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V.A. Douglas

Count Vilhelm Archibald Douglas (19 July 1883, Stjärnorp Castle – 5 July 1960), was a Swedish nobleman and soldier, who served as Chief of the Swedish Army from 1944 to 1948.

He was the second son of Count Ludvig Douglas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, and Countess Anna Ehrensvärd.

His eldest son, Count Carl Douglas-Stjernorp, was a diplomat and Royal Swedish Ambassador.

Archibald's elder brother Robert, a nobleman in Germany, married dowager Queen Augusta Victoria of Portugal, widow of King Manoel II.

Following his family's traditions, he was educated in the military, and he took part also voluntarily in many combat developments. Sweden did not wage any wars during his lifetime, so an actual combat and war situation had to be experienced elsewhere. As a relatively young man, Archibald Douglas participated as a volunteer in the Civil War of 1918 in Finland, and received in that country the rank of Lieutenant-General. After the Finnish adventure, he continued a steady career in Swedish land forces, despite Sweden being neutral all his career. His tasks were more like guard duties and maintaining defense capabilities.

In 1930s and 1940s, Archibald held commands over large military districts, and as Chief of the Army (1944–48).

Douglas wrote biographical literature and biographies of Marshal of Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (his Finnish contemporary), and Swedish Field Marshal Robert Douglas, Count of Skenninge, his ancestor.

The ancestral Stjärnorp Castle, which his father had purchased back to the family some years before Archibald's birth, was designated as Archibald's family seat.

Douglas died as a result of a car accident near Linköping in July 1960.

Published works[]

  • Finlands frihetskrig: skildrat av deltagare. Helsingfors: H. Schildt, 1921-1928.
  • Jag blev officer. Stockholm: Bonnier, 1950.
  • Prins Gustaf Adolf: en minnesbok. Stockholm: Norstedt, 1951.
  • Robert Douglas: en krigargestalt från vår storhetstid. Stockholm: Bonnier, 1957.

Further reading[]

  • "Gen. Archibald Douglas", The Times (9 July 1960): 10.

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