Until 1998, Sweden had a secret unit that dropped of NATO agents in the countries of the Warsaw Pact. It also worked closely with NATO countries Denmark, Norway and the United States in preparation for war with the Soviet Union.

The book Den dolde alliansen (The hidden alliance), published on Thursday, sheds new light on the Swedish defence policy during the Cold War. The highly experienced Swedish journalist and defence specialist Mikael Holmström compiled it on the basis of 150 conversations with soldiers, diplomats, politicians and other key figures. Holmström works for one of Sweden’s leading quality newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet.

The recorded stories show that Sweden brought Western agents into Russia at night with a fleet of ten small civilian, Cessna aircraft. The last assignment would have been in 1998, just before Flight Unit 66 was disbanded due to lack of funds.

In an armed clash with the Warsaw Pact, the alliance of Eastern European countries led by Russia, troops of the US Marine Corps would be deposited around the southern Swedish city of Malmö and in northern Sweden. The US Air Force would operate from Swedish air bases within eight days of the outbreak of war. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch on 24 March 2011)