia was one of the competing powers in the region but was weak enough not to be a threath considering its position at the middle of the board. And pre Prussia hegemony (now we are before the Napoleonic wars) Germany was simply to fractured to pose a threath.

Last time (pre wwI) there was a serious german threath was when there was some attempts to re-structure the Holy German Empire and get it under a centralised power. That coupled with plans for a naval base at the baltic prompted some actions from the swedish state that played some quite some part in the subsequent fracturing.

But lets move to the case of the french great power and its relation to the swedish state during history. France is to far away to pose a serious military threath. Yeah, that's it.

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 06:29:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Puts our flame wars into perspective...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, we did.

German invasion was called Krigsfall I ("war case I") and was considered the most likely one during WWII. All contingency planning for Krigsfall I was dropped around 1950 and all planning was focused on Krigsfall II (Soviet invasion).

Krigsfall III was the WWII planning against the very real risk of British invasion, and post-war this was redefined as an invasion by Britain/US, US/Britain or NATO. Almost no planning was done until the last 80's, when some low prioritized planning was done on Krigsfall III which was then seen as an invasion from Norway (by either NATO or the Warsaw Pact).

Or maybe by the nasty Norwegians themselves... ;)

One important reason so much focus was on Russia pre WW1 was that they were not only the last ones we had lost a war against, but before that war we had fought a number of wars against the Russians during the 18th century, including the Great Nordic War.

We also, very importantly, shared a land border, while ze Germans would have had to defeat our Navy before they could invade, something which would have been a bit challenging before Germany was united in 1871. Another important reason was that Sweden and Germany where very close culturally; if we would have had MTV in Sweden 100 years ago, they would have sung in German, not English.

That was further strengthened by the common perception of Russia as the Threat.

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by Starvid on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:52:59 PM EST
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