Society Guard

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The Society Guard[1] (Norwegian: Samfundsvernet), sometimes Norwegian Society Guard (Norsk Samfundsvern), was a volunteer paramilitary organisation in Norway.[2][3][4] It was founded in 1923 as a successor to the short-lived Society Aid[1] (Samfundshjelpen).[5] Organised by the right-wing parties, these "emergency groups" were prepared to mobilise in case of war or revolution.[1] The organisation was directed specifically against the labour movement, and recruited officers and volunteers for an armed guard against revolutionary activists.[2][3] Led by officers, it was organised in small secret armed groups.[5] In accordance with the "police law" of 1928, it could be used as a reserve police force.[2] Around 1930, it reportedly had between 10,000 and 15,000 members.[5]

From 1925, the organisation was led by Ragnvald Hvoslef.[2] Other leading figures included Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen.[6] The organisation Leidangen which emerged in 1931 had its background in the Society Guard.[2] To counter such organisations, the Labour Party started organising "Labour Protection Groups" in the 1930s.[1] The Society Guard was dissolved in 1935 following the establishment of the Labour Party Nygaardsvold's Cabinet, after it was revealed that it operated military training with material from the Norwegian Army.[2][7] According to Hans Fredrik Dahl, the Society Guard was the closest Norway came to a White Guard.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Joenniemi, Pertti (2006). The changing face of European conscription. Ashgate. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7546-4410-1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Samfundsvernet". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). 8 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Dahl, Hans Fredrik (1999). Quisling: a study in treachery. Cambridge University. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-521-49697-1. 
  4. ^ Thompson, David G. (2004). The Norwegian armed forces and defense policy, 1905-1955. Edwin Mellen. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7734-6422-3. 
  5. ^ a b c Hansen, Svein Olav; Bakkerud, Audun; Hagen, Hans-Jørgen (2008). Mennesker i tid 2 : verden og Norge etter 1750. Cappelen Damm. p. 360. ISBN 978-82-02-27686-7. 
  6. ^ McBride, William M.; Reed, Eric P. (1998). New interpretations in naval history. Naval Institute. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-55750-648-1. 
  7. ^ "Samfundsvernet". Caplex (in Norwegian). 8 May 2011.