Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
"German troops through Sweden
After Denmark and Norway were invaded on April 9, 1940, Sweden and the other remaining Baltic Sea countries became enclosed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, then on friendly terms with each other as formalized in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The lengthy fighting in Norway resulted in intensified German demands for indirect support from Sweden, demands that Swedish diplomats were able to fend off by reminding the Germans of the Swedes' feeling of closeness to their Norwegian brethren. With the conclusion of hostilities in Norway this argument became untenable, forcing the Cabinet to give in to German pressure and allow continuous (unarmed) troop transports, via Swedish railroads, between Germany and Norway.
The extent of these transports was kept secret, although spreading rumors soon forced prime minister Per Albin Hansson to admit their existence. Officially the trains transported wounded soldiers and soldiers on leave (permittent-tåg), which would still have been in violation of Sweden's proclaimed neutrality.
In all, close to 100,000 railroad cars had transported two million German soldiers trough Sweden by the time the transit agreement was disbanded on 5 August 1943" source Wikipedia
This is an interesting part of WW2 and unknown to me. So if I understand, Germany was sending troops to garrison northern Norway against and eventual allied invasion following what happened in Narvik in 1940 I suppose?
Or even part of this must have been used to carry german troops for the fighting against the british in Narvik I guess, and to garrison against another potential invasion by the allies.
Without any information whatsoever, I am willing to bet that the vast majority of the German troops in Norway were in the populous southern/western areas rather than the north. German operations conducted from Norway against Allied convoys would most likely be the cause of casualties. Then there is the rather mundane cycling of troops home on leave and redistribution of which combat units were where. By going through Sweden (and Denmark) those transits would be greatly simplified.
Perfection is an elusive goal.