Nils Swedlund

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Nils Swedlund
Nils Swedlund och Richard Åkerman.jpg
Swedlund (left) and chief of staff Richard Åkerman (right), 1 April 1951.
Birth name Nils Per Robert Swedlund
Nickname(s) Stora Bullret[1] ("Big Noise")
Born (1898-05-16)16 May 1898
Gävle, Sweden
Died 28 June 1965(1965-06-28) (aged 67)
Mariehamn, Åland Islands
Buried Skogsö cemetery, Saltsjöbaden
Allegiance Sweden
Service/branch Swedish Army
Years of service 1919–1961
Rank General
Commands held Norrbotten Regiment (I 19)
Defence Staff
Supreme Commander

Nils Per Robert Swedlund (16 May 1898 – 28 June 1965) was a Swedish Army general who was Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces from 1951 to 1961. He was one of the strongest advocates for a Swedish nuclear weapons program. He worked hard to convince the government that they were necessary.


Military career[edit]

Swedlund was born in Gävle, Sweden, the son of major Gustav Swedlund and his wife Ellen (née Reuterskiöld) and brother of the archivist and historian Robert Swedlund. He passed studentexamen at the Högre allmänna läroverket in Gävle in 1917 and became a second lieutenant in Hälsingland Regiment (I 14) in 1919.[2] Swedlund became captain of the General Staff Corps in 1933 and conducted rehearsals and was a teacher at the Royal Swedish Army Staff College from 1934 to 1938 and from 1940 to 1942. He was promoted to major in 1940 and lieutenant colonel in 1942. Swedlund was head of department at the Defence Staff in 1942 and was appointed vice chief and section chief in the Defense Staff in 1944. He was promoted to colonel the same year.[3]

During World War II Swedlund was involved in the Swedish training of Norwegian police troops.[4] Swedlund was then commanding officer of Norrbotten Regiment (I 19) from 1946 to 1947 and the chief of the Defence Staff from 1947 to 1951. He was promoted to major general in 1948, lieutenant general in 1951 and finally general in 1951. Swedlund was the Supreme Commander from 1951 to 1961.[3] As Supreme Commander Swedlund was a strong supporter of nuclear weapons and a driving force in continuing the Swedish nuclear weapons program. He regarded them as necessary for the Swedish defence and worked hard to gain the government's support on the issue. He was also involved in the secret operations for the formation of a Swedish resistance movement in the event of a Soviet invasion, the so-called Stay-behind movement.[5]

Other work[edit]

He became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences in 1943 and an honorary member of the Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences in 1952.[3]

Personal life[edit]

On 14 April 1927 in Halmstad, Swedlund married Brita Alexandra Broberg (26 November 1901 in Eftra, Halland – 17 July 1993 in Danderyd), the daughter of major Carl Alfred Broberg and Ebba Susanna Ståhle.[6] Swedlund died during a sailing on the Sea of Åland on 28 June 1965. His death place was indicated as Mariehamn in Åland Islands. Swedlund was living in Saltsjöbaden at the time of his death.[6] He was buried at Skogsö Cemetery in Saltsjöbaden.[7]

Dates of rank[edit]

Awards and decorations[edit]


  1. ^ "Mellan Thörnell och Syrén" [Between Thörnell and Syrén]. Kristianstadsbladet (in Swedish). 1 December 2003. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Harnesk, Paul, ed. (1962). Vem är vem? 1, Stor-Stockholm [Who is who? 1, Greater Stockholm] (in Swedish) (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Vem är vem. p. 1249. 
  3. ^ a b c Burling, Ingeborg, ed. (1956). Vem är det: svensk biografisk handbok. 1957 [Who is it: Swedish biographical handbook. 1957] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Norstedt. p. 933. 
  4. ^ Pierre, Erik (14 November 2005). "15 000 norrmän fick hemlig polisutbildning" [15,000 Norwegian received secret police training]. Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  5. ^ Övervakningen av nazister och högerextremister: forskarrapporter till Säkerhetstjänstkommissionen (PDF). Statens offentliga utredningar, 0375-250X ; 2002:94 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Fritzes offentliga publikationer. 2002. ISBN 91-38-21775-9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26. 
  6. ^ a b Zetterberg, Kent (2014). "Nils Per Robert Swedlund". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon (in Swedish). 34. National Archives of Sweden. p. 542. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  7. ^ Åstrand, Göran (1998). Känt och okänt på Stockholms kyrkogårdar [Known and unknown at the Stockholm cemeteries] (in Swedish). Bromma: Ordalaget. p. 158. ISBN 91-973128-2-7. 
  8. ^ Sveriges statskalender för skottåret 1964 (in Swedish). Uppsala: Fritzes offentliga publikationer. 1964. p. 350. 
  9. ^ a b c Sveriges statskalender. 1963 (in Swedish). Uppsala: Fritzes offentliga publikationer. 1963. p. 346. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Vice Chief of the Defence Staff
Succeeded by
Thord Bonde
Preceded by
Carl August Ehrensvärd
Chief of the Defence Staff
Succeeded by
Richard Åkerman
Preceded by
Helge Jung
Supreme Commander
Succeeded by
Torsten Rapp