Swedish Volunteer Company
Like in the Winter War, Swedish volunteers were again recruited in the Continuation War in 1941. About 25 percent of the men were Swedish officers on leave. The Swedish neutrality during World War II has been much debated and challenged. Relations between Germany and Sweden remained co-operative during World War II. Sweden exported iron ore to supply Germany's war industry via the Norwegian port of Narvik. The Swedish Government gave the Wehrmacht access to the Swedish rail system. Sweden also allowed German naval transports to take shortcuts across Swedish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea. The most controversial transit of German troops through Sweden was that of a fully armed and equipped infantry division under the command of General Erwin Engelbrecht from Norway to Finland during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Responding to German appeals for volunteers Swedish citizens enlisted in the German Armed Forces (most of them served in the Waffen-SS) and saw combat on the Eastern Front. This was a choice made by individual Swedish citizens, and not Swedish government policy (foreign recruitment of volunteers was banned in Sweden). Image: Public domain.