Honour Dissatisfied

The Psilander Affair underscored Britain’s will to do whatever it took to win at a time when it was most desperate. Allan George investigates

Sweden’s wartime relationship with the Allies and Axis was complicated.However, a legal fracas during summer 1940 may have thrust it into armed confrontation at a time when a post-Dunkirk Britain vied for survival.

Following the German invasion of Denmark in April 1940, the British government was concerned the Faroe Islands, a Danish possession, might also be taken.

Given their position between the Shetlands and Iceland, the Faroes were of strategic importance and, left unchecked, the Germans could use them as a staging post for U-boats. This the British could not tolerate, therefore, pre-emptively, on April 12, an RAF aircraft overflew the islands and the next day two destroyers arrived, launching a friendly occupation.

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