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The Second World War and the Baltic States


Edited By James S. Corum, Olaf Mertelsmann and Kaarel Piirimäe

This volume places the history of the Second World War and the Baltic states into a multidisciplinary and international perspective. It includes contributions from the fields of diplomacy, strategy, military operations, intelligence and propaganda. It presents not only a multi-layered interpretation of a region affected by total war, but also reveals a great deal about the nature of that conflict. It discusses the attitudes of the great powers towards small states, the nature of military operations around the advent of mechanization and close air support, and techniques of population control and of steering opinion in the era of ideological regimes. Contributions on these topics add to our understanding of the Second World War as a pivotal event in the history of Europe in the 20 th century.
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Exodus and Intelligence Operations: the Swedish Military and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, 1943–45


Lars Ericson Wolke

Developments in the three Baltic countries during the last years of World War Two were followed by a keen interest by the Swedish military intelligence, who conducted a large number of intelligence operations in the region when the German front in the East began to collapse and the Soviet Red Army once again approached the three countries. This paper is an attempt to find out the aim of the Swedish intelligence activities towards the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, as well the methods used by the Swedish intelligence.

Swedish Intelligence during World War Two1

In World War II Swedish military intelligence was a fairly young organization. In its modern version it was founded in 1905 in connection with a national crisis accompanied by a high level of political tension with Norway. The Military Intelligence Branch was, however, a very small organization in peacetime. However, it expanded in both personnel and budget as war loomed in 1939 and 1940.

The security service in Sweden was divided into two parts, a civilian one under the police (The General Security Service or Allmänna säkerhetstjänsten) and a military service within the Domestic Section of the Defense Staff. In the latter case, intelligence operations were solely a military matter. The military intelligence was led by the Foreign Section (or Section II) of the Defense Staff. All of Sweden’s military attachés abroad sent their reports to this section,...

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