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The Defence Staff was located at Östermalmsgatan 87 in Stockholm until 1981.
It was located at Lidingövägen 24 from 1981 to 1994.

The Defence Staff (Swedish language: Försvarsstaben , abbreviated Fst) was a Swedish government agency established in 1937 and was active until 1994. Initially the tasks of the Defence Staff was limited to the overall military strategic and operational issues as well as to the central operational command of army forces. In 1961 a central operational command was added for the navy and air force.[1] The Defence Staff was in 1994 merged with the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters.

History[edit | edit source]

The Defence Staff was established on 1 July 1937 (SFS 1937:667) with the task of planning the use of the national defense funds and for the military branches perform the joint war preparations and to promote coherence and synergy between military branches. The Defence Staff was organized in 10 departments, Army Operational, Navy Operational, Air Force Operational, Military Signals, Cryptography, Air Defense, Communications, Intelligence, War History and Photo Department. In 1942 the first major reorganization took place. The Defence Staff became the Supreme Commander's (ÖB) staff, organized in three sections, as well as an Naval and an Aviation Department (later to Section 1). Section 1 comprised six departments: Army, Quartermaster, Air Defense, Communications, Signaling, Service and Photo Department. Section 2 comprised three departments: Foreign Affairs, Interior Affairs and War History Department and Section 3 two departments: the Press and Film as well as the Staff Welfare Department.[2]

Next thorough reorganization of the Defence Staff occurred in 1961. An Operation Management (OPL 1 for Studies, OPL 2 for War Planning and OPL 3 for Preparedness and Exercises), four sections, one Administrative and Information Department and a Staff Welfare Bureau was formed. Section 1 comprised four departments, Public, Communication, Military Signals and Quartermaster Department, Section 2 three departments: Attaché, Intelligence and Domestic Department, Section 3 two departments: the Press and Film and War History Department, Section 4 Budget Detail and two departments, Research - and the Planning Department. An EDP office in Section 1 was established in 1965 (later the EDP Department). In 1968 the Total Defense Signal Security Department (Totalförsvarets signalskyddsavdelning) was added (formerly the National Signal Security Commission (Statens signalskyddsnämnd)).[2]

The Defence Staff was again reorganized in 1980 with an Operating Department, six operational sections, a Planning Department with the four planning sections, an Administrative Section and an Information Department. The agency, known as The Supreme Commander (Överbefälhavaren), according to instructions (SFS 1983:276), was exercising the leadership of the nations military defense and related operational activities. The Defence Staff that since 1 July 1981 was named Överbefälhavaren, was in connection with the Swedish Armed Forces restructuring on 1 July 1994 merged with the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters (Högkvarteret, HKV).[2]

Chiefs of the Defence Staff[edit | edit source]

Service insignia m/1960 of the Defence Staff.

Rank and name Branch Period Notes
Major General Olof Thörnell Army 1936–1939 Acting until 1937
Major General Axel Rappe Army 15 December 1939 – 31 March 1941 Acting[note 1]
Colonel Samuel Lars Åkerhielm Army 1941–1942 Acting
Major General Axel Bredberg Army 1942–1945
Major General Carl August Ehrensvärd Army 1945–1947 Acting 1944-45
Major General Nils Swedlund Army 5 February 1947 – 1 April 1951 Took office on 1 April.[4]
Major General Richard Åkerman Army 1951–1957
Major General Curt Göransson Army 1957–1961
Major General Carl Eric Almgren Army 1961–1967
Lieutenant General Stig Synnergren Army 1967–1970
Lieutenant General Bo Westin Navy 1970–1972
Lieutenant General Gunnar Eklund Navy 1972–1976
Lieutenant General Lennart Ljung Army 1976–1978
Vice Admiral Bengt Schuback Navy 1978–1982
Vice Admiral Bror Stefenson Navy 1982–1987
Lieutenant General Torsten Engberg Navy 1987–1991
Lieutenant General Owe Wiktorin Air Force 1991–1992
Vice Admiral Peter Nordbeck Navy 1992–1994

Vice Chiefs of the Defence Staff[edit | edit source]

Rank and name Branch Period Title Source
Major General Axel Rappe Army 15 December 1939 – 31 March 1941 Acting chief (ställföreträdande chef) [3]
Colonel Nils Swedlund Army 1 January 1944 – 31 March 1946 Vice chief [4]
Colonel Thord Bonde Army 1946–1948[note 2] Vice chief (souschef) [5][6]
Commander Knut Mauritz Östberg Navy 1949–1951 Vice chief [7]
Colonel Sam Myhrman Army 1956–1960 Vice chief [8]
Colonel Åke Mangård Air Force 1960–1961 Vice chief [9]
Commander Dag Arvas Navy 1961–1964 Vice chief [10]
Commander Bengt Lundvall Navy 1964–1966 Vice chief [11]
Major General Bo Westin Navy 1966–1968 Vice chief [12]
Major General Dick Stenberg Air Force 1 October 1968 – 1 April 1970 Vice chief [13]
Major General Nils-Fredrik Palmstierna Air Force 1970–1973 Vice chief [14]
Major General Sven-Olof Olson Air Force 1973–1977 Vice chief [15]
Rear Admiral Bengt Schuback Navy 1977–1978 Vice chief [16]
Major General Bengt Lehander Air Force 1978–1982 Vice chief [17]
Major General Lars-Bertil Persson Air Force 1982–1986 Acting chief [18]
Major General Owe Wiktorin Air Force 1986–1991 Acting chief [19]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. During the winter of 1939, when Rappe was commanding officer of the Svea Artillery Regiment in Stockholm, he was made available for service to the Chief of the Defence Staff. After Olof Thörnell's appointment as Supreme Commander for the mobilized elements of the armed forces in December 1939, Rappe was appointed Acting Chief of the Defence Staff. This meant that Rappe in reality served as Chief of the Defence Staff.[3]
  2. According to Lagerström (1968), Bonde was appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in 1946 and his next appointment was as second-in-command of the Svea Life Guards (I 1) in 1950.[5] But between these appointments, Bonde held the position as Chief of Staff of United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) from May 1948 to July 1948[6] and commander Knut Mauritz Östberg held the position of Vice Chiefs of the Defence Staff from 1949.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

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