Swedish Coastal Artillery

The Swedish Coastal Artillery (Swedish: Kustartilleriet, KA) has its origin in the Archipelago Artillery that was raised in 1866. The Coastal Artillery was formed from the Archipelago Artillery, the Marine Regiment and parts of the Artillery in 1902. Kustartilleriet, abbreviated KA, was an independent branch within the Swedish Navy until July 1, 2000, when the Swedish Coastal Artillery was disbanded and reorganised as the Swedish Amphibious Corps. The changed name and new structure were to reflect the new tasks that the old Coastal Artillery had moved to after the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Warsaw Pact.

Swedish Coastal Artillery
Amfibiekåren vapen.svg
Coat of arms.
AllegianceSwedish Armed Forces (1901–2000)
BranchSwedish Navy
TypeCoastal troops
RoleAmphibious warfare
Anti-aircraft warfare
Coastal defence and fortification
Cold-weather warfare
Counter-battery fire
SizeFive regiments
March"För kustartilleriet" (Åke Dohlin)[1]
Insignia m/60MM.23420.jpg


The early yearsEdit

Kustartilleriet or KA can trace its traditions as far back as the old coastal fortresses that were in use around Sweden since the 15th century. In the old days these would have been under the command structure of the fortress artillery department. The real first move to an independent branch was the creation of the Vaxholm Artillery Corps in 1889. Before this all coastal artillery units that were stationed on coastal defence fortresses or city fortresses were under the command of the fortress artillery department which in turn was a branch of the Artillery. Since the establishment of the fixed mine defence units during the 19th century, the question of an independent branch of the Swedish Armed Forces was again raised. This resulted in the creation of the modern Coastal Artillery in 1902 as an independent branch within the Royal Swedish Navy through a merge of Vaxholm Artillery Corps, Karlskrona Artillery Corps and the fixed mine defence units.[2]

The modern Swedish Coastal Artillery is bornEdit

The units created out of the Fortress artillery corps from the army at Vaxholm Fortress and Karlskrona Fortress were merged with the Navy’s fixed mine companies and elements of the disbanded Marine Regiment (Marinregementet). This resulted in the creation of the first two regiments, Vaxholm Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 1) and Karlskrona Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 2).

Detachments from these two regiments were also responsible for keeping units at Fårösund Fortress on the northern tip of Gotland and at Älvsborg coastal fortresses, located near the main shipping channel into Gothenburg. During the First World War, it was also decided that the area of responsibility should also include the stationing of units at Hemsö and at Luleå (until 1953 a detachment from Älvsborg which, finally, in 1975, was made into a separate regiment, the Härnösand Coastal Artillery Regiment).

World War IEdit

Interwar yearsEdit

The detachment at Fårösund was reorganised as a separate unit in 1937 and renamed Gotland Coastal Artillery Regiment in 1937.

World War IIEdit

After a reduction in units after the 1925 defence proposition, there was a significant expansion of all the branches of the Swedish Armed Forces. In particular, the artillery in the Coastal Artillery was modernised and new materiel made in Sweden and imported (from e.g. Czechoslovakia) were introduced. The defense line built on the coast of Skåne during World War II was called the Per Albin Line. The detachment in Gothenburg was reorganised and expanded into the Älvsborg Coastal Artillery Regiment in 1942. During World War II and onwards, about 60 coastal artillery batteries were built along the Swedish coast.[3]

Cold WarEdit

With the advent of Marinplan 60 there was a move towards standardization of equipment and an increase in mobile units, one of the most significant additions to the Swedish Coastal Artillery during the 1950s was the creation of the Coastal Ranger companies as a mobile reconnaissance and attack component.

The Swedish Coastal Artillery was up to the mid-1990s mostly a collection of fixed and mobile units located in the different Swedish archipelagos. The main purpose of the Swedish Coastal Artillery was to defend and maintain a visible presence in the Swedish archipelago, and even in peacetime maintain a high level of readiness. Units that where stationed around the more important shipping lanes and other naval installations around Sweden were fully manned, even in peacetime.

During the 1970s, the invasion threat to the coast very much a reality for the Swedish Armed Forces. Therefore, the guns made by Bofors with related combat management, radar and air defense received a powerful protection against all kinds of chemical warfare agents.[3] During the 1980s there was a general move towards modernization in the Swedish defense forces and the Coastal Artillery received several new weapon systems in the 1980s and 1990s, like the new 12/70 TAP fixed artillery system, the mobile artillery system 12/80 KARIN, the Stridsbåt 90 combat craft and missile systems like the RBS-15 and RBS-17. The Coastal Artillery also modernized its ASW or anti-submarine capabilities in a response to the submarine incursions that plagued Sweden during the 1980s and early 1990s. Also, this was a step towards an increased ability to monitor and maintain high level of surveillance of Sweden’s harbours and shipping lanes against any foreign undersea aggression or incursion into Swedish territorial waters.

The Swedish Coastal Artillery was in a constant level of development during the last century as the threat levels changed around the world, the main threat to Sweden after the World War II was the threat of a war in Europe. Even if Sweden had not been directly involved, there was always a risk of an incursion into Sweden of a foreign power during a major war in Europe.

In 1986 and 1990, a change was made within the Swedish Navy's lower regional management level, where the coastal artillery defense was merged regionally with the naval bases. The new authority that was formed through the mergers was called naval command (marinkommando). Thus, all marine combat forces within each geographical area were led by a joint commander.[4] Thus, the five geographical coastal artillery defenses were disbanded, which were integrated with the coastal artillery regiments in the new naval commands. The coastal artillery regiments remained with their own staffs within the command.

Swedish Amphibious CorpsEdit

The Defense Act of 2000 meant that the fixed coastal artillery would be completely disbanded. The decommissioning was carried out by the East Coast Naval Base and the South Coast Naval Base, as well as the Swedish Armed Forces Logistics. Most of the old guns were scrapped. Some batteries, such as Ellenabben in Karlskrona archipelago and the Femöre Fortress outside Oxelösund, were preserved.[3] Some part of the battery at Landsort was also preserved. On 1 July 2000 the Swedish Amphibious Corps was organized, including Vaxholm Amphibian Regiment (Amf 1), Älvsborg Amphibian Regiment (Amf 4) and Amphibian Combat School (Amfibiestridsskolan, AmfSS).


Coastal artillery defencesEdit

Designation English name Name Active Note
BK Blekinge Coastal Artillery Defence Blekinge kustartilleriförsvar 1942–1990 Amalgamated into the South Coast Naval Command in 1990
GbK Gothenburg Coastal Artillery Defence Göteborgs kustartilleriförsvar 1942–1981 Amalgamated into the West Coast Naval Command in 1981
GK Gotland Coastal Artillery Defence Gotlands kustartilleriförsvar 1942–1990 Amalgamated into the East Coast Naval Command in 1990
NK Norrland Coastal Artillery Defence Norrlands kustartilleriförsvar 1942–1990 Amalgamated into the South Coast Naval Command in 1990
SK Stockholm Coastal Artillery Defence Stockholms kustartilleriförsvar 1942–1990 Amalgamated into the North Coast Naval Command in 1990

Coastal artillery brigadesEdit

A coastal artillery brigade was the highest unit the Swedish Coastal Artillery. From the late 1980s there were six brigades. Later, all but two coastal artillery brigades were renamed marine brigades (marinbrigader). Both naval and army units were included, and the personnel varied between 3,000 and 9,000 (In both KAB 1 and KAB 3, there were plenty of army units; KAB 1, for example, had 3 bicycle infantry battalions grouped for tasks at Väddö). The units were decommissioned from the war organization in the Defense Act of 2000.

Designation English name Name Active Note
KAB 1 1st Coastal Artillery Brigade Första kustartilleribrigaden 1956–1994 Reorganized into a marine brigade in 1994
RMB Roslagen Marine Brigade Roslagens marinbrigad 1994–1997 Reorganized into a marine regiment in 1998
RMR Roslagen Marine Regiment Roslagens marinregemente 1998–2000
KAB 2 2nd Coastal Artillery Brigade Andra kustartilleribrigaden 1956–2000
KAB 3 3rd Coastal Artillery Brigade Tredje kustartilleribrigaden 1956–1997 Reorganized into a marine brigade in 1994
SMB Södertörn Marine Brigade Södertörns marinbrigad 1994–1997 Reorganized into a marine regiment in 1998
SMR Södertörn Marine Regiment Södertörns marinregemente 1998–2000
KAB 4 4th Coastal Artillery Brigade Fjärde kustartilleribrigaden 1956–2000
KAB 5 5th Coastal Artillery Brigade Femte kustartilleribrigaden 1956–1997 Reorganized into a marine brigade in 1994
GMB Gothenburg Marine Brigade Göteborgs marinbrigad 1994–1997
KAB 6 6th Coastal Artillery Brigade Sjätte kustartilleribrigaden 1956–1994 Reorganized into a marine brigade in 1994
FMB Fårösund Marine Brigade Fårösunds marinbrigad 1994–2000

Training unitsEdit

Designation English name Name Active Note
KA 1 Vaxholm Coastal Artillery Regiment Vaxholms kustartilleriregemente 1902–2000
KA 2 Karlskrona Coastal Artillery Regiment Karlskrona kustartilleriregemente 1902–2000
KA 3 Gotland Coastal Artillery Regiment Gotlands kustartilleriregemente 1937–2000
KA 4 Älvsborg Coastal Artillery Regiment Älvsborgs kustartilleriregemente 1942–2000
KA 5 Härnösand Coastal Artillery Regiment Härnösands kustartilleriregemente 1943–1998
KAS Swedish Coastal Artillery Combat School Kustartilleriets stridsskola 1902–2000

Heraldry and traditionsEdit

Coat of armsEdit

The coat of arms of the Swedish Coastal Artillery 1979–2000, the Coastal Artillery Center (Kustartillericentrum, KAC) 1995–1997 and the Swedish Amphibious Corps since 2000. Blazon: "Gules, two gunbarrels of older pattern in saltire above a flaming grenade and waves, all or".[5]


The march of Älvsborg Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 4), ie Sam Rydberg's "I beredskap", was used as a joint coastal artillery march. In the autumn of 1985, composer Åke Dohlin thought that the Coastal Artillery should have its own march, and in this way "För kustartilleriet" was added. The march was dedicated to the then Inspector of Coastal Artillery, Senior Colonel Kjell Lodenius.[6]

Commanding officersEdit

Commanders of the Coastal ArtilleryEdit

Commanders of the Coastal Artillery (Chefer för kustartilleriet, CKA)

Inspectors of the Coastal ArtilleryEdit

Inspectors of the Coastal Artillery (Inspektörer för kustartilleriet, IKA)

  • 1941–1953: Hjalmar Åström
  • 1953–1961: Rudolf Kolmodin
  • 1958–1960: Alf Nyman (acting)[7]
  • 1961–1964: Henrik Lange
  • 1962–1969: Olof Karlberg (acting)
  • 1964–1970: Arne Widner
  • 1971–1980: Erik Lyth
  • 1981–1985: Per-Erik Bergstrand
  • 1985–1987: Kjell Lodenius
  • 1987–1990: Ulf Rubarth
  • 1990–1994: Nils Eklund
  • 1994–1996: Per Lundbeck
  • 1996–1997: Claes-Göran Hedén
  • 1997–1998: Stellan Fagrell

See alsoEdit

Cold war Swedish Coastal Artillery guns:



  1. ^ Sandberg 2007, p. 204
  2. ^ Ahlström 2006, p. 161
  3. ^ a b c Nilsson 2004, p. 46
  4. ^ Kustförsvar 2002, p. 82.
  5. ^ Braunstein 2006, p. 52
  6. ^ Danckwardt 2020, p. 51
  7. ^ Engwall 1973, p. 425


  • Ahlström, Arne (2006). Svenska marina kustradiostationer: en historik 1900-2000 (PDF) (in Swedish). Uppsala: Columna. ISBN 91-7942-081-8. SELIBR 10194517.
  • Braunstein, Christian (2006). Heraldiska vapen inom det svenska försvaret [Heraldry of the Swedish Armed Forces] (PDF). Skrift / Statens försvarshistoriska museer, 1101-7023 ; 9 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Statens försvarshistoriska museer. ISBN 91-971584-9-6. SELIBR 10099224.
  • Danckwardt, Jean-Carlos, ed. (2020). Kustartilleriets traditioner (in Swedish). Stockholm: Vapenbröderna, Sällskapet Kustjägarveteraner. SELIBR lx541vh7jtmnvcb2.
  • Engwall, B. (1973). "Minnesteckningar" (PDF). Tidskrift i sjöväsendet (in Swedish). Carlskrona (6). SELIBR 8258455.
  • Nilsson, Andreas (2004). Petersson, Ulf (ed.). "Kustförsvaret skrotas". Insats & försvar: Försvarsmaktens forum för insatsorganisationen (in Swedish). Stockholm: Försvarsmakten (5). ISSN 1652-3571. SELIBR 9415827.
  • Sandberg, Bo (2007). Försvarets marscher och signaler förr och nu: marscher antagna av svenska militära förband, skolor och staber samt igenkännings-, tjänstgörings- och exercissignaler (in Swedish) (New ed.). Stockholm: Militärmusiksamfundet med Svenskt marscharkiv. ISBN 978-91-631-8699-8. SELIBR 10413065.
  • Kustförsvar: från kustbefästningar till amfibiekår : Kustartilleriet-Amfibiekåren 1902-2002 (in Swedish). Hårsfjärden: Marintaktiska kommandot. 2002. ISBN 91-631-2285-5. SELIBR 8555135.

Further readingEdit

  • Danckwardt, Jean-Carlos (1992). Kustartilleriet i Sverige under andra världskriget. Marinlitteraturföreningen, 0348-2405 ; 73 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Marinlitteraturfören. ISBN 91-85944-06-8. SELIBR 7753512.
  • Cyrus, Allan (1952). Kungl. Kustartilleriet 1902-1952: vapenslagets historia utgiven av Kustartilleriinspektionen med anledning av Kungl. Kustartilleriets femtioåriga tillvaro som självständigt vapenslag (in Swedish). Stockholm: [utg.] SELIBR 1493129.
  • Persson, Lars-Göran; Stålhandske, Lennart, eds. (1977). KA 75 år: en bildkavalkad (in Swedish). Stockholm: Kustartilleriklubben. SELIBR 221984.