80th anniversary of the Swedish Homeguard

The Swedish Home Guard (Hemvärnet) was founded on the 29th of May, 1940, as a direct result of the war. Back then Hemvärnet’s duties involved the guarding or observation over important installations, usually close to where the men lived. Unlike the regular army where units could consist of men from all over the country, home guard units were formed from locals in the respective areas, with squads or entire platoons consisting of friends from the same village and also being stationed in their own village.

Today Hemvärnet’s duties of guarding important installations are mostly unchanged, but its structure is significantly altered. Gone are the village squads stationed at home. Instead battalions are formed in larger cities and they have a much larger area of responsibility. Most units are more mobile and expected to go wherever they are needed. Hemvärnet has shrunk significantly along with the rest of the Swedish military since the end of the cold war and you mostly hear about it when Hemvärn units are assisting with some catastrophe like flooding or forest fires. However, to my understanding it is the biggest branch of the Swedish military.

I guess I should have made this post last year for the 79th anniversary instead, but I simply wrote a message about it on the (now discontinued) Discord server. I figured that I might as well make the post this year instead, despite being out of sync with the show, considering that it’s the 80th anniversary which is kind of a big deal. Last year we celebrated the 79th anniversary with our first ever Uniform At Work Day, but it was sadly cancelled this year for obvious reasons. As a member of Hemvärnet myself, it’s an important event for me.

When TimeGhost gets around to making videos about the minor countries during the war, I hope this event (the founding, not the anniversary) at least gets a mention in the video about Sweden.