Why did Hitler honour Sweden's neutrality?

Jun 2012
39
Scotland
#1
I've always wondered why Hitler always respected the neutrality of Sweden. Considering the Netherlands claimed neutrality yet the Nazis still occupied the country and became one of the worst effected nations of the Holocaust in Western Europe.

Why did Hitler never occupy Sweden?
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,770
At present SD, USA
#3
Sweden wasn't between him and a target.

France was his target in 1940 and since he didn't want to spend 6 months slogging through the Maginot Line, he had to go through Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland.
 
Jun 2013
2,325
Siberia, deep in taiga
#4
He also honoured Swiss neutrality. Wasn't Sweden's last war in the beginning of 19th century? Hitler just needed a neutral country for negotiations with outer world, it may sound crazy but some products were purchased from Allies and sold to Germany via Sweden or oil was transported to Germany why Franco's Spain.

Besides, Sweden negotiated a deal with Hitler for them to gain the iron ore from their mines. Once this was accomplished, there was little need to spend the time and manpower to attack a well defended Sweden.

Also, lots of Swedes volonteered to fight against USSR in Winter War which was considered as a friendly sign.
 
Nov 2011
8,865
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
#5
Both Sweden and Switzerland allowed troops and war material to be transhipped across their territories, Germany essentially controlled the airspace all round their territories and maintained mutually profitable trade--there was no strategic or tactical advantage to invading--on the contrary both country's neutrality was beneficial to Germany.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,693
Georgia, USA
#6
I've always wondered why Hitler always respected the neutrality of Sweden. Considering the Netherlands claimed neutrality yet the Nazis still occupied the country and became one of the worst effected nations of the Holocaust in Western Europe.

Why did Hitler never occupy Sweden?
The Netherlands was "one of the" worst affected nations of the Holocaust in Western Europe...well yeah, I'd definitely put it in the top ten countries in Western Europe affected

Hitler was an opportunist, the opportunity to annex Sweden never came along and Sweden is a large country with a powerful military, simply a fight Hitler didn't need, especially as the Swedes were quite willing to trade with him and assist his wars

Hitler didn't attack Switzerland either - but both the Swiss and the Swedes would bend to Germany's will had Hitler been victorious in WWII
 
Jun 2012
39
Scotland
#7
Would Hitler have seen reason to invade Sweden if the war continued? Sweden was taking in almost all of Norway and Denmark's Jewish population. I don't think Sweden would have just given them up, so would Hitler have to invade Sweden in order to for see his dream of a Jew Free Europe?
 
Jun 2012
5,705
Texas
#8
Both Sweden and Switzerland allowed troops and war material to be transhipped across their territories, Germany essentially controlled the airspace all round their territories and maintained mutually profitable trade--there was no strategic or tactical advantage to invading--on the contrary both country's neutrality was beneficial to Germany.
Doesn't Switzerland also have ideal defensive terrain, effectively ringed by mountains? That would be a tough nut with little benefit.

Sweden seemed similar. Rugged country with minimal mineral benefit at the time, vs. cost (especially when he picked a fight already with so many countries).
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,356
South of the barcodes
#10
Occupying Sweden would have taken manpower which he was desperately short of and used up equipment that he couldnt spare.

Once he had control of the country he would then have had to set a controlled system of government to produce the goods he needed at the constant risk of sabotage by nationalists and others.

Why go to all the expense of forcing something when you could buy it cheaper, easier and quicker?