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Swedish coastal artillery
Amfibiekåren vapen.svg
Coat of arms.
Country Sweden
Branch Swedish Navy
Allegiance Krigsmakten (1901–1974)
Swedish Armed Forces (1975–2000)
Service history
Active 1901–2000
Role Coastal artillery
Size Five regiments

The Swedish coastal artillery (Swedish language:Kustartilleriet, KA ) has its origin in the Archipelago Artillery that was raised in 1866. The Coastal Artillery was formed from the Archipelago Artillery, the Marine Regiment and parts of the Artillery in 1902. Kustartilleriet, abbreviated KA, was an independent branch within the Swedish Navy until July 1, 2000, when the Swedish Coastal Artillery was disbanded and reorganised as the Amfibiekåren (Swedish Amphibious Corps). The changed name and new structure were to reflect the new tasks that the old Coastal Artillery had moved to after the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Warsaw Pact.


The early yearsEdit

KA or Kustartilleriet can trace its traditions as far back as the old coastal fortresses that were in use around Sweden since the 15th century. In the old days these would have been under the command structure of the fortress artillery department. The real first move to an independent branch was the creation of the Vaxholm Artillery Corps in 1889. Before this all coastal artillery units that were stationed on coastal defence fortresses or city fortresses were under the command of the fortress artillery department which in turn was a branch of the Artillery. Since the establishment of the fixed mine defence units during the 19th century, the question of an independent branch of the Swedish Armed Forces was again raised. This resulted in the creation of the modern Coastal Artillery in 1902 as an independent branch within the Royal Swedish Navy through a merge of Vaxholm Artillery Corps, Karlskrona Artillery Corps and the fixed mine defence units.[1]

The modern Swedish coastal artillery is bornEdit

The units created out of the Fortress artillery corps from the army at Vaxholm and Karlskrona fortresses were merged with the Navy’s fixed mine companies and elements of the disbanded Marine Regiment. This resulted in the creation of the first two regiments, Vaxholm Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 1) and Karlskrona Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 2).

Detachments from these two regiments were also responsible for keeping units at Fårösund Fortress on the northern tip of Gotland and at Älvsborg coastal fortresses, located near the main shipping channel into Gothenburg. During the First World War, it was also decided that the area of responsibility should also include the stationing of units at Hemsö and at Luleå (until 1953 a detachment from Älvsborg which, finally, in 1975, was made into a separate regiment, the Härnösand Coastal Artillery Regiment).

World War IEdit

Interwar yearsEdit

The detachment at Fårösund was reorganised as a separate unit in 1937 and renamed Gotland Coastal Artillery Regiment in 1937.

World War IIEdit

After a reduction in units after the 1925 defence proposition, there was a significant expansion of all the branches of the Swedish Armed Forces. In particular, the artillery in the Coastal Artillery was modernised and new materiel made in Sweden and imported (from e.g. Czechoslovakia) were introduced. The defense line built on the coast of Skåne during World War II was called the Per Albin Line. The detachment in Gothenburg was reorganised and expanded into the Älvsborg Coastal Artillery Regiment in 1942. During World War II and onwards, about 60 coastal artillery batteries were built along the Swedish coast.[2]

Cold WarEdit

With the advent of Marinplan 60 there was a move towards standardization of equipment and an increase in mobile units, one of the most significant additions to the Swedish Coastal Artillery during the 1950s was the creation of the Coastal Ranger companies as a mobile reconnaissance and attack component.

The Swedish Coastal Artillery was up to the mid-1990s mostly a collection of fixed and mobile units located in the different Swedish archipelagos. The main purpose of the Swedish Coastal Artillery was to defend and maintain a visible presence in the Swedish archipelago, and even in peacetime maintain a high level of readiness. Units that where stationed around the more important shipping lanes and other naval installations around Sweden were fully manned, even in peacetime.

During the 1970s, the invasion threat to the coast very much a reality for the Swedish Armed Forces. Therefore, the guns made by Bofors with related combat management, radar and air defense received a powerful protection against all kinds of chemical warfare agents.[2] During the 1980s there was a general move towards modernization in the Swedish defense forces and the Coastal Artillery received several new weapon systems in the 1980s and 1990s, like the new 12/70 TAP fixed artillery system, the mobile artillery system 12/80 KARIN, the Stridsbåt 90 combat craft and missile systems like the RBS-15 and RBS-17. The Coastal Artillery also modernized its ASW or anti-submarine capabilities in a response to the submarine incursions that plagued Sweden during the 1980s and early 1990s. Also, this was a step towards an increased ability to monitor and maintain high level of surveillance of Sweden’s harbours and shipping lanes against any foreign undersea aggression or incursion into Swedish territorial waters.

The Swedish Coastal Artillery was in a constant level of development during the last century as the threat levels changed around the world, the main threat to Sweden after the World War II was the threat of a war in Europe. Even if Sweden had not been directly involved, there was always a risk of an incursion into Sweden of a foreign power during a major war in Europe.

Swedish Amphibious CorpsEdit

The 2000 Defense Act meant that the fixed coastal artillery would be completely disbanded. The decommissioning was carried out by the East Coast Naval Base (Ostkustens marinbas) and the South Coast Naval Base (Sydkustens marinbas), as well as the Swedish Armed Forces Logistics (Försvarsmaktens logistik). Most of the old guns were scrapped. Some batteries, such as Ellenabben in Karlskrona archipelago and the Femöre Fortress outside Oxelösund, were preserved.[2] Some part of the battery at Landsort has also preserved. On 1 July 2000 the Swedish Amphibious Corps was organized, including Vaxholm Amphibian Regiment (Amf 1), Älvsborg Amphibian Regiment (Amf 4) and Amphibian Combat School (Amfibiestridsskolan, AmfSS).

Swedish coastal artillery Regiments 1902-2000Edit

  • Vaxholm Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 1) based at Rindö in the Stockholm archipelago, still active as Amphibious Regiment (Amf 1), based at Berga naval base, Stockholm
  • Karlskrona Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 2), based in Karlskrona, disbanded in 2000
  • Fårösund Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 3), based at Fårösund, Gotland, disbanded in 2000
  • Älvsborg Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 4), based at Kärringberget, Gothenburg, renamed Älvsborg Amphibious Regiment (Amf 4) in 2000 and finally disbanded in 2005
  • Härnösands Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 5), based at Härnösand, disbanded in 1997

Commanders of the Coastal ArtilleryEdit

  • 1902–1907 – Anders Fredrik Centerwall
  • 1907–1909 – Otto Ludvig Beckman
  • 1909–1929 – Herman Wrangel
  • 1929–1941 – Tor Wahlman

Inspectors of the Coastal ArtilleryEdit

  • 1941–1953 – Hjalmar Åström
  • 1953–1961 – Rudolf Kolmodin
  • 1958–1960 – Alf Nyman (acting)[3]
  • 1961–1964 – Henrik Lange
  • ????–???? – ?
  • 1983–1985 – Per-Erik Bergstrand
  • 1985–1987 – Kjell Lodenius
  • 1987–1990 – Ulf Rubarth
  • ????–???? – Per Lundbeck
  • ????–???? – Stellan Fagrell

See alsoEdit

Cold war Swedish Coastal Artillery guns:


  1. Ahlström, Arne (2006) (in Swedish). Svenska marina kustradiostationer: en historik 1900-2000. Uppsala: Columna. p. 161. ISBN 91-7942-081-8. LIBRIS 10194517. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nilsson, Andreas (2004). "Kustförsvaret skrotas". In Petersson, Ulf (in sv). Stockholm: Försvarsmakten. p. 46. ISSN 1652-3571. LIBRIS 9415827. 
  3. Engwall, B. (1973). "Minnesteckningar" (in Swedish). Carlskrona. p. 425. LIBRIS 8258455. 

Further readingEdit

  • Danckwardt, Jean-Carlos (1992) (in Swedish). Kustartilleriet i Sverige under andra världskriget. Marinlitteraturföreningen, 0348-2405 ; 73. Stockholm: Marinlitteraturfören.. ISBN 91-85944-06-8. LIBRIS 7753512. 
  • Cyrus, Allan (1952) (in Swedish). Kungl. Kustartilleriet 1902-1952: vapenslagets historia utgiven av Kustartilleriinspektionen med anledning av Kungl. Kustartilleriets femtioåriga tillvaro som självständigt vapenslag. Stockholm: [utg.]. LIBRIS 1493129. 
  • (in Swedish) KA 75 år: en bildkavalkad. Stockholm: Kustartilleriklubben. 1977. LIBRIS 221984. 

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