According to a new book by Ola Tunander, a research professor at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (the article does not mention the title of this book), Mrs Thatcher ordered the Royal Navy to make incursions into Swedish territorial waters during the 1980s and early 1990s. The incursions were designed to heighten the impression around the world of the Soviet Union as an aggressive superpower. Sometimes the boats landed commandos, but often their job was to fool the Swedes by mimicking the sonar signals given off by the Soviet vessels that stalked the same waters.
Tunander claims that there were more than 4,000 reported detections of foreign submarines in Swedish waters between 1982 and92. The West claimed the vessels were all Soviet, probing the country’s defences. Tunander, however, believes that many were part of a CIA-run operation by Britain and America that continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union. He reached his conclusions after speaking to former Royal Navy submariners and CIA officials. One British naval captain told him: “Margaret Thatcher signed approval for every single operation.” The operation took advantage of an incident in 1981 when a Whisky class submarine ran aground near the Swedish naval base Karlskrona
Tunander said he had once sat next to a British admiral at dinner and questioned him about the operation. He replied that it was “none of my business”, Tunander said. “The admiral then added jokingly, ‘Don’t people fall under buses sometimes?’ ” This weekend Sir Keith Speed, navy minister from 1979 to 1981, was asked if the missions had happened. He replied, “Yes,” but added: “I cannot say any more as I am bound by the Official Secrets Act until the day I die.”
A senior Swedish source said the submarine incidents had been fully investigated and that Tunander’s claims were “completely untrue”.
False flag operation do happen an will almost certain continue while humans make war against each other (eg the Gleiwitz incident ) although they probably do not happen with the frequency imagined by lunatic conspiracy theorists such as the late Joe Vialls (who seemed to pin every event, including the murder of Cock Robin, on Mossad). As for this one, I would be surprised if Royal Navy submarines didn’t enter Swedish territorial waters, but landing commandos on Swedish soil many times? Any operation of this type will go wrong from time to time. Imagine what would have happened if they had been caught red handed. This seems unlikely to me.
One this that does puzzle me is why is this story in the Times now. Tunander wrote his book The Secret War against Sweden in 2004. Perhaps it was a slow news day...