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Elite Swedish soldiers blow up wrong house

Charlotte Webb · 29 Sep 2009, 11:30

Published: 29 Sep 2009 11:30 GMT+02:00

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The incident took place during what was supposed to be a routine training operation, for a group of soldiers from Sweden's Life Regiment Hussars (K3), an elite cavalry division involved in intelligence and paratrooper training.

On its website, the Life Regiment Hussars characterize themselves as “light, highly mobile units with substantial strike power.”

Among other credentials, the Hussars also boast of having “long experience in the area of intelligence.”

But something nevertheless went wrong for the soldiers involved in an exercise which took place in Röjdåfors in northern Värmland in west central Sweden, near the Norwegian border, according to the Nya Wermlands-Tidningen (NWT).

The mission, performed in conjunction with the Swedish home guard (Hemvärnet), called for the soldiers to capture a house.

However, the elite unit somehow managed to hit the wrong target, and instead bombarded a house located about 200 metres from their intended target.

Collateral damage included blown out doors and window frames, before the soldier's discovered their mistake.

“I think we've already cleaned up after ourselves. And we have, of course, contacted the owner. There's no hard feeling between us,” K3's public relations officer told the newspaper.

Story continues below…

The K3 soldiers are prized as one of Sweden's elite military units and have recently completed training drills in both France and Germany, including exercises performed in collaboration with German paratroopers in Bavaria.

Charlotte Webb (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:40 September 29, 2009 by eardoctor
Swedish men-in-uniform screwing up? No!!!!!!
13:52 September 29, 2009 by sherkovic
Swedish men in uniform always screw up...be it doctors, police or Military!! We all know that dont we??
14:19 September 29, 2009 by Rick Methven
"I think we've already cleaned up after ourselves. And we have, of course, contacted the owner. There's no hard feeling between us,"

Does that mean that they have bulldzed the remains and payed the owner to build a new better house?
14:28 September 29, 2009 by bettan1
Wow, "Der Führer" is going to be pissed!!!
14:32 September 29, 2009 by Beynch
Collateral damage.
15:07 September 29, 2009 by John_berg
very well said .. people in Uniform always screw up here ..
15:11 September 29, 2009 by Greg in Canada
15:34 September 29, 2009 by hjoian
200m in a rural combat zone covers many possible innocent lives. This is not just a "little" error, totally unprofessional.
15:51 September 29, 2009 by spy
The term 'Elite Swedish soldiers' is a bit of an oxymoron. It is like calling 'Dad's Army' a special forces unit.
16:41 September 29, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Good thing they never leave the base in Afghanistan, we'd have all kinds of problems then!
18:24 September 29, 2009 by Nemesis

Not much sense in critising them. Any of us with relatives in any armies, know full well the amount of mistakes that are made in targetting. I have heard things at weddings and xmas dinner that has made guests look on in horror, disbelieving there ears.

Also they have a perfect excuse. The word intelligence, as in military intelligence, is associated with there unit. Military intelligence means they are obviously going to hit the wrong target, maybe even the wrong country.

Everyone who has been in the military, will know that military intelligence means target anywhere but where intelligence has tagetted.

One thing though. If that was my house, those soldiers and whatever idiots commanded them, would be running for there lives, for good reason.

Some of my father's relatives met German paratroopers in May 1941 on Crete. I can't imagine German paratroopers on excercise with these idiots. It just doesn't read right to me.
18:35 September 29, 2009 by reason
Oh yes, the Swedes are so incompetent! Not like all the other shining examples of military excellence out there: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_bombing_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China_embassy_in_Belgrade



18:59 September 29, 2009 by diegoveggie
haha, watch out for the much feared swedish army..
19:15 September 29, 2009 by Playmaker
oh it is not that bad these things happen all the time. even the best make mistakes it human. now they will learn a good lesson from this. those soldiers are very good and very comptent. i am not saying all but these special forces are very well trained.
19:32 September 29, 2009 by rybo1
How some of these people love to make Swedes look like fools. For American "special forces" collateral damage is not one house, but a whole town or city. It's amazing How these pin-heads love to jump on a non-issue and come from one of the countries I grew up in, I assume. Please go back to the cess-pools that you crawled up from.
20:01 September 29, 2009 by Luke35711
It is because Swedes will never admit that something went really wrong or discuss the problem openly. It leaves one with no choice but to log in to the Local and engage in a little bit of psychotherapeutic Swede bashing ;)))

By the way, not much change in the Swedish military since the Vasa warship sinking:

20:36 September 29, 2009 by spy
Accidents happen especially while on exercise but it is pretty unnusual that the directing staff on the exercise did not spot the mistake and step in to prevent it. I bet someone got an interview without coffee as a result. . .
20:55 September 29, 2009 by mkvgtired
rybo1, actually many of the people posting are Swedish (just from being around this forum). Judging by the fact you brought up the American military despite the fact this article had nothing to do with them, if the same article was posted about the American Special Forces you would be the first pointing out their incompetence. Classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. I don't think one mistake means an entire defense branch should be considered incompetent. Just glad nobody was hurt.
23:32 September 29, 2009 by anuranga
And Sweden tried to tell us (Sri Lankans) how to conduct the war against the most dangerous terrorist outfit (LTTE) which we successfully cleaned up doing it our way !!!

Would have been very interesting to see how we could have done it the Swedish way...

Blow up our own Parliment I guess LOL
01:13 September 30, 2009 by jag2009
Sorry whats the point in being well reknown for technology when you cant even blow up correct object lol. Deer oh deer lol

This explains why germany never wanted to take over sweden lol. They were scared if they asked them to join they would blow there own military up lololol
02:49 September 30, 2009 by mcg

If anything Swedes love to discuss openly, especially problems and solutions - sometimes that's part of the problem.


Could you be more ignorant and insulting? - Do you know anything about the WW2? It seems not, believe it or not, Commando Comic Books were not factual.

Your grasp of history is about as good as your grammar and spelling - appalling.

You might also like to use Spell Checker and Grammar - back to the woods and your self-abuse - hick. Just because posting is open, does not mean you need to share and advertise your ignorance. Maybe you need to take some of the free education offered in Sweden.

At least we live in a country where these news items are available - there are many countries, where these things get censored.
03:06 September 30, 2009 by bob3000

Yes Sweden probably misunderstood the call for help - Sri Lanka did not actually want assistance, just;

• The SEK 43 million in humanitarian support to those affected in Sri Lanka

- presumably preferably to a PO Box or numbered account in Switzerland (terrible that Sweden wanted to be involved in ensuring, that their money was being spent well).

• Potential asylum status in Sweden.

As is often the case, countries want to spend Swedish donated money, which come from our taxes, but they want it with no strings attached.
06:50 September 30, 2009 by wenddiver
All militarys make mistakes ocassionally, it is the price of doing difficult things with 18 year olds. We shouldn't make fun of the soldiers who are willing to defend us with their lives. If Swedish Freedom is a cause you believe in, then these are men willing to give their lives for that cause, surely they should be able to count on your support.

Your Constitution, Borders, Freedom, Culture and Property are defended by these young men, it would be unmanly to moch their efforts on your behalf, military training in the US Army often goes on for 72 hours without sleep, so mistakes are common, but buckets of sweat in peacetime mean fewer casualties in war.

These men need and deserve your support.
07:16 September 30, 2009 by Uncle
Haha... Imagine the owner's cellphone message...

"Mmmmeeee... mr. Svensson.. This is the military representative of the homeland forces... I have good and bad news for you... the good news are that your electricity and water bill is now substantially lower. Meee... the bad news are that your house is a parking lot now...ok got to go now...

You are welcome to contact us at mnyamnyamnyabrr@army.com... We are here to defend you... OK... Ta det lugn..."
08:56 September 30, 2009 by exsanguinator
well, at least they're neutral
10:20 September 30, 2009 by Luke35711
I just hope the explosion shown in the heading picture to this article is a different explosion. The one on the picture looks like something that would pulverize a bunker, not just just a flat.
14:09 September 30, 2009 by Rick Methven
Mistakes happen all the time in every armed force in the world. This mistake just did a bit of damage to a Summer cottage. Nobody was injured or killed , unlike the gung-ho shoot first ask questions later US Army.

My son did his "Lumpen". I was impressed by the high standard of soldiers that Sweden turns out in a six month training period. It also turned my son from a typical couldn't care less teenager into a responsible citizen.
16:54 September 30, 2009 by "green Swede"

I couldn't have put it better myself,well said.
16:57 September 30, 2009 by anuranga

The biggest mistake that Sweden did was offering Asylum status. Probably it's the Swinishness.. (Trusting people too much..) I don't see any reason that any country should offer Sri Lankans Asylum. All asylum seekers are crooks than genuine victims. All races live in harmony in Sri Lanka than what is fabricated in media and no ethnic cleansing take place which is the main case the asylum seekers give as a reason for Asylum.(anyway again the Swinishness is to trust the media because in perfect world media doesn't lie)

Well I don't disagree with you on the various corruptions that could have taken place with aid money. Corruption and Politics go hand in hand in third world.

Anyway if the main reason that Sweden offered assistance was, that by doing so they could manipulate the souverenity of a democratic country, well I don't see that it's Humanitarian aid but some sort of a blackmailing... Therefore YES.. general Swedish Tax payers (which includes me too) will not most probably will not like it... (Trying to take advantage of a country with the power of money)
17:45 September 30, 2009 by jag2009

If you don't like the comments then don't participate. Do I need the "free swedish education" haha, no thankyou. As all the foreigners will say they goto sweden because its free, other than that I would prefer the english or american university education. Anyone who takes a course at a swedish university other than Karolinska , and wants to go abroad, I think your find the english or american universitys are more well known. Oh and in terms of my history knowledge.... is it that sweden is the "immigrant" country, and thats exactly what your made of.12,000 years if history? Germany found no use in sweden, as you were willing to supply steel. Your only a rich country because of the steel and the timber, then you have the tax. In terms of living in a country with this and that...... I only see its importance of what Germany, France and UK do in eu. Chinese will be the language of the future.
20:13 September 30, 2009 by Luke35711
I also keep wondering about WW2 and iron for the Nazis. I can understand that these were difficult circumstances, of course. I don't judge. But if a country wants to see themselves as guardians of international justice and humanism, it seems like a bit of a contradiction, or at least an image problem that should be addressed somehow.
01:26 October 1, 2009 by bob3000

Surely you mean "Swedish-ness" - no?

Main Entry: swin·ish

Pronunciation: \ˈswī-nish\

Function: adjective

Date: 13th century

: of, suggesting, or characteristic of swine : beastly
01:43 October 1, 2009 by mcg

You were the only one dragging WW2 into this. Using ignorance as an excuse to say offensive things - it is no defence.

So you are a ignorant hick - who is just in Sweden to abuse our free Education - is that what you are saying?


You are almost on the same level of kindman.


The fact is no one is clean. IBM supplied the computers, that enabled the sorting of the census, which made identifying the Jews and Gypsies efficient - so you can thank the US for enabling what became a Mass Slaughter.

Switzerland banked all the gold and money.


UK, had forewarning of Pearl Harbour, but did not share intelligence - to help motivate the US.

The war was not black-and-white - no one was clean.
13:10 October 1, 2009 by KamiZ
this is just a routine training mission gone horribly wrong. i'm sure the military will reimburse the owners. the real dilemma here is why are people making references to ww2?
14:05 October 1, 2009 by mcg

Totally agree. A mystery.
16:19 October 1, 2009 by jag2009

No I am not in Sweden for the education. As I previously stated if you read.... I would rather prefer a U.S or english education.

I work in Sweden. I was educated in the U.S. and UK. Luke35711 does mention the WW2, and as you said nothing is black-and-white. But no I was not using an excuss its a fact. I pay my taxes in sweden, and iv paid in UK and U.S. the only thing I benefit from being here is I get paid more. sherkovic mntioned

Swedish men in uniform always screw up...be it doctors, police or Military!! We all know that dont we?? Well its another mistake, for a country which is what 3/4 biggest in europe with 9m people. And my point was... with all this technology a simple training exercise couldn't be performed correctly.
20:34 October 1, 2009 by moaca
Despite all the modern technology, it is the human being that is the weakest link. Errors are made on all levels, as nobody is perfect. Making a mistake is human as machines only operate per instructions.

Slagging of the Swedish army for making a mistake is pointless. Nobody was killed, it was material damage. Although I must sympathise with whoever owned the house.

Certain things in that house will never be replaced again, like photographs. I dont think any Americans or English people should pull comment on this, considering the mess they made in the arab world. I live in the UK and all I see everyday on TV is the return of young people in body bags, and for what? Talk about wasting money and human recources for a battle they will never win. But I guess we can thank Bush and Blair for that.

War is for the low intelligent. So is religion. And the only reason mankind still goes to war is for these 3 reasons:

1) religion

2) money

3) power
22:36 October 1, 2009 by Luke35711
I guess the reason why this thread persists is that there is a broader point stake. The military is just part of the state. How efficient and competent the Swedish state really is? In a country with such high taxes, big government, and powerful institutions, it's not an unreasonable question to ask. When I first moved here I was very impressed. But after 5 years, I have doubts.

"I think we've already cleaned up after ourselves. And we have, of course, contacted the owner. There's no hard feeling between us," K3's public relations officer told the newspaper.

That's just one thing I have noticed: there is very powerful public relations machine everywhere, and is kicks in very efficiently whenever something goes wrong. The Swedes themselves tend to seek the consensus, and I think could be braver at taking their institutions and politicians into account. Actually, I think The Local is a good platform for such discussions, and Swedes shouldn't be offended by criticism from foreigners (although, a lot of it could admittedly be worded more carefully and politely). I personally like the country a lot, it's just that in my personal opinion it could benefit from a little bit more accountability.
01:04 October 2, 2009 by mcg

Are these are your own stereotypical broad-brush opinions - that you are stating as fact? If these are facts, as you say - show where these facts are printed.

I have never experienced anything but excellent service in Sweden, hospitals are great - anytime it was very smooth and efficient (almost free. The ambulances have arrived within 3-5 min on both occasions. The bus to my job work runs +/- 15sec to the stated timetable. The busses are clean. Same goes for the trains. Same with the taxis.

If you need directions - people are friendly and helpful. I live on the West Coast - so cannot talk for Stockholm.

So, no, I cannot connect with your experience of Sweden.

How are the police, fire, ambulance, army in your homeland? Elite? Free from mistakes?
12:51 October 2, 2009 by KamiZ

ever heard of the My Lai massacre? or the mistaken bombings by US forces in iraq, afghanistan and every other place they go?they kill innocent civilians during war time. i think its better to make mistakes during peacetime than during war. because that's what exercises are for: to practice, find out mistakes and correct them.
21:47 October 2, 2009 by jag2009

You say your medical care is good, yes it is. Elite - No. You have to pay which isnt a bad thing. But how about the training? Yes the training is crap. Doctors are normally from overseas.Egypt is popular. The healthcare specially radiology education is all in English and U.S. medical books. I have not noticed a translation service like they have in U.S. or UK, I maybe wrong but where i'v been iv had seen nothing off the sort. The karolinska education is the best in Sweden. As Oxford, St Georges, or UCL is in UK.

The Police are brilliant in the UK. I think look at the swedish victims who have been rapped, for example that young 10 year old girl recently, and then tell me them services are elite. In the UK they are questioned without a doubt, regardless of what press say. Our army is superb, extremly proud of them for risking there lives to help. I may be wrong but I dont recall them blowing a house up. I don't think anyone can question our soldiers they are trained magnificently and none the better. The busses are not always on time, and can sometimes be dangerous for a number of reasons in London. I don't have a problem with the trains, but for the amount of people in the country I can understand why. Stabbings is a major thing at the moment, which looks set to get worst i think.

Also a pointer for your healthcare..... majority don't even know the radiation exposures for an xray.
21:57 October 2, 2009 by kalle12345

I'm 37 and I work in the healthcare in Sweden. I was born in Stockholm. I can tell you that jag2009 is correct about the radiation exposures. Sweden has big problems there. jag2009 is correct that doctors are mainly from abroad.

I tend to think that the university education in health has along way to go in Sweden before we get an "Oxford". I'm sorry to say but I think Oxford in particular is much better than our medical education.
01:22 October 3, 2009 by mcg

I'm also from the UK, I have lived in Sweden for the last 10 years. I have lived and worked all round the world, at various times - Sweden is not bad at all - it is certainly not a country full of bumbling fools as you suggest. You can find a lot worse in the world. Given it only has a population in the region of 9 million, the standard of living and services are very impressive.

Remember the population of London is approx. 9 million.

If you are from the UK, your spelling and grammar reflect very badly on you and wherever you were educated - I sincerely hope you given more attention to detail, when you are performing your professional work.

The minutia regarding translated learning material is irrelevant in this discussion.

You made this statement;

"Swedish men in uniform always screw up...be it doctors, police or Military!! We all know that dont we??"

This is not what I have experienced.

I asked you; are these are your own stereotypical broad-brush opinions - that you are stating as fact? If these are facts, as you say - show where these facts are printed.

So it is either, (A) yes these facts, reference, here.... - or (B) no these are my opinions only. Answer the original question.


As I said, I'm from the UK originally - I would not disagree, the old Universities have a great international reputation - jag2009 is the only one comparing them.

I live on the West Coast and from my experience, his statement is not true, in fact it is absolutely untrue.

I'm sure there are problems in your profession, but does it stop you from trying to do a good job and deliver good care? I bet not.

What I am hoping is that jag2009, will validate or apologise for his quite rude statements about the bumbling nature and incompetence of Sweden's uniformed service people.
10:28 October 3, 2009 by KamiZ

here is a list of the british blowing things up or killing their own (these r all incidents of war btw)

- Two Danish soldiers from The Royal Life Guards, Thorbjorn were killed by British Javelin anti-tank missiles during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.[36] It is also confirmed from Danish forces that the British fired a total of 6-8 heat-seeking Javelin missiles, over a 1 1/2 hour period and only after the attack was completed did they realize that the missiles were British, based upon the fragments found after the incident

- British Challenger 2 tank came under fire from another British tank in a nighttime firefight, blowing off the turret and killing two of the crew. (2003 invasion of iraq)

- 1956 - Suez Crisis: Attacks from British Royal Navy carrier-borne aircraft caused heavy casualties to 45 Commando and HQ.

n im not even including the stuff u did in ww2 n the balkans war....my point is not british bashing.point is...every1 makes mistakes.so get over it buddy
16:37 October 3, 2009 by kalle12345

You made this statement;

"Swedish men in uniform always screw up...be it doctors, police or Military!! We all know that dont we??"
16:52 October 3, 2009 by kalle12345

You made this statement; "Swedish men in uniform always screw up...be it doctors, police or Military!! We all know that dont we??" mcg, I think your find jag2009 was re-applying a statement by someone else. If you are from the UK, your spelling and grammar reflect very badly on you and wherever you were educated - I sincerely hope you given more attention to detail, when you are performing your professional work. MCG that comment has got what to do with this? I don't see jag2009 claiming your grammer is bad! 1) Sweden has the highest rape claims in europe to date - FACT 2) Sweden is well known for technology as jag2009 stated - FACT 3) Sweden's Elite soldiers blew up wrong house - FACT 4) Sweden had a foreign doctor take out wrong organ(s) - FACT 5) Sweden has as I and jag2009 did mention have radiation exposure problems - FACT (ask a radiologist) We could go on and on.... every country has got something. But as I see it... jag2009 was stating a previous comment, you don't like it because your bias. You can't say his facts are not true, you don't live in Stockholm, you live in a different area!! So your contradicting yourself. In this case you have had a doctor screwed up, police screwed up and now military, yes it happens everywhere, but remember a population of 9 million, these are big mistakes in general. I think we can put this thread to bed.
23:59 October 3, 2009 by mcg
@kalle12345 (or jag2009) if it is a double log in

I believe that many errors in hospitals occur because people do not write clearly or properly - which leads to misunderstandings and mistakes. If you and jag2009 are going along with the medical incompetence theme- surely you can avoid a little grammar incompetence.

If you feel strongly, please point out my grammatical errors - I'm not above trying to improve.

If a comment is clearly laid out and properly spelled - it makes it very much easier to read. It is very difficult to respond when it take more time to unravel what the author intends to say - much like your reply above.

Last time, I checked the West Coast is in Sweden - Stockholm is not all of Sweden. Stockholm does not equal Sweden. That is no contradiction.

In your Fact (4) - does it matter the doctor's nationality?

Everyday, there are many patients treated, the police answer a lot of call-outs - successfully.

Why do you have to focus on the occasional negative stories?

I am a foreigner (resident for 10 years) and I'm saying, I have not experienced this so-called widespread incompetence. Maybe you need to experience the rest of Sweden.
21:54 October 4, 2009 by jag2009

I don't know kalle12345 its his own opinion. I'm guessing from his name his swedish.

I think what kalle 12345 was meaning to say is that you were contradicting yourself on your views. You said that you have seen elite skills in certain sectors like health, police, and military. You can go on about grammar as much as you want (some defence that is lol) The healthcare mistakes are made by the people who are trained badly. Everyday in every country patients are treated, that means nothing. What matters is the result of the treatment. Yes the police answer alot of calls, so they should , hence tax.

No person said it was a widespread incompetence. What was said is these are bad mistakes. The "negative stories" are where these debates are made.

sherkovic and john_ berg


Swedish men in uniform always screw up...be it doctors, police or Military!! We all know that dont we??



This is no little mistake.
09:21 October 7, 2009 by Kvist-Nordell

Thank you for your comments against jag2009. I support you 100%.

@ jag2009 & kalle 12345

How quaint, you come to someone's house, and complain about their facilities, just because you chip in for the water bills doesn't mean you complain about his TV or demand a new bath tub.

I believe Sweden, by far, has been doing well providing it's people public services. Rape cases? Most in Europe? Where did you get your stories from, bad source, I'll say. There is still a lot of eastern Europe that has more cases. Remember, don't use the term ALWAYS as quoted in:

"Swedish men in uniform always screw up...be it doctors, police or Military!! We all know that dont we?? "

Stockholm, mind me, if you'd like to compare with the UK, has less cases. Ever been to a football match in Anfield? or perhaps go to a bar in London? We have the most open-minded and free-media coverage. We can curse our Royal Families and government without fearing censorship. You will never find any news that is censored in Sweden. Freedom of speech is REALISTIC here and is RESPECTED. It's people like you that gives government reasons to not support the Freedom of Speech.

People make mistakes, YOU DON'T KNOW WHY THEY BLEW UP THE WRONG HOUSE DO YOU? Walk a mile in their shoes.

Maybe we're not famous for our medical institutes for learning, but believe me, many great people in the modern age comes from Sweden and its innovative environment, heard of IKEA, Ericsson, ALFRED NOBEL himself?

Remember, as guest to another person's house, don't complain. Imagine I go to UK and complain about their dirty ghettos, their Hooligans, their policemen that looks like something that belongs in the museum, their filthy trains, their nasty nightlife.

By the way, you don't seem British, jag2009, I would believe that MCG is, but not you. I'm half Swedish, half Danish, and is still confident that my English is way par than yours.
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People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
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