Jun 16, 2022
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Swedish reconnaissance aircraft shot down over the Baltic, MiG worked

Pictured: Swedish Air Force Tp 79 derivative of the Douglas DC-3

Pictured: Swedish Air Force Tp 79 aircraft derived from the Douglas DC-3 (Photo:

70 years ago in June 1952, a Soviet fighter jet shot down a Swedish aircraft over the Baltic Sea, which was carrying out electronic intelligence for the national defense unit Försvarets radioanstalt, which collaborated with NATO. (This is to the question of Sweden’s “century-old neutrality”, which has now “suddenly” changed its mind, well, who would have thought!).

The fact that the Scandinavian “wings with a secret” collect data on the Soviet Periscope radars on the instructions of the North Atlantic Alliance was known in advance and for sure – from the colonel of the Swedish Air Force Enough Wennerströmconfessed after the exposure: “I deliberately transmitted information to the USSR, for the sake of the balance of power in the world, in order to prevent the outbreak of the Third World War, because the Americans then felt their superiority, aggressive statements sounded, and this made a painful impression on me.”

Stig Wennerström is a kind of prototype of Solzhenitsyn’s Innokenty Volodin, who revealed to the Americans a super-important secret against his own state (the novel “In the First Circle”). Just the opposite. And not literary-composed, but real. His words – “to prevent the Third World War” – sound pathetic, if you do not know that it was thanks to the Stig that the Soviet Union compiled a “map of NATO aviation targets” for the atomic bombing of Soviet cities and industrial facilities. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he informed the military attache of the USSR Embassy in Sweden about the entry of American submarines into the North Atlantic.

However – aerobatics – Stig Wennerström constantly kept Moscow informed of Sweden’s purchases of American weapons and key connections between the high military command of Sweden and the United States, which partly predetermined the official-ostentatious “neutrality” of the Swedes for that period. They knew there that they also knew here and did not want to “aggravate”.

According to one of the versions of the “Eagle” (undercover encryption of Wennerström) issued Penkovskybut there were other defector candidates (Polyakov, Golitsyn). Be that as it may, in June 1964 he was found guilty in his homeland, received 20 years, served 11, and was released early. He died in 2006 and assured until the end of his life that he did not regret anything …

However, we are far removed from June 1952 and the area of ​​the island of Gotland-Sandön in the Baltic Sea, where the Swedish aircraft lost contact with the base. The reason for the “interference” was the machine-gun burst of the Soviet MiG-15. As a result of the crash, 8 people died, who ended up on the Swedish board at an unkind hour (three were the crew, five were electronic intelligence operators). The Soviet pilot did not see the exact place of the fall, the coordinates remained unknown, for him the enemy simply disappeared into the clouds.

In the photo: a downed Swedish Catalina aircraft, which went in search of a Douglas DC-3, which was collecting intelligence information by radio and radar signals for the National Defense Radio Communications Administration (Försvarets radioanstalt, FRA)
In the photo: a downed Swedish Catalina aircraft, which went in search of a Douglas DC-3, which was collecting intelligence information by radio and radar signals for the National Defense Radio Communications Administration (Försvarets radioanstalt, FRA) (Photo:

Three days later, the Swedes equipped a rescue and search expedition. After all, it is not clear what is happening with people, and for the secret-imported equipment (raised to the surface only in March 2004) it is alarming, what if the enemies get there?

Alas, it didn’t “take out” again – the Red Stars tried to force the seaplane with the Scandinavian yellow cross to land, and it seemed that it almost turned out, almost flew away, showing the “tail” to the pursuers. But the machine-gun burst again caught up, however, this time without fatal consequences, the Swedish pilots managed to leave the wrecked car, and later a West German ship picked up their inflatable raft.

The scandal rumbled up to the rupture of diplomatic relations. Outraged Stockholm: The Soviets, for no reason, attacked and almost “killed” a rescue plane! Unperturbed Moscow: firstly, there was a flight! In the airspace of the USSR. And, secondly, whom and from what did you intend to save, are you our neutrals?

I had to calm down, reducing the story to nothing. Although more than ten years remained before the exposure of the “Eagle”, but the understanding that important information from Sweden “leaks” has already appeared. It could have been extremely inconvenient for the peaceful image of an “always indifferent” country. I had to hide a lot – both then and later. For example, the secret of the NATO bunker in Scotland, designed specifically for the command of Sweden in case of war with the USSR. Or submarines with Polaris A-1 missiles in the territorial waters of “eternal neutrals”.

And these peaceful, Swedish airfields, converted to receive US strategic bombers? It was assumed that from there, among other things, they would fly to smash the Soviets, which is why it was necessary to “radio probe” the Baltic borders, collecting the maximum about Soviet air defense.

Until the very last year of 1991, the Soviet Union did not recognize the downed Swedish plane (probably crashed somewhere?). And Sweden until 1992 did not recognize that that plane was reconnaissance, and for espionage, not even in their own interests, but for the benefit of NATO. The secret becomes clear, you just have to wait a bit until they find it with a sonar and pick up the wreckage from a depth of 126 meters.

And if one is surprised at the beautiful-hearted former “bloc-free” nature of Sweden, then why are they joining the North Atlantic Alliance now, but why didn’t they join it earlier? Did the special operation scare you so much, or – well, how long can you pretend to be neutrals?

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