Trading with Germany and the Allies – Blackmail and Brinksmanship

John Gilmour

in Sweden, the Swastika and Stalin

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780748627462
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671274 | DOI:
Trading with Germany and the Allies – Blackmail and Brinksmanship

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The vital supplies on which Sweden was so dependent were primarily coal, coke, and oil imports because the country had few carbon resources despite extensive forestry. Before the war, coal and coke were imported from Britain which was Sweden’s primary trading partner, and oil from the United States. Germany was also an important trade partner. Germany relied on Sweden for about 40 per cent of its supplies of iron from ore. Within four months of the start of the war, Sweden had succeeded in achieving agreements with both belligerents which, if maintained, would preserve Swedish exports, supply Swedish needs for fuel and continue Sweden’s ability to remain independent. The German invasions of Denmark and Norway, cut Sweden off from its western trading partners but the Germans agreed to what became known as ‘Safe-Conduct Traffic’ through the British and German blockades. For the Allies during 1943, ball-bearings acquired the status similar to that of iron ore three years earlier. Per Albin wanted to limit perceptions of the pliability of Swedish foreign policy under pressure and refused to cave in to Allied demands over concessions to Germany. Yet, from August 1944, Sweden progressively ended exports to Germany on Swedish ships and coal imports from Germany ceased in the autumn of 1944

Keywords: Coal, Coke, and Oil; Iron Ore; SKF; Ball Bearings; Wallenbergs; Großraumwirtschaft; War Trade Agreement (WTA); London Tripartite Agreement (LTA); Enskilda

Chapter.  7133 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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