Swedish Volunteer Corps

Swedish Volunteer Corps
Swedish Volunteer Corps
World opinion largely supported the Finnish cause, and the Soviet aggression was generally deemed unjustified. International help to Finland was planned, but very little actual help materialized, except from Sweden (Finland constituted the eastern part of the Kingdom of Sweden for centuries before 1809). Swedish support of Finland was near universal, under the slogan Finland's cause is oursVolunteers arrived from America, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Norway and Italy. By far, the largest foreign contingent came from neighbouring Sweden. Sweden was officially non-belligerent, however not neutral. During the course of the war only volunteers could be used by Finland. 12,705 Swedes volunteered against the Soviet aggression in Finland. The Swedish Volunteer Corps (Svenska Frivilligkåren) fought on the northern front at Salla alongside Finnish soldiers. A Swedish unit of Gloster Gladiator, named the Flight Regiment 19 were responsible for the air defence of northern Finland and the city of Turku (Åbo). Hostilities ceased in March 13 1940 with the signing of the Moscow Peace Treaty. Finland lost one eleventh of its national territory and 30 percent of its economic assets to the Soviet Union. 12 percent of Finland's population, some 422,000 Karelians, were evacuated and lost their homes. However, Finland had avoided having the Soviet Union annex the whole country. The peace treaty thwarted the Franco-British plan to send troops to Finland through northern Scandinavia. One of the operation's major goals had been to take control of northern Sweden's iron ore and cut its deliveries to Germany. Second image: Patrol from Lieutenant Grafströms Jäger Company. Public domain.

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