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Richard Åkerman
Birth name Richard Oscar Roger Åkerman
Nickname Riri
Born (1898-07-06)6 July 1898
Died 23 June 1981(1981-06-23) (aged 82)
Place of birth Stockholm, Sweden
Buried at Norra begravningsplatsen
Allegiance Sweden
Service/branch Swedish Army
Years of service 1919–1963
Rank Lieutenant General (Swedish Army)
Lieutenant Colonel (Finnish Army)
Commands held Army Staff College
Östgöta Anti-Aircraft Regiment
Inspector, Control and Reporting System
Defence Staff
III Military Area
Battles/wars Winter War
Relations Joachim Åkerman (father)
Oscar Åkerman (brother)
Gustav Åkerman (brother)

Richard "Riri" Oscar Roger Åkerman (6 July 1898 – 23 June 1981) was a Swedish Army officer. He was Chief of the Defence Staff from 1951 to 1957 and military commander of the III Military Area from 1957 to 1963, when he retired as a lieutenant general.

Career[edit | edit source]

Military career[edit | edit source]

Åkerman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the son of the lieutenant general and politician Joakim (Jockum) Åkerman and Martina Björnstjerna. After graduating in Stockholm in 1916, he became second lieutenant at the Svea Artillery Regiment (A 1) in 1919 and lieutenant in 1923. Åkerman became captain of the General Staff in 1931 and was General Staff officer of the Western Army Division from 1931 to 1933. Åkerman was then head of the Air Defense Detail of the General Staff from 1934 to 1937 and artillery battery commander of Svea Artillery Regiment from 1937 to 1939. Åkerman was major in the General Staff Corps in 1939 and teacher at the Royal Swedish Air Force Staff College the same year.[1]

He left the Swedish Army in 1939 and joined the Finnish Army during the Winter War as part of the Swedish Volunteer Corps. Åkerman was promoted to major in the Finnish Army and then lieutenant colonel in 1940. He was then again major of the Swedish General Staff Corps in 1940. Åkerman was again teacher at the Royal Swedish Air Force Staff College from 1941 to 1942 and strategy teacher at the Royal Swedish Army Staff College from 1940 to 1942. He became a lieutenant colonel in 1941 and colonel in 1943.[1]

Åkerman was head of the Royal Swedish Army Staff College from 1942 to 1946 and commander of the Östgöta Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Lv 2) from 1946 to 1948. He was promoted to colonel in the Swedish Air Force and was appointed Inspector of the Control and Reporting System of the Swedish Air Force (Inspektören för luftbevakningen) in 1948. Åkerman was promoted to major general and was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff in 1951. He was also serving as head of the Swedish National Defence College from 1951 to 1952.[2] Åkerman left the Defence Staff in 1957 and was then military commander of the III Military Area from 1957 to 1963 when he was promoted to lieutenant general.[3]

Other work[edit | edit source]

Åkerman was part of the 1930 Defense Commission in 1935 and the 1941 Defense Investigation.[4] He was a member and secretary of the Commission concerning the voluntary acquisition of air defense equipment in 1937, of the King in Council and was representative of the executive committee of Sweden's Landstorm Federations Central Association (Sveriges Landstormsföreningars Centralförbunds verkställande utskott) from 1938 to 1942. Åkerman became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences in 1942. He was chairman of the Bromma Air Protection Association (Bromma luftskyddsförening) from 1944.[1] Åkerman was vice chairman of the central association Society and Defence from 1951 to 1957, chairman of the board of the insurance company Allmänna livförsäkringsbolaget Oden from 1958 to 1959 and the local board of the commercial bank Skaraborgs enskilda bank in Skövde from 1958 to 1969. Furthermore, he was board member of the insurance companies Svenska liv in 1960, Städernas försäkringsbolag in 1964 and Hansa from 1967 to 1969. Åkerman was also chairman of Skaraborg County's district of the Swedish Red Cross from 1964 to 1973.[5]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

In 1920, Åkerman married Thyra Sellén (1899–1988), the daughter of professor, lieutenant colonel Nils Sellén and Ragnhild Frisk.[4] He was the father of Joachim (1921–1994), Elsie (born 1923) and Thyra (born 1926).[4] Åkerman died on 23 June 1981 and was buried 6 October 1981 in Norra begravningsplatsen in Stockholm.[6]

Dates of rank[edit | edit source]

General Nils Swedlund (left) and Chief of Staff Richard Åkerman (right), 1 April 1951.

Swedish Army/Air Force[edit | edit source]

Finnish Army[edit | edit source]

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Harnesk, Paul, ed (1945) (in Swedish). Vem är vem?. D. 1, Stockholmsdelen. Stockholm: Vem är vem bokförlag. p. 1012. http://runeberg.org/vemarvem/sthlm45/1028.html. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Harnesk, Paul, ed (1965) (in Swedish). Vem är vem?. 3, Götaland, utom Skåne, Halland, Blekinge (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Vem är vem. p. 1162. 53511. http://runeberg.org/vemarvem/gota65/1186.html. 
  3. Lagerström, Sten, ed (1968) (in Swedish). Vem är det: svensk biografisk handbok. 1969. Stockholm: Norstedt. p. 1070. http://runeberg.org/vemardet/1969/1086.html. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Harnesk, Paul, ed (1948) (in Swedish). Vem är vem?. D. 3, Götalandsdelen utom Skåne. Stockholm: Vem är vem bokförlag. p. 1060. http://runeberg.org/vemarvem/gota48/1060.html. 
  5. (in Swedish) Vem är det: svensk biografisk handbok. 1977. Stockholm: Norstedt. 1976. p. 1144. ISBN 91-1-766022-X. http://runeberg.org/vemardet/1977/1164.html. 
  6. "Åkerman, RICHARD OSKAR R." (in Swedish). Svenskagravar.se. http://svenskagravar.se/gravsatt/45754487. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 (in Swedish) Sveriges statskalender. 1963. Uppsala: Fritzes offentliga publikationer. 1963. p. 342. http://runeberg.org/statskal/1963/0342.html. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Carl August Ehrensvärd
Royal Swedish Army Staff College
1942–1946
Succeeded by
Hilding Kring
Preceded by
Ragnar Lindblad
Östgöta Anti-Aircraft Regiment
1946–1948
Succeeded by
Sten Axel Odelberg
Preceded by
None
Inspector of the Control and Reporting System
1948–1951
Succeeded by
Birger Schyberg
Preceded by
Nils Swedlund
Chief of the Defence Staff
1951–1957
Succeeded by
Curt Göransson
Preceded by
Thord Bonde
III Military Area
1957–1963
Succeeded by
Fale Burman

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