Carl Petersén (born 1883)

Carl Petersén
Born (1883-04-18)18 April 1883
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 14 April 1963(1963-04-14) (aged 79)
Buried at Norra begravningsplatsen
Allegiance Sweden
Service/branch Swedish Army
Years of service 1903–1946
Rank Lieutenant Colonel[1]
Unit Persian Gendarmerie (1911–13)
White Guard (1918)
Commands held C-byrån (1940–46)
Battles/wars Gallipoli Campaign
Finnish Civil War
Operation Stella Polaris

Carl Jacob Karsten Petersén (18 April 1883 14 April 1963) was a Swedish Army officer. During World War II he served as head of the intelligence agency C-byrån.


Petersén was born in Stockholm, Sweden and was the son of deputy assistant Carl Petersén and Ingeborg Tanberg. He became a second lieutenant in the Uppland Artillery Regiment (A 5) in 1903 and attended the Gymnastic Central Institute in 1907. Petersén was major and instructor in the Persian Gendarmerie from 1911 to 1913 and participated in the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.[2] The same year he was promoted to captain in the Swedish Army and did the certificate exams for balloon license.[2] Petersén participated in the Finnish Civil War in 1918 as a lieutenant colonel in the White Guard.

He was then attaché in Warsaw from 1919 to 1920, was in the Commission Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations from 1923 to 1925, the Bulgarian Refugee Commission from 1926 to 1928, in Syria in 1929 and the League of Nations border control commission in Syria and Iran in 1932.[2] In 1932, Petersén was promoted to major in the Swedish Army. He was Head of Department at the International Red Cross in Paris from 1921 to 1937, the general secretary of the Royal Swedish Aero Club from 1937 to 1939 and was legation counsellor in Berlin and worked at the B Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1940.[2] Petersén was head of the intelligence agency C-byrån from 1940 to 1946. In 1944, he led the Swedish side of the Operation Stella Polaris.[3]

During the war, Petersén and his colleague Algot Törneman had organized private arms trades. They had sold weapons via a private firm, Skandiastål, to the Norwegian and Danish resistance movements. After the war Petersén moved to Switzerland where he continued to represent the weapons firm Skandiastål.[4]

Personal life

In 1910, Petersén married Esther Warodell.[2] Petersén died on 14 April 1963 and was buried on 27 June 1963 at Norra begravningsplatsen i Stockholm.[5]

Awards and decorations

Petersén's awards:[2][1]


  1. 1 2 Sveriges statskalender för året 1955 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Fritzes offentliga publikationer. 1955. p. 38.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 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. 650.
  3. Helgegren, Carl-Magnus (10 November 2013). "Operation Stella Polaris" (MP3). P3 Dokumentär (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  4. Bratt, Peter (1998-06-21). "Svensk kupp gav nazisternas ryska koder till USA" [Swedish coup gave the Nazi's Russian codes to the US]. Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  5. "Norra begravningsplatsen, kvarter 04A, gravnummer 1" (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 March 2014.
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