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Carl C:son von Horn (15 July 1903 – 13 March 1989) was a Swedish Army major general known for his service in various UN missions. He was the chief of United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Palestine, the Supreme Commander of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) during the Congo Crisis, and commander of United Nations Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM) in Yemen.

Carl von Horn
Birth nameCarl C:son von Horn
Born(1903-07-15)15 July 1903
Vittskövle, Sweden
Died13 March 1989(1989-03-13) (aged 85)
Källstorp cemetery, Trelleborg Municipality
Service/branchSwedish Army
Years of service1923–1963
RankMajor General
Commands heldI 11 (1950–57)
Fo 11 (1957–58)
UNTSO (1958–60)
ONUC (1960)
UNTSO (1961–63)
UNYOM (1963)
Battles/warsCongo Crisis



von Horn was born in Vittskövle, Sweden, the son of cavalry captain Carl von Horn and his wife Martha (née Stjernswärd). The younger brother, Jan von Horn, also chose a military career and eventually became a colonel and military attaché in London and The Hague.[1] von Horn became an officer in the Life Guards of Horse (Livgardet till häst, K 1) in 1923. He was promoted to captain of the General Staff in 1935 and served in the Swedish Army Service Troops in 1939. von Horn was promoted to major of the General Staff and the Defence Staff in 1942 and was chief of bureau at the Royal Railway Board's military bureau.[1]

During World War II he helped organizing prisoner exchange between the Germans and the Allies, but also had to work with the Swedish extradition of Baltic soldiers. As a military man with a strong Anglo-Saxon ethos he called this "the most humiliating moment in modern Swedish history."[2] von Horn was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1945 when he also became chief of the Defence Staff's Communication Department. In 1947, von Horn was appointed military attaché in Oslo, and the following year he moved to Copenhagen where he had received a similar appointment. In 1949 he returned to Sweden and took a position at the Northern Småland Regiment (I 12) and the following year he was promoted to colonel and commander of Kronoberg Regiment (I 11) in Växjö. He stayed there for seven years; in 1957, he was appointed commander of Malmö Defence Area (Fo 11).[1]

UN careerEdit

In early 1958, von Horn was appointed chief of United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Palestine by Dag Hammarskjöld, and was then promoted to major general. At first he allowed himself "to be optimistic" and he wrote in his memoirs that "instead of fully armed troops, tanks and artillery or even the threat of sanctions, Dag's moral support and my own determination was everything I had."[2] In 1960 he became with short notice the Supreme Commander of the UN Force in the Congo during the beginning of what was to develop into the Congo Crisis, a mission, however, he was dismissed from six months later.[3] von Horn then returned to work for the UN in Palestine. In 1963 he was sent to lead the UN observatory group United Nations Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM) in Yemen where fighting continued between government troops and rebels.[4]

von Horn has been described as an arrogant leader,[3] and also during the mission in Yemen, he quarreled with his superiors. von Horn suddenly resigned in protest and accused the UN not to provide enough resources for the mission, accusations that the Secretary-General U Thant described as "irresponsible and reckless".[5] von Horn had refused to abide by the UN organization's demands for policy adjustments and opposed when politicians wanted to aggravate the situation in the field.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

von Horn was married three times. In the first marriage 1925–1944 he was married to baroness Maud von Otter (1904–1974), the daughter of major, baron Carl-Gustaf von Otter and Elisabeth (née Krook). He married a second time in 1945 to Britt (Bibi) Englund (1919–1962), the daughter of the wholesaler Ernst Englund and Ebba (née Wistrand). He married a third time in 1964 to Elisabeth Liljeroth (born 1932).[6] von Horn died in 1989 and was buried in Källstorp cemetery in Trelleborg Municipality.[7]

Awards and decorationsEdit


  • Horn, Carl von; Barklund, Gunnar (1966). Fredens soldater [Soldiering for Peace] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Norstedt.


  1. ^ a b c Vem är det: svensk biografisk handbok. 1977 [Who is it: Swedish biographical handbook. 1977] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Norstedt. 1976. p. 457. ISBN 91-1-766022-X.
  2. ^ a b c Lindén, David (29 June 2015). "Carl von Horns varningar gäller ännu" [Carl von Horn's warnings still apply]. Smålandsposten (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b Löfgren, Claes J.B. (1990). Fredsknektarna: FN-svenskarna i Kongo 1960-64 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Fischer. ISBN 91-7054-650-9.[page needed]
  4. ^ "Yemen - UNYOM : Facts and Figures". United Nations. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  5. ^ "The Mess in Yemen". Time. 13 September 1963. Retrieved 4 February 2009. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Vem är det: svensk biografisk handbok. 1985 [Who is it: Swedish biographical handbook. 1985] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Norstedt. 1984. p. 505. ISBN 91-1-843222-0.
  7. ^ "Carl Von Horn" (in Swedish). Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Sveriges statskalender. 1963 (in Swedish). Uppsala: Fritzes offentliga publikationer. 1963. p. 343.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Harnesk, Paul, ed. (1962). Vem är vem? 1, Stor-Stockholm [Who is who? 1, Greater Stockholm] (in Swedish) (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Vem är vem. p. 594.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Byron V. Leary
Commander of UNTSO
Succeeded by
R.W. Rickert
Preceded by
First holder
Commander of ONUC
Succeeded by
Sean MacEoin
Preceded by
R.W. Rickert
Commander of UNTSO
Succeeded by
Odd Bull
Preceded by
First holder
Commander of UNYOM
Succeeded by
Branko Pavlovic