måndag 28 juli 2014

Military Monday - Swedes in WWI

Today is 100 years since the outbreak of World War 1 and there for my post will be about the Swedes who took part in the war.

Almost 20 000 Swedish born men were called in during World War 1. Not all of them were in the U.S. army. Some were in the Canadian army, where there were two Scandinavian bataljons, and some were in the German army. It all depended on where you happened to be at the time of the outbreak. It is believed that around 600 of the 20 000 died on the battlefields on the western front. Some were of course wounded and returned home with injuries others were not wounded but came home with terrible memories.

Many of the Swedish men in the American army had only been in the states a couple of years. Some had escaped Sweden in order to not have to undergo the obligatory military service. A few moved back to Sweden after the war but they did not like to talk about the war.

Three brothers from Falkenberg happened to be in Germany when the war broke out and ended up in the German army. On of the was captured and sent to prison camp in Siberia. He was released after three years and could then return home.

Taking part in war is not always about honour, duty or ideology. Sometimes you just happen to be in the wrong place. Sweden stayed out of the war and has not been involved in a war for over 200 years, but we have none the less been affected by it. 

Hallands Nyheter July 28, 2014

In the Public Domain
By John Warwick Brooke - This is photograph Q 3990 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 1900-13)

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