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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:11 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden bought four Italian destroyers in 1940. Two were of the Italian Sella class lauched in 1926; HMS Puke (ex Bettino Ricasoli) and HMS Psilander (ex Giovanni Nicotera), and two of the Spica class (in the Italian Navy these ships were classed as torpedo boats) launched in 1934; HMS Romulus (ex Spica) and HMS Remus (ex Astore).

During the journey from Italy to Sweden this force was intercepted by a RN destroyer unit and the Swedish force commander chose not to put up a fight (partly because there were a number of civilians - even some women and children - aboard the ships, but also because his ships were much inferior to the RN destroyers). The destroyers were interned in the UK for a short time, but after some diplomatic activities later released to Sweden.

Unfortunately the force commander, because of his descicion not to follow the old navy tradition to fight rather than surrender his ships, afterwards fell in disgrace within the Swedish Navy and it put an end to his career. History has later proved he made the correct descicion but it took many years before the Navy finally admitted this.

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Sten Ekedahl
Maj. (Retd) RSwAF


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:32 pm
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Location: northern Minnesota
Thank you Sten, that was most interesting information. I thought it was two Spica class Destroyers that Sweden had bought along with the older two. I had never heard of the Royal Navy interception and interning of the ships for a period of time. I will look in the Official History of The Royal Navy in WWII. Roskill's book and see if I can find mention of this incident.
Do you know if the Allies, the Soviets or even the Germans airforces ever made accidental attacks on Swedish Warships during the war? I would think it would be easy for Airmen to not recognize a Swedish ship and attack it. They must have carried Markings that made it clear they were Swedish maybe??

Tack för upplysningarna! :wave_1:
Bob B.


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