The D-day that never happened, "Op save Denmark" 1945 (Swedish invasion of Denmark)
Not very known even among most Swedes and completely unknown among non-Swedes were the Swedish plans to send troops to liberate eastern Denmark and the island Bornholm during the late phase of the war.
The 4th May 1945 the Swedish army General Major C.A. Ehrensvärd had approved the last decisions concerning the Swedish invasion of eastern Denmark, early planning had started already during christmas 1943. The invasion would be launched at the same time the Allies' would attack western Denmark. A week earlier the American General Major in the Army Air Force Frederick Anderson had visited Sweden and finally managed to talk Per Albin Hansson to take side and join the Allies'. At the same time when Wilson was in Sweden, he followed how Danish infantry units regrouped from Småland and Blekinge (further north) to Skåne. The countdown had begun.
The op "Rädda Danmark" (save Denmark) was part of two operations, "Rädda Själland" and "Rädda Bornholm", Själland is the large island in eastern Denmark where amongst else Copenhagen is situated, and Bornholm is a small island located south of Skåne.
To be able to pull the Op off, according to planning there was a need for 1158 troop transport ships (most of them quite small) and about 100 naval vessels. From the Swedish side the invasion would be led by 3. Army Corp consisting of two divisions (I. and IX.) and 7. motorized brigade, and 8. armoured brigade. To this came numerous independent units and about 4 000 Danish soldiers trained in Sweden. All in all 60 000 soldiers with about 6 000 vehicles. To this came the personell in the Navy and the Air Force.
The opposing force, the Germans occupation force on Själland, consisted of about 28 000 soldiers that had prepared the harbors to be blown up. In Helsingør there was a special ship that would be used to block the harbor, and the harbor in Copenhagen was also prepared in a similar way. The German naval force in Copenhagen consisted of amongst else the cruisers Prinz Eugen and Nürnbeg, 4 destroyers and to this mine-sweepers, patrol ships etc.
Swedish and Danish troop concentrations in Skåne had already begun, and the earliest possible date for invasion was set to 18th May 1945. The first wave that would launch an surprise assault in Helsingør would consist of 6 000 men. On the Skåne coast heavy coastal artillery (21 and 15 cm) would give supporting fire, the Swedish Navy battleships Oscar II and Tapperheten would also give supporting fire. Most of the Swedish Air Force would be based in Skåne and give air cover and attack ground targets.
To the right the Swedish province Skåne, to the left Denmark that
was occupied by Germany and the planned invasion routes, the first
wave would be elite units taking the harbor in Helsingør before the
Germans would have time to blow it up.
Swedish prime minuster during world war two, the
social democrat Per Albin Hansson. The Swedish defence
line with bunkers, trenches, minefields on the west coast
of Skåne was also named after him.
Thanks to the Swedish non-participation in the war Sweden had good
contacts with both the Axis' and Allies'. Here Folke Bernadotte is on his
way to see Heinrich Himmler in copenhagen 1945. This was used by both
Swedish and Allied intelligence.
About 4 000 Danish soldiers that had been trained and equipped by the
Swedish military would participate in the invasion. Also a Danish naval unit
was set up with the assistance of the Swedish military 1944, "Den danske Flotille",
here "Havkatten" in Swedish naval camo, this was the command ship of the
"Den danske Flotille".
Peace in Europe, Germans capitulate 5th May. The invasion of
Denmark was perhaps just a few days away when Germany capitulated
Soldiers from "Den danske Brigade", a Danish brigade equipped by the Swedish
army in Denmark directly after the Germans had capitulated. The first soldiers from
den danske brigade arrived in Denmark the same day the Germans capitulated and
were battle ready. This shows how ready they were to invade. There were small
firefights with German-loyal groups.
Danish resistance fighter have come out from their hiding directly after the
Germans capitulated, and became the "law" until Den danske Brigade and police
took control, the resistance did some horrible things to people that they suspected
had helped to Germans, many were murdered.
so what happened to prevent this?
germany surrendered to soon?
Yes, the invasion could have happened at the earliest the 18th May 1945, the Germans surrendered the 5th May.
Originally Posted by CSAR
I think that would have been a good plan to stop Soviet advance if they would have tried to push too far towards west. But I wonder how swedes would have make it against experienced german troops.
Especially the Danes in "Den danske Brigade" I believe would have been quite skilled, they had one to two years of intensive military training (and some of them previous military training in Denmark) and were equipped with quite modern military equipment for the time, amongst else larger numbers of (the Swedish version of) the Suomi submachine gun, it was their country so they were motivated to fight as well.
Also the Germans would have been hugely outnumbered, with their 28 000 troops vs. 60 000 Swedes (+ Allies' attacking from the west), also at this point in the war the Swedish Air Force would have been able to form an effective "umbrella". I guess it's quite relevant to point out as well that most German soldiers in the calm Denmark were not really "crack elite troops" but rather too old to serve at the front reservists, so I am not sure how many of these Germans actually had seen action, or how effective killing machines they were.
Per Albin Hansson counted with that there would be no need to actually invade, or if it happened that the Germans would surrender quickly and that losses would be low, public opinion wouldn't have allowed a bloodbath.
Danes in Sweden, note that they are all armed with submachine guns.
Danes in Sweden, training naval assault
The Danes had their own Air Force as well set up in Sweden officially, consisting of
15 SAAB B 17Cs.
Training in Sweden, with 47 mm mortar, note the Danish flag on the helmet
Training in Sweden on a MG
Swedish-equipped Danish soldier with full marching gear, and armed with a submachine gun
Den danske Brigade arriving in Helsingør the same day the Germans
surrendered, transer of the 5 000 men of the brigade was ready already
before evening, so it's safe to say that they were well prepared for the
invasion that never happened. Also note the handgrenades, they were
prepared for battle. The brigade suffered 3 KIAs in clashes with German-
Troops were shipped in with pretty much everything that was floating, this appears to be
some kind of fishing boats
Engineer unit of the brigade in Helsingør 5th May 1940
British liaison officer (left) with Danish officer.
The whole concept of an invasion of Denmark by Swedish forces is quite interesting. It would've drawn Sweden into the second world war at the very end thus silencing comments aimed towards Sweden about her neutral status and few contributions to the general war-effort.
Thanks for the post Kekkonen , it was certainly interesting to read about something like this.
**** you 20122. how goes does gaz type drunk? dricl. man
A terra dos foguetes
Very interesting! I don't know if the Swedes would have had a very tough time - I can't imagine many battle hardened German troops were stationed in Denmark. Were they? I'd think most would be dead or captured or facing the Soviets in Prussia by then.
A Swedish Johnny come Lately? A last minute effort to get on the victors' good side, after having supplied the German war economy at huge profits for five years, perhaps?
If you read the information above you can se that the operational planing started 1943 It's just that sweden dident have enough equipment to be able to
handle a operation of this scale before mid 1945.
(we were VERY unprepared for WWII, and after it started noone had spare equipment to sell us, so we had to create a whole industrial sector ourselves.)
How was swedish army & airforces equipped in 1945? Especially what types of airplanes, AT-weapons and armored vehicles did they have?
Army: 1945 The Swedish army had ten divisions, one motorized brigade, three armored brigades and one bicycle brigad. Especially the anti-aircraft units had grown in strength during the war. As you can see it was mostly an infantry army, the armor Sweden had was light and bad, but then on the other hand the Germans didn't have Tigers or anything in Denmark anyway. AT-weaponry was bad as well, no Panzerfausts or anything like that. And as you can see in the first post in this thread Sweden still used 37 mm anti-tank guns 1945.
Main tank type, Strv m/42, this is the command version, the
right MG have been replaced by a antenna, but still remains
something that to the enemy would look like a MG
Air Force: 1945 there were three main plane types in service, with hundreds in service of this alone. In May 1945 the Swedish Air Force had 790 war planes, of which 580 could be used immediately for operative missions.
FFVS J 22 (fighter plane)
SAAB 17 (light dive bomber, recon)
SAAB 18 (medium bomber, recon)
FFVS J 22, a Swedish "Mitsubishi A6M Zero", as the Zero underpowered, but very light
and manouverable, and lightly armed.
In terms of combat worth of especially J 22 vs. late war German fighters the Luftwaffe would have blown the Swedes of the sky in no time. The Swedish fighters were limited by amongst else weak engines and not having the same high-octane fuel as the Axis' and Allies'. However this late in the war there were no Luftwaffe simply over Denmark, if there would indeed have been battle I can imagine that the SAAB 17/18s would have been quite busy with strafing enemy targets.
Navy: May 1945 the Swedish Navy consisted of seven armored battle ships (of which four were obsolete), four cruisers, 24 destroyers, 26 submarines, 42 minesweepers, 20 motor torpedo boats, 16 vedettbåtar (no idea how to translate that) and six special ships. Two cruisers and two large destroyers were under construction.
Battleship of Äran (Honor) class that was obsolete 1945, but according to the planning
HMS Tapperheten's 21 and 15 cm guns would be used to lay down indirect fire on German
positions during the invasion.