Viking Tamm

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Viking Tamm
Viking Tamm, 1940.jpg
Lieutenant Colonel Viking Tamm studying the situation in Finland during the Winter War.
Birth name Viking Sebastian Henricsson Tamm
Born (1896-07-21)21 July 1896
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 25 November 1975(1975-11-25) (aged 79)
, Sweden
Buried Film Cemetery, Östhammar Municipality
Allegiance Sweden
Service/branch Swedish Army
Years of service 1916–34 (Sweden)
1934–36 (Ethiopian Empire)
1936–39 (Sweden)
1940 (Finland)
1940–46 (Sweden)
1945–46 (Ethiopian Empire)
1946–61 (Sweden)
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Army Staff (1948–53)
I. Military Area (1953–61)
Battles/wars Second Italo-Ethiopian War
Winter War

Viking Sebastian Henricsson Tamm (21 July 1896 – 25 November 1975) was a Swedish Army officer. In addition to the years he served in the Swedish Army, Tamm led a group of Swedish officers who developed the Ethiopian military school's officer training (1934–36 and 1945–46) and he was a volunteer in the Winter War in Finland in 1940 commanding the II. Battlegroup of the Swedish Volunteer Corps. Back in Sweden he eventually became Chief of Army Staff (1948–53) and commander of the I. Military Area (1953–61) before retiring as a Lieutenant General in 1961.


Tamm was born in Stockholm, Sweden and was the son of the bank director and later finance minister Henric Tamm and Louise Tham. He became a second lieutenant at the Svea Life Guards (I 1) in 1916 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1919. Tamm attended the Royal Swedish Army Staff College from 1925 to 1927 and became captain of the General Staff in 1930 and at the Svea Life Guards (I 1) in 1934. He entered the Ethiopian Empire service in 1934.[1] Captain Tamm and the then Chief of Air Force, Major General Eric Virgin, who was employed as the emperor's military political adviser, as well as four other military officers (the lieutenants Nils Bouveng, Arne Thorburn, Gustaf Heüman and Anders Nyblom[2]) entered together into the Ethiopian service to organize the country's only military school for the training of Ethiopian officers.[3] A Swedish military academy for cadets was established in Holeta Genet under captain Tamm who, with his staff, stayed on in Ethiopia after the outbreak of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite pressure by the Swedish government to return.[4]

Tamm re-entered into the Swedish Army as captain of the General Staff in 1936 and was a teacher of tactics at the Royal Swedish Army Staff College in 1936. Tamm became major of the General Staff Corps in 1937 and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1939.[1] During World War II, he was a member of the Finlandskommittén[5] and in 1940 he entered into Finnish service and became commander of the II. Battlegroup of the Swedish Volunteer Corps during the Winter War.[6]

He was a lieutenant colonel of the General Staff Corps and head of department at the Army Staff's Education Department in 1940. Tamm was colonel of the General Staff Corps in 1941 and head of the Royal Swedish Army Staff College in 1941 and commander of the Southern Scanian Infantry Regiment (I 7) from 1942 to 1944.[1] Furthermore Tamm was Inspector of the Infantry from 1944 to 1946 and was back again in Ethiopian service from 1945 to 1946. He was deputy military commander of the I. Military Area in 1946 and was promoted to major general and was Chief of Army Staff and the General Staff Corps from 1948 to 1953. Tamm was military commander of the I. Military Area from 1953 to 1961 and was inspector of Kristianstad Higher General Secondary School from 1953 to 1958. He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1961.[7]

Other work

Tamm (third from the left) along with four other Swedish officers in Abyssinia in 1934.

Tamm wrote articles in military journals and became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences in 1939.[7]

Personal life

Tamm married for the first time in 1919 with Katarina Lagercrantz (born 1900), the daughter of the envoy Herman Lagercrantz and Hedvig (née Croneborg). He married a second time in 1938 with Suzanne Kartavtzeff (born 1909), the daughter of the captain Wsevolod Kartavtzeff and Marta von Haartman. Tamm was the father of Annika (born 1920), Per-Henric (born 1922), Hedvig (born 1926) and Kristina (born 1930).[7] Tamm died in 1975 and was buried at Film Cemetery in Östhammar Municipality.

Awards and decorations

Tamm's awards:[1][7]


  • Tamm, Viking (1942). Värnpliktsutbildningen vid armén Conscript training in the Army. Medborgarkunskap om riksförsvaret, 99-1771683-1 ; 7 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Riksförb. för Sveriges försvar. 
  • Tamm, Viking (1936). I tjänst hos Negus: aderton månader som krigsskolechef i Etiopien In the service of Negus: eighteen months as war school director in Ethiopia (in Swedish) (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand. 


  1. ^ a b c d Harnesk, Paul, ed. (1945). Vem är vem?. D. 1, Stockholmsdelen Who is Who?. D. 1, Stockholm part (in Swedish). Stockholm: Vem är vem bokförlag. p. 854. 
  2. ^ Gyllenhaal, Lars; Westberg, Lennart (2006). Svenskar i krig 1914-1945 Swedes in the war 1914-1945. Militärhistorisk storpocket (in Swedish) (New ed.). Lund: Historiska media. ISBN 91-85377-98-8. 
  3. ^ Cantera Carlomagno, Marcos (1995). "Svenska officerare i kejsarens tjänst" [Swedish officers in the Emperor's service]. Populär Historia (in Swedish) (5). Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Spencer, John H. (2006). Ethiopia at Bay: A Personal Account of the Haile Selassie Years. Tsehai Publishers. p. 6. ISBN 1599070006. 
  5. ^ I österled: en bokfilm om svenska frivilligkåren (in Swedish). Stockholm: Självständighetsförb. 1940. pp. 22–23. 
  6. ^ von Schmidt-Laussitz, Nicolas. "Preludium" (in Swedish). Svenska Finlandsfrivilligas minnesförening. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d Davidsson, Åke, ed. (1966). Vem är vem?. 4, Skåne, Halland, Blekinge Who is Who?. 4, Scania, Halland, Blekinge (in Swedish) (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Vem är vem. p. 814. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Ivar Backlund
Chief of the Army Staff
Succeeded by
Bert Carpelan
Preceded by
Samuel Lars Åkerhielm
I. Military Area
Succeeded by
Curt Göransson