When Sweden was deceived

October 1981: This basic support of the Russian submarine is by no means representative of the submarine activity in the Swedish archipelago, where Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States were also active. Despite hundreds of media reports, there is no evidence that Soviet submarines have violated Swedish territory since October 1881, according to US Secretary of Defense Weinberger.
October 1981: This basic support of the Russian submarine is by no means representative of the submarine activity in the Swedish archipelago, where Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States were also active. Despite hundreds of media reports, there is no evidence that Soviet submarines have violated Swedish territory since October 1881, according to US Secretary of Defense Weinberger.
The Swedish submarine war
Forfatter: Ola Tunander
Forlag: Medströms Bokförlag (Sverige)
ENEMY PICTURES / What do we really know about hidden activities, power games and secret submarine operations in Swedish waters?




(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)

The Swedish submarine war collects peace researcher Ola Tunander's long-standing work on alleged Russian submarines' violation of Swedish waters. The book is a 400-page colossal with small print where 50 of the pages make up a detailed note taking. It was launched at the Norwegian Foreign Policy Institute, NUPI, February 26.

Here Ola Tunander is seen on the left, and Sverre Lodgaard as second from the right. From the launch.

And let it be said right away: The Swedish submarine war can be read as a voltage book. Scientific detail and overwhelming source material do not hinder readability. At the presentation of the book, the former director at NUPI emphasized, Sverre Lodgaard, Tunander's language: "You write with elegance. And you attach names to the most annoying parts, "Lodgaard said. But Lodgaard's academic support for Tunander's research work was more important, because Lodgaard is no where at all: As NUPI director from 1997 to 2007 and former director also at PRIO (Institute for Peace Research), Lodgaard is the closest you come to a Norwegian foreign policy national. He praised Tunander for his "steadfastness in meeting not only with opponents but also with people who want to discredit what you did".

Where did the submarines come from?

On October 27, 1981, the Swedes awoke to the news that a Soviet submarine (whiskey type) was lying on a reef near the Swedish naval base in Karlskrona. Outside the Swedish archipelago, it had operated to this day submarines from West Germany, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, as well as Italian submarines under US command.

Submarine Whiskey
October 1981: This basic support of the Russian submarine is by no means representative of the submarine activity in the Swedish archipelago, where Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States were also active. Despite hundreds of media reports, there is no evidence that Soviet submarines have violated Swedish territory since October 1981, according to US Secretary of Defense Weinberger.

Afterwards, we were given humorous versions of this "whiskey-on-the-rocks" event that idly explained Russian intelligence and was embarrassing for the Soviet Union.

The then US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger (1917–2006) and British Navy Minister Keith Speed ​​(1934–2018) confirmed on Swedish TV in 2000 that they had “practiced regularly and often” in Swedish waters. After the famous whiskey affair, there was no evidence of Soviet violations of Swedish waters.

The Americans had a good overview of the Swedish coast, because they had placed interception equipment along the entire Swedish coast as early as the 70s.

The Americans had a good overview of the coast of Sweden, for they had been tapping equipment along the entire Swedish coast as early as the 70s with Italian-built miniature boats that were carried under cover by American civilian trading vessels.

Dalarö 4

Throughout the 80s, Swedish media continued to report extensive submarine observations in national waters – and the Soviet Union was blamed. Deepwater mines were laid on the submarines, but without results. Soviet President Yuriy Andropov and Prime Minister Nikolaj Ryzhkov urged Sweden to lower the submarines; so it would come for a day that they were not Soviet. It was never done.

Popular observations of submarines were convincingly detailed and revealing. The hand drawing from Dalarö in 1982 shows an Italian-built COSMOS mini boat. The snorkel mast is located along the deck behind the tower and tilted vertically as the submarine approaches the surface. No Soviet submarine looks like this one.
Popular observations of submarines were convincingly detailed and revealing. The hand drawing from Dalarö in 1982 shows
an Italian-built COSMOS mini boat. The snorkel mast is located along the deck behind the tower and tilted vertically when
the submarine is approaching the surface. No Soviet submarine looks like this one.

In a short time, Swedish public opinion turned to the Russians. Olof Palme had returned after the 1982 election with his Palm Commission report with thoughts on dialogue and cooperation with the Soviet Union. But with widespread rumors of Soviet intrusion, this became impossible: "the Russians were coming," and Palme's softening policy was put to death.

In a short time, Swedish public opinion turned to the Russians.

Tunander got it right

Peace scientist Tunander is Swedish, but as professor emeritus at the world's first peace research institute, PRIO, it is in Oslo that he has worked most of his life. He can refer to a very extensive production with contributions to prestigious international publications. He earned his doctorate on the topic of US Naval Military Strategy and is an international expert on submarines.

We Norwegians have our own history of submarine hunting in our fjords. But the extensive Swedish archipelago poses quite another complex challenge for the Swedish defense force: With tens of thousands of islands facing the Baltic, neutral Sweden is exposed to areas of tension between major powers in a cold war.

This is where Tunander comes in as a member of the Swedish Submarine Survey of 2001. As a civilian expert and peace researcher, he contributes with his international network far into American and British top politics. And a different version than the media stories appears in his research. In the book's preface, the chief secretary for the same state investigation, Mathias Mossberg, summarizes: "The most current real evidence available today that can explain the nationality of submarines is Ola Tunander's responsibility in this book."

That the United States was behind is not a loose claim

It's strange, Mossberg continues, that Sweden is the only country in the world where researching this issue is controversial. And it was controversial, at least when Sweden's then Foreign Minister Lennart Bodström (1928–2015) expressed doubts as to whether it really was the submarines of the Russians – and with it also raised doubts about prevailing opinion. This triggered a pressure, not least from the media, which forced the minister to step down in 1985, despite the fact that he later got it right.

On Swedish television, US Secretary of Defense Caspar Winberger in 2000 could tell that the boat was western and not Soviet. Tunander goes deep and in detail with technical evidence and strategic reasoning about what had been going on. But three main features are important for understanding the underlying cause of the submarine offenses:

  1. The Reagan administration, under CIA commander William Casey, set up a broad, interdisciplinary committee on psychological warfare, the "Deception Committee", with the stated aim of opposing Swedish opinion to the Soviet Union. Submarine actions were planned from an office in the US top management. This is well documented with interviews of just US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Navy Secretary John Lehman and Admiral James "Ace" Lyons.
  2. American propaganda had a decisive influence on Swedes' relations with the Soviet Union: Swedes who perceived the Russians as "a threat" or as "unfriendly" increased from 27 to 83 percent in the period 1980 to 1983. The Swedes began to believe that "the Russians are coming."
  3. The submarines created the impression that Sweden was under attack from the Soviet Union and that the country could not protect itself from its neighbor in the east – not even in its own archipelago. This provided ammunition to opponents of Palme's relaxation policy towards the Soviet Union.

Who controls Sweden today?

Tunander shows that US leaders such as Weinberger and Lehman were open about the fact that they themselves were behind the submarine's violations of Swedish waters.

But Tunander doubts that the only reason, Weinberger argued, was to test the Swedes' alertness to the Soviet Union. For if the intention was mainly to create increased Swedish vigilance in the archipelago, the list was extremely low by submarine intrusions far into Stockholm's inner harbor. So low that it is not credible, Lodgaard also thinks. An important reason for – and at least the result of – the fingered Western submarine penetration was to torpedo Palme's planned relaxation policy towards the Soviet Union. And that was exactly what Reagan's Deception Committee was going to do.

Top diplomat Mossberg also emphasizes that Tunander's disclosures are important for today's security political situation, since today there are several who are trying to "revive the thesis on Soviet / Russian intrusion".

Sverre Lodgaard concluded the book launch at NUPI by thinking in the extension of Mossberg, that openness about the submarine offenses of the 80s is important for today's situation. He pointed to possible underlying levels of power in Sweden that are not reflected in the democratic landscape. And he asks: "Is the dualism in the Swedish state apparatus still a reality? And if Sweden still has a deep state in some sense, what does that two-division look like? And what impact techniques are most relevant now? ”

That's how it is The Swedish submarine war not just a settlement of myths from the 80s, but a fire torch into today's Sweden.

Also read: Political task game from the Cold War cookbook by Ola Tunander

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