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KISI INFO INDONESIA 1941 (BERSAMBUNG)

 

KOLEKSI SEJARAH INDONESIA

1941

 

 

 

OLEH

Dr Iwan Suwandy , MHA

EDISI PRIBADI TERBATAS

KHUSUS UNTUK KOLEKTOR  DAN HISTORIAN SENIOR

Copyright @ 2013

INI ADALAH CUPLIKAN DAN CONTOH BUKU KOLEKSI SEJARAH INDONESIA HASIL PENELITIAN Dr  IWAN , HANYA DITAMPILKAN SEBAGIAN INFO DAN ILUSTRASI TAK LENGKAP.

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sORRY FOR THE UNEDITED ARTICLES BELOW,I DID  TO PROTEC T AGAINST THE COPY WITHOUT PERMISSSION

 

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

PENEMU DAN PRESIDEN PERTAMA

PERHIMPUNAN

KISI

(KOLEKSTOR INFORMASI SEJARAH INDONESIA)

TAHUN 2013-2020

SEJEN KISI

LILI WIDJAJA,MM

DEWAN KEHORMATAN

KETUA

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

ANGGOTA

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ANTON JIMMI SUWANDY ST.MECH.

 

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BAGI YANG BERMINAT MENJADI ANGGOTA KISI

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Indonesian History Collections 1941

 

By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private Limited edions Special fpr senior collectors

Copyright @ 2013

 

 

 

Prolog Dai Nippon War 1942-1945

Empire of Japan

 

The imperial flag

 

 

 

The God Emperor,
 
Hirohito / Emperor Shōwa
裕仁 / 昭和天

 

 

 

imperial guard officer manching with emperor showa in the imperial palace (1937)

 

 

Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) on his horse Shirayuki (japan 1941)

 

Imperial Japanese Army
Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun

 

Flag of the Imperial Japanese Army

 


Chief of Army General Staff,

Field Marshal Count Yamagata Aritomo

 

 

Total Active Personnel:
Active Infantry: 36,000 Men(Regular)
Active Cavalry: 3,000 Men(Regular)
Active Field Artillery: 1,000 men, 100 Field Artillery

Total Reserve Personnel:
Total Reserve Infantry: 360,000 Men(Regular)
Total Reserve Cavalry: (Regular)
Total Reserve Field Artillery:

During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū. After the successful overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate and establishment of the new Meiji government modeled on European lines, a more formal military, loyal to the central government rather than individual domains, was recognized as a necessity to preserve Japan’s independence from western imperialism.

This obsession to study and use European technology and knowledge and harness it to make a powerful Japanese State that is capable of resisting Western Imperialism, but also to enact a new Asian Imperialism, Japanese dominated of course. To accomplish this the Imperial Japanese Army was established under the direct control of the Emperor and loyal only to him as he is the ruler of Heaven. With the abolition of the daimyos and the establishment of the Prefectures, the country as well as the army became more and more centralized.

The army also modernized, relying on foreign support for the training and preparation of a modern and western army. The French had been critical in the development of the Imperial Japanese Army, and have been retained for their services for the Emperor. However, following the French defeat at the hands of the Prussians the Emperor had begun to study and copy elements of the Prussian military system, particularly the establishment of the Army General Staff.

The Imperial Japanese Army is a largely infantry fighting force, with men drawn from six military districts of Akita, Tokyo, Nagano, Osaka,Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Infantry is organized into regiments of 3,000 men divided into five hundred men battalions. Cavalry is divided into regiments of 1,000 men which is further divided into four squadrons of 250 men. Artillery is organized into batteries of 100 men and 10 field guns.

 

Order of Battle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imperial Guard, Tokyo Military District: 9,000 Men
Commander: General Ōyama Iwao

 


Central Command: Tokyo
– Konoe Hohei Rentai No. 1; 3,000 Men, Gatling Guns
– Konoe Hohei Rentai No. 2; 3,000 Men, Gatling Guns
– Konoe Keiryuukihe No. 1; 1,000 Men
– Keiryuukihe No. 1; 1,000 Men
– Keiryuukihe No. 2; 1,000 men

 

soldier of the japanese army imperial guard (tokyo 1940)

 

officer of the japanese army imperial guard (tokyo 1940)

 

officer of the 2nd Guards Division of the imperial guards (tokyo 1943)


Akita Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Arisugawa Taruhito

 

 

Central Command: Akita
– Hohei Rentai No. 1; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 2; 3,000 Men

Nagano Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Ozawa Takeo


Central Command: Nagano
– Hohei Rentai No. 3; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 4; 3,000 Men

Osaka Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Godo Toshiharu
Central Command: Osaka
– Hohei Rentai No. 5; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 6; 3,000 Men

Hiroshima Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Kajiyama Denbe
Central Command: Hiroshima
– Hohei Rentai No. 7; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 8; 3,000 Men

Nagasaki Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Takamura Eikichi
Central Command: Nagasaki
– Hohei Rentai No. 9; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 10; 3,000 Men

Imperial Artillery Corps: 1,000 Men, 50 Men
Commander: Mj. General Uoya Kazushige
Central Command: Tokyo
– Houhei Daitai No. 1; 500 Men, 50 Artillery
– Houhei Daitai No. 2; 500 Men, 50 Artillery

 

SOURCE :Umne

 

 

Imperial Japanese Navy
Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kaigun

Flag of the Imperial Japanese Navy

Naval Lord of the Ministry of the Military, Admiral Viscount Nakamuta Kuranosuke

 

 

Naval Warship Composition:
Line Ironclads
Central Battery: 1

Cruising Ironclads
Corvette: 4
Armored Corvette: 4

Coastal Warships
Armored Ram: 1
Gunboat: 16
 
The Imperial Japanese Navy, like its Army counter part, was a result of the Meiji Restoration. Elements of the former Shogunate navy, as well as individual daimyo warships were requisitioned and were made part of the navy. Centralization played a key role, hoping to avoid further Western Imperialism the Meiji Restoration has made an effort to expand and modernize the Navy.

 

field marshal Shunroku Hata (left) and staff officers on a japanese navy ship deck (china 1939)
The Meiji Government has put every effort into the build up of a modern navy, many ships were purchased from outside countries due to Japan’s limited natural resources. The Navy is governed by the Ministry of the Military, specifically the Naval Lord. The Navy has been seen as the primary tool to extend Japanese Influence, and has been effectively used against Korea and Taiwan

The Japanese Imperial Forces

 

 

is the chief military force for Japan.

 

 It is divided into the Japanese Imperial Army (home defense), Japanese Imperial Navy (training), and the Imperial Japanese Air Force (elite). The army owns three companies for use within the military.

It is led by Dai Nippon Minister of Defense Dokomo

Organization

The Japanese Imperial Forces is commanded directly by the Minister of Defense who reports directly to the President.

The military is organized into three divisions.

 The first, the Japanese Imperial Army,

 is a defense force, made up primarily of immobile citizens who are grounded due to political duties.

 

Japanese General.Anami Korechika 

Commander 2nd Guard Regiment.

The second is the Japanese Imperial Navy,

 the largest division, which consists of soldiers who have not achieved Field Marshal rank or been promoted to the elite squads.

The third is the Japanese Imperial Airforce

 

General Takeo Yasuda

Takeo Yasuda was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army. While serving as director of the Army’s Aviation Technology Research Institute during World War II, he was a key figure in scientific and technological development for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, most notably his involvement in the early development of a Japanese atomic bomb during the early stages of the war.

 

The Imperial Japanese Air Force consists of the country’s strongest and most active soldiers. Both the JIN and IJAF are mobile units capable of moving throughout the world and operating in the interests of the Japanese people and its allies. Each division is split into six-person squads, which are led by a Chusa who is responsible for distributing weapons and evaluating soldier readiness. Some squads are led by higher ranked Chujos and Shosos. The head of the military has the rank of Gensui.

The military operates a Q5 weapons factory under the JIA, and a Q1 weapons company as part of the JIN. The JIA also owns a Q1 defense system builder, which is currently inoperable. Gifting for the military is done in collaboration with the Japanese Interior Service, which runs a Q1 gift company.

 

 

 

Dai Nippon Teikoku Rikugun propaganda poster

 

 

Lieutenant-General Hitoshi Imamura

 

 

Lieutenant-General Hitoshi Imamura

 

Lieutenant-General Hitoshi Imamura was a chief of Army General Staff operations section during 1931-32 and after that a liason to 9th Division in “Shanghai Incident”, fighting early 1932

He was made then for regimental commander, promoted to Major-General and made for brigade commander in 1935

He became a deputy chief-of-staff, Kwantung Army, Manchuria 1936 and a Commandant of Infantry School in 1937.

Soon promoted to rank of Lt-General, given a command of 5th Division in China and held that command in years 1938-40. He was Inspector General of Military Education during 1940-1941 (Note This was an extremely powerful position in the Army hierarchy because this office approved all officer postings, up to and including choice of Army Minister).

Became a Commander 16th Army in November 1941,

led that Army in Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942 and personally landed on Java Island.

While in Tokyo

 

 Major-General Kawaguchi

was informed that the enemy strength in British Borneo was estimated at approximately 1,000 regular soldiers (mostly Indians) and 2,500 native volunteers, with a probable further

 

5,600 Dutch soldiers in Dutch Borneo.

 Intelligence sources reported that the entire island was covered with dense jungle with only a few poor roads near the river mouths. The only means of transportation was possible by water. Information in regard to weather and terrain was very scant and not very reliable and there was only one small scale map of the island available.

 

 

Immediately upon his return to

 

 

Canton

 

 from Tokyo, the Detachment commander proceeded to

 

 

 

Sanya,

 

 

Hainan Island,

to attend a conference with the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Expeditionary Fleet and the Direct Escort Fleet commander in order to reach an agreement on co-operative measures in the event of war.

It was decided that the first Japanese landings would be made at aerawk in

 

Miri and

 

Serian

in order to capture vital oilfields and airfields in these towns. Part of the force would remain in this area to reestablish Miri oilfield while the main body would advance and capture the Kuching airfield. All units of the Kawaguchi Detachment had to receive special training in landing under cover of darkness and in jungle fighting, and naturally they also had to change their equipment and would have to be given special survival and field sanitation training.

.

 

General Tomoyuki Yamashita

General Tomoyuki Yamashita was a general of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. He was most famous for conquering the British colonies of Malaya and Singapore, earning the nickname “The Tiger of Malaya”.

THE CHRONOLOGY COLLECTIONS 1941

January,14th.1941

 

 

1941 cover London GB to D.van Velden Prins Hendrik School 7 A Vrijmetselars weg Batavia  ‘Batavia, Netherlands East India’ with oval ROYAL NETHERLANDS NAVAL CENSORSHIP / CENSORED / HNMS h/s. From ‘Dutch Naval HQ’. PC 90 OBE label with CENSUUR label over tied by d/r. CENSUUR 5 p/m

February,28th.1941

 

Sencored Cover from Koloniale bank Soerabaia  with 15c wihelmina  and 10c  Konijnenberg Wilhelmina 1941  staps, Soerabaja Airmail to  Lipton Limited Melbourne, Australia. Netherlands Indies Censor tape

March,1st.1941

 

 

1941 Air Mail cover with HONG KONG p/m to USA [$3 50 cents RATE] with boxed NOT OPENED/ BY/ CENSOR h/s. and boxed ’28’ censor to rear. Soiled to rear. Ref: 227

March,5th.1941

 

 

1941 cover from CEYLON to USA with d/r. COLUMBO p/m. and 30 OBC label. Underpaid with d/r. COLUMBO / REDIRECTIONS p/m. Surface fault.

 

Sencored cover from Ned Indie Red Cross  Tjikini 65 Batavia  with 35c Wilhelmina 1941 Batavia Centrum Airmail to International Red Cross Geneva, Switzerland. Netherlands Indies Censor.

 

Secored cover from Mr Annamalai 121 Hoofweg Bindjei  with 15c Wilhelmina 1941 to Viraichilai, India. India Censor

 

 

 

 

June,8th.1941

 

Sencored Cover from Toeban(east java) with 3c Rice Field 1941  red gecensurreed 22 choped to Albuquerque Civil council  1743 Sunshine building Albuquerque New mexico North America, N.M. Netherlands Indies Censor.

June,2nd.1941

 

Sencored Cover from Batavia with 80c Wilhelmina 1941 ,Batavia Airmail  via Australia to Hotchkiss, Colorado USA . Netherlands Indies Censor.The rejection end June 1941

 

 

 

August 1941

 by the Indies Gouvernment and the oil-embargo from the United States in August 1941 were explained in Japan as a conspiracy of what at that time were called the ABCD-countries (the Americans, the British, the Chinese and the Dutch).

 

This caused the daring plan to, with an attack on Pearl Harbor, eliminatin in one blow the entire American fleet in the Pacific, after which the passage would be free to Malakka, Singapore, the oil-rich Netherlands Indies, the Philipines and even Australia.

August,7th.1941

 

Sencored covered  from  Bandoeng CDS 7.8.41  on 80c  Konijnenberg Wilhelmina 1941  stamps, Bandoeng Trans Pacific Airmail to Wellesley, Mass. Forwarded to Bethany Beach, Delaware. Netherlands Indies Censor. Inscribed By KNILM Trans Tasman Avin. P.A.A. and onward Airtransmission.

 

On 6 November 1941,

Yamashita was put in command of the Twenty-Fifth Army.

On 20 November 1941,

The Kawaguchi’s Brigade was activated in Tokyo (Japan), and placed under

the direct command of the Southern Army.

It was commanded by

 

Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi

 

 

 

and it was composed mainly of

 

the following Japanese units stationed at Canton, southern China, which had been previously

under the command of the Japanese  18th Infantry Division:

Order of Battle for Japanese forces
Sarawak, December 1941Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi (commander)

 

35th Infantry Brigade Headquarters

 

 

124th Infantry Regiment

one platoon of the 12th Engineer Regiment

a unit from the 18th Division Signal Unit

a unit from the 18th Division Medical Unit

4th Field Hospital, 18th Division

a unit from the 11th Water Supply and Purification Unit

In addition, the following units from Japan and Manchuria were to be used to reinforce the Detachment:

33rd Field AA Battalion

one company of the 26th Independent Engineer Regiment
(minus two platoons)

2nd Independent Engineer Company

80th Independent Radio Platoon

37th Fixed Radio Unit

a unit from the Oil Drilling Section of the 21st Field Ordnance Depot

1st Field Well Drilling Company

2nd Field Well Drilling Company

3rd Field Well Drilling Company

4th Field Well Drilling Company

48th Anchorage Headquarters

118th Land Duty Company

 

November,27th,1941

A Dutch East Indie Karbouw 3 1/2 cent with  Return card Had paid( Briefkaart Met betaal Antwort) had sent from Yen Shiu Yui c.o Dr Liauw Thiam Soe ,Kenongo Air Toeloeng Agoengm CDS Toeloeng Agoeng  27-11-1941(ten days before Peral Harbor attacked) to The Book Store Bing Sin Kepoeteran Street Soerabia, with massage :

after receiving this letter, please sir let me know (information () perhaps there are regulation’s book of  contract, the lending auction, huurkoop (sale and purchase), and other commisie How much does it cost to write a letter of agreement? Or tuay Sir  give description of other books like diatas.dan kemungkinyajuga
After making the ACC (approved ) i will send postwesel (postal money order) OI am waiting Other news of my master  and I  send  thank you very much .
SGY 27-11-41
Yours sincerely
  Yen Yi Shiu (S.Y.Yen)

Original massage

setelah menerima surat ini ,harap tuan memberi kabar(informasi() barang kali masih ada tersedia buku-bukuperaturan contract,hutang-piutang lelang, huurkoop(jual beli), commisie dan lain-lain.peraturan menulis surat perjanjian Berapakah harganya? Atau tuab berikan keterangan buku-buku lain seperti diatas.dan kemungkinyajuga

Stelah ACC(disetujui( akan saya kirimkan postwesel(postal money order )Lain Tiadam kabar tuan saya tunggu dan banyak terima kasih saya haturkan.

SGY 27-11-41

Hormat saya

Yen shiu Yi(S.Y.Yen)

In the front of the postcard handwritten Note:

1,. If I am not mistaken the price is approximately 3 guldem and the other two guilders,

 

 

2,DDO (reply) 9-12-1941

(two days after Pearl Harbor attack)

Give news

 

Bussiness correspondence books 2. guilders

to the publisher 2.25 guilders

True price of 4.25 guilders
Understanding  book  2.15 guilders

Origina info

1,.Kalau saya tidak keliru harganya lebih kurang  3 guldem dan lainya 2 gulden,

Ddo(dibalas) 9-12-041(dua hari setelah serngan Pearl Harbor)

‘Beri Kabar

Buku korespondensi Dagang 2 gulden

Dengan penerbit 2,25  gulden

Harga sejati 4,25 gulden

Buku pengertia 2,15 guldem

Surabaya City in 1941

 

 

Soerabaja (Surabaya) Stadswacht in 1941

 

The surabaya city wtch in 1941

On the opposite bank of the river lies Chinatown and the Red Bridge, where that forever industrious race live in a confusion of narrow lanes and alleys. Two-storeyed shophouses vividly splashed with crisscross symbols, the wail of Chinese music from an open fronted cafe where, in passing by, a glimpse is seen of deftly manipulated chopsticks picking food from hand-cupped rice bowls. In the air a mixture of typical smells of the Orient: gums and spice, with an occasional whiff of gutter stink and incense. The klaxon hooting and ringing of bicycle bells, the noise of the always congested traffic on the street, until dusk falls and the office front door is slammed shut.

 

 

 

Tulung Agung City in 1941

 

Read more about surabayas(Semethini)

 

Photo Source: flickr.com

 

The river they call Brantas. Winding its way through Surabaya, the merry town of the Thirties, in the Netherlands East Indies.

Entering the town in the suburb of Darmo, it flows for a while by a rolling green vista of well-kept gardens and lawns sweeping down from the terraces of residences where the prominent live. Dignity and firm security displayed in robust granite ballustrade and stained-glass doors and windows at the front.

The boulevards and avenues respectably quiet and undisturbed. A stillness accentuated by the rustle of the wind in tall casuarina trees along the riverbank, and the distant jangle of the tram. A mile further down, the Brantas enters the Gubeng district, passing by fenced-in backyards of dwellings of lesser status, the boarding houses and private hotels. A street vendor calls monotonously. The clip-clop of the horse of a hire-surrey is momentarily drowned in the low-humming swoosh of a motor car.

With measured intervals a gong is struck before a cottage near the corner, announcing the forthcoming public auction of the departing householder’s furniture and other possessions.

At the upper-town railway station, a hissing of spurting steam, a mournful hoot and clanging engine. On the sharply curving street leading to the Gubeng bridge, tyres screech beside tram wheels grinding in their rail grooves.

Under the bridge oddly shaped clusters of garbage and flotsam riding the quietly moving water halt, revolving slowly. Then, still turning lazily, they resume their trip, passing close to the reed banks of the park with its lotus pond and canna beds, and the silvery, glinting gossamer of water sprinklers. Magpies scamper on the sun-dappled grass under the sycamores.

 

Photo Source: Moesson

 

 

Photo Source: Surabaya Memory/Petra Christian University


Further down, the river flows by lofty palm fringed driveways to stately offices of authority and government – frowning, rigid and aloof in marble and colonnade. The Dutch tricolour flies proudly from the mast. Further down again, the river, sluggish and muddy now, passes by the agitated hustle and bustle of William’s Quay in downtown Surabaya. Domain of merchants, brokers and bankers, money-making amidst clattering typewriters, ringing telephones and buzzing ceiling fans. At the door the name of the company is richly embossed on copper plate, leaving an impression of infallibility and trustworthiness.

 

Photo Source: Surabaya Memory/Petra Christian University

 

Photo Source: Surabaya Tempo Dulu

On the opposite bank of the river lies Chinatown and the Red Bridge, where that forever industrious race live in a confusion of narrow lanes and alleys. Two-storeyed shophouses vividly splashed with crisscross symbols, the wail of Chinese music from an open fronted cafe where, in passing by, a glimpse is seen of deftly manipulated chopsticks picking food from hand-cupped rice bowls. In the air a mixture of typical smells of the Orient: gums and spice, with an occasional whiff of gutter stink and incense. The klaxon hooting and ringing of bicycle bells, the noise of the always congested traffic on the street, until dusk falls and the office front door is slammed shut.

Finally the river reaches its estuary with the bobbing masts of gaily adorned native sailing craft from Madura and Makassar, the river water casting dancing reflections of light on the slender prows, moored in clusters along the ancient quay and its mossy dents, notches and century-old, corrosion-bated mooring rings.

Nimble-footed coolies walk rhythmically on narrow, swaying gangplanks, heavy baskets with dried fish and copra on neck and shoulders, the corded ridges of their deep brown backs dripping with sweat. A flock of sparrows peck madly at rice grains spilled on the quay. On a small, barnacle-rimmed jetty a native woman squats, beating her wash on a flat stone. Her shoulders, back and bottom, in the faded sarong hitched under the armpits, flow out in the contours of a guitar. Flitting black streaks of swallows skim the river that now finally, languidly delivers its water into the sea in gradually deepening colours of blue and green. Out in the Roads of Surabaya, on the slowly rising and falling swell, white-dotted with seagulls, a towering ocean liner growls, drowning out the clang of busily spinning winches and long-necked cranes on the wharves. Below the storm warning mast on the harbour master’s office roof, a tugboat hoots an answer, her screws eagerly churning the brackish water. The dockyards and quay of Surabaya where shirt-drenching heat shimmers as a glistening pool on the tacky-hot bitumen. Where ships come from all over the world, each containing an atmosphere typical of her home port.

 

Photo Source: malang.endonesa.net


Visible and invisible little things in master and crew that make up the Briton, Norwegian, Dutchman and Greek. The world of big shipping. After work, one may be invited to come on board again for a quiet beer while listening to tales of Liverpool, Piraeus, Oslo and Vancouver.

Day is done, darkness has fallen, the worst of the heat gone. Pastel-coloured lampshades shine gently through a filigree of potted plants and shrubs. In the warm, scented evening we read and talk out in front on the open porch. A thin spiral of grey smoke eddies up from a coil of mosquito repellent burning on a saucer on the floor. A wide-eyed brown kitten stalks, with great display of fuss, an imaginary prey between the magnolias. Back in the house the clock ding-dongs through soft radio music. The light circle of the porch lamp does not quite reach the dark hibiscus hedge at the front gate, where a lone cricket chirps incessantly. It is Saturday evening, after dinner time. All the news is read, all events of the day discussed, bemoaned or laughed about.

 

Photo Source: Zoo Leven Wij in Indie


A drive is then suggested and agreed upon. Soon we have joined the long line of motor cars out on the road for a little cruise to the entertainment district of Surabaya and on to the harbour for an hour of cool, refreshing sea breeze. The hood of the car is let down to make the most of the cool evening air. The motor sings, the wheels fly with a soft burr. Tall arc lights are caught in a dull shine moving along the gleaming body of our car. Everyone is in a lighthearted mood of Saturday evening, the whole night in front and all the free Sunday after that. When we enter Palm Lane we spot a burst of red neon on the left side. That’s the “Tabarin” bar and dancing establishment, closed now, its opening time of ten o’clock catering to the after-theatre and supper folk. Opposite is the “Shanghai” restaurant, adorned with strings of pastel-coloured Chinese lamps on the open terrace. Munching and drinking people served by wooden-faced Indonesian waiters deftly balancing trays laden with delicacies. At the front of the restaurant a few native boys carrying boxes with cigarettes loiter about. They will be there the whole night. On the corner of Palm Lane and Simpang Road, the Maxim Cinema blazes in floodlights, flanked by a file of Fiat Balilla taxis waiting for the end of the first session. The traffic signal switches to red, halting our car with a silent throb of its motor. We are facing the whitewashed facade and marble floors of the Simpang Club, select and suave, its members restricted to a better salaried class of people. Cozy little lampshades glow on small wicker tables on patios in front, where gentlemen with their lady companions are seated, sipping an aperitif or after-dinner coffee and liqueur. Blue cigar smoke and, now and then, a quiet sparkle of jewelry. Tyres crunch on the gravelled drive to the carpeted club entrance. The solid snap of an expensive automobile’s door. New guests have arrived.

The signal flashes to green. Our route goes by the park. In the distance strings of orange lights adorn the bandstand from which come muffled snatches of drums and clashing cymbals. We drive through the Tunjungan now with its numerous bars, hotels and theatres. The brilliant shop windows of the newly opened Japanese department store Tjijoda, and the more soberly illuminated facade of Whiteway Laidlaw. High above in the night air, the jumble of multi-coloured neon advertising, motionless or in running flashes. Further down the road, Town Hall Gardens with trees full of red, white and blue lights. Something must be on again there in Town Hall Gardens, where the small-income man finds diversion in word, music and dance. Perhaps a jubilee or congress of sorts, doubtlessly celebrated with endless speeches and a boring play. Then, to top it off, a ball with the inevitable Hawaiian band with its guitars twanging sweet melodies of moonlight and dreams come true in Waikiki and Honolulu. Girls, some in rather garish coloured dress, will try to follow the astonishingly complicated dance maneuvers of their escorts in suits of every taste and shade.

Entering downtown, the night seems here deeper and still, with myriads of tiny moths circling the globes of tall lamp posts on William’s Quay and Red Bridge, strangely quiet and deserted at this hour. An oil wick flutters in the small cabin of a native barge on the dark river. Glowing pinpoints light up and darken again in the porticoes and doorways of the locked up business houses along the quay, where Madurese wharf labourers are smoking their favourite cheroots of clove-saturated tobacco rolled in maize leaf. Proud and independent, spending the night outdoors on a bed of jute bags, anywhere they may fancy, rather than having to return dutifully to the one and same address.

Finally we reach the Heads and the car is brought to a halt. At the mouth of the Brantas the last ferry boat from Madura eases along her berth with a deep throb of her engines, her green and red lights shining through billows of swirling steam. High above, invisible in the darkness, a night bird cries for its mate. Far out in the Roads a yellow beacon winks slowly with measured intervals across a sea which lies there serene and peaceful. The Western Fairway, between two citadels armed to the teeth, Fort Menari and Fort Piring, their big guns rendering suicidal any attempt to enter the harbour by an aggressor, whoever it may be.

Another car pulls up near where we are. For a while we hear the intonation of its passengers filter through the mild sea breeze. They laugh a little, then fall silent. So pleasingly quiet it is here.

This town, this beloved Surabaya, twinkling its lights, breathing under the stars. [1] [2]

On the porch, back home, the mosquito repellent has collapsed into a brittle whitish coil of ash. The air is chilly. Inside now, perhaps to a game of cards or to bed. Tomorrow is another day.

 

Frank Samethini
Photo Source: Frank Samethini Collection


Another day breaks through in Surabaya, where generations of carefully planned colonisation have left a stamp of prosperity, peace and unshakable security. This town with its unforgettable memories of leaving school, first job, first pay envelope. That terrific feeling of young manhood, when life seems at its best, exciting, promising. The homecoming on Saturdays from work, with all that long, free weekend waiting; the girls, the big soccer match. The ups taken for granted, the downs shrugged off, in the Golden Indies of pre-war time.

Visible through the open porthole in the cabin, the Madura Straits in late afternoon. Wind blowing hard on a taut sail, flash of sunlight exploding soundlessly off a speedboat’s windscreen, the spray from her bow flaring out in a glittering transparent fan. The workday over, it is good to rest a while before going home. Even the buzz from the only surviving fly in the captain’s cabin, deftly darting away from his angry, slapping hand, seems to belong, to fit in the drowsy atmosphere of satisfaction. Conversation, in the beginning rather agitated, has settled to a bored monotone. The Old Man has been upset about a character called Hitler, who has been much in the news lately. The chap appears to be up to some mischief in Germany.

So what? That’s thousands of miles away, too far to bother about. It’s nice and cool here, and that’s a good drop of beer. The captain says that the people in Germany are drawing a blueprint for another big war. But lots of people say that is not so. Was not the Great War fought to end all wars? It’ll blow over in time, you’ll see. All one should be concerned about is having a good time. Why not? You’re young only once, so make the most of it. In another half-hour or so, home for a shower, dinner and later that redhead. Should be an interesting evening with that figure and temperament. And in two more weeks, holidays coming up. That little bungalow in the hills, walks through the coffee plantation, Mum pottering in the vegetable garden, a dip in the mountain stream at the back, great fun. How am I to know about what is to come? The terrible blow, the kick sending me reeling down the hill, rolling and tumbling over and over, until I finally hit the bottom and cannot sink lower any more.

_______________________________________________________

Footnotes

[1] The Dutch names of the Surabaya landmarks and geography Frank mentions are:
William’s Quay = Willemskade
Red Bridge = Rode Brug (today called Jembatan Merah)
Palm Lane = Palmenlaan (today called Jalan Panglima Sudirman)
The Western Fairway = Het Westerwater

 

Photo Source: Surabaya Tempo Dulu


[2] Whiteway Laidlaw (Whiteway, Laidlaw & Co., Ltd.) was a Scottish firm that operated a chain of department stores throughout the Far East. This photo shows the Surabaya store as it appeared in the 1930s

 

May ,31th.1941

 

The postally used  Sencored  sealed cover send from Indonesia  Batavia may,31th.1941 30 to Japan(Kobe) before Dutch declared the war to dai nippon

 

 

Dai Nippon soldier in Vietnam

 

 

in May 1941

the rest of 2/15th Punjab was sent there to provide a garrison. This lone battalion consisted of approximately 1,050 soldiers under the command of Major C.M. Lane. For the defence of Sarawak region, it was deployed as follows:

At Miri was deployed a force of 2 officers, and 98 other ranks:
• 1 Infantry Company from 2/15 Punjab Regiment
• 6″ Hong Kong-Singapore Royal Artillery Battery
• 1 Platoon of Royal Engineers
These troops were entrusted with the destruction of Miri Oil Fields. It was to be known as the Miri Detachment.

At Kuching was deployed a force of

1 officer, and 52 other ranks:
• 6 Platoons of infantry from 2/15 Punjab Regiment
These troops were to conduct a delaying action at the Bukit Stabar Airfield outside of Kuching.

They were to be known as the Kuching Detachment. The other troops from the 2/15 Punjab were to be deployed piecemeal at the other airfield and oil facilities in Sarawak.

In addition, the Brooke Government mobilized

the Sarawak Rangers.

 

This force consisted of 1,515 troops who were primarily Iban and Dyak tribesmen trained in the art of jungle warfare led by the European Civil Servants of the Brooke Regime.

British Lieutenant Colonel C.M. Lane

who commanded the battalion was placed in charge of all forces in Sarawak, which included the native Volunteer Corps, Coastal Marine Service, the armed police and a body of native troops known as the Sarawak Rangers. Collectively, this force of 2,565 troops was known as “SARFOR” (Sarawak Force)

July,14th.1941

 

 

 

1941 Air Mail cover HONG KONG to USA with d/r. VICTORIA p/m. and boxed NOT OPENED / BY / CENSOR h/s. Also boxed ’45’ censor h/s. to rear. Flap torn

 

July,31th.1941.

 

 

 

 

1941 Air Mail cover from MALAYA to India [50 cent RATE] with d/r. PENANG p/m. and tri. PASSED FOR TRANSMISSION 26 h/s. Also 180C OPENED BY CENSOR label tied by tri. C 18 h/s. Opening edge fault.

 

 

August,4th.1941

 

 

 

1941 Air Mail cover from INDIA to GB and redirected to ‘c/o Colonel I McConville, c/o GPO, 7 Command Signal, Bletchingley’ with tied OBC label

 

 

 

August,23th.1941

 

 

 

1941 cover from MALAYA to Australia with d/r. KUALA LUMPAR p/m. and tri. PASSED FOR TRANSMISSION 107 h/s.

 

 

In August 1941

a partial denial scheme, which reduced the output of oil by seventy per cent, was put into effect. It was also decided that no attempt should be made to defend British North Borneo, Brunei or Labuan, and

 

 

the Governor of North Borneo, Mr. Robert Smith,

was informed that the Volunteers and police were to be used solely for the maintenance of internal security. It was however decided to defend Kuching because of its airfield, and because its occupation by the enemy would give access to the important Dutch airfield at Singkawang II, sixty miles to the southwest and only some 350 miles from Singapore.

Order of Battle for British forces

Sarawak,December 1941
Lieutenant Colonel C.M. Lane (commander)

2nd Battalion of 15th Punjab Regiment

heavy 6-inch gun battery from the Hong Kong-Singapore Royal Artillery

detachment of 35th Fortress Company (Royal Engineers)

Sarawak Rangers

Coastal Marine Service

plus other native troops

The country between Kuching and the sea is roadless, but is intersected by a number of winding waterways which flow through mangrove swamps to the sea. There are two main approaches to the town: the first by the Sarawak River, which is navigable by vessels up to sixteen foot draught; and the second by the Santubong River, which will take vessels up to twelve foot draught.

The roads from Kuching run east to

 

 

Pending, north-west to

 

Matang, and south to

 

Serian a distance of forty miles from Kuching.

The airfield lay seven miles south of the town on the Serian road.

At the airfield a road branched off to the west; after crossing

 

 

the Sarawak River at Batu Kitang,

where there was a vehicular ferry, it terminated

 

 

at Krokong

fifteen miles short of the Dutch frontier.

There were two plans of defence that were proposed- Plan A and Plan B.
Plan A called for a mobile defence.

 

The objective was to hold the Bukit Stabar Airfield as long as possible. Further delaying actions were also to be conducted so as to allow for the proper execution of the denial schemes.

If enemy resistance was such that it could not be delayed, then the airfield would be destroyed and the entire force would retreat into the mountains and jungles in small parties and fight as a guerrilla force for as long as possible.

Unfortunately, atthe Anglo-Dutch Military Conference

during September 1941 held in Kuching,

it was pointed out that Plan A could not be carried out if the Japanese landed 3,000 to 5,000 men with air and sea support. J.L. Noakes, the defeatist Sarawak Secretary for Defence, had continued to argue the inadequacy of SARFOR and that it had no hope against the Japanese if they landed in force.

His idea was to take a ‘wait and see’ attitude and continue to appeal to Singapore for more troops and equipment.

In the event that this was not forthcoming, Sarawak should surrender so as to prevent any bloodshed. Rajah Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, was completely against this defeatist talk and vehemently argued that Sarawak should put up a fight, a fight to maintain the honor of the Brooke Raj. At the end it was decided that the town could not be defended against the weight of attack which was to be expected, and the plan was reluctantly changed to one of static defence of the airfield.

October 1941

 

 

Source

Rolf Blomberg Gallery

Rolf Blomberg was an ethnographic photographer whose priority was the pacific coexistence and mutual understanding with other human beings. Therefore, his photography lacks tension or aggression; instead, it shows ease and confidence

 

 

Bali in October 1941

 

Jakarta 1941

September,17th.1941

 

 

 

1941 cover endorsed ‘Red Cross Postal Message Scheme’ from CEYLON to Switzerland with boxed PASSED CENSOR 7 COLOMBO h/s. and s/l. COUPON-REPONSE h/s. Also d/r. CEYLON BRANCH / BRCS cachet

 

September.28th.1941

 

 

 

1941 cover MALAYA to Australia with s/r. AUST FIELD PO No. 18 p/m. and tri. PASSED BY CENSOR No. 2991. From ‘Pte AR Hutton, E Coy, 2/20 Bn, AIF, Malaya’. Creased.

 

November,13th.1941

 

 

 

1941 (13 Nov) Air Mail cover from GB to Perak, Federated Malay States with boxed NO SERVICE / RETURN TO SENDER h/s. and d/r. LONDON receipt p/m. (9 July 42) Japanese campain launched in Dec. 1941 with fall of Singapore early Feb. 1942. Faults.

 

During late November 1941,

Lieutenant-General A.E. Percival, GOC Malaya Command, took a 2-day tour of Sarawak to assess the adequacy of its defence preparations. He summarized the situation as follows: “Nobody could pretend that this was a satisfactory situation, but at least it would make the enemy deploy a larger force to capture Sarawak than would have been necessary if it had not been defended at all and that, I think, is the true way to look at it…the best I could do was to promise to send them a few anti-aircraft guns and too tell them of the arrival of Prince of Wales and Repulse, which were due at Singapore in a few days…not that I expected anit-aircraft guns to be of much practical value. But I felt that the moral effect of their presence there would more than counterbalance some slight dispersion of force”.

As a result of Percival’s assessment of Sarawak’s defences, an alternative plan of action was proposed, Plan B. This was based on static defence. All available troops and supplies were to be concentrated within a 5.5 kilometer perimeter of the Bukit Stabar Airfield to ensure that its destruction was not interfered with. The rationale for Plan B was presented by Brooke-Popham as follows: “The only place which it was decided to hold was Kuching, the reason for this being not only that there was a modern airfield at this location, but that its occupation by the enemy might give access to the Dutch airfields in Borneo, furthermore, it would also give the enemy access to Singapore. Being only some 350 miles from said place”.

Further orders were issued by Vyner Brooke that all the Civil Servants not assigned to the Sarawak Rangers were to remain at their posts. No thought must be given to the abandonment of the native population by any European officer of the Brooke Raj.

The Brooke Government which had already heard of

 

 

the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

The Onslaught

(December 1941 – March 1942)

 


7 December, 1941.

Hundreds of Japanese airplanes attack in the early morning hours, without provocation or warning, the assembled fleet of the United States of America in Pearl Harbour Hawaii.

 

The bulk of the naval power of a country not at war with Japan is sunk or crippled. The infamy of Pearl Harbour. The dreaded words are broadcast by radio to all of the Dutch East Indies. We are now also at war with Japan. [1]

(- Frank Samethini, The Sky Looked Down)

The storm had broken at last. With the news of war arrived the order for general mobilization.

 

Read More at another E-book In CD_ROM

“The Dai Nippon War In Pearl harbor “

The sample of info

 

FLYING FORTRESSES, Boeing B-I7C heavy bombers, burning at Hickam Field, Oahu,

on 7 December 1941. At 0730

on 7 December the first waves of Japanese aircraft struck the U.S. defenses. Although a few U.S. fighter planes managed to get into the air and destroyed some of the Japanese planes, the attack wrought severe damage. After neutralizing the airfields the Japanese struck at the U.S. Navy warships in the harbor.

 

WRECKAGE AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION at Pearl Harbor, after the enemy attack, 7 December.

 

THE DESTROYER USS SHAW EXPLODING during the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December. The first attack on the U.S. warships anchored in the harbor was delivered at 0758. By 0945 all the Japanese aircraft had left Oahu and returned to their carriers. The U.S. Pacific Fleet suffered a major disaster during the attack which lasted one hour and fifty minutes. Sunk or damaged during the attack were the destroyers Shaw, Cassin, and Dowries; the mine layer Oglala; the target ship Utah; and a large floating drydock. Also hit were the light cruisers Helena, Honolulu, and Raleigh; the seaplane tender Curtis; and the repair ship Vestal.

 

U.S. BATTLESHIPS HIT AT PEARL HARBOR. Left to right: West Virginia, Tennessee, and Arizona.

 

THE WEST VIRGINIA aflame.

 

DAMAGED WARSHIPS. The U.S. destroyers Dowries, left, and Cassin, right, and the battleship Pennsylvania, in background, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Of the eight battleships hit, the Arizona was a total loss; the Oklahoma was never repaired; the California, Nevada, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee were repaired and returned to service. The slight depth of Pearl Harbor made possible the raising and refitting of these ships.

 

DESTROYED CURTIS P-40 FIGHTER PLANE at Bellows Field. Of the Army’s 123 first-line planes in Hawaii, 63 survived the attack; of the Navy’s 148 serviceable combat aircraft, 36 remained. Only one small airfield on the north shore near Haleiwa was overlooked during the raid.

 

WRECKED PLANES AT WHEELER FIELD after the 7 December attack.

 

JAPANESE MIDGET SUBMARINE which ran aground on the beach outside Pearl Harbor, 7 December. Early on the morning of 7 December at least one Japanese submarine was reconnoitering inside Pearl Harbor, having slipped past the antisubmarine net. After making a complete circuit of Ford Island the submarine left the harbor and later ran aground on the beach where it was captured intact.

 

DESTROYED HANGAR AT HICKAM FIELD, 7 December. During the attack the Army lost 226 killed and 396 wounded; the Navy, including the Marine Corps, lost 3,077 killed and 876 wounded. The Japanese attack was entirely successful in accomplishing its mission, and the U.S. forces were completely surprised both strategically and tactically.

 

SOLDIERS LEAVING PIER to board trucks for Schofield Barracks, Honolulu. As a result of the disaster at Pearl Harbor, the Hawaiian command was reorganized. There was little enemy activity in the Central Pacific after the 7 December attack. The Japanese had seized Wake and Guam and were concentrating on their southern campaigns. As the build-up of men and equipment progressed, reinforcements began to pour into Hawaii for training and shipment to Pacific stations.

 

CONSTRUCTION WORK AT WHEELER FIELD, 11 December 1941. After the Japanese raid many destroyed or damaged buildings were rebuilt.

 

ARMY TROOPS IN LCP(L)’S, during an amphibious training exercise leave Oahu for a beach landing. After the entry of the United States into World War II training was intensified, and specialized training in amphibious landings was given the troops arriving in the Hawaiian Islands since most of the islands to be Taken later would have To be assaulted over open beaches In February 1943 the Amphibious Training Area, Waianae, Oahu, was activated for framing units in amphibious landings LCP(L)-S had no bow ramp for disembarking troops.

 

DEPLOYING FOR ADVANCE INLAND after landing on the beach. During the war more than 250,000 men were given instruction in amphibious assault operations.

 

 

Read More

(Setyawati Soelaiman,the private notes during Dai nippon Occupation)

Happy circumstances changed quickly,

after Jepanese attacked  Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

 

Three days earlier Faculty of Letters, Dies natalist still partying in the streets of a building Kramat.

 

We sing, dance and food of Indonesia.
While it has entered a new student who is very artistic, too.
Morning, Bernet Kempert along with his wife and also dating several other professors. Apparently Professor Bernet Kempert diligent student visiting parties.

 

Now  occur  the war  and Japan will surely continue the business in Pacific perperangan Dutch government therefore be prepared for it later when the Japanese army attacked aka tone of resistance both on the beach around the headland Priok UTRA strengthened, Civilian population forming voluntary troops,

 

Stadwacht (city guard) and to protect the population Sipil.Kemudian Landwacht Luchteweerf and the lady there fussing with Covis and learn first aid.

 

The Professor was not immune from the resistance Sikarela and began giving lectures in various Kempert Bernet seragam.Prof clothes as well.
Already several times Kemajoran Airport was bombed,

 

Mini library books dipindahkanke main warehouse is further strengthened by a thick wall of concrete. We all helped to bring the books.

 

By the time we stopped the bombing of college and had to take shelter under the stairs room F until there are signs the situation was critical clear.Meskipun all our college students remains except a few people who have been displaced interior


We still ride a bike to Gambier and chatted at cantin  if no studi .Although  at a time, when Prof. Sorel Bernet Kempert showed pictures of Pompei and Herculeneus no sign of another bombing.


We should be going into F, the professor was saying when it showed a tengkurup: “This pose is good to die …”.

 

Later he shook tanggan with each student and the student to ask himself /
We moved very sad at having to part from our professor who, though only known since December 1940 has been very close to us.

 

With no air or sea forces stationed in or around Sarawak, the British government encouraged the Brooke Regime to adopt a “scorched earth policy” in the event of a Japanese attack.

Original info

Keadaan yang berbahagia cepat berobah, setelah Jepang mnyerang Pearl harbor  tanggal 7 desember 1941. Tiga hari sebelumnya Fakultas Sastra masih berpesta Dies natalis  dalam sebuah gedung dijalan kramat. Kami menyanyi ,menari dan  menyediakan makanan Indonesia .

Sementara itu  sudah masuk beberapa mahasiswa baru yang sangat artistic  juga.

Pagi,Bernet Kempert beserta isteri dating juga  dan beberapa professor lain . Rupanya Prof bernet Kempert  rajin mengunjungi pesta-pesta mahasiswa.

Sekrang terjadi perperangabn  dan Jepang pasti akan meneruskan usaha perperangan di Pasifik karena itu pemerintah Hindia Belanda bersiap-siap untuk nanti bila Balatentara Jepang menyerang aka nada perlawanan baik di pantai utra sekitar tanjung Priok  diperkuat, penduduk  Sipil membentuk Pasukan sukarela,

Stadwacht(penjaga Kota) dan Landwacht untuk melindungi penduduk Sipil.Kemudian ada Luchteweerf dan para Nyonya menyibukkan diri dengan Covis dan belajar pertolongan pertama.

Para Professor juga tidak luput dari usaha perlawanan Sikarela  itu dan mulai memberikan kuliah dalam pakaian seragam.Prof Bernet Kempert beragam juga.

Sudah beberapa kali Bandar Udara Kemajoran  dibom,

Buku-buku perpustakaan Mini dipindahkanke gudang Utama yang lebih diperkuat dengan dinding tebal  dari beton .Kami semua membantu membawa buku-buku itu.

Pada saat pemboman kami berhenti kuliah  dan harus berlindung dibawah tangga ruangan F sampai ada tanda all clear.Meskipun keadaan sudah gawat kami mahasiswa tetap kuliah  kecuali beberapa orang  yang telah mengungsi kepedalaman.

Kami masih tetap naik sepeda  ke Gambir dan mengobrol dikantin kalau tidak ada kuliah.Namum pada suatu saat ,ketika Prof Bernet Kempert  memperlihatkan gambar sorel tentang Pompei dan Herculeneus  ada tanda pengeboman lagi.

Kami harus segera pergi keruang F ,professor masih mengatakan ketika memperlihatkan seorang yang tengkurup:” Ini pose yang baik untuk meninggal…”.

Kemudia ia berjabat tanggan dengan masing-masing mahasiswa dan mahasiswi untuk minta diri /

Kami sedih amat terharu karena harus berpisah  dari professor kami  yang meskipun baru kenal  sejak Desember  1940 sudah amat dekat dengan kami.

 

 

 

Capt J.F. Read,

moved to the Northern Territory, and embarked for Timor

on 7 December 1941

‘with much enthusiasm’

after three and a half months of fatigue duties and training at Darwin

 

Officers of the 2/21st Battalion take a break in Darwin before embarking

and

 

Noonomah.

 

In view of the precariousness of the defensive positions Read was obliged to effect a supply plan based on a series of dumps,

the establishment of which occupied the detachment until the invasion.

 

.

 

 

 

 

Duty  at Ambon

As part of the military agreement made by the governments of Australia and the NEI in 1941, AIF troops were sent to help garrison the island of Ambon, which lies just south of the larger island of Ceram. Ambon was an important air and sea link between Australia, New Guinea, and the northern NEI.

The airfield at Laha, and the harbours of Ambon and Binnen Bays, were considered to be of vital significance to the Allies.

Accordingly, an Australian battalion (the 2/21st), with supporting units and a detachment of Lockheed Hudson bombers from No. 13 Squadron, RAAF, was landed at Ambon in mid-December 1941.

This combined unit, known as “Gull Force”, reinforced the existing local garrison of 2,600 men, and was placed under the overall command of Dutch Lieutenant Colonel J.R.L. Kapitz

 

Australian Military Forces “Passed By Censor”postal used cover

 

 

Read the Driwan’s

E-BOOK In CD-ROM

“Dai Nippon Occupations Indonesia”

 

 

THE IMPERIAL JAPANESE
COMBINED FLEET


Four Japanese surface forces participated in SHO-GO, including every type of ship in their inventory.

 

 

Three Japanese surface battleship-cruiser-destroyer forces would drive the Americans from

 

the Leyte beachhead.

The fourth force, consisting of aircraft carriers and two old hybrid carrier-battleships, would be used as a decoy to draw

 

ADM Halsey’s

 

Third Fleet northward,

 

away from Leyte.

During this stage of the war, due to fuel shortages, the majority of these warships were stationed at two widely dispersed locations. Located in the Japanese homeland at

 

Kure Naval Base in the Inland Sea

were the Mobile Fleet’s remaining aircraft carriers. Far to the south at

 

Lingga  island Roads,

near Singapore, were the major surface combatants.
Four Japanese surface forces participated in SHO-GO, including every type of ship in their inventory. Three surface battleship-cruiser-destroyer forces would drive the Americans from the Leyte beachhead.

The fourth force, consisting of aircraft carriers and two old hybrid carrier-battleships, would be used as a decoy to draw ADM Halsey’s Third Fleet northward, away from Leyte.

During this stage of the war, due to fuel shortages, the majority of these warships were stationed at two widely dispersed locations. Located in the Japanese homeland at Kure Naval Base in the Inland Sea were the Mobile Fleet’s remaining aircraft carriers. Far to the south at Lingga Roads, near Singapore, were the major surface combatants.

 

 

 

The Northern Force was led by VADM Jisaburō Ozawa. He was considered the most talented Japanese Naval Officer remaining in the fleet. Originally, he was scheduled to attack from the north with Japan’s remaining carrier forces. After the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” in June 1944, the Mobil Fleet’s total carrier aircraft strength was depleted to just over one hundred aircraft. Thus Japan had large fleet carriers remaining in her fleet, she just didn’t have the aircraft or trained pilots to man them. It was then decided the force VADM Ozawa would take to Leyte would be used as a decoy to draw the American Third Fleet north. The decoy force consisted of:

See:  I.J.N. Warship Pronunciation (opens in new window)

Carrier Division THREE’s (VADM Ozawa)  29,000 ton large carrier and flagship ZUIKAKU (RADM T. Kaizuka). She was a veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack and nearly every other major Japanese campaign including the Battle of the Philippine Sea, where she was damaged.

To make his decoy force a more tempting target, three light carriers, ZUIHŌ (CAPT K. Sigiura), CHITOSE (CAPT Y. Kishi), and CHIYODA (CAPT E. Zyo) were included:

ZUIHŌ, 14,000 tons, was a veteran of the original Philippine invasion. She also served at Midway, the Aleutians, Santa Cruz (where she was damaged), and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Prior to the Battle of Leyte Gulf her anti-aircraft armament was increased to sixty-eight 25mm guns.

Two 13,600 ton sister carriers completed the bait. CHITOSE and CHIYODA, originally completed as seaplane carriers, were refitted as light carriers in 1943 and 1944 respectively. Both served in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and were capable of operating 30 aircraft apiece.


Under normal circumstances these four carriers would carry a total of 174 aircraft; but these were anything but normal circumstances. During the slaughter of the Marianas campaign, and most recently, the highly successful American strikes on Formosa, VADM Ozawa’s total carrier aircraft strength was only one-hundred and eight aircraft. As if this was not bad enough, the majority of the remaining pilots were inadequately trained for carrier landings and once launched, they were not expected to return to their carriers successfully.

The big guns of the Northern Force were laid in the hands of two hybrid battleship-carriers in Carrier Division FOUR (RADM Chiaki Matsuda):

Originally built in 1915-1818, ISE (RADM N. Nakase) and HYŪGA (RADM T. Nomura) were later modified twice. After their defeat at Midway which cumulated in the loss of four fleet carriers, the Japanese had removed the after turrets on ISE and HYŪGA and replaced them with make-shift flight decks. This, their last major modification, reduced their main armament from twelve to eight 14-inch, 45 caliber guns. This drastic alteration never realized its full intended potential as the seaplanes they were intended to carry were never made available. Now, going to sea planeless, this wastefulness seemed more apparent than ever. Of special note was the installation of one hundred-eighty 5-inch rocket launchers placed in six thirty-rocket boxes placed near their stern.

 

U.S. Archives Photograph

Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa, IJN
Commander, Northern Force

Northern Force VADM Ozawa

Fleet carrier

ZUIKAKU

Light carriers

CHITOSE
CHIYODA
ZUIHŌ

Battleships

HYŪGA
ISE

Light cruisers

ŌYODO
TAMA
ISUZU

Destroyers

SHIMOTSUKI
HATSUTSUKI
WAKATSUKI
AKISUKI
FUYUTSUKI
SUZUTSUKI
KUWA
MAKI
SUGI
KIRI

The decoy force.

 

U.S. Archives Photograph

Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa, IJN
Commander, Northern Force

       

Escorting the carriers and battleships were

 

the light cruisers ŌYODO,

 

TAMA,

and

 

ISUZU.

All three ships were capable of speeds up to 36 knots.

Completed at Kure Dock Yard on April 28, 1943, ŌYODO was the largest and most capable of the three. She displaced nearly 11,500 tons fully loaded and carried an impressive main armament of six 6-inch, 60 caliber guns.

ISUZU was half ŌYODO’s size at 5,570 tons and was completed in 1923. After completing modification in 1933, she was finally rearmed as an anti-aircraft cruiser and flagship for anti-submarine groups in 1944.

The eldest of the lot was TAMA. Completed in 1921, by July 1944 she was armed with five 5-inch, 50 caliber guns, two 5-inch AA guns, forty-four 45mm AA guns, and six 13mm machine guns.

The screening ships of the Northern Force consisted of

six AKIZUJI Class 3,700 ton destroyers.

 

AKIZUKI,

 

SUZUTSUKI,

 

 

HATSUTSUKI,

 

WAKATSUKI,

 

SHIMOTSUKI,

 

and FUYUTSUKI

were all built from 1940 onward. They were highly impressive ships boasting eight 3.9-inch, 65 caliber DP guns, four 25mm AA guns, 72 depth charges, and four 24-inch torpedo tubes. Originally planned as AA cruisers they were completed as destroyers with torpedo armament.

 

Four Japanese lighter warships of

 

the MATSU Class completed the decoy force.

KUWA, MAKI, KIRI, and SUGI were all completed within one month of each other in July-August 1944. Built as destroyer escorts they were equipped with Type 31 radar, three 5-inch, 40 caliber AA guns, twenty-four 25mm AA guns, 36 depth charges, and four 24-inch torpedo tubes.

The Northern Force, an impressive array of Japan’s few remaining warships, would be the sacrificial lamb, laid on a plate for the Americans to consume. In order for SHO-GO to work, this force would have to draw ADM Halsey’s Third Fleet north, away from the Leyte invasion beach. The Japanese striking forces would then have a chance to rush in behind Third Fleet and disrupt the invasion. If VADM Ozawa’s force could achieve this goal his mission would be considered successful.

The strike on the American Leyte invasion force would come from the three remaining forces of the Japanese Combined Fleet.

The most powerful group, the formidable First Strike Force “A” and “B”, was comprised of thirty-two front-line warships. From their training location near Singapore these two groups would transit together to Leyte Gulf via

 

the Sibuyan Sea

 

and San Bernardino Strait.

 

This route was the long way around and would take a considerable amount of time and consume a large amount of precious fuel oil.

In addition, they would have to rely upon friendly air cover if their sortie was to be successful. Upon reaching the Philippine Sea, First Strike Force was to sweep down the east coast of Samar from the north and attack the invasion beach and shipping. Any American warships encountered along the way were to be destroyed.

 

National Archives Photograph

 

“Opponent at Samar”


Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, IJN

Commander First Strike Force “A” and “B”
Later designated as “Centre Force”

 

Admiral Toyoda,

 

Commander of the Combined Fleet, placed his trust in seasoned warrior VADM Takeo Kurita to command First Strike Force. Under his experienced guidance, First Strike Force was to lead the Japanese Navy back on the road to victory. Late in the war, he was second in ability only to VADM Ozawa as a tactician. He had under his command five battleships in two divisions:

Battleship Division (BATDIV) One’s YAMATO and MUSASHI, 71,000 ton giants, with nine 18.1-inch, 45 caliber guns apiece, were the center pieces of First Strike Force. Recognized as the largest and most powerful battleships in the world, their 150,000 shaft-horse-power could propel them through the water at a speed of 27 knots.

Their division mate NAGATO, 43,581 tons, had eight 16-inch, 45 caliber guns, and a top speed of nearly 25 knots. Although she was over twenty years old, she was fully capable of causing mass destruction if let loose among the American transports in Leyte Gulf.

Slightly smaller were Battleship Division (BATDIV) Three’s 32,000 ton KONGŌ and HARUNA, each carrying eight 14-inch, 45 caliber guns. They were the most “Japanese” looking battleships in the fleet, sporting the oriental-style pagoda masts, from which the battle bridge and lookout posts were situated. Laid down in 1911 and 1912 respectively, they were both rebuilt twice and each carried an impressive secondary armament of fourteen 6-inch, 50 caliber guns, later reduced to eight. This reconstruction added an additional 4,000 tons to their overall weight. Both were capable of speeds approaching 30 knots.

First Strike Force “A” VADM Kurita

Battleships

YAMATO
MUSASHI
NAGATO

Heavy cruisers

ATAGO
TAKAO
CHŌKAI
MAYA
MYŌKŌ
HAGURO

Light cruiser

NOSHIRO

Destroyers

Ten ships

First Strike Force “B” VADM Kurita

Battleships

KONGŌ
HARUNA

Heavy cruisers

KUMANO
SUZUYA
CHIKUMA
TONE

Light cruiser

YAHAGI

Destroyers

Five ships

Later designated as Centre Force


Though the Americans held the advantage in the total number of ships during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Japanese advantage was in their well-seasoned group of heavy cruisers. Cruiser Divisions (CRUDIV) Five and Seven, all veterans of the Pacific war, consisted of ten front-line warships. They constituted the fastest striking power of First Strike Force; each of these magnificent ships weighing in at 13,000 to nearly 15,000 tons. Coupled with their capable speeds well in excess of 30 knots, their main armament of eight to ten 203mm, 8-inch guns had destroyed many American warships through the Pacific war:

NACHI Class heavy cruisers MYŌKŌ and HAGURO displaced 14,980 tons, both being built between 1924 and 1929. Modernized from 1939 to 1941 they carried ten 8-inch, 50 caliber guns, eight, 127mm (5-inch), 40 caliber DP guns, AA guns, torpedoes, and 3 aircraft.

ATAGO Class heavy cruisers TAKAO, ATAGO, MAYA, and CHŌKAI were the backbone of the fleet. They were a modified MYOKO design, completed in 1932 and modernized in 1938/1939/1941. Originally displacing 12,986 tons, after modernization they weighed 15,781 tons fully loaded. Each ship carried ten 8-inch, 203mm, 50 caliber guns placed in five turrets in a three-forward low-high-low, two-aft, high-low configuration. This class was known for its impressive, almost battleship-like, large bridge structure.

The MOGAMI Class heavy cruisers SUZUYA and KUMANO were the last two ships built in their class, both completed on October 31, 1937. Weighing in at 13,887 tons they were capable of sustained cruising at 35 knots. Originally armed with only torpedo tubes, in 1939/1940 they were rearmed as heavy cruisers with ten 8-inch, 203mm, 50 caliber guns, significantly increasing their firepower.

TONE Class cruisers TONE and CHIKUMA were designed originally as MOGAMI Class light cruisers. Each had eight 8-inch, 203mm, 50 caliber guns in four turrets forward in a low, high, low, low configuration. Aft, they were able to accommodate five aircraft, as they were designated as float plane-carriers, intended to operate with carrier task forces, providing long-range air scouting.

Destroyer Squadron’s (DESRON) Two and Ten, each led by one light cruiser, boasted 15 capable destroyers, all armed with the dreaded long-lance torpedo.

AGANO Class light cruisers NOSHIRO and YAHAGI were both completed in 1943 and were armed with six 6-inch, 50 caliber guns. Secondary armament consisted of AA batteries, torpedo tubes, and two float planes.

Destroyer Squadron Ten’s five KAGERŌ Class destroyers URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE, were all completed in 1940, except NOWAKI, completed in 1941. They displaced 2,490 tons and at the time of Leyte Gulf each carried four 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, fourteen 25mm AA guns, 36 depth charges, and four 13mm machine guns. Their most potent weapon were their eight 24-inch torpedo tubes.

Destroyer Squadron Two boasted nine destroyers of the YŪGUMO Class. These included NAGANAMI, FUJINAMI, KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, HAMANAMI, ASASHIMO, KIYOSHIMO, HAYASHIMO, and AKISHIMO. These were possibly the best destroyers remaining in the fleet and could maintain 35 knots. Their standard armament was two 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, two 5-inch, 40 caliber guns, twelve 25mm AA guns, eight 24-inch torpedo tubes, and 36 depth charges.

DESRON Two’s remaining destroyer was of the one-of-a-kind SHIMAKAZE, sole ship of her Class. She was armed to the teeth with six 5-inch, 50 caliber guns, twenty-eight 25mm AA guns, four 13mm machine guns, eighteen depth charges, and fifteen 24-inch torpedo tubes.

Aiding VADM Kurita was Strike Force “C,” commanded by VADM Shoji Nishimura. His force was directed to attack the American invasion fleet from the south of Leyte via Surigao Strait. With First Strike Force, they would meet up in Leyte Gulf, close the pincher, and shoot up the transport ships and shell the troops on the beachhead.

 

Vice Admiral Nishimura had at his disposal the old battleships’ YAMASHIRO and FUSŌ:

Both 40,000 ton battleships were completed during World War I. Designed as “super-dreadnoughts”, each mounted twelve 14-inch, 45 caliber guns in six turrets and fourteen 6-inch, 50 caliber guns in single turrets. In 1930/1935 both were given a pagoda-style mast, new machinery, and boilers enabling them to average about 25 knots.

The most capable ship in the Southern Force Van was the heavy cruiser MOGAMI. Lead ship in her class, she had to be rebuilt less than one year after her completion because of design flaws. Severely damaged at Midway, she was rebuilt as a seaplane-carrier cruiser with six 8-inch, 203mm, 50 caliber guns forward in a low, low, high configuration and a seaplane deck aft, able to accommodate eleven aircraft.

Four destroyers completed the Southern Force Van:

Three 2,370 ton ASASHIO Class ships MICHISHIO, YAMAGUMO, and ASAGUMO were completed in 1937/1938. Each carried six 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, and by 1944 each had eighteen to twenty-four 35mm AA guns, and four 13mm machine guns. In addition to their depth charges, they all carried eight 24-inch torpedo tubes.

SHIGURE was a SHIRATSUYU Class destroyer, the first destroyers armed with quadruple torpedo tubes. She displaced 1,980 tons and was armed with five 5-inch, 50 caliber guns, two 13mm AA guns, and 16 depth charges. She had the reputation as a “lucky” ship, being able to survive each battle she entered.

 

National Archives Photograph

Vice Admiral Shoji Nishimura, IJN
Commander, Southern Force Van

Strike Force “C” VADM Nishimura

Battleships

YAMASHIRO
FUSŌ

Heavy cruiser

MOGAMI

Destroyers

YAMAGUMO
ASAGUMO
MICHISHIO
SHIGURE

Later designated as Southern Force Van

 

National Archives Photograph

Vice Admiral Shoji Nishimura, IJN
Commander, Southern Force Van

       


The last leg of the Japanese pincher that was also planned to storm into Leyte Gulf was a cruiser-destroyer force led by VADM Kiyohide Shima. This force was designated as the Second Striking Force by the Japanese GHQ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The firepower of Second Striking Force came from its two 8-inch gun heavy cruisers:

NACHI and ASHIGARA. Both were modern, battle-tested ships displacing 14,980 tons each, fairly larger than their American counterparts. Built between 1924 and 1929 they were modernized from 1939 to 1941, maintaining their impressive armament of ten 8-inch, 50 caliber guns in five turrets. They also operated 610mm torpedo tubes and three aircraft.

Light cruiser ABUKUMA, was a Pearl Harbor veteran.

ABUKUMA, completed in 1925, was given a new bow in 1930 after a collision in Tokyo Bay. In 1943 her armament was altered to five 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, twenty-two 25mm AA guns, two 13mm machine guns, and twenty-four 24-inch torpedo tubes.

Four supporting destroyers completed the force.

Two, of the FUBUKI Class, AKEBONO and USHIO, were completed in 1931. After many modifications they were 2,427 ton ships with four 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, twenty-two 25mm AA guns, ten 13mm machine guns, and thirty-six depth charges.

KASUMI was completed in 1939. One of ten ships of the ASASHIO Class, three of her sister ships served in the Southern Force Van.

SHIRANU was a KAGERŌ Class destroyer. Five of her sister ships served in Destroyer Squadron Ten, under VADM Kurita’s First Strike Force.

These ships had sailed from the Inland Sea earlier in the month and, on October 21, were located in Coron Bay on Mindoro Island.

Vice Admiral Shima had not been included in the SHO-GO planning initially. Now, as a last-minute ploy, his forces were directed to “cooperate” with those of VADM Kurita’s. In addition, he was also directed to “cooperate” with VADM Nishimura’s Striking Force “C.” This poor, last minute planning by the Staff at General Headquarters in Tokyo only complicated matters. Not only did the plan suffer from poor organization, but a personal conflict also existed.

 

National Archive Photograph

Vice Admiral Kiyohide Shima, IJN
Commander, Southern Force Rear

 

National Archive Photograph

Vice Admiral Kiyohide Shima, IJN
Commander, Southern Force Rear

Second Strike Force VADM Shima

Heavy cruisers

NACHI
ASHIGARA

Light cruiser

ABUKUMA

Destroyers

SHIRANUI
KASUMI
USHIO
AKEBONO

Later designated as Southern Force Rear


Vice Admiral Shima’s six months’ seniority

 

to

 

VADM Nishimura

caused the latter much discontentment. The relationship between the two admirals was anything but cordial.

Vice Admiral Shima was a political power within the fleet and had thus worked his way up through the rank structure. In contrast, VADM Nishimura was a salty “sailor’s admiral,” gaining his flag rank through the command of sea-going ships and squadrons. As it turned out, due to their personal differences or stubborn pride, the coordination of their attack would be non-existent.

The General Headquarters staff’s decision to attack during daylight did not sit favorably with

 

VADM Kurita

and his senior officers. They had trained for months for a night engagement, a tactic the Japanese Navy had developed a great proficiency in. They knew they stood no chance of victory during a daylight engagement with the Americans with their overwhelming superiority in carrier aircraft.

So great was their distaste for a daylight engagement, VADM Kurita felt a few words of encouragement were needed; here are his words

December,1st.1941


 

Radio messages sent from Sasebo, Japan using outdated call signs tricked US Navy cryptanalysts into believing that carrier Akagi was still in home waters. Later on the same day, the cryptanalysts realized that all Japanese warships’ call signs had changed

 

On 7 December 1941

the planes from the Japanese navy bombed Pearl Harbor and with it started the war in the Pacific. The Japanese attack was a great succes, also because in the days after the attack the Japanese airforce destroyed half of the American bombers in the Philippines and sunk the British battleships at Singapore with torpedoes and bombs.

Indeed within a few weeks Japan conquered Malakka, Singapore, the Netherlands Indies and the Philippines.


The battle was only short because the allies – among them the Dutch – completely underestimated the power, the technical equipment and the tough perseverence of the Japanese military system. In the Netherlands Indies the gouvernment also hadn’t taken into account that the local population at first saw the Japanese as ‘liberators’ and would welcome them.

On 15 February the Dutch fleet was defeated in the Battle of the Java Sea and on 8 March 1942 the Royal Netherlands Indies Army (KNIL) capitulated.

The Japanese policy concerning the Europeans

Because of the quick surrender of the allies tens of thousands of prisonors of war fell into Japanese hands. The Japanese soldiers were indoctrinated never to surrender themselves, but litteral fight till their death. Therefore the showed little respect to the allied prisoners and at first didn’t know what to do with these large numbers of prisoners of war either. Soon was decided to use these prisoners as forced labourers. It started with loading and unloading of ships, next the building of airfields (for instance in the Moluccas and on Flores) and of railroads (for instance the Birma-railway and the Pakan Baroe-railway), and eventually also the work in the mines and shipyards in Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 1941

 

Bali girl October 1941

 

 

December,7th.1941

 

On December 8, 1941

Han Samethini was conscripted into

the KNIL 6th Infantry Battalion in Balikpapan in 1941

 

KNIL ID Card

This was the core unit of the town’s 1,100 man garrison

 

.Balikpapan  BPM management

 

 

 

hurriedly arranged evacuation of the employees’ families to Java.

Embracing Anna and Margie one last time before they departed, Han could only hope they would be safe at his mother’s house in Surabaya.

Certainly there was no better place to send them. Java was the redoubt, the home territory, to be stoutly defended even if all the other islands fell to the enemy.

From across the Far East came reports of Japanese attacks, Japanese advances, Japanese victories.

 

Dutch East Indie Campaign Map

On 8 December 1941, Netherlands declared war on Japan.[18] General Hisaichi Terauchi (also known as Count Terauchi)—who was the commander of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group—began the campaign with attacks against Borneo: on 17 December, Japanese forces successfully landed on Miri, an oil production centre in northern Sarawak, with support from a battleship and aircraft carrier along with three cruisers and four destroyers.[19]

Initially, the Japanese forces launched air strikes on key areas and gained air superiority. Following the airstrikes, landings were made at several locations targeting airfields and other important points in the area. In addition to the landings at Miri, the Japanese forces made landings at Seria, Kuching, Jesselton and Sandakan between 15 December 1941 and 19 January 1942. After these main objectives in Borneo were completed, the Japanese forces planned a three-pronged assault southward using three forces named as Eastern Force, Center Force and Western Force. The aim of this assault was to capture the oil resources in the East Indies. The Eastern Force was to advance from Jolo and Davao, and move on to capture Celebes, Amboina and Timor while protecting the Center Force’s flank. The Center Force was to capture oil fields and airfields in Tarakan Island and Balikpapan. Both these forces would support the Western Force, which was to attack and capture the oil refineries and airfields in Palembang. The Japanese forces launched the assault on 11 January and landed at Tarakan.[20]

 

 

The Japanese lines of advance in the Dutch East Indies, Sarawak and North Borneo(British), and Portuguese Timor.

To coordinate the fight against the Japanese, the American, British, Dutch, and Australian forces combined all available land and sea forces under the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM or ABDA) banner. This command was activated on 15 January 1942, with the overall commander being British Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell.[21] The command structure had the American Army Air Force Lt. General George Brett as deputy commander, the British Lt. General Henry Royds Pownall as chief of staff; under this came the American Admiral Thomas C. Hart as naval commander, the Dutch Lt. General Hein ter Poorten as ground forces commander, and the British Air Chief marshal Sir Richard E.C. Peirse as the air commander.[22] Although the forces were combined, they had differing priorities: the British believed the defense of the territory of Singapore and the eastern entrances to the Indian Ocean (the route to British Ceylon and British India) to be paramount, the Americans and Australians did not want a total penetration of Southwest Asia that would take bases necessary for any serious counterattack, and the Dutch considered Java and Sumatra, their “second homeland where [they] had been trading and living for over three centuries”, to be the most important place to defend.[23]

Even the combined forces could not stop or even slow the Japanese advance due to their much greater numbers; to face the Japanese attacking naval forces, the ABDA command had a conglomerate of ships drawn from any available units, which included the U.S. Asiatic Fleet (fresh from the fall of the Philippines), a few British and Australian surface ships, and Dutch units that had previously been stationed in the East Indies. Major forces included two seaplane tenders (USS Langley and Childs), two heavy cruisers (USS Houston and HMS Exeter), seven light cruisers (HNLMS De Ruyter, Java and Tromp, USS Marblehead and Boise, HMAS Hobart and Perth), 22 destroyers, and, perhaps their greatest strength, 25 American and 16 Dutch submarines (although the Dutch submarines were geriatric and short of spare parts).[1] Being based on Java, these ships had to take on the central and western prongs of the three-headed Japanese assault; the central force’s combat ships, the light carrier Ryūjō, the seaplane tenders Sanyo Maru and Sanuki Maru, three light cruisers and sixteen destroyers, while the western force contained five heavy cruisers, and seven destroyers. In addition, four fleet carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Hiryū and Sōryū) and the four Kongō-class battleships.[7]

The manner of the Japanese advance resembled the insidious yet irresistible clutching of multiple tentacles. Like some vast octopus it relied on strangling many small points rather than concentration on a vital organ. No one arm attempted to meet the entire strength of the Abda fleet. Each fastened on a small portion of the enemy and, by crippling him locally, finished by killing the entire animal. [...] The Japanese spread their tentacles cautiously, never extending beyond the range of land-based aircraft unless they had carrier support. The distance of each advance was determined by the radius of fighter planes under their control. This range was generally less than 400 miles, but the Japanese made these short hops in surprisingly rapid succession. Amphibious operations, preceded by air strikes and covered by air power developed with terrifying regularity. Before the Allies had consolidated a new position, they were confronted with a system of air bases from which enemy aircraft operated on their front, flanks and even rear.[24]

The Japanese forces were using Tarakan airfield as a forward airbase by 17 January, and Balikpapan was also captured a week later. However, the Dutch garrisons had destroyed the oil fields before they were captured by the Japanese in both cases. Several Japanese vessels were destroyed or damaged due to naval and air counterattacks from the Allied forces, but the defending Dutch battalions were overrun by the Japanese forces. By 28 January, the Japanese forces had taken control of the airfields at Balikpapan and their aircraft were operating from them.[20] By the end of January, Japanese forces had captured parts of Sulawesi and Kalimantan.[25] By February, Japanese forces had landed on Sumatra and encouraged a revolt in Aceh.[25]

Most of the naval components of the allied force were crushed in the battles of Java Sea, Sunda Strait and Second Java Sea;[13][26] the only American ship larger than a destroyer to survive was the old cruiser Marblehead.[27] In addition, the land forces on the islands were quickly overwhelmed and most major resistance was overcome within two months of the initial assaults, although a guerrilla campaign in Timor was successfully waged for a time.[13][26] The ABDA command fell apart at about 01:00 on 1 March, less than two months after its inception, when Admiral Conrad Emil Lambert Helfrich, Governor-General of the East Indies, dissolved the command.[28]

Allied operations in Indonesia (except Sumatra) were later controlled by the South West Pacific Area command, under General Douglas MacArthur.

Allied forces did not attempt to retake the islands of Java, Sumatra, Timor, or Bali during the war. Japanese forces on those islands surrendered at the conclusion of World War II. Most of the Japanese military personnel and civilian colonial administrators were repatriated to Japan following the war, except for several hundred who were detained for investigations into war crimes, for which some were later put on trial. About 1,000 Japanese soldiers deserted from their units and assimilated into local communities. Many of these soldiers provided assistance to Indonesian Republican forces during the Indonesian National Revolution.[29]

 

Early on the morning of 8 December the U.S. forces in the Philippines

were notified that a state of war existed and a full war alert was ordered. On the same day the first Japanese aerial attack on the Philippines took place. This was followed by others and on 10 December enemy landings were made on Luzon.

 

Before dawn on December 8,Japanese  had bombed Singapore

 

 

Japanese soldiers parading through Singapore, 1942

 

 

 

Bombing of Singapore. 8 Dec 1941. The Japanese

and

Japanese landed troops

 

in Malaya.

 

At midday, Japanese warplanes struck the Philippines, smashing half of the American air force on the ground.

 

Japanese Infantry utilizing the 70 mm gun in Urban Combat, Hong Kong 1941

Bottom of Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 8 December,1941

he launched an invasion of Malaya, from bases in French Indochina.

 

December 10th,1941

Bangkok was taken by Japanese on the 9th.

On December 10,

 

 

CAVITE NAVY YARD,

Luzon, during a Japanese aerial nii.uk. Early on <he morning ol H December H) I i Uic Japanese struck the rJiilippme Islands. By tlie end of the first day the U.S. Army Air Torres had lost half of its bombers and a ‘bird of its fighter planes h.tsrd ilierc. During the morning of 10 December practically the entire Navy yard at Cavite was destroyed by enemy bombers. The first Japanese landings on Luzon also look place

on 10 December.

after the Japanese bombing raid of 10 December.1941

After the destruction of the Navy yards at Cavite, the remaining II naval patrol bombers were flown to the Netherlands East Indies, The ground forces were left with little or no air support. The Japanese, having control of the air over the Philippines, began to mass their troops for the capture of the islands.

 

 

MEDIUM BOMBERS, B-18’S (top) and pursuit planes, P-36’s (bottom) of the U.S. Far East Army Air Force attack infantry troops during 1941 maneuvers in the Philippines. When the Japanese attacked the Philippine Islands the United States had some 300 aircraft in the Far East Air Force, but of these only 125 were suitable for combat. The 300 planes represented over 10 percent of the total U.S. air strength at this time. The pilots and crews were well trained and lacked only combat experience.

 

JAPANESE ADVANCING during the drive on Manila. The medium tank is a Type 94 (1934) , with a 57-mm. gun with a free traverse of 20 degrees right and left. It had a speed of 18 to 20 miles an hour, was manned by a crew of 4, weighed 15 tons, and was powered by a diesel engine.

 

CAMOUFLAGED 155-MM. GUN M1918 (GPF) parked on the Gerona-Tarlac road, December 1941.

The Japanese forces moved down Luzon forcing the defending U.S. troops to withdraw to the south. On 30 December a large-scale attack was launched and the U.S. troops were driven back ten miles to Gapan. After another enemy attack they fell back twenty miles farther. A secondary enemy attack at Tarlac failed to achieve important gains. The northern U.S. force protected the withdrawal of the southern force by a delaying action. All troops were beginning to converge in the vicinity of Manila and the Bataan Peninsula.

When

 

General MacArthur

 

told Marshall on 10 December that what Japan feared most was Soviet entry into the war, he emphasized a fact well understood in Washington.

That did not mean, however, that military authorities were unanimously in favor of Soviet participation.

 

Admiral Stark,

for example, seriously questioned the advisability of such a move because of the effect it would have on the war in Europe.

 

General Marshall

agreed fully that any move that would weaken Soviet resistance on the eastern front would be disastrous to the Allied cause.

But it was undeniable, he pointed out, that a Soviet attack against Japan would improve America’s position in the Pacific. The fact that Japan had not attacked the Maritime Provinces seemed to him significant. “If immediate fighting in the Manchukuo front is disadvantageous to Japan,” Marshall declared, “it is, for that reason, immediately advantageous to us.

and had sought to make the necessary arrangements with the Soviet Union. These efforts had been unsuccessful, but as late as November 1941, General Marshall was still optimistic and confided to a group of newsmen that “arrangements are being made to provide landing fields for flying fortresses in Vladivostok” and that the Philippine-based B-17’s would shuttle between Clark Field and Vladivostok in the event of war, dropping their bombs en route on the “paper cities of Japan.”2

The Pearl Harbor attack gave impetus to the efforts to complete arrangements with the Soviet Union for American use of the Maritime Provinces.

On the day after the attack

 

Secretary Hull

sounded out

 

Maxim Litvinov, the Soviet Ambassador,

on this question and Marshall raised it in military conference. But Litvinov, on instructions from his government, quickly put an end to such hopes.

To

 

the President Rosevelt ,

during a visit to the White House, and to Mr. Hull later, he made it perfectly clear that the USSR would have to maintain a neutral position in the Far East.

His country,

 

Litvinov explained,

was too heavily committed in the war against Germany and “could not risk an attack by Japan.”3

 

Stalin’s

reluctance to engage in discussions dealing with the Far East was in marked contrast

to

 

Chiang Kai-shek’s eagerness for concerted action.

China had not been included in the prewar discussions of strategy and no plans had been made for the use of Chinese bases or troops in the event of war with Japan.

The first suggestion that China become an active partner in such a war came from Chiang who, when he heard of the Pearl Harbor attack, summoned the American and Soviet ambassadors and told them of his hopes for a military alliance of all the anti-Axis nations under American leadership.

This thought the Ambassadors passed on to their governments, but it was not until the 11th that

 

the Generalissimo

formally proposed such an alliance, as well as the preparation of comprehensive plans for concerted action against Japan and the formation of a military mission headed by an American, with headquarters at Chungking.4

In Washington, the desirability of international military collaboration was fully recognized and plans for a meeting were already being made. Chiang’s suggestions, therefore, though they were not entirely in accord with American views, were readily accepted by Roosevelt, but with the proviso that several conferences, not one, be held to co-ordinate the efforts of the Allies.

All together there would be three: one in Chungking, one in Singapore, and one in Moscow, and invitations went out immediately.

Chiang quickly agreed, as did the British, who were scheduled to meet separately with the Americans in Washington later in the month.

But Stalin asked that his country not be pressed into any action against Japan, and Roosevelt’s invitation for a meeting in Moscow trailed off in a series of inconclusive messages.5

Preparations for the other two meetings, to be held concurrently and to consider ways to halt the Japanese, were quickly completed. Representing the United States at Chungking would be Generals Brett, then in India, and Magruder, head of the mission to China. Lt. Col. Francis G. Brink, military observer in Singapore and an old hand in the Far East, would attend the meeting there. The results of these conferences, Roosevelt stipulated, were to be forwarded to Washington by 20 December so that they could be used in the forthcoming meeting with Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff, scheduled for 22 December.

 

1(US Army In WW II)

But participation by the Soviet Union in the war against Japan was not the only way that nation could aid the Allied cause in the Far East. In the Maritime Provinces were bases that lay within bombing distance of the industrial heart of Japan. In the hands of American forces, these bases would constitute a formidable threat to the Japanese enemy. The possibility that the Soviet Union would allow the United States to base its forces in the Maritime Provinces was a specter that haunted the Japanese and was always a factor in their planning. The Americans had considered this possibility in their prewar plans and estimates,

 

 

 

 

 

 

December,8th .1942

Pertempuran Guam Pertama terjadi selama Perang Pasifik dalam Perang Dunia II dan terjadi pada 8 Desember 1941 di Guam, Kepulauan Mariana, antara Kekaisaran Jepang dan Amerika Serikat

December, 10th.1941

 

.

Tentara Jepang mendarat dengan 5.500 tentara di Guam pada 10 Desember 1941. Jepang dapat memenangkan pertempuran ini.

 

December,13th.1941

At 1300 on 13 December 1941,

the Japanese invasion convoy left Cam Ranh Bay, Indo-China, with an escort of cruiser Yura (Rear-Admiral Shintaro Hashimoto) with the destroyers of the 12th Destroyer Division, Murakumo, Shinonome, Shirakumo and Usugumo, submarine-chaser Ch 7 and the aircraft depot ship Kamikawa Maru and 10 transport ships carried the Japanese 35th Infantry Brigade HQ under the command of Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi (known as Kawaguchi Detachment), 124th Infantry Regiment from the Japanese 18th Division, 2nd Yokosuka Naval Landing Force plus the 4th Naval Construction Unit.

On 14 December1941

the remaining fourteen U.S. Army bombers were flown to Port Darwin, Australia, and the ships that were undamaged after the attack were moved south.

 

RESIDENTS OF CAVITE evacuating the city

 

 

the Malaya and Borneo operations northeast of Natoma Island from 15 to 17 December 1941

The Support Force consisted of

 

Rear-Admiral Takeo Kurita

With

 

the cruisers Kumano

and

 

Suzuya

 

and the destroyers Fubuki

and

 

Sagiri.

 

Distant cover for the Malaya and Borneo

 

operations northeast of Natuma Island from 15 to 17 December 1942

is provided by

 

 

Vice-Admiral Nobutake Kondo

with

 

the heavy cruisers Atago

and

 

Takao,

 

the battleships Haruna

and

 

Kongo and

 

the destroyers Ikazuchi,

 

Inazuma,

 

Asashio,

 

Oshio,

 

Michishio

and Arashio. To protect westwards,

 

the Japanese submarines I-62, I-64, I-65 and I-66 are stationed in the passage between Natuma Island and northwest Borneo.

The convoy at first proceeded toward the southwest but, during the night, it changed course to the southeast and made directly for Miri.

About this time the Left Flank Unit aboard IJN

 

transport ship Hiyoshi Maru separated from the main body and proceeded toward Seria. The Japanese invasion plan called for a landing to be made at

Miri city centre

Miri

 

and Serian

 

to capture the oil fields.

A large force would then be left behind to initiate repairs to these oil facilities, while the rest of the force would then make their way to capture

 

Kuching

 

 

 

 

 

and

 

 

 

its nearby airfield.

(Dr Iwan ever visit Kuching,Serian,Miri,Brunei,Labuan Island and Kota Kinibalu(before North Borneo) read the adventure of Dr Iwan)

 

Japanese destroyer Fubuki.
The destroyer took part in the British Borneo Operation, December 1941, as part of Support Force.

 

(2)Japanese aircraft sank

 

the HMS Repulse and

 

Prince of Wales,

eliminating the only Allied capital ships in the region.

The invasion of Luzon commenced the same day. In both Malaya and the Philippines, Japan’s tough, superbly trained armies quickly overcame forward defenses and swept south towards Singapore and Manila. Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas Day.

 

 

Japanese infantry storms ashore in the Natuna Islands, west of Borneo
Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

The Japanese offensive in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies
(Click map to enlarge)

 

 

Map of Borneo with arrows indicating the locations of Tarakan, Samarinda, and Balikpapan
(Click map to enlarge)


Following their rapid thrusts against the British and the Americans, the Japanese launched a great, three-pronged offensive against the Netherlands East Indies. The invasion of Borneo began on the night of

 

 

December 16th/1941



1st Lieutenant J.G.M. Nass (Korps Mariniers) in conversation
with an Indonesian native, Java Island, late 1941
Copyright © Mariniers Museum Rotterdam & Felix Bakker

 

December,17th,1941

 

When the Chungking Conference convened on 17 December

 

Neither

 

Lt. Gen. Sir Archibald Wavell, the British delegate, nor

 

let. Gen.Brett was present. Nevertheless the Generalissimo took the opportunity to present his plans for the formation of an Allied general staff at Chungking, and for the prosecution of the war against Japan.

On the 22d,December,1941

 

Let.Gen.Brett, who had just received orders to go to Australia and take command of U.S. Army forces there, arrived with Wavell and the conversations with the Chinese began in earnest. Brett’s instructions from Washington were to join with the others in seeking ways to take advantage of Japan’s “present over-extension” — MacArthur’s thesis — and to reassure the Chinese that the United States was not abandoning the Philippines or its partners in Asia.

After considerable discussion, a plan that placed control in Washington and called for only limited operations in Asia was evolved by the delegates and sent to Washington.

The Generalissimo thought it unsatisfactory and sent his own. Neither contained any concrete suggestions on command or logistics, two problems that would plague the Allies in China for the next three years. The conference ended on the 23d, having produced, one of the planners wrote, “very little in the way of concrete results.”6

December 18-20 th 1942

The Singapore Conference (18-20 December),

though it produced no plan to halt the Japanese drive, was more fruitful, for from it came the first concrete proposal for

 

an Allied command in the Southwest Pacific.

 

Colonel Brink’s instructions were to present MacArthur’s views on Far East strategy, which General Marshall summarized for him as follows:

American, Australian, and Dutch air and naval forces should cooperate to keep open line of communications from Australia to Philippines.

Successful defense of Philippines considered essential to maintenance of Allied defensive structure in the Western Pacific.

Plans for immediate Philippine reinforcement definitely dependent for success upon establishment of air traffic between Philippines and bases south. Every effort should be made to supplement air supply by re-establishment of limited sea communications between Australia and Philippines.

These views, Marshall added “are generally concurred in by the President.” At the same time he informed MacArthur of the forthcoming meetings and of his instructions to the American delegates, adding the suggestion that he correspond directly with them “if practicable from the viewpoint of secrecy.”7

With these instructions and with the additional statement from MacArthur and Hart, couched in MacArthurian language, that “the Far East area is now the dominant locus of the war,

” Colonel Brink presented to the Singapore conferees 1941

the American view of the importance of the Philippines and the necessity for keeping open the lines of communication. But the British view of the importance of Singapore predominated.

The report of the conferees, therefore, while it called for large reinforcements to the Southwest Pacific and adopted all of MacArthur’s suggestions for the protection of the air and sea lanes between Malaya and the Philippines, gave second place to the defense of the Philippines.

Japanese conquest of Singapore, the conferees thought, would be a disaster of the first order. Not only would it make certain the loss of the Netherlands Indies with is vast resources in oil and rubber, but it would also place the enemy in position to isolate Australia and New Zealand and to separate the British and American fleets in the Far East.

The importance of the Philippines was limited, in the report of the Singapore Conference, to its use “as an advanced and flanking base for offensive action against Japanese lines of communication.”8

The most important result of the Singapore meeting was the proposal made by Brink for a unified command.

The conference, he told the Chief of Staff, “dearly indicated the need for one supreme head over a combined allied staff” to co-ordinate the efforts of the American, British, Australian, and Dutch forces in the area and to make plans for the future. The “unofficial opinions” of the conferees, he added, indicated that the appointment of an American familiar with the Pacific area to this post “would not only be acceptable but desirable.”

If such an appointment were made and a headquarters established, Brink suggested that it be located in Java. But he did not fail to point out that the majority of the delegates believed the major base of Allied operations in the Southwest Pacific should be in Australia, with an advance base in the Indies.9

Brink’s suggestion was quickly picked up in Washington. In the Army War Plans Division, where it went first for comment, the idea of a unified command in the Far East was described as “an absolute essential for the successful prosecution of the war effort in this theater,” and a matter that ought to be discussed with the British. Action in the division ended with the note, “This matter is being considered by the Chief of Staff. It has been discussed at the White House.”10

December,22th.1941

 

 

 

1941 cover from THAILAND to GB with d/r. BANGKOK p/m. and plain resealing tape tied by boxed MALAYA censor h/s. – OPENED BY / CENSOR 48. Also s/r. ’10’ transit censor h/s.

£60.00

December,22th.1941

Preparations for the other two meetings, to be held concurrently and to consider ways to halt the Japanese, were quickly completed. Representing the United States at Chungking would be Generals Brett, then in India, and Magruder, head of the mission to China.

Lt. Col. Francis G. Brink, military observer in Singapore and an old hand in the Far East, would attend the meeting there.

The results of these conferences, Roosevelt stipulated, were to be forwarded to Washington by 20 December so that they could be used in the forthcoming meeting with Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff, scheduled for 22 December.

This meeting, which lasted

from 22 December 1941 to 14 January 1942

By the time the reports of the Singapore and Chungking Conferences reached the War Department, Churchill and his Chiefs of Staff had arrived in Washington for the first of the many wartime conferences which marked the most successful military alliance in the history of warfare.

 

 

This meeting, which lasted from 22 December 1941 to 14 January 1942 and is known by the code name ARCADIA,

was in many respects the most important of the conferences held during the war. It established an organization for the conduct of coalition warfare that survived all the stresses and strains of conflicting national interests; reaffirmed the basic decision to make the major effort in Europe at a time when the American people had not yet recovered from the shock of Pearl Harbor and when disaster threatened in the Pacific and Asia; established the first Allied command of the war; and laid down a broad program for the future as well as a plan for immediate action.11

 

The divergence between British and American views, which had been plainly evident at the ABC meetings early in 1941, was again apparent at the ARCADIA conference. The Americans believed that their national interests would best be served and the security of the United States best assured by the early defeat of Germany and Japan. This objective they put ahead of all others and made the measuring rod for every problem put before them. The British, too, sought the early defeat of the enemy, but they differed with the Americans on how to do it. Further, their national interests encompassed the security and future of a far-flung empire with its long lines of communication.

Their task was more complex than that of the Americans and their path to victory more circuitous. For them, the Middle East, Singapore, Malaya, Australia, India — all held an importance the Americans could not grant on purely military grounds. The British pressed hard for the allocation of Allied resources to the defense of these positions, not only at ARCADIA but at the conferences that followed, while the Americans pushed single-mindedly for those operations that would bring about the defeat of the enemy. But determination to agree and good will on both sides overcame all differences.

About one thing, the major objective of Allied strategy, there was no disagreement. The principals subscribed to a basic statement of war aims that served as the strategic objective for the year 1942 and the basis for the division of the resources of the two nations. “Much has happened since February last,” the conferees noted, “but notwithstanding the entry of Japan into the War, our view remains that Germany is still the prime enemy. and her defeat is the key to victory.

Once Germany is defeated the collapse of Italy and the defeat of Japan must follow.”12 It was agreed therefore, as “a cardinal principle” of American and British strategy, “that only the minimum of force necessary for the safeguarding of vital interests in other theater should be diverted from operations against Germany.”

In terms of the existing situation, this “cardinal principle” meant that the production of armaments would have to be stepped up; that essential positions would have to be defended; that the vital lines of communication would have to be held; and that, by a combination of bombing, blockade, and propaganda, German resistance would have to be reduced so that the Allies could land on the Continent in 1943.

But the principle of minimum force in the Pacific was one that could be interpreted variously and usually was, depending on the situation. There were always those who could justify additional forces for the Pacific on the ground that they were required to safeguard vital interests there. This was the Navy’s position, argued forcefully and consistently by Admiral King.

In the Pacific and Far East, the Americans and the British Chiefs of Staff agreed, it would be necessary to maintain the security of Australia, New Zealand, and India; to support China; and to gain “points of vantage” from which an offensive against Japan could “eventually be developed.”

These were long-range objectives; the “immediate object” was to hold Hawaii, Alaska, Singapore, the Malay Barrier, the Philippines, Rangoon, and the route to China.

As a general statement of strategy, the objectives outlined by the U.S. and British Chiefs of Staff had little relevance to the immediate emergency in the Far East where the Japanese were advancing rapidly on every front.

What was needed was agreement on the apportionment of the resources of both nations to that area, and, specifically, the amount to be assigned each of the vital positions still in Allied hands but defended by a variety of national forces and independent commanders.

 

Both sides were apparently reluctant to enter into detailed discussions of this subject, but they agreed that the planners should study the question of the disposition of the forces in and en route to the Southwest Pacific.

This study, the Chiefs stipulated, should be based on three alternative assumptions; first, that the Allies would hold both the Philippines and Singapore; second, that they would hold Singapore and the Netherlands Indies but lose the Philippines; and third, that they would lose Singapore and the Philippines.

The planners went to work on the problem immediately and quickly produced a report the Chiefs approved on the last day of the year. Recognizing that the forces then in the area could not hold the positions prescribed and that immediate reinforcements would have to be provided, the planners framed the following statement of Allied aims:

 

Hold the Malay Barrier, that is the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and the islands stretching eastward to northwest Australia, “as the basic defensive position”; and Burma and Australia “as essential supporting positions.”

Re-establish communications with the Philippines and support the garrison there, while maintaining communications to Burma and Australia and within the Far East area.

 

Appended to the report were lists of the forces already in the theater and scheduled to arrive by 1 February.

These the planners

recommended be deployed “as now arranged,” if the Philippines and Singapore held, If they did not, the reinforcements should be used to defend the Malay Barrier, Burma, and Australia, with American troops being used on the east side of the barrier (Australia), British and Commonwealth forces on the west (Burma and India).

Should the Philippines alone fall to the Japanese — an admission the Americans were not yet willing to make to the British who firmly believed that Singapore would hold — then U.S. reinforcements would be employed along the barrier and the lines of communication to the east.13

By the time this study was approved, the Chiefs of Staff had already decided to set up a unified American command in the Far East. The dangers and disadvantages of command by co-operation had been made abundantly clear by the disaster at Pearl Harbor, and Marshall felt very strongly that unity of command was perhaps even more important than the allocation of resources or the assignment of troops. On the 25th, after he had Brink’s report on the Singapore Conference, he raised the problem with his American and British colleagues. “The matters being settled here,” he told them, “are mere details which will continuously reoccur unless settled in a broader way. . . . I am convinced that there must be one man in command of the entire theater. . . . If we make a plan for unified command now, it will solve nine-tenths of our troubles.”

 

Without minimizing the difficulties of establishing such a command over the forces of four nations, Marshall believed that it could be done and was willing “to go the limit” to achieve it. “A man with good judgment and unity of command,” he said, “has a distinct advantage over a man with brilliant judgment who must rely on cooperation.” But the consensus of the meeting was not in Marshall’s favor and the subject was dropped after polite comment.14

The next day Mr. Roosevelt, apparently after discussion with Marshall and King, raised the question of a unified command in the Far East at a White House meeting with Churchill and others.

The Prime Minister, like his military advisers, did not favor the idea and there the matter rested for the moment. But neither the President nor General Marshall abandoned their fight and both privately did their utmost to change Churchill’s mind.15

In this they were successful so far as the principle of unified command was concerned but agreement on the officer who would exercise such a command and the limits of his authority was not so easily reached. Oddly enough, the British wanted an American and the Americans favored a British officer

 

 

 

motorcyclists of the snlf on guard duty (hong kong 1941)

 

 

AERIAL VIEW OF CORREGIDOR ISLAND off the tip of Bataan.

On 25 December,

Headquarters, United States Army Forces in the Far East, was established on Corregidor. Manila was declared an open city on the following day and the remains of the naval base at Cavite were blown up to prevent its supplies from falling into enemy hands.

 

 

TANK OBSTACLES AND BARBED WIRE strung to delay the enemy advance on Bataan (top); members of an antitank company in position on Bataan (bottom).

As the Japanese advanced,

the defending forces withdrew toward the Bataan Peninsula. The rugged terrain, protected flanks, and restricted maneuvering room on Bataan limited the enemy’s ability to employ large numbers of troops. Preparations for the defense of the peninsula were intensified and the stocks of supplies were increased.

 

28 December1941

, specifically

 

General Wavell, then Commander-in-Chief, India, for the post.

Finally on 28 December,

 

Churchill

agreed to the American proposal and Wavell was alerted to his coming appointment. It was decided also that Wavell, when he assumed command, would report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, then being established, and that his headquarters would be located in Java.

Meanwhile U.S. Army planners had been working on a directive designed

 

 

Universal Carrier captured by Japanese in HONG KONG, Dec.1941

 

 

 

North Borneo,

 

Miri Serawak at the border of Brunei,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serian serawak.

 

commander of the 2nd Yokosuka Naval Landing Force Lieutenant Colonel Watanabe giving orders to his troops before landing (Borneo, december 1941)

In Malaya

there was no clear demarcation between the first and second phase. There the Japanese, driving in two columns down the east and west coasts of the peninsula, continued to advance without halt.

 

 

troops of the japanese army 5th infantry division landing on a beach in malaya (december 1941)

 

 

 

troops of the japanese army 5th infantry division landing on a beach in malaya (december 1941)

 

 

The war in British Borneo,

December 1941 – January 1942

The convoy crossed the South China Sea without being sighted, and

at about 2330 on the 15th,

the main body of the convoy arrived at the Miri anchorage, approximately two nautical miles from the shore, while the Hiyoshi Maru arrived at the Seria anchorage at midnight.

Immediately upon reaching the anchorage, both flank units commenced to transfer to landing barges. At first the sea was relatively calm but

about 0100 on the 16th,

the wind velocity increased and the waves grew high. Transfer from ships to barges was extremly difficult until it became impossible to keep the landing barges close to the ships and the units were forced to continue the transfer operation by ship’s crane.

 

commander of the 2nd Yokosuka Naval Landing Force Lieutenant Colonel Watanabe giving orders to his troops before landing (Borneo, december 1941)

 

Finally between 0510 and 0610

the Right Flank Unit completed its landing, while the Left Flank Unit landed about 0440. The Right Flank Unit quickly captured the government buildings and the post office at Miri as well as the surrounding district with plantations.

In the meantime, the Left Flank Unit landed on the west coast near Serian and occupied the large copra plantations, the Serian oilfields, and the strategic sector north of Serian to prepare for an attack against Brunei. There was offered very little resistance by the British forces, and during the morning on the 16th, the two units secured the oilfield at Serian and oilfields and airfield at Miri. The main body of the Kawaguchi Detachment found only about 50 members of the police unit defending Miri. They surrendred with very little fighting. Two companies of the 2nd Yokosuka SNLF landed on the coast near Lutong and within two and a half hours captured the important Lutong oil refinery. It then proceeded to occupy and secure the Miri airfield without meeting any resistance.

Part of the Detachment was immediately assigned the mission of restoring the oilfields at Miri and Seria, while, after 17 December, the main body of the Detachment prepared for the next operation – the landing at Kuching. The Japanese troops suffered only 40 casualties between 16 and 23 December, most were drownings as a result of Japanese amphibious operations.

News of the landing did not reach Air Headquarters, Far East,

until 9 p.m. on the 16th.

Reconnaissance aircraft from Singkawang II were ordered to investigate

at daylight on the December,17th.

 

New Airbase in Singkawang: Ki-43 of the 77th

Singkawang:

Up and running; an AIR HQ is on it’s way and will unload tommorow, so it will soon be VERY up and running! But I already have planes, 2 Base Forces there

Photo Taken at our New Airbase in Singkawang: Ki-43 of the 77th Sentai:

 

In the meantime, the word of the invasion had also reached Tarakan Island on the eastern coast of Borneo, where the three Dornier flying boats of Naval Air Group GVT-7 (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst) were immediately prepared for attack. These three aircraft, (with registrations X-32, X-33 and X-34) were Dornier Do-24K’s, capable of carrying a payload of 1,200 kg.

Japanese attacked in the early morning of December 17th.1941

The flying boat X-34 (Luitenant ter Zee 3e klasse A. Baarschers) never made it to Miri. He had to made an emergency landing in the jungle, while it was heading for the Japanese invasion fleet near Miri

DECEMBER 17th, 1941:
After the reconnaissance report from 2 Vl.G.I,

Dutch Air Headquarters ordered 1 Vl.G.I, which operated from Samarinda II airbase, to attack the same target.

In the early afternoon

three flights (Flight Commanders Beckman, Butner and Vrijburg) flew to Miri. When they reached the target area, they observed a burning Japanese warship.

Though the crews thought that this must have been the result of 2 Vl.G.I’s earlier attack, P.C. Boer credits this damaged ship to the Dorniers of Naval Air Group GVT-7, since we already saw that van den Broek’s crews claimed no hits during their first raid.

The first two flights (Beckman and Butner) bombarded the ships with no results (“far from near misses”) but were attacked by Mitsubishi F1M fighters.

One of the crews of the third flight claimed a hit on a Japanese transport but this Glenn was also attacked by F1M floatplanes, one of which was shot down.

The last plane to attack the Japanese fleet was the Glenn Martin of the Flight Commander of the third flight (Vrijburg).No Japanese fighters and AA fire this time, so Vrijburg took his time to drop his two 1000 pounders on a large destroyer.

They could not again find the ship after the attack and claimed it as destroyed, which was not confirmed by Air Headquarters by the way.

 

In late 1941,

a total of 24 Hurricane Mk IIB´s in crates on route to Singapore for the Royal Air Force were rerouted to Tjililitan (Java) for use by tbe Dutch East Indies Air Force.

DECEMBER 18th, 1941:


Two flights of 2 Vl.G.I (Flight Commanders Theunissen and Cooke) repeated the attack in the early morning of this day. The weather was excellent and so were the bombing results.

The first flight (Theunissen) to attack scored two hits on a large transport which, according to Japanese records, was badly damaged but did not sink.

Again the Glenn Martins were intercepted by F1M floatplanes but the air gunners shot down one of them. The second flight (Cooke) hit a “cruiser” and the belly gunners of the Glenns observed it as it went down.

Cooke’s flight was also attacked by Japanese fighters and this time the Glenn Martin M571, flown by Lieutenant Groeneveld, was shot down. Groeneveld and his crew bailed out and eventually ended up at Long Nawang (Borneo) where they were executed by Japanese troops in August 1942.

P.C. Boer credits Cooke’s flight with the sinking of IJN destroyer Shinonome since this attack was made near Lutong (4 24’N – 114 00’0) whereas the Dorniers made their attack near Seria (20 miles north-east of Miri).

 

The 1 Vl.G.I also tried to attack the Japanese fleet again later that day, but by now the weather conditions had changed completely. Only two planes managed to reach the target area but were unable to locate the ships.

[2] This is the article written by Allan Nevitt “Fleeting Glory: The Fubukis of DesDiv 12″ at Nihon Kaigun. There are more errors in this article, in the passages about later operations by this division.

This work was delayed

Dutch naval aircraft attacked the ships at anchor later that day and

again on the 18th December 1941

, but without effect.

On the 19th December 1941

the Dutch flying boat X-32 from Tarakan Island


IJN destroyer Shinonome

sank the Japanese destroyer Shinonome (Cdr. Hiroshi Sasagawa)

of 1,950 tons off Miri, while another flying boat X-33 damaged a transport ship.

The destroyer could not take the pounding and went down with her entire crew of 228 officers and men. Kuching realized that its turn was soon to come and work went on day and night to complete the airfield defences.

.

Read more info

Who sank IJN destroyer Shinonome, December 1941?

 

The IJN destroyer Shinonome (1,950 tons) was a powerful ship, completed in 1927 as one of the Fubuki Class fleet destroyers. At the outbreak of war in the Pacific, she was under command of Commander Hiroshi Sasagawa. His ship had been assigned to Destroyer Division 12 under the command of Commander Nobuki Ogawa, which was initially deployed as escort for the valuable troop transports steaming towards the virtually unprotected shores of the Malaya Peninsula. On December 16, she left Cam Ranh Bay (French Indochina) for Miri, British North Borneo, together with the other two ships of Destroyer Division 12, the IJN destroyers Shirakumo and Murakumo, the light cruiser Yura, the seaplane depot ship Kamikawa Maru, a few sub-chasers and two minesweepers. In addition, a cover force (Rear-Admiral Takeo Kurita) with two heavy cruisers Kumano and Suzuya, a light cruiser Kinu and the destroyer Fubuki were sent out as reinforcement. The invasion fleet reached Miri in the night of 15 and 16 December 1941, where the troops went ashore almost unopposed. The 2,500 men of the Kawaguchi Detachment were able to capture Miri and Lutong without much fighting.


IJN destroyer Shinonome

The next day proved to be far less comfortable for the Japanese invasion force. In the early morning of December 17, 1941 a flight of 2 Vl.G.I, operating from Singkawang II airbase, found several Japanese ships near Miri. That same morning the 1st “Patrouille” (Flight Commander Van den Broek) of 2 Vl.G.I attacked these ships from 4,500 meters but claimed no hits. The crews reported heavy AA fire and two of the Glenn Martin bombers returned slightly damaged [1].

In the meantime, the word of the invasion had also reached Tarakan Island on the eastern coast of Borneo, where the three Dornier flying boats of Naval Air Group GVT-7 (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst) were immediately prepared for attack. These three aircraft, (with registrations X-32, X-33 and X-34) were Dornier Do-24K’s, capable of carrying a payload of 1,200 kg.

They attacked in the early morning of December 17.

The flying boat X-34 (Luitenant ter Zee 3e klasse A. Baarschers) never made it to Miri. He had to made an emergency landing in the jungle, while it was heading for the Japanese invasion fleet near Miri.

He later reached, together with two of his crew members, a refugee camp at Long Nawang, only to be massacred there by Japanese troops in August 1942.

The other two flying boats X-33 and X-32 were able to attack the fleet. The X-33 (Officier-Vlieger 2e klasse J.G. Petschi) attacked a Japanese transport ship without succes, while X-32 (Officier-Vlieger 2e klasse B. Sjerp – unit commander) did far better.

He dropped 5 bombs of 200 kg each, scoring two hits on a IJN destroyer Shinonome and a near miss. The latter apparently did most of the damage, as the target was immediately rent by a thunderous explosion, and fires broke out aboard. A few minutes later, when the smoke cleared, the waves closed over the Shinonome, who had disappeared beneath the surface, taking below its captain, Commander Hiroshi Sasagawa, and the entire crew of 228 men.


Dornier Do-24K

After the war, a committee was formed to assess the casualties the Allied naval and airforces had inflicted on the Japanese Navy and merchant navy during the war. They reached a remarkable conclusion regarding Shinonome’s loss. This warship was supposedly sunk by a Dutch mine. Although the author has little doubt about the true cause of the sinking, it is interesting to see how the committee reached this conclusion.

 

In 1998, an article was posted on the Nihon Kaigun website, narrating the history of Destroyer Division 12 during its short career [2]. The passage about the Shinonome mentions that the Commander of Destroyer Division 12, Commander Nobuki Ogawa, thought she had been lost to a mine or an internal explosion. He nor anyone else had apparently observed the air attack by the flying boats. The Assessment Committee adopted this theory, and never gave other possibilities much thought. There may be a few reasons why the Imperial Japanese Navy thought a mine was responsible:

- There were no survivors of IJN destroyer Shinonome to account for her loss.
– The stormy weather prevented the Dutch aircraft from being sighted, and therefore caused the confusion.

I put in a few hours of research to try to find out if there were any mines in the vicinity, but I am pretty sure there were none in the area. The Dutch minelayer Prins van Oranje made a sortie to British Borneo to pick up Japanese inhabitants, but there is no record of any mine being laid. The same goes for the British Royal Navy in Singapore, which restricted her operations to the waters of Malaya.


Note This article was written by JAN VISSER (The Netherlands). Much thanks also goes to BERT KOSSEN (the Netherlands).


[1] The description of this event according to P.C. Boer’s excellent book “De Luchtstrijd rond Borneo”:

 

Evacuated from Borneo in December 1941,

Anna and Margie returned to Surabaya as planned. They lived in the Brantas straat house with mother-in-law Emma and sister-in-law Elisabeth, who was now pregnant. (hans semethini)

 

on the December 19th

by a raid on the town by fifteen Japanese bombers which set fire to a large petrol store but otherwise did little material damage. A large part of the native population however fled from the town, and labour, which had been difficult to obtain before, became almost unprocurable

On the 22nd December1941

the main body (two battalions) of the Japanese invasion force re-embarked at Miri and left for Kuching, leaving one battalion to secure all British Borneo outside Sarawak.

Although after the occupation of Miri the Detachment commander, Major-General Kawaguchi, was unable to obtain any additional information in regard to the enemy’s strength or disposition, he did learn that there is one small railway on the western coast and no roads through the jungle. Consequently, an attack on north Borneo would have to be made from landing barges.

The first signs of the increased tempo of Japanese operations in the Netherlands Indies came very quickly.

Then, on 22 December, 1941

General Homma put the bulk of his 14th Army ashore at Lingayen Gulf, north of Manila.

 

japamese army officer Lieutenant General Kyoji Tominaga shaking hands with raiders of the Kaoru Special Attack Corps before leaving to a mission against a USAAF landing strip on Leyte (oct 1944)

 

Lieutenant General Kyoji Tominaga giving sake wine to soldier of the Kaoru Special Attack Corps before leaving to a mission against a USAAF landing strip on Leyte (oct 1944)

The remainder landed two days later at Lamon Bay, south of the capital, to form the southern arm of a giant pincer movement converging on Manila. But Homma quickly discovered he was dealing with a determined and able foe.

MacArthur did not, as Homma and Imperial General Headquarters expected, stay to fight it out on the central plain of Luzon. Instead he put into effect the long-standing ORANGE plan and withdrew his forces to the Bataan Peninsula in a skillful and dangerous double retrograde movement, made in two weeks under the most difficult circumstances and constant pressure. At the same time he proclaimed Manila an open city and transferred his headquarters to Corregidor. Thus, when Homma,

On returning back to Miri on 28 December1941,

Major-General Kawaguchi ordered Lieutenant Colonel Watanabe to advance on the 31st by landing barges to Brunei with one infantry battalion and there to collect small boats to be used for the attack on north Borneo.

The Japanese soldiers of the Watanabe Force, however, discovered that the British had already destroyed all big ships in the harbour, so that only small native boats remained.

 

The ABDACOM Interlude

While the American and British heads of state with their military staffs were in Washington establishing the strategic basis and the organization for the conduct of the war, the Japanese Army and Navy had continued their drive into Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific with unabated vigor.

 

Operations during the first phase of their plan for seizing the southern area had been remarkably successful and

In the last week of December1941,

Field Marshal Hisaichi Terauchi, commander of the Southern Army, and Vice Adm. Nobutake Kondo, 2d Fleet commander, jointly recommended advancing the schedule of operations against Sumatra and Borneo, thus making possible the invasion of Java a month earlier than planned.

At Japanese  Imperial General Headquarters

the Terauchi-Kondo proposal met a favorable reception, for it would not only speed operations in the south and keep the enemy off balance but it would also make available at an earlier date the troops needed in Manchuria if the Soviet Union should enter the war — a danger that continued to haunt the Japanese. Early in January, therefore, Imperial General Headquarters approved the recommendation and advanced the timetable for the seizure of the southern area.29

 

 

Late in December 1941

the Japanese had gained control of British Borneo and the South China Sea approaches to the Malay Barrier

 

 

 

 

after the Japanese army during World War II occupation and so-called, as a kind of spicy, today Let me introduce such a thing
This cover (envelope), immediately after the outbreak of World War II, the Dutch East Indies (Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia) island of Java is proffered addressed to Honolulu, Hawaii from the (now Jakarta) Batavia.

The so-called Pacific War, December 8, 1941,

Japan declared war against the U.S., the UK, but began to declare war on Japan the two countries, In response to this, December 10, Japan, the Netherlands declared a war on, and then rush to the combat system of the Dutch East Indies and Japan. In Batavia, the capital of young people has been drafted, but began in earnest the activities of field post office and is not intended to be proffered from the military post office in Batavia this cover also such.

In the image has not been introduced, to cover, addressed to (or lover From a wording) women living in Honolulu, as well as condemn the attack on Pearl Harbor the Japanese military, letter of the contents of praying of her safety had been enclosed is.

After the initial stamp was canceled with a pen, post office postmark of the Dutch field that contains the character “A” indicates the Batavia has been pressed. Perhaps you are thinking at the time of postal acceptance, the field office and postmarked too late, every time being by helping to eradicate the stamp with a pen, press and hold the postmark of the field station at a later time.

However, the disruption also had root for carrying the mail by the outbreak of war, this cover can actually be delivered to Honolulu is not, has been returned to sender. And in the back, also has been pressed stamp of January 1, 1942 indicate that.

 

Read more

the info and comment from the family of Swiss natiomality  who work at Dutch BPM oil company at Borneo

Dear Dr. Suwandy,
My fiancée and I, a journalist and writer in Germany/Berlin, have become deeply interested in the history of Royal Dutch Shell, more specifically of its subsidiary Bataafse Petroleum Maatschappij BPM during the Japanese invasion in early spring 1942 – exactly what you are documenting in “The Dai Nippon Occupation”.
We have met an eye and ear witness who told us an incredible story. She was an eight year old girl with Swiss nationality and living in Surabaya, when Japan invaded the country.

Her equally Swiss father was an engineer at BPM and a member of the destruction squads that blew up the wells and refineries in Borneo and in the Dutch East Indies before the invasion.

He was ordered by the BPM management to leave the country by ship with his Dutch colleagues, but he was the only one to refuse.

Why? Because only the employees of BPM where to be shipped to Australia, not their families, children and wives. They were left to the Japanese who put them as POWs into concentration camps.

This in itself is a dreadful crime, but it got worse. Our witness told us, that the ships of an unspecified number were destroyed by the Japanese and sunk within or close to the port of Surabaya.

She had heard the detonations. All employees of BPM on them died. She and her father fled by train into the jungle. He seems to have been a very brave man, because as Swiss national he resisted internment and helped other POW by smuggling medicine and food into the camps.
Our questions to you are as follows:
1. Have you ever heard or read about this incident?
2. Do you believe this story? Could it be true?

3. Have you heard about these ships and do you maybe remember one or more of their names?

So far, we have identified about 40 ships, which were destroyed or scuttled in or close to Surabaya in early spring 1942, but on none of them seem to have been passengers from BPM.
4. Can you advise us any further sources of information that we should use?

5. Can we purchase a copy of your CD-Version of “The Dai Nippon Occupation”?

We have read the report “East Indies Episode” from 1949, written by Johan Fabricius. He does not mention the evacuation to Australia via Surabaya, neither any families left behind in the Dutch East Indies.

If we can be sure of the truth of this story, we plan to identify some of the surviving families and to write a book about it.

We would be extremely grateful if you could help us with your knowledge about the Japanese invasion and we promise to mention you and your website in any kind of publication.

Thank you very much in advance.

Sincerely

Reginald Grünenberg, Berlin

 

Dear Reginald Grunenberg.

Berlin

Thanks for visit my web blod and your info related to my e-book in CD-rom The Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia part three eastern area.

The book still in processing because many new information have found,and always new info will complete this very difficult and very lile info exist now.

I suggest you to buy my E-Book and you will now what exactly happened in Indonesia during the War 1942-1945 exactly related to your father.

If you want to buy rthat e-book in CD-ROM which only very limited edition(only ten items) will send to you directly,please contact me vi my email

iwansuwandy@gmasil.com

and upload your ID scan,this only for security against hiject only and also your home address where I will send the CD-rom.

The CD-rom consist

Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia 1942-1945

Dai Nippon Occupation Sumatra 1942-1945

Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia Eastren Area 1942-1945

The Pasific War 1942,Thew Pasific War 1943,The Pasific War 1944And The Pasific War 1945

Are you need all the informations, or only eastern area of Indonesia only

As innformtaionmy son also Oil exploration Geology Engeneering who work at Indonesia Oil company PERTAMINA which before was the BPM company during DEI era. That is why I am interest to about the BPM History an I also write about the BPM-PERTAMINA Oil company History collections if you need this info I will sold together with the other CD to you

I am waiting for your letter to my email address

Sincerely

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

maart 1941 – april 1943:

de Duitse opmars stagneert

source

http://www.verzetsmuseum.org/tweede-wereldoorlog/nl/KoninkrijkderNederlanden/Nederland,maart_1941-april_1943


In juni 1941 vallen de Duitsers de Sovjet Unie binnen. In december 1941 verklaren ze de oorlog aan de Verenigde Staten. Engeland krijgt er daardoor twee machtige bondgenoten bij. In West-Europa wordt niet meer gevochten.

Duitsland verliest terrein
De strijd in Noord-Afrika verloopt wisselend, maar eindigt met een Duitse nederlaag in september 1942. In Rusland wordt de Duitse opmars in januari 1943 bij Stalingrad gestuit na zes maanden zware gevechten met meer dan anderhalf miljoen doden. Duitsland verliest terrein.

Nazificering
In Nederland wordt het persoonsbewijs wordt ingevoerd. De bezetters blijven verwoede pogingen doen om Nederland tot een nationaal-socialistische ‘volksgemeenschap’ om te vormen. De propaganda wordt opgevoerd.

Steeds meer Nederlandse instellingen worden onder nationaal-socialistische leiding gebracht en de bezetter probeert het onderwijs, de kerken, en de vakbonden onder nationaal-socialistische invloed te brengen. Ook de cultuur en het uitgaansleven worden ‘genazificeerd’. Maar het lukt de bezetters niet om de Nederlanders voor zich te winnen.

Schaarste
Door de oorlog neemt in Nederland de schaarste toe. Invoer over zee is onmogelijk en veel goederen worden naar Duitsland afgevoerd. Steeds meer producten worden verdeeld via een distributiesysteem; ze komen ‘op de bon’. Niet alleen voedsel maar bijvoorbeeld ook brandstof en benzine worden schaars. De zwarte handel neemt toe.

Jodenvervolging
Ondertussen gaat de vervolging van de Nederlandse joden verder. Zij worden stap voor stap geïsoleerd van de rest van de bevolking. Vanaf mei 1942 moeten ze een jodenster op hun kleding dragen en in juli begint de deportatie. Dit wekt afschuw, al durven weinig mensen zich er actief tegen te verzetten.

Invasie
Nederland wacht met spanning op een geallieerde invasie. Ter verdediging bouwen de Duitsers vanaf december 1941 verdedigingswerken langs de kust van het noorden van Noorwegen tot de Pyreneeën: de Atlantik-Wall. De hele Nederlandse kuststrook wordt hiervoor vanaf mei 1942 ontruimd.


Trefwoorden:

 

nvoering persoonsbewijs

In de loop van 1941 wordt het persoonsbewijs ingevoerd. Het persoonsbewijs wordt ontwikkeld door de Nederlandse ambtenaar Jacobus Lambertus Lentz in samenwerking met de Duitse bezetter. Geen land in Europa heeft een identiteitsbewijs dat technisch en administratief zo volmaakt is.

Iedere Nederlander vanaf 15 jaar moet dit identiteitsbewijs, voorzien van pasfoto en vingerafdruk, altijd bij zich dragen. De gegevens staan genoteerd in een centraal register. De invoering stuit op weinig verzet.

 

 

 

PB van Jan Koning. Klik op pb voor vergroting.

 

 

PB van Jan Koning. Kik op pb voor vergroting.

Controle
Door het persoonsbewijs krijgen de Duitsers meer mogelijkheden om de Nederlanders te controleren, bijvoorbeeld in verband met de tewerkstelling in Duitsland en bij de jodenvervolging is het van grote betekenis. Ook de opsporing en arrestatie van verzetsmensen worden er een stuk makkelijker door.

 

Mede omdat de hiervoor genoemde gevolgen er nog niet waren stuit de invoering van het ‘pb’ op weinig verzet.

J
Vanaf medio 1941 wordt bij joden een dikke hoofdletter ‘J’ in hun PB gestempeld.

Ausweis
Het Persoonsbewijs wordt vaak verward met een Ausweis. Een Ausweis is echter niet hetzelfde als een persoonsbewijs, hoewel beide documenten vaak met hetzelfde woord worden aangeduid. Een Ausweis is een papier waarop staat dat men vergunning heeft om op een bepaalde plaats of gedurende een bepaalde tijd ergens aanwezig te zijn.

Ook kan een Ausweis een vrijstelling geven, zoals een vrijstelling voor de Arbeitseinsatz. Wie over straat moet gedurende de spertijd, heeft een Ausweis nodig. Ook voor het bezit van een fiets kon men onder bepaalde omstandigheden een Ausweis krijgen.


Trefwoorden: Ausweispersoonsbewijsjaar 1941

Propaganda

Met een overweldigende hoeveelheid propagandamateriaal proberen de Duitsers de Nederlandse bevolking te beïnvloeden.

 

 

 

 

 

Door middel van bioscoopjournaals, radio uitzendingen, pamfletten, brochures en kleurige affiches proberen de Duitsers de Nederlanders te winnen voor het nationaal-socialisme en te overtuigen van de uiteindelijke Duitse overwinning. Anti-joodse gevoelens worden aangewakkerd en de angst voor het communisme gevoed. Het effect is beperkt.

Victory
Door de uitzendingen van Radio Oranje, de illegale én legale kranten weten de Nederlanders dat de oorlog niet goed verloopt voor Duitsland. Ook werpen geallieerde vliegtuigen strooibiljetten uit waarin de Duitse propaganda wordt bestreden. De letter V staat symbool voor het Engelse Victory (overwinning). De Engelse leider Churchill maakt vaak het V-teken.

In de zomer van 1941 nemen de Duitsers de V over in hun campagne ‘V = Victorie, want Duitschland wint op alle fronten’. Als tegenactie gaan Nederlanders de affiches bekladden. De V wordt de W van Wilhelmina, of de V van Verliest of Verzuipt.

 

Schaarste, distributie en zwarte handel

Al voor de bezetting bestond in Nederland een distributiesysteem om schaarse, moeilijk te krijgen, levensmiddelen eerlijk te verdelen. Tijdens de bezetting daalt het levenspeil.

Invoer over zee is onmogelijk, de productie in Nederland daalt en veel Nederlandse goederen worden naar Duitsland afgevoerd. Echte koffie, thee en tabak zijn al snel bijna niet meer te krijgen en worden vervangen door surrogaatproducten van mindere kwaliteit.

Op de bon
Steeds meer producten komen ‘op de bon’ en zijn alleen te koop door bonnen, die uitgegeven worden door de overheid, in te leveren. Het rantsoen wordt steeds kleiner en het distributiesysteem ingewikkelder.

Ook producten die op de bon zijn, zijn soms moeilijk verkrijgbaar. Vaak staan er lange rijen voor de winkels. Bij distributie hoort onvermijdelijk bestrijding van zwarte handel en een systeem van prijsbeheersing.

Zwarte handel
Door deze schaarste ontstaat een zwarte handel in moeilijk te krijgen goederen. Sommige zwarthandelaren maken grote winsten. De naam zwarte markt is een directe Nederlandse vertaling uit het Duits. In Nederland heet het eerst ‘sluikhandel’. De Duitsers zijn erg tegen de zwarte handel en het zonder toestemming slachten van vee.

De sluikhandel geeft de Duitsers een mooi excuus: dat er schaarste is komt niet door de Duitsers maar door de zwarthandelaren! Als de zwarte handel verdwijnt is er voldoende voor iedereen! Met posters verspreidt de Duitse bezetter die boodschap.

Vervoer
Door benzinegebrek rijden er bijna geen auto’s meer. Bussen, auto’s en zelfs sommige brommers rijden met een gasgenerator. Daarin worden kolen of hout omgezet in gas. Op dat gas draait de motor. Bussen hebben daarom een soort aanhangwagen waar de generator op staat.

Sommige auto’s rijden met een enorme ballon gas op het dak. Voor taxi’s worden paarden gespannen. Trams en treinen rijden minder vaak en worden steeds voller. Door het tekort aan rubber verschijnen er fietsen met houten banden of fietsen met massief rubberen banden (gemaakt van oude autobanden) en met stepwielen (uiteraard alleen bij het voorwiel

Onderwijs

‘Mijn vader waarschuwde al in 1933: “Als de nationaal-socialisten aan de macht komen, is het gedaan met het christelijke onderwijs”. Daar was hij fel op tegen. In 1940 en 1941 werkten mijn ouders mee aan het illegale blad Vrij Nederland. Ik ben van huis uit in het verzetswerk terechtgekomen.
In die eerste tijd waren er nog maar weinig mensen die verzet pleegden. Die deden het eigenlijk allemaal uit overtuiging. Of ze nu communist, socialist of christen waren. Toen eenmaal duidelijk was dat Duitsland zou verliezen, kwamen er veel meer mensen bij.’
Hilde Dekker, medisch analiste in opleiding, Groningen

Religieus onderwijs
De bezetters willen het onderwijs gebruiken om de Nederlandse jongeren een nationaal-socialistische opvoeding te geven. Maar zij weten dat dit veel weerstand zal oproepen. In Nederland hecht men grote waarde aan het eigen onderwijssysteem, waarin verschillende religieuze groepen aparte scholen hebben (een kenmerk van de ‘verzuiling’).

De Duitsers zijn bang om de invloedrijke Nederlandse kerken tegen zich in het harnas te jagen en daarom blijven de Duitse maatregelen beperkt.

NSB’ers op school
Bij de benoeming van nieuwe leraren krijgen NSB’ers voorrang. Sommige schoolboeken worden verboden of veranderd. Het aantal verplichte uren Duits wordt uitgebreid. Onder leerlingen en leerkrachten is de stemming meestal fel anti-Duits.

Er doen veel moppen en liedjes de ronde waarin de nazi’s worden bespot. NSB-kinderen en NSB-leraren worden gepest. Door de ontwrichting van de samenleving neemt in de loop van de bezetting het aantal spijbelaars toe. De laatste oorlogswinter moeten veel scholen sluiten vanwege gebrek aan brandstof.

Kerken

‘Het gaf mij moed als de dominee openlijk opriep tot verzet. Ik merkte het ook bij mijn verzetswerk. Als er ergens een dominee heel principieel was, kon je er veel meer onderduikers plaatsen. In het zuiden van Nederland, waar bijna iedereen katholiek was, speelde dat nog veel sterker. Als de pastoor zei dat de onderduikers geholpen moesten worden, hielp vrijwel iedereen.’
Hilde Dekker, koerierster, Groningen

‘Op zondag ging ik twee keer naar de gereformeerde kerk. Er werd dan gebeden voor de koningin en de vervolgden. Dat gaf een ontzettende steun. Er waren momenten dat ik diep ontroerd was. Je snakte ernaar om iets positiefs te horen, iets van gezamenlijk opkomen voor de verdrukten. De kerken waren altijd overvol, je zat mannetje aan mannetje.’
Max Léons, ondergedoken joodse verzetsman

‘Mijn vader was een verzetsman. Het geloof was zijn grote inspiratiebron. Als meisje van tien, elf bracht ik codeboodschappen en bonkaarten weg. Soms bracht ik onderduikers naar een duikadres. Bij verhoor heb ik nooit wat losgelaten. De steun van God gaf me de kracht en moed om te doen wat er van me gevraagd werd. Ons sterkste wapen tegen de sadistische, satanische invaller was het gebed.’
Hilda Post, schoolmeisje, Nieuwlande

Protest
Voor het uitbreken van de oorlog hebben de Nederlandse kerken een grote invloed in het verzuilde Nederland. Al voor de oorlog veroordelen de Nederlandse kerken het nationaal-socialisme. Ook tijdens de bezetting is de invloed groot. De kerken worden goed bezocht.

Tijdens de bezetting sturen de kerken herhaaldelijk brieven naar Seyss-Inquart om te protesteren tegen de jodenvervolging en andere Duitse dwangmaatregelen. De kerkelijke protesten worden ook voorgelezen vanaf de preekstoel. Daarnaast roepen veel geestelijken de gelovigen op om onderduikers te helpen.

Vakbonden
De bezetter weet dat er in veel kerken een anti-Duitse stemming heerst. Toch treden de bezetters voorzichtig op tegen de kerken. Zij weten hoeveel invloed de kerken hebben en willen de vele Nederlandse gelovigen niet verder van zich vervreemden.

Indirect probeert de bezetter de kerkelijke invloed wel te verminderen door allerlei maatschappelijke instellingen onder nationaal-socialistische leiding te plaatse. Dit geldt bijvoorbeeld voor de katholieke en christelijke vakbonden in juli 1941. De kerken roepen de vakbondsleden op om het lidmaatschap op te zeggen. Slechts 5% zal lid blijven.

Cultuur en uitgaansleven

‘De slappe onnadenkende massa demonstreert dagelijks haar karakterloze houding door de bestorming der bioscopen, die als prima propagandaplaatsen door den vijand worden uitgebuit.’
Trouw, 15 oktober 1943

Kultuurkamer
De Duitsers proberen probeert naast de Nederlandse pers ook het culturele leven in Nederland te controleren en in te schakelen in de nationaal-socialistische propaganda. In november 1941 wordt de Kultuurkamer opgericht.

De Kultuurkamer is een beroepsvereniging onder NSB-leiding. Alle toneelspelers, musici, dansers, schrijvers, beeldend kunstenaars, filmers, fotografen, journalisten en zelfs boekhandelaren moeten zich aanmelden. Wie weigert mag zijn beroep niet langer uitoefenen.

De meeste podiumkunstenaars melden zich als lid. Veel beeldend kunstenaars weigeren. Zij kunnen makkelijker clandestien opdrachten uitvoeren. Kultuurkamer-weigeraars worden vaak actief in het verzet. Zij roepen het publiek op om de bioscopen en theaters te boycotten.

Bioscoop
Vanaf februari 1941 worden de Nederlandse bioscopen gebruikt voor Duitse propaganda. Het verzet roept op tot een boycot van de bioscopen maar dat heeft geen succes. Het bioscoopbezoek neemt juist toe. Er is tijdens de bezetting een grote behoefte aan afleiding en vermaak.

De propaganda neemt men voor lief. Soms laat het publiek in de donkere zaal demonstratief afkeurende reacties horen. Ook hier heeft de Duitse propaganda weinig invloed op de meeste Nederlanders

Deportatie en onderduik

‘Ik woonde in een joodse buurt. Ik heb mensen zoveel mogelijk proberen te helpen. Ze konden altijd voor één of twee nachten bij me terecht. Die razzia’s waren vreselijk, maar je werd wel hard hoor. Ja, wat zeg je tegen mensen als ze worden meegenomen. Je omhelst ze en wenst ze het allerbeste. Meer kun je toch niet?’
Miep Roestenburg, drogisterijhoudster, Amsterdam

‘De verhalen die je hoorde over wat er met de joden gebeurde, geloofde ik niet. Dat was zo verschrikkelijk, dat kon niet waar zijn. Achteraf blijken zelfs de ergste verhalen de waarheid nog niet te benaderen. Ik heb niks gedaan. Om echt wat te doen, moest je veel moed hebben. Ik was niet flink.’
Truus van der Zwaag, machinestikster op een naaiatelier, Amsterdam

Isolatie
De discriminatie en het isoleren van de Nederlandse joden van de rest van de Nederlandse bevolking gaat verder. Openbare gelegenheden worden verboden voor joden. Overal verschijnen bordjes met de tekst ‘Voor Joden verboden’. Er komen aparte joodse scholen.

Vanaf circa 1 mei 1942 moeten alle joden een gele ‘jodenster’ gaan dragen. Dan begint de deportatie; joden moeten zich melden voor “tewerkstelling in Duitsland”. Ondanks harde dreigementen besluiten velen zich niet te melden. Weer grijpt de bezetter hard in: wie zich niet meldt loopt de kans bij razzia’s te worden opgepakt.

Joodse Raad
Om de deportatie ordelijk en effectief te laten verlopen schakelt de bezetter de Joodse Raad in. Deze Joodse Raad wordt verantwoordelijk gemaakt voor de uitvoering van de deportatiemaatregelen. Ze werken mee ‘om erger te voorkomen’ en velen kunnen zich niet voorstellen wat het Duitse einddoel is. De raad kan bewijzen van uitstel verlenen, maar wie uitstel heeft, komt later toch aan de beurt.

Via het doorgangskamp Westerbork deporteren de bezetters 107.000 joden naar concentratiekampen, zoals Auschwitz en Sobibor. Van hen zullen er slechts 5.500 overleven. Ruim 25.000 joden duiken onder. Van deze groep wordt een derde alsnog opgepakt en omgebracht. In totaal wordt bijna 80% van de joodse bevolking in Nederland vermoord.

‘Mijn vader was politieman. Daardoor wist hij wie wanneer werd opgepakt. Dat gaf hij door aan mij, zodat ik de mensen kon waarschuwen. Soms was dat vreselijk. Ik herinner me een vrouw die gillend haar keuken in vloog terwijl haar man gelaten hun kleren ging inpakken. Dan was ik wel kapot hoor.’
Riek Ternouw, 23 jaar, zonder werk, Amsterdam

Walter Süskind
In Amsterdam worden circa 20.000 joden via de Hollandsche Schouwburg afgevoerd naar Westerbork. Medewerkers van de Joodse Raad helpen bij het wegsmokkelen van joodse kinderen uit de crèche tegenover de Hollandsche Schouwburg. Daar wachten de kinderen op deportatie. Ongeveer 500 van de 5.000 kinderen worden zo gered. Sommige joodse ouders leggen in wanhoop hun kind te vondeling, als laatste mogelijkheid om het te redden.

Walter Süskind, medewerker van de Joodse Raad, houdt toezicht op de gang van zaken in de Hollandsche Schouwburg. Hij gaat vertrouwelijk om met de Duitse bewakers. Soms voert hij ze zelfs dronken. Dat geeft hem de kans om zo’n 2000 gevangenen uit de Schouwburg en de crèche te redden. Samen met zijn assistent Felix Halverstadt verandert hij de gegevens in de kaartenbakken.

Als er weer een groep op transport moet, leidt Süskind de SS-bewakers af. Die horen dan even niet hoe Halverstadt de ‘vertrekkenden’ telt: 182, 183, 184, 195, 196 … Dit kan voor tien mensen de redding betekenen. Süskind zelf komt begin 1945 om bij de evacuatie van Auschwitz. Zijn vrouw, dochtertje, moeder en schoonmoeder zijn daar enkele maanden eerder vergast.

De familie Zendijk
Als de deportaties beginnen, praat de familie Zendijk over onderduiken. Het familiebedrijf in Deventer is door de Duitsers overgenomen, maar met de opbrengst van wat verborgen juwelen is misschien iets te regelen. Moeder wil echter niet dat het gezin van zes uiteenvalt.

Vader ontmoet voor zaken Jan Visscher uit Amsterdam. Die zegt: ‘Ik begrijp niet dat u met uw gezin uw ongeluk zit af te wachten.” Vader antwoordt: “Wie neemt er nu zes joden in huis?’ Waarop Visscher spontaan zegt: “Dan komen jullie maar bij ons.”

Visscher woont in zijn bedrijfspand aan de Prinsengracht. Voor de Zendijks wordt een achterhuis ingericht. Zonder jodensterren, maar met de J in het persoonsbewijs reizen ze op 5 januari 1943 per trein naar Amsterdam; er wordt niet gecontroleerd.

‘We aten, sliepen, plasten en wasten ons in één kamer’, vertelt dochter Roza, ‘schaamte was er niet meer bij.’
Roza mag als enige het achterhuis uit. Ze doet schoonmaakwerk in huis, zogenaamd als een nichtje uit Groningen.

“We hebben honger geleden, en overal zaten vlooien. Maar we hadden veel steun aan elkaar. Bij de bevrijding is de groepsfoto gemaakt. Er was blijdschap, maar later het drama van het verlies van zoveel familieleden. Mijn broer, mijn grootouders… Het was een trieste tijd.”

De familie Levy
De familie Levy woont in Varsseveld in de Achterhoek. Op kerstavond 1941 komt er een Nederlandse SS’er aan de deur. Het blijkt een schoolvriend van zoon Jonny. Hij waarschuwt: ‘Ga nooit werken in Duitsland. Er zijn kampen waar de joden worden vermoord.’

‘Vanaf dat moment’, vertelt Jonny, ‘begonnen mijn ouders te zorgen voor een eventuele onderduik; eentje voor henzelf en de andere voor hun drie zoons. Toen we op 10 april 1943 naar Amsterdam moesten verhuizen, was het moment aangebroken om te verdwijnen.’

De jongens komen in Lichtenvoorde op de boerderij van de familie Geurink. Er was een schuilkelder gemaakt. In het varkenshok was de ingang, afgedekt met een deksel. Het is te zien op de foto.

‘Later kwamen er nog vele onderduikers bij. Willem Geurink zat in de verzetsgroep Trouw. Hij hield met gevaar voor eigen leven mensen verborgen. Ik heb hem later weleens gevraagd waarom hij het allemaal gedaan had. Hij antwoordde dat die taak hem van boven was opgelegd.’

 

 

 


Kancah pertempuran Eropa rupanya berimbas juga pada keadaan di Hindia-Belanda. Bersamaan dengan ekspansi Jerman ke Belanda bulan Mei 1940, Pemerintah Kolonial Belanda di Indonesia menahan sebanyak 2.436 orang Jerman. Banyak diantara mereka merupakan pegawai kolonial, ahli budaya, insinyur, dokter, ahli minyak bumi dan juga diplomat bahkan seniman terkenal Walter Spies yang merupakan pendiri sekolah lukis di Bali juga ditangkap. Kemudian orang-orang Jerman ini dimasukkan dalam kamp pengasingan di Sumatra Utara . Proses penangkapan ini berlangsung hingga penghujung tahun 1941.(blackfile mywebblog)

 

 

A Javanese drayman is pictured driving a dray pulled by two horses in the foreground of image. A streetscape is pictured in the background

Image depicting a Drayman in Batavia (now Jakarta), Indonesia.

Black and white photograph from a photography album by David Ralph Goodwin, RAN. The album contains 108 black and white photographs from World War II, many highly significant, showing sea battles (live fire), survivors, wounded and the dead being buried at sea. The photographs are secured with photo corners – a few now adrift. Includes images of German troops evacuating from Greece; German airborne troops in front of Junkers; airborne assault on Crete; Singapore burning; and later actions in Coral Sea. Includes a photo of HMAS Canberra, which was sunk on 9 August 1942, in the Battle of Savo Island.

David Ralph Goodwin was born 14 November 1921 in Mordialloc. He enlisted 11 May 1938 in Melbourne, service number 22112, and became an Able Seaman. During World War II he served on HMA Ships Perth (19 May 1939 – 28 August 1941) and Hobart (29 August 1941 – 4 September 1942) before being transferred to HMAS Cerberus (5 September 1942 – 21 July 1943), the Royal Australian Navy’s Western Port training facility. He remained at HMAS Cerberus until June 1943 when he was diagnosed as suffering from anxiety neuroses. He was discharged on 21 July 1943. He formed the ex-HMAS Perth Association in 1966. David Ralph Goodwin died on the 4th of June 2011

 

Image depicting the main city square of Batavia (now Jakarta), Indonesia.

Main city square is pictured in image. A road is shown in the foreground with power lines overhead, buildings are pictured in the background of image

 

People are pictured washing their clothes in a canal

Image depicting people, who appear to be Indonesian nationals, washing their clothes in a canal. (Ciliwung )

 

A hotel is pictured in the middleground of image. A cleared area is pictured in the foreground, lettering on the building reads ‘Yen Pin’.

Image depicting a hotel in Batavia (now Jakarta), Indonesia.

 

People are pictured riding on an electric tramcar at Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies

Image of a tramcar in Batavia (now Jakarta), Indonesia.

Source: Museum Victoria

Look the video of Jakarta 1941

Klik

http://www.google.com/imgres?start=135&biw=1360&bih=587&tbm=isch&tbnid=XCjlXapA_fDvxM:&imgrefurl=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DcjllUOljaKg&docid=14il7U-BFdspPM&imgurl=https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Mq0AaJt_AAQ/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/FAVKAauUHmc/s48-c-k/photo.jpg&w=48&h=48&ei=W8hcUvrZJMHJrAeBl4EI&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=501&vpy=42&dur=3401&hovh=224&hovw=225&tx=102&ty=97&page=6&tbnh=146&tbnw=142&ndsp=31&ved=1t:429,r:46,s:100,i:142

 

 

 

 

Gedung Socitet Jogya 1941

 

Sekarang kalau orang menyebut Gedung Societet akan menunjuk kawasan Shoping Center sebelah timur, yang memang bernama “Societet”. Tempatnya kumuh, sungguh bahu, dekat pasar sayur sehingga semrawut dan macet. Namun, apabila melihat foto Gedung Societet tahun 1941, orang seperti meliat bangunan yang “lain” dengan sekarang. Ada suasana yang berbeda dari sekarang. Inilah Yogyakarta, dalam kurum waktu cukup lama telah mengalami banyak perubahan dari segi fisik, meskipun dari segi nama tidak berubah. Lihatlah Gedung Societet tahun 1941

Bandung 1941

Orang Tionghoa Pejabat Hindia Belanda tahun 1941(sumber Reegering Almanac 1941)

Batavia

Afdelling Financiele ,Schatkistambtenaar de klasse K.T.Liem

 Dienst Der Oost-Aziatische Zaken

Hooftranslateur voor de Japansche S.Cho(Tsang Tsui Shih) sejak 1 januari 1939

Regenstschap Kediri

Hoofdcommies : Tan tek beng ,10 mei 1940

Major,Kapitein , Letnan der Chinesen

Regenstschap Batavia

Chineesche Raad

Voorsitter Khouw Kim An (Majoor de Chinesen 3 februari 1937)

Sekretaris Tan Boen Sing,11 April 1922,

 Leden

Lie Tjian Tjoen 17 Agustus 1029(kapitein de chinesen)                                                                                         Lie Boen Sin,27 sept 1929(lieutenant)

Niet ambtelijke Leden

Ong Kek Tjiaoe,21 april 1931                                                                                                                           Dr Tjiong Boen Kie, 9 maret 1940

 

Gouvernment Sumatra

Residentie Atjeh

Afdeelling Noordkust van Atjeh (Sigli)

Onderafdeelling Sigli

Luitenant der Chineezen Tjong Tjhi Tjhaij, 31 des. 1926

Onderafdeelling Lho’Seumawe

Luitenant der Chineezen Tan Joe Sin, 19 oct.1922

Onderafdeelling Bireuen

Luitenant der Chineezen Wong Tjiauw ,26 sept 1913

Afdeelling Oostdkust van Atjeh met Alaslanden Gajoloeas en Serbodjadi (Langsa)

Onderafdeelling Idi

Luitenant der Chineezen Chioe Sim Aann, 20 Jan 1918

Onderafdeelling Langsa

Luitenant der Chineezen Tjoeng Ted Joeng, 21 Maret 1918

Onderafdeelling Tamiang(Koealasimpang)

Luitenant der Chineezen Moe Tin Siong

 

 

Residentie Oostkust van Sumatra

Afdeelling Deli en Serdang (Medan)

Onderafdeelling Beneden Deli(Medan)

Major  der Chineezen Khoe Tjin Tek

Luitenant der Chineezen medan Oei han Tiong                                                                                                      Luitenant der Chineezen Laboeandeli : Hsu Hua Chang                                                                                             Luitenant der Chineezen Belawan : Oey Chin Kiat.

Afdeelling Simaeloengoen en De Karolanden(Pematangsiantar)

Onderafdeelling Simaeloengoen (Pematangsiantar)

Luitenant der Chineezen :  Ang Cheng

Residentie Tapanoeli

Afdeelling Sibolga

Luitenant der Chineezen : Lim Hoh Eng

Afdeelling Nias Goenoeng Sitoli

Onderafdeelling Nias en omligende eilanden(Goenoeng Sitoli)

Luitenant der Chineezen :    Lim Eng The

Onderafdeelling Batoe-eilande(Poelau Tello)

Luitenant der Chineezen :     Go Tiauw Hie, 16 juni 1932

 

 

 

Residentie Riouw en Onderhooringheden

Onderafdeelling Selat Pandjang

Luitenant der Chineezen : Kan Tjong Ho ,1 oct 1934

Onderafdeelling Bagan Siapi-api

Luitenant der Chineezen : LOe Tjin Poh

Afdelling Tandjoengpinang

Kapiten de chineesen te Tandjong Pinang : Oei Pit Ship,8 Sept .1930                                                                  Luitenant der chineesen voor Zuid Bintan : Tan Foo Kong,18 Okt.1915                                                            Luitenant der Chineesen voor  Noord-Bintan : Tan Swie Kie,19 juli 1916                                                       Luitenant der Chineesen te Pl,Boeloeh : Tan Joe She,1 aug 1930

Onderafdelling Karimoen (Tandjoengbalai)

Luitenant der Chineesen te                                                                                                                                Tandjoengbalai Oei Kim Hoe,29 Maret 1935                                                                                                          Tandjoeng batoe Wong Seap Par, 27 April 1929

Onderafdelling Linga(Dao Singkep)

Luitenant der Chineesen te                                                                                                                                          Penoeba : Lie Eng Goan,20 dec 1938                                                                                                               Dabo(singkep): Tjoa meng Koei, 15 Sept.1938

Onderafdelling Poelau Toedjoeh(Terempa)

Luitenant der Chinesen terempa : Tjioe Tiong Thin ,Feb 1938

Afdelling Inderagiri (Rengat)

Luitenant der Chineesen Go Koen Sia ,16 jan.1936

(Dr iwan pernah kerumah nya tahun 1985, dan bertemu putranya, dan membeli beberapa koleksi almarhum seperti lukisan Tiongkok,dan medali yang diperolehnya dari gubernur jendral dan juga ada postal history masa revolusi berupa dokumen dengan metera pendudukan jepang)

 

Onderafdelling Inderagirische Benelanden (Tembilahan)

Luitenant der Chineesen tembilahan Lauw Tio Sia,1 jan.1936

 

 Residentie west Sumatra 1941

Kapten etnis Tionghoa Padang :

 Liem Tjhoen Goan (sejak  1 April 1937)                

 Letnan etnis Tionghoa Pariaman:

 Ghan Ho Ie (sejak  19 sept.1906)              

Letnan etnis  Tionghoa Bukittinggi(Fort de Kock) dan Padang Panjang   :

Tjoa sin Soe (sejak 4 Maret 1929)                                                                                                      Letnan etnisTionghoa Payakumbuh :

Tjoa Seng Lian (sejak 18 maret 1939),                                                                                                                   putranya Tjoa Tjoan Soei menikah dengan adik mertua Dr iwan Oei Tiong Hien, Oei Soei                                                                                                                                                                                                  Heng dan putranya Ien.

Residentie Palembang

Onderafdeling Hoofplaats Palembang  en Banjoeasinstreken(Palembang)

Kapiten der Chineesen Kwee Gan Keng, 9 Jan.1934

Residentie Bangka en Billiton

(hofdplaats Pangkalpinang)

Onderafdelling Midden-Bangka(Pangkalpinang)

Kapitein der Chinesen  Bong Joeng Kin ,24 dec 1932 Luitenant der Chinesen Se Siong Men, 24 Dec 1932

Afdelling Biliton(Tandjoengpandan)

Kapitein titulair de chineesen :Phong Jong Fong, 25 Maret 1938

Residentie Westerafdeelling van Borneo(hoofdplaats Pontianak)

Afdeeling Pontianak

Onderafdeelling Pontianak

Kapitein der chineezen Kwee Eng Hoe

Onderafdeelling Singkawang

Kapitein der Chineezen te

 Singkawang :  Theng Soen Teng                                                                                                                  Pemangkat : Lie Kian Nam                                                                                                                              Montrado : Eo Djong Khim

Onderafdeelling Bengkajang

Kapitein der Chineezen Lim A Lak

Onderafdeelling Sambas

Kapitan der Chineezen Tjen Fai Tjong

Onderafdeelling Mempawah

Kapitan der Chineezen Tjang Fen Sen

 

Residentie Zuider en Oosterafdelling van Borneo

Afdelling Bandjarmasin

Kapitein der chineesen  Tjoe Tay An , 5 April 1918

Onderafdellig Martapoera

Kapitein titulair der Chinesen Oey Tay Poen, 24 Agustus 1923

Afdelling Samarinda

Luitenant der Chineesen  voor  de onderafdelling Koetai en Boven Mahakam (standplaats Samarinda) : Ngo Keng Tjoen, 6 sept 1918

Onderafdelling Oost-Koetai

Luitenant der Chineesen te Sanga-sanga Dalam : Tan Keng Ban (voor het onderdistrict sanga-sanga) 21 maret 1928

Onderafdelling Balikpapan

Luitenant der Chineesen Voor het onderdistrict Balikpapan : Wong Thay Hin, 28 Agustus 1933

Afdeelling Boeloengan BN Beroe(Tarakan)

Onderafdeeling Beraoe(Tandjoeng Redeb)

Luitenant der Chineezen  Lim Kim Fen, 3 Juli 1940

Residentie Manado

Berau

Conniezeen redacteur : E.K.Njo,12 sept 1935

Afdeelling Dongala

Luitenant der Chineezen  Tjoa Tiong Hean, 30 Jan 1930

Residentie Timor en Onderhoorigheden

Onderafdeelling Koepang

Kapitein der chineezen  Lie San Njan, 15 feb 1925

Hoof de Chineezen Tjioe Tek Giok,29 april 1925- Tjioe Soen Seng(Babaoe Koepang)-Tjong Soei Tap(Tjamplong Koepang), Tjoeng KIe Seng(Naiklioe-Koepang).

 

 

Onderafdeelling Roti(Baa)

Hoof de Chineezen Djong Kiet Hien,29 Agustus 1940

Onderafdeelling Zuid-midden Timor(Soe)

Hoof de Chineezen Ta A Hin(Niki-niki), Tan Kion Tjeang(Kapan), Sea I Hoat(SoE)

Onderafdeelling Nord-midden Timor(Kofannanoe)

Hoof de Chineezen Tan Foe Djoen

Onderafdeelling Beloe(Atamboea)

Hoof de Chineezen Laij Ko Hie(atamboea)

 

Afdeelling Alor ( Kalabahi)

Hoof de Chineezen Ong Gwan Tjin alias Ong Kie Seng,27 April 1938

Onderafdeelling Ende

Hoof de Chineezen  Lie Siang tek, 12 Juni 1939

Onderafdeelling Maoemere(maoemere)

Hoof de Chineezen  Ong Ka Tjao, 12 Juni 1929

Onderafdeelling Mangarai (Roeteng)

Hoof de Chineezen  Pius The Kie Teng, 14 Maret 1938

Afdeelling Soembawa en Soemba(Raba)

Onderafdeelling Bima(Raba)

Hoof de Chineezen  Oei Si KOan, 28 Nov  1936

Onderafdeelling Soembawa(soembawabesar)

Hoof de Chineezen  Oei Si Moe alias Oei Hok Goei(soembawa besar), Wong Jat Hwa(Taliwang)

Onderafdeelling Oost Soemba (Waingapoe)

Hoof de Chineezen  Lie Thiauw La,15 Juni 1938

Gouvernment Soerakarta

Afdeelling Soerakarta

Kapitein  der Chineezen soerakarta  Ing Siang Tan

Luitent der chineezen sragen Liem Poo Djong

Orang Minang Sebagai Pejabat Hindia Belanda Ssumtera Barat tahun 1941(sumber  Regeering Alamanac 1941)

 

Hoofplaats Padang                                                                                                                    

 

Districthoofd ter beschikking :

Ahmad Arif gelar Datoek Madjo Oerang sejak 12 Juni 1939

 

Bereau   Commies redacteur :                                                                                                           Abdul Hadis sejak 14 juli 1939

 

Veldpolitie en Rechersche                                                                                                                    Wedana van politie : Amadin gelar Soetan Marah Bangso sejak 28 juni 1938 Assitent-wedana by de Reserche : Soelaiman Effendi sejak 28 juni 1938

 

Afdelling Zuid Benedenlanden (Padang)

 

Assisten-wedana  van Politie : Kaharoedin gelar Datoek Rangkajo Basa sejak 12 Juni 1939                                                                                                                                                Leutenant der voor Indier : Mohammad bin Saiboe Gandoe sejak 14 Mei 1937

 

Afdelling Tanahdatar (Padangpandjang)

 

Assisten-wesna de Reserche : Mohammad Talib gelar Radja nan Soetan sejak 11 oktober 1935

 

 

Afdelling Agam (Fort De Kock)

Assiten-wedana de Reserche : Boerhanooeddin gelar Soetan mangkoeto

 

Afdelling Limapoeloeh Kota (Pajakoemboeh)

Assisetn-wedana van Politie: Mohammad Talib gelar Radja Nan Soetan sejak 29 Desember 1938

 

 

Afdelling Solok (Sawah Loento)

Assisten WEdana van reserche : Marah Hasan gelar Datoek Batoeah sejak 30 Juni 1939

( Sumber regeering alamanac 1941)

MORE INFO LOOK

Dr IWAN BOOK

THE INDONESIA TIONGHOA HISTORY COLLECTIONS

PADANG WEST SUMATRA TIONGHOA COLLECTIONS

PADANG WEST SUMATRA MIANGKABAU  COLLECTIONS

COPYRIGHT @ Dr IWAN 2013

 

 

KISI INFO INDONESIA 1942 (BERSAMBUNG)

KOLEKSI SEJARAH INDONESIA

1942

 

 

 

OLEH

Dr Iwan Suwandy , MHA

EDISI PRIBADI TERBATAS

KHUSUS UNTUK KOLEKTOR  DAN HISTORIAN SENIOR

Copyright @ 2013

INI ADALAH CUPLIKAN DAN CONTOH BUKU KOLEKSI SEJARAH INDONESIA HASIL PENELITIAN Dr  IWAN , HANYA DITAMPILKAN SEBAGIAN INFO DAN ILUSTRASI TAK LENGKAP.

BUKU YANG LENGKAP TERSEDIA BAGI YANG BERMINAT HUBUNGGI LIWAT KOMENTAR(COMMENT) DI WEB BLOG INI

sORRY FOR THE UNEDITED ARTICLES BELOW,I DID  TO PROTEC T AGAINST THE COPY WITHOUT PERMISSSION

 

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

PENEMU DAN PRESIDEN PERTAMA

PERHIMPUNAN

KISI

(KOLEKSTOR INFORMASI SEJARAH INDONESIA)

TAHUN 2013-2020

SEJEN KISI

LILI WIDJAJA,MM

DEWAN KEHORMATAN

KETUA

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

ANGGOTA

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ANTON JIMMI SUWANDY ST.MECH.

 

ANNGOTA KEHORMATAN

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ANNGOTA

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BAGI YANG BERMINAT MENJADI ANGGOTA KISI

MENDAFTAR LIWAT  EMAIL KISI

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mengirimkan foto kopi KTP(ID )terbaru dan melunasi sumbangan dana operasional KISI untuk seumur hidup sebanyak US50,-

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Copyrught @ Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA 2013

Forbidden to copy without written permission by the author

PENGANTAR

Setelah melakukan penelitian selama kurun waktu empat puluh tahun  dari tahun 1973 ampai 2013 akhirnya saat ini telah ditemukan  informasi dengan ilustrasinya yang cukup lengkap yang berhubungan dengan sejarah Indonesia .

Saya telah berhasil mengumpulkan sebuah koleksi sejarah Indonesia yang merupakan salah satu koleksi terbaik dan terlengkap didunia,kendatipun sebagian ada yang telah dijual kepada kolektor lain tetapi ilustrasinya dan informasinya  ada dalam buku ini

 Penelitian ini dapat diselesaikan berrkat bantuan dari beberapa teman seperti  keluarga almarhum Soewil, Pak Cong , teman-teman di Sumatera barat yang banyak membantu saya dalam mengumpulkan koleksi dari Sumatera Barta, Herry Hutabarat , Aris siregar , teman di Medan,dan Jakarta  yang bnayak memberikan dorongan kepada saya untuk menyelesaikan penelitian ini  yang sangat penting bagi generasi mendatang . untuk itu saya ucapkan ribuan terima kasih

Untuk mereka dapat belajar dari sejarah, sehingga tidak mengulangi kesalahan yanm yang sma dan memanfaatkan hal yang benar dalam memecahkan maslah masa kini dan merupakan data awal dalam menyusun rencana masa depan/

Jakarta 2013

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA 

The Author Profile

.I starting stamps collection during 1955 very young boy. look my vintage photo with mother Diana lanny and father Djohan Oetama at Bukittingi West Sumatra 1955, my father passed away in 1985 and my mother just passed away in june 2011 at  91 years old.

b.Between 1960-1963, during study at Don Bosco high school I had started collected beside stamps all type of informations collections due to my Teacher Frater Servaas told me that I must collected the Informations due to the develping the satellite which made the globalizations which the growing of world cmmunications will became fast and no border between the nations countries, who have the Information he will became the leader and the King in communications, thank you Frater Servaas your info which made me could built the very best informations communications uniquecollection blog in the world.
Look at in memoriam Frater Servaas with my teacher at Frater middle school in memrian Frater Eric at my House during my Sister Erlita 17th years birthday in 1963.


also look my profile with my loving teacher who still alive and stay at Padang city west sumatra Pak Sofjanto at my house in the same time of the photo above


c.Between 1973-1983 many interesting history which related with the stamp and postal history and also with my life :
1. In 1972 I have graduated Medical Doctor(MD)

2.as the temporary assitenst at Pulmonology (Lung Disease) department in Medical faculty

3.In 1973 join the medical officer of Indonesia National Police


4.in September 1973 I was merried with Lily W.


5. in 1974 my first son Albert our photographer was born in November 1974, and later in January 1977 born my second son Anton our Editor .
a. Albert at Solok city west Sumatra 1978

b.Anton at Solok city 1978


6. Between 1975 until 1989 I have travelled around Indonesia myself or officially and I have found many uniquecollections that time.

7.In 1985 I have made a postal communications, I have send the aerogram to all Postal services in the capital city of all oin the world, 90 % send to me back the official cover,this could be done by the helping of Padang postmaster Ahmadsyah Soewil, his father collections I had bought in 1980.
The vintage photo of Soewil St.marajo ,during the chief of Painan West Sumatra Post office
look his photos

During Dai Nippon occupation he still at Painan and during Indonesia Independence war he was the Finance officer of Padang office and later in 1950-1959 the chief of TelukBayur Harbour west Sumatra post office, seme of the rare West sumatra during Dai Nippon occupation and Indonesia Inedependence war were his collectins,thankyou Family Soewil for that rare collections(complete infrmatins source Dai nippon occupatin sumatra under Malaya Singapore or Syonato Dai Nippon military Administrations and Indonesia Independence war collections.

8. Before between 1979-1985 I have joint the postal circuit club and I have found many covers from all over the world especially Latin America.This circuit as the help of my friend Frans,now he was in Bogor.

9.In 1990 I was graduate my Master Hospital Administration.


10.Between 1990-1994
I was n the duty at West Borneo and visit Sarwak,and i have fund some rare Sarawak stamps, revenue there and in Pontianak I have found rare sarawak coins

11.Between 1995 until 2000
I am seeking the postally used cover from the countries I havenot found especailly the new freedom countries.
All the postal stamps and covers I will arranged in the very exciting and unique collections, I will starting with Asia Countries, and later Africa, Australia, America and Euro.
This special collections were built dedicated to my Sons,especially the histrical fact from my vintage books collections as the rememberance what their father collected and I hope they will keep this beautiful and histric collections until put in speciale site in the CyberMuseum.
I hope all the collectors all over the world will help me to complete the collections, frm Asia I donnot have the cover from Bhutan,Mongol, Tibet, and SAfghanistan.but the stamps I have complete from that countries except my thematic bridge on the river kwai from Myanmar and Thailand.
12. In the years of 2000, I was retired from my job
this is my official profile just before retired.


13, Between 2000-2008
I am travelling around Asia,and starting to arranged my travelling unque collections.
14. December,25th 2008
I built the uniquecollection.wordpress.com Blog with articles :
(1). The Unique books collections
(2). The Unique Stamps collectins
(3). The rare Coins collections
(4). The rare ceramic collections
(5.) The Unique label collectins
(6.) The Travelling Unque collections (now changed as the Adventures of Dr iwan S.
(7). The Tionghoa Unique Collections
(8.) The Asia Unique Collections
(9.) The Africa Unique collections
(10). The Padang minangkabau CyberMuseum                                                              

15. In 2010

I built another web :

(1) hhtp://www.iwansuwandy.wordpress.com

(2)hhtp://www.Driwancybermuseum.wordpress.com

In this web the collectors will look the amizing collections:

(1) The Vietnam War 1965-1975, and another Vietnam Historic collections like Vienam during Indochina, Vienam Diem War 1955-1963,etc

(2) The Dai Nippon War 1942-1945, five part in homeland,pasific war,in Korea,in China, in south East Asia including Indonesia.

(3) The Indonesia Independence War  1945,1946,1947,1948,1949 and 1950.

(4) The Uniquecollections from all over the world.

(5) The Icon Cybermuseum, including Bung Karno,Bung Hatta,Sultan Hemangkubuwono, and also from foreign countries Iran,Iraq Sadam huseun ,Palestina jerusalam,turkey,afghanistan, libya Moamer Khadafi, Suriah , etc

(6) The Rare Ceramic Collections found In Indonesia, like China Imperial Tang,Yuan,Ming and Qing; also euro ceramic from delf,dutch maastrict ,etc

(7) The Indonesian History Collections  and many other collections

AT LEAST AFTER THE ALL OF MY COLLECTIONS ENTER THE CYBERMUSEUM AND OTHER WEB BLOG, I WILL ASKING TO GET  THE MURI CERTIFICATE.(INDONESIAN RECORD MUSEUM)

8. I also built a amizing collections due to my premium member prefered, like The Indonesia Revenue Collections from 19th to 20th century, the mysteri of the Indonesian vienna Printing Stamps, the China  Gold Coins, The Rare Chian imperial ceramic design foun in Indonesia, The Tionghoa (Indonesia Chinese Overseas collection), Penguasa Wanta di dunia(Women in Leaders) etc.

5. At Least thankyou verymuch to all the collectors who have visit my blog and support me, my last prestation in June 2011 (26 years from the first starting to built the e-antique or uniquecollections info in internet) :

(1) hhtp://www.Driwancybermuseum : visit 60.000, the highest per day 3200.

(2)hhtp://www.iwansuwandy.wordpress.com:visit 21.000,the highest per day 200.

(3)hhtp://www.uniquecollection.wordpress.com, visit 40.000,the highest per day 210.

Jakarta October 2013

Greatings from teh founder

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Indonesia History Collections 1943

The Dai Nippon

Occupation  java History Collections In 1942

 

Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private limited E-BOOK IN CD-ROM EDITION

Copyright @ 2013

The Dai Nippon occupation Indonesia

History Collections

Part One

1942

 Based On Dr Iwan’s Postal and Archives History Collections

 

Created By

 

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private Limited E-BOOK IN CD-ROM Edition

Special For Senior  Collectors

Copyright @ 2012

 

Introduction

What caused the Japanese agression and what were the consequences?

Few people dwell on the fact that Holland in the 19th century gave an important contribution to the metamorphosis which happend to Japan, that is, from a from the outside world secluded country to an internationally important industrial power. Among other things Holland tought Japan a lot on shipbuilding and thus enabling Japan to become a formidable navel force.

By the strong industrialisation Japan was confronted with the fact it hardly had any essential commodoties. Looking at the western powers which supplied themselves around 1900 through their colonies (The Netherland was fighting in the Indonesian archipel for the rich oil supplies in Atjeh), Japan had an eye on Manchuria, where also Russia wanted an interest however. This resulted in the Japanese-Russian war which was mainly fought at sea and was won by Japan in 1905.
With this feat Japan put itself on the world map. But the western powers didn’t allow Japan to annex Manchuria; though they did agree for Japan to colonise Korea and Taiwan (Formosa).


Picture: http://www.sh15aug1945.nl

This belittleling of Japan by the west was an eyesore to the Japanese military. After the death in 1912 of the Japanese emperor Meiji, under who’s government Japan developed industrially, his physically and mentally weak son becampe emperor. During his weak governement, which is called the Taisho-period in Japanese era counting, the military arranged his son Hirohito, and grandson to the glorious Meiji-emperor, was raised and trained from child on in a strong military way. Though Hirohito didn’t have a martial appearence, he turned out to be intellectual military gifted.

When Hirohito in 1926, after his father’s death, became emperor – the Showa-period – the military seized the opportunity to gradually mold the Japanese state to their will. Eventually the result was a military dictatorship, under which the Japanese civilians, by means of indoctrination of self-sacrificing for the emperor, would groan until mid 1945. The indoctrination even went this far that everyone was expected to give ones life for the emperor. One of the results was that many military men didn’t repent for the acts of war and atrocities committed in name of their emperor.

In 1931 the Japanese army succeeded, by a provoked ‘incident’, to annex Manchuria and in this manner as yet obtain the ‘rightful prize’ of the Russian-Japanese war. After this happened, and the international community protested but stayed idle, their eyes were turned at China. Also the western powers were extanding their influence in China – in Shanghai there was a British, German and French enclave and the British tried with the import of opium to tackle the weak Chinese gouvernment. But Japan wanted to be ‘Asia for the Asians’.

In 1933

Japan deliberately left the Nations Union. In this way it withdrew itself from the international fleet treaties, by means of which the international community tried to block the expansion of the Japanese fleet. Japan now planned a very strong armed force, and executed this. It built the heavy cruisers which were 30% larger than their probable adverts, their super battleships even almost 50%. The new Japanese torpedo was almost twice as big, with a three times larger range and it had no visible bubble track. The army, in the mean time hardened in years of campaigns, specialised in jungle war fare; for which purpose an effective gun was developed. The Mitsubishi fighter plane, the ‘Zero’, was to be a great surprise in the first year of the war to the allies because of its manoeuvrability.

Despite this military superiority the advance started in 1936

 in China stagnated, a thrust inland and the moved capital Tsjoengking failed to occur. Despite more landings and mass-executions like the ‘Rape of Nanking’ – where hundreds of thousands of civilians were murdered in a horrific way – the army and navy had little successes to report to confirm their heroism.


To free themselves from this pressing situation the Japanese military decided, with the knowledge of emperor Hirohito, to control entire South-East Asia.

 The first step of this Nanjo-plan was the occupation of some strategical islands south of China in the spring of 1939.

Because of the alliance with Germany next free entry to French Indo-China in September could be exorted from the collaborating Vichy-government in France.

This led to negotiations with the United States, which threatened with an oil-boycot when China and Indo-China weren’t vacated. In the mean time Japan sent a delegation to Batavia to arrange the supply of oil from the Netherlands Indies.

1921

 

 Son of emperor Taiso

 

War Responsibility and Historical Memory: Hirohito’s Apparition

Herbert P. Bix

Since the appearance of Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan in 2000, the unearthing in Japan of new information on the Asia-Pacific war has proceeded apace. Historical war narratives using new documentary evidence and drawing on the insights of various disciplines continue to appear. Oral history, women’s history, studies of war prisoners and international law, even theories of postwar “reconciliation,” have widened the perspectives of Japanese historians.

Thanks to the work of many progressive historians the ethical dimensions of military history are being opened up and explored as never before. [1] But in no fundamental way have these scholarly efforts altered the picture of Hirohito as the activist, dynamic, politically empowered emperor who played a central role in Japan’s undeclared wars.

The following discussion recapitulates some of the arguments that I presented earlier when analyzing Hirohito’s leadership at the policy level, then goes beyond them to address problems of historical memory. [2] The same Nuremberg and Tokyo principles of individual and state responsibility for war crimes, however, inform this essay just as they did my book.

Introduction

Japan’s wars of the 1930s and early 1940s

 inflicted on the peoples of Asia and the Pacific tremendous human and material losses. Over ten million Chinese died from the effects of the war that began in 1937, with some estimates of actual deaths running twice as high.

 Within countries occupied after 1941 by Japanese forces

 and later fought over by the Allies, massive numbers of combatants and non-combatant civilians died, including over a million Filipinos. Tens of thousands of war prisoners fell into Japanese hands. Many of them died in captivity and many others from US “friendly fire.” Japanese forces detained 130,000 to more than 140,000 civilians for the duration of the war. [3]

At its end, Japan itself lay prostrate, its cities in ruins, its people demoralized. Official Japanese government underestimates say that 3.1 million Japanese died in the Asia-Pacific War. Of that number about 800,000 were non-combatant civilians, most of them victims of American fire bombing and atomic bombing in the war’s final months. [4] American combat deaths of about 123,000 in the Pacific pale in comparison. [5]

The individual who oversaw these wars and in whose name they were fought, Hirohito, was forty-one-years-old when Japan unconditionally surrendered its armed forces. Two decades earlier, upon ascending the throne, he had taken the auspicious reign-title “Showa” (“illustrious peace”). But for the emperor and his subjects, and especially for the people of Asia and the Pacific, there would be no peaceful times in the two decades that followed.

 

 

Hirohito: Japan’s Last Empowered Emperor

In the years between November 1921 and December 25, 1926, before the shy, taciturn Hirohito succeeded his ailing father, the Taisho emperor, he had been displayed to the Japanese nation as the dynamic representative of “young Japan,” the embodiment of Japanese morality, the person destined to invigorate the imperial house. Two years later the Showa emperor and his entourage strengthened the monarchy’s links to state Shinto through year-long enthronement ceremonies that mixed Western-style military reviews with nativistic religious rites while elevating Hirohito to the status of a living deity.

Hirohito’s enthronement portrait

Hirohito’s enthronement helped to move Japan in a more nationalistic direction. It was based on the theocratic myth of an imperial house whose destiny was defined by the emperor—a human in form but actually a deity ruling the country in an uninterrupted line of succession. No matter what project the emperor undertook, his “subjects” were presumed and required to be absolutely loyal in “assisting” him from below.

 In newspapers and on the radio the message echoed throughout the land that Japan had broken with its immediate past; it now had a monarch cast in the mold of his illustrious grandfather, Emperor Meiji, who (in the words of Hirohito’s first imperial rescript) had “enhanced the grandeur of our empire” and never allowed himself to be treated as a puppet.

For Hirohito, like most Western heads of state, empire, national defense, and national greatness were primary. Given his strongly opportunistic nature, he would extend Japan’s control over China when given the chance. In other words, as a traditional imperialist and nationalist, he was firmly committed to protecting Japan’s established rights and interests abroad even in the face of the rising world tide of anti-colonial nationalism. But he was also highly sensitive to the internal balance of political forces and even more totally dedicated to preserving the monarchy.

Hirohito differed from other contemporary rulers in the type of Machiavellianism that he practiced in order to maintain the monarchy and extend the reach of the Japanese state. Like successful Western imperialists, Hirohito was able to effectively deploy the rhetoric of ethics, virtue, and morality as means to mobilize his nation for war.

 He and the elites who protected him treated international law as a fetter on their freedom of action and they were not averse to using scheming and trickery for purposes of national defense. [6] Hirohito alone, however, could display leadership by using the technique of the substantive question that carried the force of a command.

 He was also unique in his view of Japan’s colonial and semi-colonial rights as his genealogical inheritance from his dead ancestors. Since childhood he had been taught that his ancestors, not his living “subjects,” were the source of his authority and the object of his responsibility—the sole entities to whom he was morally accountable. [7] Hirohito’s denial of responsibility for errors of policy and judgment pervaded the entire structure of Japanese collective decision-making.

The young Hirohito was neither bellicose nor intellectually shallow. He was serious, methodical, energetic, and intelligent; he was also physically slight and quite inarticulate. He had been carefully groomed to exercise imperial oversight through building and maintaining consensus so as to achieve unity in policy-making. Above all, he had been trained to make rational judgments as both head of state and supreme commander. [8]

Yet from the start occasions arose when passion and ideology intruded; on these occasions Hirohito, the unifier, blundered badly.

The Meiji constitution gave him great power and authority which could not be restricted by the political parties in the Diet. It positioned him at the intersection of politics and military affairs—allowing him on occasion to move the entire government.

 Eager to assert the prerogatives of imperial power that his own father had been unable to exercise, Hirohito, with the strong encouragement of his entourage, soon fired his first prime minister.

Their main grievance against prime minister General Tanaka Giichi, was that Tanaka wanted to punish two young officers who in June 1928 had assassinated the Chinese warlord Chang Tso-lin (Japan’s chief collaborator in China’s Manchuria), rather than hush up their crime as Tanaka’s cabinet ministers wanted. [9]

Hirohito persisted in influencing from behind the scenes the policies and conduct of the two prime ministers that followed. In 1930 his determination to achieve arms control in concert with the US and Britain led him and his close advisers to give inadequate attention to consensus-building among the elites.

They forced through Japan’s acceptance of the London Naval Treaty of 1930 over the objections of the navy’s minority faction, who believed that Japan had to be able to brandish naval power on a par with the Anglo-Americans if it was to achieve its national goals. The backlash from the minority factions in both services, and from politicians in the Diet who agreed with them, came swiftly.

By making the Court a new, institutionally independent player in an era of party cabinets, Hirohito and his Court Group undermined the tenuous system of party cabinet government that had begun to develop around the time of Meiji’s death. [10]

Meanwhile, out of public view, Hirohito was slowly forming his own political space within a complex system of institutions and processes, designed to protect him, so that he could exercise positive leadership at will, and not merely serve as a passive monarch sanctioning policies presented to him by the cabinet.

Hirohito tells us that over time he improved his modus operandi, becoming more adept at practicing self-restraint and avoiding actions and comments that could incur criticism.

After the eruption of the Manchurian Incident in September 1931, in the face of the global Great Depression, Japan’s domestic political situation became increasingly unstable.

 Hirohito and the men surrounding him then made a series of decisions with disastrous consequences for both China and Japan. Instead of demanding the punishment of insubordinate officers who had staged that incident, Hirohito accepted the army’s fait accompli, joined in the cover-up of the facts, and failed to back the efforts of the incumbent party cabinet to bring the Kwantung Army to heel.

Only by imputation may Hirohito (who was following his inner circle) be deemed criminally liable for these actions committed by senior and intermediate level officers in both Tokyo and Manchuria who, though under his command, were not yet under his actual control. But once he had learned the true facts, he not only failed to punish the wrongdoers, but actively joined in aiding and abetting the army’s seizure of Manchuria. In these ways, Hirohito allowed the military in general and army field commanders in particular to effectively take over Japan’s China policy and turn it openly aggressive. [11]

In spring 1932

, following the assassination of a prime minister by young naval officers, Hirohito and the Court Group abandoned their support for constitutional government conducted by party cabinets, thereby quickening the militaristic drift in Japanese politics. Cabinets of national unity headed by admirals moved to the fore.

 Japan was a signatory to the Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928), which obligated it to refrain from using force against other states, and the Nine-Power Treaty (1922), which stipulated respect for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. When in the fall of 1932 Japan formally recognized the puppet state of “Manchukuo,” it violated both treaties. Hirohito was pleased that his army had expanded the empire and partially redressed Japan’s strategic weakness in natural resources such as coal and iron, but also agricultural land and its produce.

So rather than abandon this huge territorial gain in the face of vehement US and Chinese criticism, he sanctioned Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations in March 1933 and issued an imperial rescript announcing the move.

The rhetoric of “national emergency” and endangered “lifeline,” generated during the Manchurian crisis, continued to effect thinking about Japan’s domestic situation. Lethal conflicts involving military officers had shaken the country and Hirohito was uncertain how to proceed in the face of multiple pressures. Radical rightist politicians in the Diet called for the dissolution of political parties.

The army and navy, dissatisfied with their respective budgetary allocations, wanted a complete break with the Washington treaty system and an end to the court’s pro-Anglo-American line in diplomacy. Hirohito, keenly aware of Japan’s economic dependence on the West for resources, technology, and markets, hoped to be able to cooperate with Britain and the U. S., and simultaneously seek to isolate China diplomatically.

Over the next four years Hirohito groped for ways to restore discipline among alienated military officers impatient for domestic political reform, by which they meant mainly accelerated rearmament.

Although concerned about the army’s overreach on the continent, he worried even more about domestic disorder, which could undermine the monarchy. Then in 1935 army and civilian extremists tried to overcome all constitutional restraints preventing the emperor from ruling “directly” without relying on his advisers.

Their nationwide campaign attacked law professor Minobe Tatsukichi’s organ theory of the constitution that had been used to legitimize party government and lodge the monarchy more firmly within the constitutional order.

The cabinet that the extremists targeted for overthrow counter-attacked by launching its own campaign to repudiate the organ theory and emphasize the emperor’s “direct” personal rule, which had been the core concept of the Meiji Restoration. Hirohito lent his authority to both moves, partly to prevent his power from being dwarfed by groups acting from below, and partly to protect his closest advisers whom the radicals had singled out for attack. [12]

In late February 1936, a military insurrection in Tokyo took the life of Hirohito’s closest political adviser and many others.

Troops occupy Nagata-cho, Tokyo after the insurrection

Only after intervening forcefully to suppress the uprising and punish the rebel officers, did Hirohito sanction a large expansion of the military budget, a threefold increase in the size of the army’s small garrison force in north China, and national policies that “required Japan ‘to become the stabilizing force in East Asia.” [13]

Thereafter the army and navy played the guiding role in shaping domestic policy; and Hirohito, who still imagined himself to be a traditional “benevolent monarch,” threw off his earlier indecisiveness and slowly began to assert “direct” imperial rule in his capacity as uniformed commander-in-chief.

In July 1937,

Japanese and Chinese Nationalist troops clashed briefly at the Marco Polo Bridge south of Peking. The different army factions on the General Staff divided as to how to handle the fighting. One faction wanted to settle this minor provocation locally in order to concentrate resources on building Japan’s economic and military might; the other wanted to use the incident to resolve at a stroke all the outstanding issues with Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government. Hirohito, from the outset, supported the territorial expansionists.

 

When thousands of troops had been dispatched, he sanctioned a broad Japanese offensive in the Peking-Tientsin area. Shortly afterwards, on July 29-30, Chinese troops, students, and workers killed the remnants of the Japanese garrison force in the city of Tungchow, east of Peking, and also massacred 223 Japanese and Korean civilians, including many women and children. [14] Then, on August 13, Chiang suddenly spread the fighting in north China to Shanghai, in the lower Yangtze River region, where the interests of the foreign powers were most heavily concentrated. The conflict developed into an all-out, undeclared war. [15] Wanting to end it quickly, Hirohito urged major troop reinforcements and the strategic bombing of China’s cities. He also “endorsed the [army’s] decision to remove the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners of war.” [16]

In late November 1937,

having seized Shanghai after a bitter struggle, Japanese troops and naval and army air units began converging on China’s symbolically important capital of Nanking.

 Hirohito sanctioned the establishment of an Imperial Headquarters and the reorganization of the command structure so as to bring his constitutional command responsibilities and his real control into harmony.

Thereafter he was in a better position to assess intelligence, authorize and initiate field operations, and perform as an active supreme commander guiding from behind closed doors the actual conduct of the war. When Nanking fell, Nationalist soldiers failed to completely evacuate the city and many donned civilian clothes, giving the vengeful Japanese military an excuse to massacre Chinese war prisoners and civilians en masse.

Japanese forces enter Nanking

Hirohito, who must have learned about these events even if he did not grasp their seriousness, kept silent and appears never to have ordered an investigation into the criminal behavior of his armed forces. As the “China Incident” dragged on, with the military refusing to comply with international law to China, Japanese war atrocities increased. For these atrocities, Hirohito, as commander-in-chief, shares indirect, derivative responsibility. He bore more direct responsibility for sanctioning Japan’s use of poison gas. And he signed off on the order (Tairikumei 241) that led to the North China Area Army’s multiple, far more destructive and longer lasting, “annihilation campaigns,” that one Japanese scholar estimates to have killed over two and a half million Chinese noncombatants. [17]

In 1938

the China War stalemated. Even with thirty-eight divisions and 1.13 million troops in China by the end of that year, Japan’s leaders saw no way to end it quickly until Nazi Germany started World War II and occupied Western Europe. [18] By then, an intergovernmental liaison body, the Imperial Headquarters-Government Liaison Conference, in which Hirohito participated, had already resolved on a southern advance to complete China’s encirclement and position Japan to move into resource-rich areas of colonial Southeast Asia.

In September 1940

Hirohito ordered the army to begin its entry into French Indochina in preparation for striking further south. The US responded by applying economic sanctions. Hirohito then reluctantly assented to the Tripartite military alliance with the dictatorships in Germany and Italy. Three months later he ratified a treaty of friendship and peace with the independent, formally neutral state of Thailand, stipulating respect for Thai sovereignty. Having Thailand on Japan’s side would, it was felt, facilitate the advance southward by force.

By January 1941,

almost half a year before the German-Soviet war broke out, Hirohito was exercising the full prerogatives of his position. Then on December 8 (Tokyo time), Japan attacked the military forces and outposts of Britain and the United States, its major Western opponents, each of which was an imperialist state holding Asian peoples in colonial subjugation. Hirohito fussed over different drafts of his final memorandum to the US government in order to insure that not a single sentence in it hinted at a decision to declare war.

By issuing his war rescript without giving prior notification to the US or any other targeted country, he deliberately violated international law. As for the Netherlands, colonial master of the Netherlands East Indies, the main prize of the southern advance, Hirohito saw no need even to bother with a war declaration. And when plans called for Japanese armed forces to launch attacks from ships in the South China Sea on Singora in southern Thailand and  Kota Bharo in the northernmost Malay State, Hirohito did not hesitate to trample on the recently concluded Japan-Thai Friendship Treaty either.  [19]

To summarize: For war crimes committed by Japan’s military forces, which were the authorized servants of the emperor-state during the undeclared Japan-China War, Hirohito, as commander-in-chief, bore the strongest share of political, legal, and moral responsibility. He gave post-facto sanction to Japan’s take-over of Manchuria in violation of international treaties and agreements. He later participated actively in the planning and waging of Japan’s total war of aggression in China. As Japan’s sacred spiritual leader and symbol of national identity he (and his Court Group) framed the China conflict as a “holy war.”

 Working in close cooperation with the military, Hirohito brought emperor worship to fever pitch. He also ordered and monitored the bombing of Chinese cities, use of poison gas, and annihilation campaigns to wipe out the entire populations of contested areas in North and Central China. [20]

For the war crimes and other violations of international law committed by Japan’s military forces after December 7, 1941, the largest share of responsibility may again be attributed to Hirohito as both commander in chief and head of state.

At every stage on the road to Singora, Kota Bharo, and Pearl Harbor he was free to choose alternative courses of action rather than accept the thinking of his military chiefs. When, for example, Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro, on September 5, 1941, gave him the chance to stop the rush to war against Britain and the US, he rejected it. [21] Over the next four years, until mid-1945, whenever confronted with the option of peace, he chose war.

Japanese historians have carefully documented Hirohito’s key role in war and postwar actions throughout the 1930s and ‘40s. It is now understood that he seldom allowed his generals and admirals to fight the war just as they wished, and that he delayed Japan’s surrender in order to preserve the imperial throne with himself on it.

This last point must be emphasized. According to the accounts of individuals close to Hirohito, the emperor recognized by summer 1944 that Japan would eventually have to seek a negotiated end to the losing war. But he insisted that his armed forces first had to achieve at least one substantial military result in order to improve the surrender terms.

He also rejected the idea of allowing the Allies to punish Japanese war criminals or abolish Japan’s armed forces, for they would be needed to check the Soviet Union and prevent the spread of communism at home.

A year later, in late June 1945,

Hirohito abandoned these preconditions: the battle of Okinawa had been lost; there would not be one-last-victory. Although he was not thinking of immediate capitulation, he was prepared to allow the Allies to punish war criminals; and even contemplated disarmament. But he (and other hardliners on the Supreme War Leadership Council) persisted in maneuvering for peace through the good offices of the still neutral Soviet Union, with the sole aim of preserving and protecting himself and the monarchy.

None of this means that Hirohito prescribed all policy, made all the decisions, or exercised unbounded influence. On the contrary, he had been taught never to perform as a Western-style dictator exercising power arbitrarily. [22]

The stereotyped Western understanding of this “system” as a military dictatorship in which the military always got its way, and the emperor was merely its powerless puppet, did not reflect reality. Whenever Hirohito chose to do so, he guided and made contributions to the conduct of the war in all four theaters: Manchuria (1931-45), China-within-the Great Wall (1937-45), colonial Southeast Asia (1941-45), and the Western Pacific (1941-45), where the US always focused its main military effort. He also mediated and acted as the final arbiter of conflicts among the high commanders; read the directives of both higher and lower level officers; and sent his aides to the front to investigate what the armies were doing. And long after military defeat and the massive destruction of Japanese cities stared him in the face—indeed, two full years after general staff studies showed that Japan had no prospect of achieving victory, Hirohito remained stubbornly committed to fighting on. He would delay surrender until his future as a politically-empowered sovereign was internationally guaranteed. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and, perhaps even more, the Soviet entrance into the war, finally created a situation in which the ruling elites would risk acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration. [23]

After Japan’s surrender Hirohito did not abdicate as many expected, and as his own brothers and some members of the extended imperial family urged. Instead, he remained on the throne actively exercising political influence throughout the period of the first two post-surrender cabinets. Even after the new “Constitution of Japan” had stripped him of all political power and turned him into a ceremonial figurehead who was less than a “constitutional monarch,” he persisted in trying to influence events. As for the Japanese Foreign Ministry, it would always be quick to condemn the Soviet violation of its Neutrality Treaty with Japan but say nothing publicly about Japan’s violation of the Japan-Thai Friendship Treaty, which would have weakened the force of its charge and drawn Hirohito into the picture. [24]

Why Hirohito Was Not Tried

When the Allies put on trial for war crimes and crimes against peace a small, representative group of leading government and military officials of the Axis states, why was Japan’s commander-in-chief not indicted and tried, or, at the very least, questioned by US occupation officials about his responsibility for the war? Certainly the manner in which Westerners understood the monarchy and the political culture that supported the emperor had something to do with the failure of Americans to question him. [25] But more important factors were also at work, both within Japan and abroad, determining that Hirohito would not be tried or the monarchy abolished.

Of the internal factors, none was more important than Hirohito’s own actions and those of his entourage and high government officials between August 15, 1945 (when a recording of his voice announcing the end of the war was broadcast to the Japanese nation) and early September (when he told a special session of the 88th imperial Diet that Japan would strive to “build a peace state and contribute to the culture of mankind.”) [26] During the crucial first two weeks of transition to peace, before occupation forces took control and reforms commenced, Japan’s ruling elites astutely linked Hirohito to the idea of peace and enjoined the people to blame themselves rather than their leaders for the disaster. By closing ranks to conceal the emperor’s hands-on role in planning and waging war, they hoped to protect the throne, its occupant, and their own rule. For like no other event, the long war had impoverished the nation and produced a leveling of classes, giving new voice to individuals from the poorest social groups. Ruling elites feared that their relationship with the people could be torn asunder..

To protect their state and themselves, Japan’s decision-makers destroyed and hid massive amounts of documentary evidence. These materials pertained to war atrocities, massacres, sexual slavery, the treatment of war prisoners, and Yasukuni Shrine, as well as the emperor’s role in the complex bureaucratic process leading to war in 1941 and during the war itself. Another of their methods was to foist all blame for the war onto army leaders while pretending that the emperor and the people had done nothing wrongful because they had been “deceived” by “the military,” which in the minds of most Japanese meant the army. [27] In fact, at every important turning point on Japan’s road to wars in China, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, senior naval leaders were equally at fault. Nevertheless, the myth persisted in postwar Japanese culture and memory that the senior officers of the imperial navy had been less militaristic and had a more rational perspective on the world than the army.

Additionally, in thinking about why Hirohito avoided all meaningful accountability, one cannot fail to note the powerful effect of his war termination rescript—the so-called “sacred decision” that brought peace. The drafters of this document never used the word “defeat,” affirmed the official war aims of self-defense and self-preservation, emphasized the future, and gave encouragement to rebuilding from the ruins. Determined to “protect the kokutai” in an unprecedented situation of military collapse, they skillfully concealed Hirohito’s delayed surrender. Hirohito and his chief political adviser, Kido Koichi then chose Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko to head the first “imperial family cabinet” formed right after the surrender.

Hirohito recording the surrender speech

Higashikuni followed up on the emperor’s rescript by urging the entire nation to repent and not seek justice for those who had ruined and disgraced the nation. His successor, former foreign minister Shidehara Kijuro, made denial of Hirohito’s war responsibility Japan’s official policy by defining the emperor under the Meiji Constitution as a normal, peace-minded constitutionalist, which he never was. The Shidehara cabinet’s decision on the emperor remained throughout the postwar Showa era, part of Japan’s dominant ideology of rule, fully supported by the US government. (Even today, arguments constructed to defend Hirohito still breathe the spirit of this decision.) For this and other reasons the war generation as a whole during the occupation years did not persist in clarifying the causes of defeat but instead channeled its energies into reconstructing and building a better Japan, so that the nation could regain its dignity and the trust of the world.

When assessing the external factors that contributed to Hirohito’s survival into the post-surrender period, one confronts a different set of facts, arguments, and assumptions. To begin with, the decision-makers in the Truman administration were divided over Hirohito, whereas General Douglas MacArthur, before he had even arrived on Japanese soil, assumed incorrectly that Hirohito had been a mere figurehead emperor and a virtually powerless puppet of Japan’s “militarists.” This helped the US military to use him just as Japan’s militarists had once done, to ease their rule, legitimize reforms, and insure their smooth implementation.

Joseph C. Grew—former ambassador to Japan and, at war’s end, the acting secretary of state—also tried to protect the emperor. His efforts and those of other influential American friends of Japan proved helpful to Japan’s rulers. In Washington Grew promoted the myth of the emperor’s innocence and the notion that the men who surrounded him were “moderates,” committed to peace. In Tokyo GHQ worked to save Hirohito from being held accountable for his actions. These American efforts promoted the fiction that the emperor had always been a peace-minded constitutionalist kept in the dark about the details of the war. But GHQ also ordered the remolding of Japanese opinion on the lost war through news articles serialized in the American-censored Japanese press and occasionally broadcast on the American-censored radio. These accounts placed the entire blame for the war and defeat on the “militarists.” Such occupation-sponsored myths strengthened Japanese victim consciousness and impede the search for truth.

The postwar trial of war criminals had been an Allied war aim, incorporated in the Potsdam Declaration. After Japan’s formal surrender (Sept. 2, 1945) the US military under Supreme Commander MacArthur began to rule indirectly, issuing orders to the Japanese government from GHQ offices in Tokyo while keeping in the background an American occupation force of over 100,000. Arrests of war criminal suspects soon began, and in spring 1946 the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (or Tokyo Trial) commenced. In the course of its lengthy proceedings, the Japanese people learned that the Chinese were not to blame for either the Chang Tso-lin assassination or the Manchurian Incident, and that their own armed forces had committed countless war crimes. Although the prosecution never presented a full picture of the Nanking atrocities, enough material was submitted in court to shock the Japanese nation. Similarly, the issue of forced sexual enslavement (“comfort women”) was aired in court with documents establishing that the army and navy had committed this war crime throughout the Japanese-occupied parts of Asia and the Pacific. What was never allowed, however, was any discussion of American war crimes, including Western colonialism.

Meanwhile, MacArthur had carefully removed from Article 6 of his charter for the Tokyo Trial, dealing with the official position of defendants, any explicit reference to “Head of State,” as stated in the Nuremberg charter. He and his subordinates preserved, in addition, the principle of head of state immunity for Hirohito’s premises and property. The latter included all of Hirohito’s official and private papers plus the papers of his military aides-de-camp that could have revealed valuable facts about his war role. [28] MacArthur then went to extraordinary lengths to shield Hirohito from every phase of the trial, including influencing the testimony of former wartime prime minister General Tojo Hideki, who was pressured to go to his death having assumed all responsibility for the lost war. [29]

Tojo at the Tokyo Trial

Hirohito too did not stand idle. At GHQ’s prodding he toured the country, intent on saving the monarchy, resuscitating what remained of its mystique, and establishing his bona fides as the “human” emperor, a “pacifist” in tune with the democratic values of his people. Hirohito participated with the “moderates” and others in the court milieu in a concerted campaign to shift all blame for war and atrocities onto subordinates. They entertained the Chief Prosecutor at the Tokyo Trial, Joseph B. Keenan; they gathered intelligence on what high officials of MacArthur’s General Headquarters thought about the emperor; and they influenced the lawyers on the International Prosecution Section who were preparing the case against “Class-A” war criminal suspects. Key members of Hirohito’s Court Group also served as “secret informants” for the prosecution, helping to select the men who would be indicted as “Class A” war criminal suspects, and in the process settling scores.

Hirohito’s famous “Monologue—the account of his role during the war years, which he dictated to five close aides starting March 1946—was a deliberate attempt to counter the Tokyo tribunal by placing the emperor’s version of events in MacArthur’s hands. [30] That Hirohito was given immunity from prosecution for his official acts and later protected from the trial proceedings indicates how far at odds Tokyo was from the letter and spirit of Nuremberg. The Hirohito case set a bad example by reestablishing the ancient tradition of immunity from prosecution for heads of state, which the Nuremberg charter had undermined.

But when some of the judges on the Tokyo tribunal felt compelled to call attention in their dissenting final judgments to the emperor’s total, unqualified political immunity from leadership crimes even though he had launched the aggressive war, they insured that the Hirohito case would be remembered.

War Remembrance: the Endless Search for Truth and Justice

One should not lay all blame for Japan’s war crimes at Hirohito’s feet any more than one should blame Hitler for all the war crimes of the Wehrmacht and the German people. Nor, for the same reason should one assign exclusive responsibility to President George W. Bush for all the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by American forces in the illegal wars that he started in Iraq and Afghanistan. What the architects of the first international war crimes trials intended to prioritize was not blame per se but rather the principle that planning, preparing, initiating and waging an aggressive war is illegal. Apropos of this principle, Imperial Japan’s ministers of state, chiefs of staff, some of its Court Group officials and certainly most of its middle-echelon army and navy officers, were even more culpable for plunging Japan ever deeper into aggressive wars. So too were prominent war mongers at lesser levels of power in the bureaucracy and in the mass media. Journalists, their editors, radio script writers, and assorted opinion leaders dutifully propagandized the myth of the living deity. On matters of war they disseminated all the lies and propaganda that their government put out, just as the major American print, television, and radio news media do today with respect to US wars and occupations in the Middle East.

Many of Japan’s bureaucrats, business, religious, and educational leaders had also embraced the goal of ending by force Anglo-American domination of Asia and the Pacific, substituting in its place Japanese rule in China and Southeast Asia, though that did not make them equally blameworthy as war criminals. Hirohito, however, was at the very center of the policy-making process through every stage of war; he provided continuous oversight for wars that he knew were aggressive; and he incurred steadily mounting responsibility for those aggressions. He also figured centrally in the cultural process that nurtured the actual perpetrators of war crimes. In short, he made the system work and was the reason why it worked.

In November-December 1945, according to the US Strategic Bombing Survey, sixty-two percent of the Japanese people still wanted Hirohito to reign. [31] Rather than quickly distancing themselves from their emperor the way the Germans did from Hitler, in their effort to evade punishment and moral responsibility, Japan’s political elites drew closer and did all in their power to protect him. [32] This telling difference reflected not only the distinctive nature of leadership in Japan but also the ethos that informed decision-making. Furthermore, most Japanese people never reflected that since the end of the nineteenth century the monarchy as an institution had been the vital lynchpin to a class system that oppressed farmers, workers, and women. They did not understand—nor did the American occupation authorities help them to understand—that this institution was an agent of their prewar and wartime oppression. It had narrowed their intellectual horizons and encouraged many to see themselves as powerless vis-a-vis the state. Thus, as long as Hirohito remained on the throne, unaccountable to anyone for his official actions, most Japanese had little reason to question their support of him or feel responsibility for the war, let alone look beyond the narrow boundaries of victim-consciousness.

Through four decades of US-Soviet cold war conflict, the reformed Japanese state connived at the official version of the lost war as one of “self defense and self preservation,” which the emperor and his ministers had reaffirmed at the time of surrender. Historical researchers who attempted to pursue Hirohito’s wartime conduct found the vast resources of the government all but closed off. Only after Japan normalized diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1972, in a vaguely worded “Japan-China Joint Communique,” was victim-consciousness increasingly challenged by those who came to recognize that Japan had also been a major perpetrator of war crimes.

During the 1970s, Japanese tourism to cities in Manchuria, to former colonial areas, and to Pacific war battlefields helped to widen intellectual horizons and foster the growth of perpetrator consciousness. But it was mainly in the 1980s and 1990s that major historical studies exploring the relationship between politics, the military, and the emperor began to appear. And many more years had to pass after Hirohito’s death in 1989 before the Japanese mass media ended its self-imposed taboo on judgments about the emperor’s faults and discussed his unacknowledged war responsibility. Even then, efforts by neonationalists and conservatives to obfuscate the emperor’s role in political and military affairs hampered public recognition of Hirohito’s enormous war responsibility. Just the same, Japanese citizens continued to question and to widen the boundaries of war responsibility.

The end of the Cold War, the abrupt breakup of the Soviet Union, and the concurrent rise of China hastened the development of new economic and financial ties, binding Japan and its Asian neighbors and spurring attempts at reconciliation. [33] Many Japanese, viewing these large-scale political and economic changes, wondered why their country remained militarily tied so tightly to the US, the world’s leading practitioner of state terror and militarism. Their perceptions of recent wars and the current balance of forces in the world have shaped the Japanese search for historical truth and justice. In addition, some American politicians have now added their voices to Asian movements pressing Japan to confront problems left unresolved from the Asia-Pacific War, even though the United States has not directly apologized to the Japanese people for its historic terror bombing of their cities; nor has it paid reparations to Vietnam, a nation that it once targeted for aggression just as it does in Iraq.

Looking closer, while bearing in mind global patterns of hypocrisy on issues of war responsibility, the first point to note is that Japanese public discussion of problems from the lost war has served multiple purposes. Sometimes debate over war remembrance advanced the political position of different civic organizations; at other times it camouflaged narrow institutional agendas, generating political capital for Diet members and their parties. [34] Such debate was relatively intense during the early years of foreign occupation (1945-52). This was the period when Japan advanced further than Germany did at any time while under Allied occupation and during the era of Chancellor Conrad Adenauer (1949-63). Throughout that period with few exceptions, little debate occurred on German war crimes. But when the US changed its occupation policy to building up Japan as a Cold War ally rather than pursuing war criminals, Japanese discussion waned, and along with it concern over Hirohito’s unacknowledged war responsibility. Interest did not rekindle until Hirohito traveled abroad in the early- and mid-1970s—first to Britain and West Germany where he was greeted with hostile public demonstrations. In 1975, after making his first and only state visit to the United States, Hirohito returned home and held press interviews with Japanese and foreign journalists. These events continued to shake loose memories of his wartime behavior and led a vanguard of Japanese historians to investigate the machinery of the wartime monarchy and the individuals of the Court Group who operated it, starting with its most important member, Hirohito. [35]

As the cold war moved to its sudden end, Japan entered an era in which issues of war responsibility could be openly debated on the basis of a trove of newly published documents, diaries, and other first-hand accounts of the emperor by his innermost circle of advisers, men who had served him in war and peace. Consequently, many more Japanese were able to free themselves from falsehoods about the lost war, the practices of the Japanese state, and the role of Hirohito.

Yet as historian Yoshida Yutaka and others have shown, every phase of Japan’s debates on war responsibility has also been a phase in the expression of nationalist sentiment. Discussions of textbook revision to eliminate references to war crimes, religious rites of remembrance for the war dead, or revising the Imperial Household Law to allow a female emperor, all revealed deep cracks in public opinion. For example, one of the most irreconcilable splits concerns how to mourn the national war dead. Over nearly fourteen years, about 435,600 Japanese combatants were killed in China (excluding Manchuria) and Hong Kong alone. [36] Japanese civilians in the home islands also died in huge numbers from US terror bombing. But it was the remembrance of the enormous number of soldiers who had died futilely on all fronts in the war of aggression that mainly revived the Yasukuni Shrine issue.

Yasukuni Shrine is a state-established site of collective war remembrance, connected to state-worship and dedicated to preserving both the emperor-centered view of the past and the official interpretation of the “War of Greater East Asia.” The Army and Navy Ministries once administered this Shinto religious institution and its attached center for disseminating war propaganda (the Yushukan), and made it an integral part of Japanese state worship and militarism. There the spirits of 2.47 million people, including a small number of Taiwanese and Koreans, who died fighting for the emperor, are enshrined. [37] Before, during, and soon after the war Emperor Hirohito expressed his gratitude and respect for the war dead by visiting or sending emissaries to participate in the annual national memorial rites to assuage their spirits.

Hirohito visits Yasukuni Shrine, 1935

MacArthur’s Headquarters, determined to de-legitimize official state worship, disestablished Shinto, closed the Yushukan building, and ordered the emperor to stop visiting the shrine, saying that GHQ’s intention was to protect the monarchy from criticism. Naturally, Hirohito complied. [38] Not until the occupation ended did the “symbol emperor” resume his visits.

Meanwhile, despite the new constitution’s separation of politics from religion, Yasukuni Shrine had reestablished its symbiotic relationship with the Japanese government through the Welfare Ministry, which granted pensions and sorted out those qualified for enshrinement. In 1978, three years after Hirohito’s eighth postwar visit, Yasukuni collectively enshrined the spirits of fourteen convicted war criminals, igniting foreign and domestic criticism. Hirohito, reportedly upset that some men whom he blamed for perpetrating the war had been enshrined, abruptly ended his visits. Government officials and cabinet ministers continued visiting in their private capacity, though not without provoking criticism.

In August 1985, on the fortieth anniversary of the war’s end, Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro, who since 1983 had made more private visits to Yasukuni than any previous prime minister, announced that this time he was going to worship at Yasukuni in his official capacity. Almost immediately, the shrine became embroiled in Japan’s international affairs. Nakasone pulled back. The next year, however, the Yushukan reopened and began disseminating its anachronistic view of the lost war.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, as conservative politicians looked for ways to generate public support for abandoning Japan’s official anti-war stance, they contemplated using this anachronistic but hallowed place of war memory to create a new nationalism. Liberal Democratic Party Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro is remembered for, among other things, having dispatched Japan’s Self Defense Force’s overseas in blind support of the US war and occupation in Iraq. He also made four official visits to Yasukuni, starting in 2001, which led to a series of diplomatic protests from China and Korea, as well as strong criticism at home. Ever since, Yasukuni has served as a tool for politicians seeking to heighten nationalism among the young. Private pressure groups such as the Association of Shinto Shrines and the Bereaved Families Association also use Yasukuni as a tool, dreaming to restore further elements of state Shinto. What the political dynamics of this symbol of collective war remembrance distorts, however, is the natural human need of people, especially family members, to remember their dead.

When neonationalist politician Abe Shinzo succeeded Koizumi in 2006, he promised to mend relations with Japan’s neighbors. Instead, his own remarks denying that the Japanese military had systematically coerced women into sexual slavery again disappointed Japan’s Asian trade partners—above all China and Korea. Abe also turned back the clock on issues of educational reform and constitutional revision. During his short, scandal-plagued tenure, he made compulsory the teaching of patriotism in schools and raised the status of Japan’s Defense Agency to a full ministry. But when, during the sixtieth anniversary of Japan’s peace constitution (May 3, 2007), Abe announced that the Constitution had “become incapable of adapting to the great changes” in the world, the public took alarm. In an Upper House election two months later he was soundly repudiated for, among other reasons, seeking to draw Japan closer to a bellicose United States.

As this election showed, it is not only the deepening economic and cultural relations between Japan and China, South Korea, and the nations of Southeast Asia that are keeping transnational conflicts over war issues and memories from the past within manageable bounds. So too is the good sense of the majority of the Japanese people, who continue to support the “peace” Constitution because they feel more secure with Article Nine intact. Nevertheless, the parliamentary balance of power remains fraught. The LDP’s agenda for constitutional revision has been postponed, but neither current Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo nor the powerful business federations which support revision have given up the fight.

Japanese historians, journalists, and concerned citizens continue to rethink the historical issues that the post-World War II tribunals failed to adequately confront. The best histories not only show how diverse the Japanese responses to war actually were, but also cast an ever-widening net of responsibility for the Asia-Pacific War—a net in which Hirohito is invariably captured. Through books, journal articles, and documentary films they help Japan to understand where it went wrong, who committed war crimes and why, and what should be done to maintain peace in Asia and the Pacific. Yet Japan’s conservative political elites and bureaucrats remain an obstacle. The repeated apologies that they make for the damage caused by the imperial armed forces are undermined by the Yasukuni question, the whitewashing of history textbooks, and their stubborn refusal to acknowledge the Japanese state’s responsibility to pay reparations to war victims.

The Japanese government, and the district courts that usually mirror its policies, failed to give satisfaction to former Allied prisoners of Japan who sought reparations and official apology. Veteran soldiers, who were recruited from Japan’s colonies but later denied pensions, sued and lost in Japanese domestic courts. Chinese and Korean laborers, seeking economic compensation and official apology for having been kidnapped from their homes and forcibly brought to work in wartime Japan, fared no better. Women coerced into sexual slavery have been even more dismissively treated. Japanese courts failed not only the war victims in Asian countries. They were also unable to provide justice to the bereaved families of Japanese civilians murdered by the army and navy during the battles of Saipan and Okinawa, and to the Japanese victims of the imperial military’s illegal (pre- and post-surrender) courts martial of soldiers and officers who had been forced to surrender on the battle field, and were later tried and punished for desertion. [39]

In April 2007, Japan’s Supreme Court foreclosed all pending and future lawsuits arising from actions taken by Japan in the course of prosecuting its lost war. The judges cited as a main ground the relevant provisions of the US-imposed San Francisco Peace Treaty, drafted at the height of the US-Soviet cold war, which has never brought justice to the victims of Japan’s wartime aggression. Ignoring the treaty’s contested legal provisions, the judges claimed that the signatories had settled these problems by waiving reparations claims at the state level. [40]

On the issue of paying reparations to all war victims, Germany’s practice since 2000, when the Bundestag established a reparations mechanism, euphemistically labeled a “Fund for Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future,” contrasts vividly with Japan’s continued intransigence. There is no doubt, however, that throughout the cold war German progress was slow. The initiative came in the late 1990s  from German industries, concerned that lawsuits brought by victims of Nazism would harm their reputations and profits; class action lawsuits lodged in US courts also played an important role. Equally important are the different political dynamics and ideologies that inform politics in post-Cold War Germany and Japan.

One of the characteristics of this difference is precisely the historical Hirohito and the many meanings that he carries for Japan and the Japanese people. The war dead cannot be officially remembered without him; the full truth of the war cannot be known in his absence. As long as the record of imperial Japan’s misdeeds is aired and issues of leadership and war responsibility are debated, the apparition of Hirohito will linger and he will have an eternal place in Japanese politics.

Herbert P. Bix, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, writes on problems of war and empire. A Japan Focus associate, he prepared this article for Japan Focus. Posted May 6, 2008.

Notes

[1] For representative recent works on problems of war and postwar, see the essays in the eight-volume Iwanami Koza Ajia Taiheiyo senso (Iwanami Shoten, 2005-7); and Kosuge Nobuko, Sengo wakai: Nihon wa ‘kako’ kara tokihanatareru no ka (Chuko Shinsho, 2005).

[2] Herbert P. Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (HarperCollins Perennial Edition, 2001) contains 688 pages of text. More than 350 of these pages treat the Asia-Pacific War and the Tokyo trial. But the remaining half addresses the prewar emperor, the nature of the empire, and problems of postwar remembrance and accountability. See Kawashima Takane, “Haabaato Bikkusu, ‘Showa Tenno’ no yomarekata,” in Kikan senso sekinin kenkyu, No. 41 (Fall 2003), pp. 2-10.

[3] For the “over 130,000” figure see Bernice Archer, The Internment of Western Civilians Under the Japanese 1941-1945 (Routledge Curzon, 2004), p. 5. Gavan Daws, Prisoners of the Japanese: POWS of World War II in the Pacific (William Morrow & Co., 1996), p. 96, gives the higher estimate.

[4] Eguchi Keiichi, Taikei Nihon no rekishi 14, Futatsu no taisen (Tokyo: Shogakukan, 1989), p. 372.

[5] In the European and Pacific War theaters, total American deaths did not exceed 293,000, according to Vladislav M. Zubok, A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War From Stalin to Gorbachev (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2007), p. 2; Yui Daizaburo, “Sekaishi no naka no Ajia Taiheiyo senso,” in Iwanami koza: Ajia Taiheiyo senso 1, Naze, ima Ajia, Taiheiyo senso ka (Iwanami Shoten, 2005), p. 261, citing Robert Goralski, World War II Almanac: 1931-1945 (Hamish Hamilton, 1981), pp. 421-28.

[6] See the comments of Yoshida Yutaka, “Kanshusha atogaki,” pp. 336-7, quoting from the work of Masumi Junnosuke, in Showa tenno, ge: Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (Kodansha 2002). Translated by Okabe Makio, Kawashima Takane, and Nagai Hitoshi.

[7] Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, p. 39.

[8] For evidence, see Bix, chapters 1 through 4.

[9] Bix, pp. 184-6, 198, 208-9, 211-12, 217-19.

[10] From the start of his reign, Hirohito and his Court Group, with the aid of the last Genro, became the appointers of the prime minister, taking into account, though only when it served their purposes, the preferences of the majority conservative party in the Lower House of the imperial Diet. At such moments they clarified their policy preferences to the prime minister designate. If he later failed to take them into account he would lose their confidence and be unable to govern. In Meiji’s time the system was less complex: the Genro chose the prime minister and political parties were at a nascent stage. See Bix, p. 700, endnote 52.

[11] Mori Shigeki, “The ‘Washington System’ and Its Aftermath: Reevaluating After Imperialism From the Perspective of Japanese Historiography,” International Journal of Asian Studies, 3.2 (2006), p. 265.

[12] Bix, pp. 288-9.

[13] Bix, pp. 359, 307.

[14] Bix, p. 322.

[15] Bix, p. 323.

[16] Bix, p. 359.

[17] Bix, pp. 361-2, 365, 367.

[18] Yamada Akira, “Heishitachi no NitChu senso,” in Iwanami koza: Ajia Taiheiyo senso 5, Senjo no shoso (Iwanami Shoten, 2006), p. 35.

[19] Bix, pp. 434-5; Yoshida Yutaka, Ajia Taiheiyou senso (Iwanami Shinsho, 2007), pp. 20-21; Takashima Nobuyoshi, “Rekishikan—Medeia Watching,” Kikan senso sekinin kenkyu, dai 58 go (Winter 2007), pp. 94-95. As Takashima notes, ever since Japan’s surrender the Foreign Ministry has avoided public mention of the Japan-Thai Friendship Treaty while condemning the Soviet Union for its violation of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty.

[20] Bix, pp. 362-367.

[21] Bix, pp. 409-10.

[22] In contrast to the authoritarian political order in the United States under the Bush administration, where the “commander-in-chief” and his subordinates publicly defend torture, contempt for the rule of law was never the governing principle of the imperial state.

[23] Bix, Ch. 13, esp. pp. 506-519.

[24] Takashima, “Rekishikan—Media Watching,” pp. 94-95.

[25] Akazawa Shiro, “Tenno no senso sekininron e no shatei” [The Trajectory of the Emperor’s War Responsibility] in Iwanami Koza: Ajia-Taiheiyo senso, dai nikan, Senso no seijigaku (Iwanami Shoten, 2005), pp. 235-6.

[26] Cited in Yoshida Yutaka, “Senso sekininron no genzai,” in Iwanami Koza: Ajia-Taiheiyo senso, dai ikkan, Naze, ima Ajia-Taiheiyo senso ka (Iwanami Shoten, 2006), p. 94.

[27] Yoshida, “Senso sekininron no genzai,” p. 96.

[28] Arthur Watts, “The Legal Position in International Law of Heads of State, Heads of Government and Foreign Minister,” Recueil des cours, Vo. 247, No. 9 (1994), pp. 82-83.

[29] Bix, pp. 585-6.

[30] Bix, “The Showa Emperor’s ‘Monologue’ and the Problem of War Responsibility” in Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Summer 1992), 295-363.

[31] Yoshimi Yoshiaki, Kusa no ne fuashizumu: Nihon minshu no senso taiken (Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1991), p. 273.

[32] On early postwar attitudes toward Hitler, see Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (The Penguin Press, 2005), p. 809.

[33] On the disintegration of the Soviet Union, see Zubok, pp. 303-35.

[34] See Franziska Seraphim, War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945-2005 (Harvard Univ. Press, 2006, esp. chapters 8, 9, 10, and Conclusion.

[35] For detailed periodization and discussion see Akazawa, pp. 226, 237ff; Bix, pp. 674-77.

[36] Yamada Akira, “Heishitachi no NitChu sensou,” in Iwanami Koza Ajia-Taiheiyou sensou, Dai 5 kan, Senjou no shosou (Iwanami Shoten, 2006), p.33, citing Kuwata Zei and Maehara Toshie, Nihon no senso zukai to deeta (Hara Shobo, 1982).

[37] Yoshida Yutaka, “Yasukuni jinja, gokoku jinja,” in Hara Takeshi, Yoshida Yutaka, hen, Iwanami Tenno, koshitsu jiten (Iwanami Shoten, 2005), p. 322; Yasumaru Yoshio, “Kokkashugi to musubu tokui na sonzai subete no rei no hifun ni kenmoku o” in Asahi shinbun (Aug. 9, 2001). Yasumaro calls attention to the medieval Buddhist tradition of no discrimination between enemy and ally (onshin byodo) and contrasts it to the Yasukuni practice of sorting out the war dead.

[38] On protecting the monarchy by refraining from visiting Yasukuni, see Takamatsu Nomiya nikki 8 (Chuo Koronsha, 1997), p. 346, entry of April 30, 1946.

[39] Yoshida Yutaka, “Sengoshi no naka no gunkeiho,” in Kikan senso sekinin kenkyu, No. 25 (Fall 1999), pp. 24-29.

[40] Mark A. Levin, “Nishimatsu Construction Co. v. Song Jixiao et al; Ko Hanako et al. v. Japan,” in American Journal of International Law, Vol. 102, No. 1 (Jan. 2008), pp. 148-9. The San Francisco Peace treaty, signed in September 1951, has been in force since April 1952. The largely American mishandling of its reparations clauses, which were cursory in nature and lacked explicit detail, was a cause of acute disagreements at the ti

 

 

 

 

Use mdy dates|date=January 2013
royalty|monarch
name : Hirohito / Emperor Shōwa
裕仁 / 昭和天皇
succession : Emperor of Japan+

reign : December 25, 1926 –
January 7, 1989
coronation : November 10, 1928
cor-type : Japan
personalname : Hirohito
predecessor : Taishō+
successor : Akihito+
reg-type : Prime Ministers+
regent :
spouse : Empress Kōjun+
issue : Princess Teru+
Princess Hisa+
Princess Taka+
Princess Yori+
Emperor Akihito+
Prince Hitachi+
Princess Suga+
full name :
house : Imperial House of Japan+
anthem : ”Kimi ga Yo+
father : Taishō+
|mother =Teimei+
|era =Shōwa+
|birth_place =Aoyama+ Palace, Tokyo, Japan
|death_place =Fukiage Palace, Tokyo+, Japan
|date of burial =February 24, 1989
|place of burial =Hachiōji, Tokyo+, Japan

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name of the era that corresponded with the Emperor’s reign, and was made the Emperor’s own name upon his death. The name 裕仁 means “abundant benevolence”.

At the start of his reign, Japan was already one of the great power+s — the ninth-largest economy in the world+ after Italy+, the third-largest naval power+, and one of the four permanent members of the council of the League of Nations+. He was the head of state+ under the limitation of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan+ during Japan’s imperial expansion, militarization, and involvement in World War II+. After the war, he was not prosecuted for war crimes+ as many other leading government figures were, despite his involvement.Y. Yoshimi and S. Matsuno, ”Dokugasusen Kankei Shiryô II, Kaisetsu, Jugonen Sensô Gokuhi Shiryoshu”, 1997, p. 27–29 During the postwar period+, he became the symbol of the new state and Japan’s recovery, and by the end of his reign, Japan had emerged as the world’s second largest economy+.

Born in Tokyo’s Aoyama Palace+, Hirohito was the first son of Crown Prince+ Yoshihito (the future Emperor Taishō+) and Crown Princess Sadako (the future Empress Teimei+). His childhood title was . In 1908, he began elementary studies at the Gakushūin+ (Peers School).


When his grandfather, Emperor Meiji+, died on July 30, 1912, Hirohito’s father, Yoshihito, assumed the throne; Hirohito became the heir apparent. At the same time, he was formally commissioned in both the army and navy as a second lieutenant and ensign, respectively, and was also decorated with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum+. In 1914, he was promoted to the ranks of lieutenant in the army and sub-lieutenant in the navy, then to captain and lieutenant in 1916. He was formally proclaimed Crown Prince and heir apparent+ on November 2, 1916; but an investiture ceremony was not strictly necessary to confirm this status as heir to the throne.

Hirohito attended the Y.M.C.A. of Gakushūin+ Peers’ School from 1908 to 1914 and then a special institute for the crown prince (Tōgū-gogakumonsho) from 1914 to 1921.
In 1920, Hirohito was promoted to the rank of Major in the army and Lieutenant Commander in the navy. In 1921, Hirohito took a six-month tour of Europe+, including the United Kingdom+, France+, Italy, the Netherlands+, and Belgium+, becoming the first Japanese crown prince to travel abroad. After his return to Japan, he became Regent+ of Japan (Sesshō+) on November 29, 1921, in place of his ailing father who was affected by a mental illness.

During Hirohito’s regency, a number of important events occurred:

In the Four-Power Treaty+ on Insular Possessions signed on December 13, 1921, Japan, the United States, Britain, and France agreed to recognize the status quo in the Pacific, and Japan and Britain agreed to terminate formally the Anglo-Japanese Alliance+. The Washington Naval Treaty+ was signed on February 6, 1922. Japan withdrew troops from the Siberian Intervention+ on August 28, 1922. The Great Kantō earthquake+ devastated Tokyo on September 1, 1923. On December 27, 1923, communist+ Daisuke Namba+ attempted to assassinate Hirohito in the Toranomon Incident+ but his attempt failed. The General Election Law+ was passed on May 5, 1925, giving all men above age 25 the right to vote.

In 1923, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the army and Commander in the navy, and to army Colonel and Navy Captain in 1925.

Prince Hirohito married his distant cousin Princess Nagako Kuni (the future Empress Kōjun+), the eldest daughter of Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi+, on January 26, 1924. They had two sons and five daughters. (see Issue+)

The daughters who lived to adulthood left the imperial family as a result of the American reforms of the Japanese imperial household in October 1947 (in the case of Princess Higashikuni) or under the terms of the Imperial Household Law+ at the moment of their subsequent marriages (in the cases of Princesses Kazuko, Atsuko, and Takako).

! Name !! Birth !! Marriage !! Issue

| Princess Teru+ | December 6, 1925
died, July 23, 1961 | October 10, 1943 | Prince Morihiro Higashikuni+ | Prince Nobuhiko Higashikuni
Princess Fumiko Higashikuni
Naohiko Higashikuni
Hidehiko Higashikuni
Yuko Higashikuni

| Princess Hisa+ | September 10, 1927
died, March 6, 1928 | | |

| Princess Taka+ | September 30, 1929
died, May 28, 1989 | May 21, 1950 | Toshimichi Takatsukasa+ | Naotake Takatsukasa (adopted)

| Princess Yori+ | March 7, 1931 | October 10, 1952 | Takamasa Ikeda |

| Emperor Akihito+ | December 23, 1933 | April 10, 1959 | Michiko Shōda+ | Crown Prince Naruhito+
Prince Akishino+
Princess Nori+

| Prince Hitachi+ | November 28, 1935 | September 30, 1964 | Hanako Tsugaru+ |

| Princess Suga+ | March 2, 1939 | March 3, 1960 | Hisanga Shimazu | Yoshihisa Shimazu
|

On December 25, 1926, Hirohito assumed the throne upon his father, Yoshihito+‘s, death. The Crown Prince was said to have received the succession (”senso”).Varley, H. Paul, ed. (1980). ”Jinnō Shōtōki+ (“A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa” translated by H. Paul Varley)”, p. 44. [A distinct act of ''senso'' is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji+; and all sovereigns except Jitō+, Yōzei+, Go-Toba+, and Fushimi+ have ''senso'' and ''sokui'' in the same year until the reign of Go-Murakami+;] Ponsonby-Fane, p. 350. The Taishō era+‘s end and the Shōwa era+‘s beginning (Enlightened Peace) were proclaimed. The deceased Emperor was posthumously renamed Emperor Taishō+ within days. Following Japanese custom, the new Emperor was never referred+ to by his given name, but rather was referred to simply as , which may be shortened to . In writing, the Emperor was also referred to formally as .

In November 1928, the Emperor’s ascension was confirmed in ceremonies+ (”sokui”) which are conventionally identified as “enthronement” and “coronation” (”Shōwa no tairei-shiki”); but this formal event would have been more accurately described as a public confirmation that his Imperial Majesty possesses the Japanese Imperial Regalia+, also called the Three Sacred Treasures+, which have been handed down through the centuries.

The first part of Hirohito’s reign took place against a background of financial crisis+ and increasing military power within the government, through both legal and extralegal means. The Imperial Japanese Army+ and Imperial Japanese Navy+ had held veto+ power over the formation of cabinets since 1900, and between 1921 and 1944 there were no fewer than 64 incidents of political violence.

Hirohito narrowly missed assassination by a hand grenade+ thrown by a Korean independence activist+, Lee Bong-chang+ in Tokyo on January 9, 1932, in the Sakuradamon Incident+.

Another notable case was the assassination of moderate Prime Minister+ Inukai Tsuyoshi+ in 1932, which marked the end of civilian control of the military+. This was followed by an attempted military coup+ in February 1936, the February 26 incident+, mounted by junior Army officers of the ”Kōdōha+” faction who had the sympathy of many high-ranking officers including Prince Chichibu+ (Yasuhito), one of the Emperor’s brothers. This revolt was occasioned by a loss of political support by the militarist faction in Diet+ elections. The coup resulted in the murders of a number of high government and Army officials.

When Chief Aide-de-camp+ Shigeru Honjō+ informed him of the revolt, the Emperor immediately ordered that it be put down and referred to the officers as “rebels” (”bōto”). Shortly thereafter, he ordered Army Minister+ Yoshiyuki Kawashima+ to suppress the rebellion within the hour, and he asked reports from Honjō every thirty minutes. The next day, when told by Honjō that little progress was being made by the high command in quashing the rebels, the Emperor told him “I Myself, will lead the Konoe Division+ and subdue them.” The rebellion was suppressed following his orders on February 29+.

Japan invaded Manchuria+ in 1931 and parts of China in 1937 (the Second Sino-Japanese War+). Hirohito never really objected to China’s invasion. It had been recommended to him by his chiefs of staff and prime minister Fumimaro Konoe+. His main concern seems to have been the possibility of an attack by the Soviet Union in the north. His questions to his chief of staff, Prince Kan’in+, and minister of the army, Hajime Sugiyama+, were mostly about the time it could take to crush Chinese resistance.

According to Akira Fujiwara, Hirohito personally ratified the Japanese Army’s proposal to remove the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners on August 5. And the works of Yoshiaki Yoshimi+ and Seiya Matsuno show that the Emperor authorized, by specific orders (rinsanmei), the use of chemical weapons against the Chinese. During the invasion of Wuhan+, from August to October 1938, the Emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions, despite the resolution adopted by the League of Nations+ on May 14 condemning Japanese use of toxic gas.

On September 27, 1940, ostensibly under Hirohito’s leadership, Japan formed Tripartite Pact+ with Nazi Germany+ and Fascist Italy+, forming the Axis Powers+. Before that, in July 1939, the Emperor quarreled with his brother, Prince Chichibu+, who was visiting him three times a week to support the treaty, and reprimanded the army minister Seishirō Itagaki+. But after the success of the Wehrmacht+ in Europe, the Emperor consented to the alliance.

On September 4, 1941, the Japanese Cabinet met to consider war plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, and decided that:

quote
|Our Empire, for the purpose of self-defense and self-preservation, will complete preparations for war … [and is] … resolved to go to war with the United States, Great Britain, and the French if necessary. Our Empire will concurrently take all possible diplomatic measures vis-à-vis the United States and Great Britain, and thereby endeavor to obtain our objectives … In the event that there is no prospect of our demands being met by the first ten days of October through the diplomatic negotiations mentioned above, we will immediately decide to commence hostilities against the United States, Britain and the French.

The objectives to be obtained were clearly defined: a free hand to continue with the conquest of China and Southeast Asia, no increase in US or British military forces in the region, and cooperation by the West “in the acquisition of goods needed by our Empire.”

On September 5, Prime Minister Konoe informally submitted a draft of the decision to the Emperor, just one day in advance of the Imperial Conference at which it would be formally implemented. On this evening, the Emperor had a meeting with the chief of staff of the army, Sugiyama, chief of staff of the navy, Osami Nagano+, and Prime Minister Konoe. The Emperor questioned Sugiyama about the chances of success of an open war with the Occident+. As Sugiyama answered positively, the Emperor scolded him:

quote
|—At the time of the China incident+, the army told me that we could make Chiang+ surrender after three months but you still can’t beat him even today! Sugiyama, you were minister at the time.
—China is a vast area with many ways in and ways out, and we met unexpectedly big difficulties.
—You say the interior of China is huge; isn’t the Pacific Ocean even bigger than China? Didn’t I caution you each time about those matters? Sugiyama, are you lying to me?

Chief of Naval General Staff Admiral Nagano, a former Navy Minister and vastly experienced, later told a trusted colleague, “I have never seen the Emperor reprimand us in such a manner, his face turning red and raising his voice.”
According to the traditional view, Hirohito was deeply concerned by the decision to place “war preparations first and diplomatic negotiations second”, and he announced his intention to break with tradition. At the Imperial Conference on the following day, the Emperor directly questioned the chiefs of the Army and Navy general staffs, which was quite an unprecedented action.

Nevertheless, all speakers at the Imperial Conference were united in favor of war rather than diplomacy. Baron Yoshimichi Hara+, President of the Imperial Council and the Emperor’s representative, then questioned them closely, producing replies to the effect that war would only be considered as a last resort from some, and silence from others.

At this point, the Emperor astonished all present by addressing the conference personally, and in breaking the tradition of Imperial silence left his advisors “struck with awe.” (Prime Minister Konoe’s description of the event.) Hirohito stressed the need for peaceful resolution of international problems, expressed regret at his ministers’ failure to respond to Baron Hara’s probings, and re

Recovering from their shock, the ministers hastened to express their profound wish to explore all possible peaceful avenues. The Emperor’s presentation was in line with his practical role as leader of the Shinto+ religion.

At this time, Army Imperial Headquarters was continually communicating with the Imperial household in detail about the military situation. On October 8, Sugiyama signed a 47-page report to the Emperor (sōjōan) outlining in minute detail plans for the advance into Southeast Asia. During the third week of October, Sugiyama gave the Emperor a 51-page document, “Materials in Reply to the Throne”, about the operational outlook for the war.

As war preparations continued, Prime Minister Konoe found himself more and more isolated and gave his resignation on October 16. He justified himself to his chief cabinet secretary, Kenji Tomita :

Of course His Majesty is a pacifist, and there is no doubt he wished to avoid war. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed. But the next day, he would tell me: “You were worried about it yesterday, but you do not have to worry so much.” Thus, gradually, he began to lean toward war. And the next time I met him, he leaned even more toward. In short, I felt the Emperor was telling me: my prime minister does not understand military matters, I know much more. In short, the Emperor had absorbed the view of the army and navy high commands.

The army and the navy recommended the candidacy of Prince Higashikuni+, one of the Emperor’s uncles. According to the Shōwa “Monologue”, written after the war, the Emperor then said that if the war were to begin while a member of the imperial house was prime minister, the imperial house would have to carry the responsibility and he was opposed to this.

Instead, the Emperor chose the hard-line General Hideki Tōjō+, who was known for his devotion to the imperial institution, and asked him to make a policy review of what had been sanctioned by the Imperial Conferences. On November 2, Tōjō, Sugiyama and Nagano reported to the Emperor that the review of eleven points had been in vain. Emperor Hirohito gave his consent to the war and then asked: “Are you going to provide justification for the war?” The decision for war (against United States) was presented for approval to Hirohito by General Tōjō, Naval Minister Admiral Shigetarō Shimada+, and Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Tōgō+.

On November 3, Nagano explained in detail the plan of the attack on Pearl Harbor+ to the Emperor. On November 5, Emperor Hirohito approved in imperial conference the operations plan for a war against the Occident+ and had many meetings with the military and Tōjō until the end of the month. On November 25 Henry L. Stimson, United States Secretary of War noted in his diary that he had discussed with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt the severe likelihood that Japan was about to launch a surprise attack, and that the question had been “how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.'”

On the following day, November 26, 1941, Hull presented the Japanese ambassador with the Hull note+,which as one of its conditions demanded the complete withdrawal of all Japanese troops from French Indochina and China. It did not refer to Manchukuo, in which hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians were already living. At the time, The United States did not officially approve of the Japanese occupation of and claim to Manchukuo, so Japan assumed that “China” included Manchukuo. Japanese Prime Minister Tojo Hideki said to his cabinet, “this is an ultimatum.”

On December 1, an Imperial Conference sanctioned the “War against the United States, United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.” On December 8 (December 7 in Hawaii) 1941, in simultaneous attacks, Japanese forces struck at the US Fleet in Pearl Harbor+ and in the Philippines+ and began the invasion of Malaya+.

With the nation fully committed to the war, the Emperor took a keen interest in military progress and sought to boost morale. According to Akira Yamada and Akira Fujiwara, the Emperor made major interventions in some military operations. For example, he pressed Sugiyama four times, on January 13 and 21 and February 9 and 26, to increase troop strength and launch an attack on Bataan+. On February 9, March 19 and May 29, the Emperor ordered the Army Chief of staff to examine the possibilities for an attack on Chungking+, which led to Operation Gogo+.

As the tide of war began to turn (around late 1942 and early 1943), some people argue that the flow of information to the palace gradually began to bear less and less relation to reality, while others suggest that the Emperor worked closely with Prime Minister Tōjō, continued to be well and accurately briefed by the military, and knew Japan’s military position precisely right up to the point of surrender. The chief of staff of the General Affairs section of the Prime Minister’s office, Shuichi Inada, remarked to Tōjō’s private secretary, Sadao Akamatsu:
There has never been a cabinet in which the prime minister, and all the ministers, reported so often to the throne. In order to effect the essence of genuine direct imperial rule and to relieve the concerns of the Emperor, the ministers reported to the throne matters within the scope of their responsibilities as per the prime minister’s directives… In times of intense activities, typed drafts were presented to the Emperor with corrections in red. First draft, second draft, final draft and so forth, came as deliberations progressed one after the other and were sanctioned accordingly by the Emperor.

In the first six months of war, all the major engagements had been victories. As the tide turned in the summer of 1942 with the battle of Midway+ and the landing of the American forces on Guadalcanal+ and Tulagi+ in August, the Emperor recognized the potential danger and pushed the navy and the army for greater efforts. In September 1942, Emperor Hirohito signed the Imperial Rescript condemning to death American Fliers: Lieutenants Dean E. Hallmark and William G. Farrow and Corporal Harold A. Spatz and commuting to life sentences: Lieutenants Robert J. Meder+, Chase Nielsen+, Robert L. Hite and George Barr and Corporal Jacob DeShazer+. When informed in August 1943 by Sugiyama+ that the American advance through the Solomon Islands+ could not be stopped, the Emperor asked his chief of staff to consider other places to attack : “When and where on are you ever going to put up a good fight? And when are you ever going to fight a decisive battle?” On August 24, the Emperor reprimanded Nagano and on September 11, he ordered Sugiyama to work with the Navy to implement better military preparation and give adequate supply to soldiers fighting in Rabaul+.

Throughout the following years, the sequence of drawn and then decisively lost engagements was reported to the public as a series of great victories. Only gradually did it become apparent to the people in the home islands that the situation was very grim. U.S. air raids on the cities of Japan starting in 1944 made a mockery of the unending tales of victory. Later that year, with the downfall of Hideki Tōjō’s government, two other prime ministers were appointed to continue the war effort, Kuniaki Koiso+ and Kantarō Suzuki+—each with the formal approval of the Emperor. Both were unsuccessful and Japan was nearing defeat.

As the war turned against the Japanese, Hirohito personally found the threat of defection of Japanese civilians disturbing because there was a risk that live civilians would be surprised by generous U.S. treatment. Native Japanese sympathizers would hand the Americans a powerful propaganda weapon to subvert the “fighting spirit” of Japan in radio broadcasts. At the end of June 1944 during the Battle of Saipan+, Hirohito sent out the first imperial order encouraging all Japanese civilians to commit suicide rather than be taken prisoner.

The Imperial order authorized Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito+, the commander of Saipan+, to promise civilians who died there an equal spiritual status in the afterlife with those of soldiers perishing in combat. General Tojo+ intercepted the order on June 30 and delayed its sending, but it was issued anyway the next day. By the time the Marines+ advanced on the north tip of the island, from 8–12 July, most of the damage had been done. Over 1,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide in the last days of the battle to take the offered privileged place in the afterlife, some jumping from “Suicide Cliff” and “Banzai Cliff”.

Japan was doing basic research on the atomic bomb. However, according to one Japanese source, Hirohito was opposed to the atomic bomb plan from the beginning. The Emperor thought that use of an atomic bomb would bring about the extermination of mankind. The Navy (F-go) and Army (Ni-go) atomic bomb research projects were in operation until the end of World War II.

On August 15, 1945, after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he made apparent reference to the atomic bomb in his Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War+: “Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.” However, in his first ever press conference given in Tokyo in 1975, when he was asked what he thought of the bombing of Hiroshima, the Emperor answered: “It’s very regrettable that nuclear bombs were dropped and I feel sorry for the citizens of Hiroshima but it couldn’t be helped (Shikata ga nai+) because that happened in wartime.”

Surrender of Japan
In early 1945, in the wake of the losses in Battle of Leyte+, Emperor Hirohito began a series of individual meetings with senior government officials to consider the progress of the war. All but ex-Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe advised continuing the war. Konoe feared a communist revolution even more than defeat in war and urged a negotiated surrender. In February 1945, during the first private audience with the Emperor which he had been allowed in three years, Konoe advised Hirohito to begin negotiations to end the war. According to Grand Chamberlain Hisanori Fujita+, the Emperor, still looking for a ”tennozan” (a great victory) in order to provide a stronger bargaining position, firmly rejected Konoe’s recommendation.

 

With each passing week a great victory became less likely. In April the Soviet Union issued notice that it would not renew its neutrality agreement. Japan’s ally Germany surrendered in early May 1945. In June, the cabinet reassessed the war strategy, only to decide more firmly than ever on a fight to the last man. This strategy was officially affirmed at a brief Imperial Council meeting, at which, as was normal, the Emperor did not speak.

The following day, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal+ Kōichi Kido+ prepared a draft document which summarized the hopeless military situation and proposed a negotiated settlement. According to some commentators, the Emperor privately approved of it and authorized Kido to circulate it discreetly amongst less hawkish cabinet members; others suggest that the Emperor was indecisive, and that the delay cost many tens of thousands of lives. Extremists in Japan were also calling for a death-before-dishonor mass suicide, modeled on the “47 Ronin+” incident. By mid-June 1945, the cabinet had agreed to approach the Soviet Union to act as a mediator for a negotiated surrender, but not before Japan’s bargaining position had been improved by repulse of the anticipated Allied invasion of mainland Japan.

On June 22, the Emperor met with his ministers, saying “I desire that concrete plans to end the war, unhampered by existing policy, be speedily studied and that efforts be made to implement them.” The attempt to negotiate a peace via the Soviet Union came to nothing. There was always the threat that extremists would carry out a coup or foment other violence. On July 26, 1945, the Allies issued the Potsdam Declaration+ demanding unconditional surrender+. The Japanese government council, the Big Six, considered that option and recommended to the Emperor that it be accepted only if one to four conditions were agreed, including a guarantee of the Emperor’s continued position in Japanese society+. The Emperor decided not to surrender.

On August 9, 1945, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki+ and the Soviet declaration of war, Emperor Hirohito told Kido to “quickly control the situation” because “the Soviet Union has declared war and today began hostilities against us.” On August 10, the cabinet drafted an “Imperial Rescript ending the War+” following the Emperor’s indications that the declaration did not compromise any demand which prejudiced the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler.

On August 12, 1945, the Emperor informed the imperial family of his decision to surrender. One of his uncles, Prince Asaka+, asked whether the war would be continued if the ”kokutai+” (national polity) could not be preserved. The Emperor simply replied “of course.” On August 14, the Suzuki government notified the Allies that it had accepted the Potsdam Declaration+. On August 15, a recording of the Emperor’s surrender speech+ was broadcast over the radio (the first time the Emperor was heard on the radio by the Japanese people) signifying the unconditional surrender of Japan’s military forces. The historic broadcast is known as the ”Gyokuon-hōsō+” (“Jewel Voice Broadcast”).

Objecting to the surrender, die-hard army fanatics attempted a coup d’état+ by conducting a full military assault and takeover of the Imperial Palace. Known as the Kyūjō Incident+, the physical recording of the surrender speech was hidden and preserved overnight, and the coup was quickly crushed on the Emperor’s order.

 


The surrender speech noted that “the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage” and ordered the Japanese to “endure the unendurable” in surrender. It was the first time the public had heard the Emperor’s voice. The speech, using formal, archaic Japanese was not readily understood by many commoners. According to historian Richard Storry in ”A History of Modern Japan”, the Emperor typically used “a form of language familiar only to the well-educated” and to the more traditional samurai+ families.

Many historians see Emperor Hirohito as responsible for the atrocities committed by the imperial forces+ in the Second Sino-Japanese War and in World War II and feel that he, some members of the imperial family such as his brother Prince Chichibu+, his cousins Prince Takeda+ and Prince Fushimi+, and his uncles Prince Kan’in+, Prince Asaka+, and Prince Higashikuni+, should have been tried for war crime+s.Bix

The issue of Hirohito’s responsibility for war crimes is a debate regarding how much real control the Emperor had over the Japanese military during the two wars. Officially, the imperial constitution, adopted under Emperor Meiji+, gave full power to the Emperor. Article 4 prescribed that, “The Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution,” while, according to article 6, “The Emperor gives sanction to laws and orders them to be promulgated and executed,” and article 11, “The Emperor has the supreme command of the Army and the Navy.” The Emperor was thus the leader of the Imperial General Headquarters+.

Poison gas weapons, such as phosgene+, were produced by Unit 731+ and authorized by specific orders given by Hirohito himself, transmitted by the chief of staff of the army. For example, Hirohito authorised the use of toxic gas 375 times during the battle of Wuhan+ from August to October 1938.

In 1971, David Bergamini showed how primary sources, such as the “Sugiyama+ memo” and the diaries of Kido+ and Konoe+, describe in detail the informal meetings Emperor Hirohito had with his chiefs of staff and ministers. Bergamini concluded that the Emperor was kept informed of all main military operations and that he frequently questioned his senior staff and asked for changes.

Historians such as Herbert Bix+, Akira Fujiwara+, Peter Wetzler+, and Akira Yamada+ assert that the post-war view focusing on imperial conferences misses the importance of numerous “behind the chrysanthemum curtain” meetings where the real decisions were made between the Emperor, his chiefs of staff, and the cabinet. Historians such as Fujiwara and Wetzler, based on the primary sources and the monumental work of Shirō Hara+, have produced evidence suggesting that the Emperor worked through intermediaries to exercise a great deal of control over the military and was neither bellicose nor a pacifist, but an opportunist who governed in a pluralistic decision-making process. American historian Herbert P. Bix+ argues that Emperor Hirohito might have been the prime mover of most of the events of the two wars.

The view promoted by both the Japanese Imperial Palace and the American occupation forces immediately after World War II portrayed Emperor Hirohito as a powerless figurehead+ behaving strictly according to protocol, while remaining at a distance from the decision-making processes. This view was endorsed by Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita+ in a speech on the day of Hirohito’s death, in which Takeshita asserted that the war “had broken out against (Hirohito’s) wishes.” Takeshita’s statement provoked outrage in nations in East Asia and Commonwealth nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. For historian Fujiwara, however, “the thesis that the Emperor, as an organ of responsibility, could not reverse cabinet decision, is a myth+ fabricated after the war.”

In Japan, debate over the Emperor’s responsibility was taboo while he was still alive. After his death, however, debate began to surface over the extent of his involvement and thus his culpability.

In the years immediately after Hirohito’s death, the debate in Japan was fierce. Susan Chira reported that, “Scholars who have spoken out against the late Emperor have received threatening phone calls from Japan’s extremist right wing.” One example of actual violence occurred in 1990 when the mayor of Nagasaki, Hitoshi Motoshima+, was shot and critically wounded by a member of the ultranationalist group, Seikijuku+; Motoshima managed to recover from the attack. In 1989, Motoshima had broken what was characterized as “one of (Japan’s) most sensitive taboos” by asserting that Emperor Hirohito bore responsibility for World War II.

Kentaro Awaya argues that post-war Japanese public opinion supporting protection of the Emperor was influenced by U.S. propaganda promoting the view that the Emperor together with the Japanese people had been fooled by the military.

As the Emperor chose his uncle Prince Higashikuni+ as prime minister to assist the occupation, there were attempts by numerous leaders to have him put on trial for alleged war crimes+. Many members of the imperial family, such as Princes Chichibu, Takamatsu and Higashikuni, pressured the Emperor to abdicate so that one of the Princes could serve as regent until Crown Prince Akihito+ came of age. On February 27, 1946, the emperor’s youngest brother, Prince Mikasa+ (Takahito), even stood up in the privy council and indirectly urged the emperor to step down and accept responsibility for Japan’s defeat. According to Minister of Welfare Ashida’s diary, “Everyone seemed to ponder Mikasa’s words. Never have I seen His Majesty’s face so pale.”

U.S. General Douglas MacArthur+ insisted that Emperor Hirohito retain the throne. MacArthur saw the emperor as a symbol of the continuity and cohesion of the Japanese people. Some historians criticize the decision to exonerate the Emperor and all members of the imperial family who were implicated in the war, such as Prince Chichibu+, Prince Asaka+, Prince Higashikuni and Prince Hiroyasu Fushimi+, from criminal prosecutions.

Before the war crime trials actually convened, the SCAP+, the IPS+, and Japanese officials worked behind the scenes not only to prevent the Imperial family from being indicted, but also to slant the testimony of the defendants to ensure that no one implicated the emperor. High officials in court circles and the Japanese government collaborated with Allied GHQ in compiling lists of prospective war criminals, while the individuals arrested as ”Class A” suspects and incarcerated solemnly vowed to protect their sovereign against any possible taint of war responsibility. Thus, “months before the Tokyo tribunal+ commenced, MacArthur’s highest subordinates were working to attribute ultimate responsibility for Pearl Harbor+ to Hideki Tōjō+” by allowing “the major criminal suspects to coordinate their stories so that the Emperor would be spared from indictment.” According to John W. Dower+, “This successful campaign to absolve the Emperor of war responsibility knew no bounds. Hirohito was not merely presented as being innocent of any formal acts that might make him culpable to indictment as a war criminal, he was turned into an almost saintly figure who did not even bear moral responsibility for the war.” According to Bix, “MacArthur’s truly extraordinary measures to save Hirohito from trial as a war criminal had a lasting and profoundly distorting impact on Japanese understanding of the lost war.”

The Emperor was not put on trial, but he was forced to explicitly reject (in the ) the State Shinto+ claim that the Emperor of Japan was an ”arahitogami+”, i.e., an incarnate divinity. This was motivated by the fact that, according to the Japanese constitution of 1889+, the Emperor had a divine power over his country, which was derived from the shinto+ belief that the Japanese Imperial Family was the offspring of the sun goddess Amaterasu+. Hirohito was however persistent in the idea that the emperor of Japan should be considered a descendant of the gods. In December 1945 he told his vice-grand chamberlain Michio Kinoshita: “It is permissible to say that the idea that the Japanese are descendants of the gods is a false conception; but it is absolutely impermissible to call chimerical the idea that the emperor is a descendant of the gods.” In any case, the “renunciation of divinity” was noted more by foreigners than by Japanese, and seems to have been intended for the consumption of the former. The theory of a constitutional monarchy had already had some proponents in Japan. In 1935, when Tatsukichi Minobe advocated the theory that sovereignty resides in the states, of which the emperor is just an organ (the ”tennō kikan setsu”), it caused a furor. He was forced to resign from the House of Peers and his post at the Tokyo Imperial University, his books were banned and an attempt was made on his life. Not until 1946 was the tremendous step made to alter the Emperor’s title from “imperial sovereign” to “constitutional monarch+“.

Although the Emperor had supposedly repudiated claims to divine status, his public position was deliberately left vague, partly because General MacArthur thought him likely to be a useful partner to get the Japanese to accept the occupation, and partly due to behind-the-scenes maneuverings by Shigeru Yoshida+ to thwart attempts to cast him as a European-style monarch.

While Emperor Hirohito was usually seen abroad as a head of state+, there is still a broad dispute about whether he became a common citizen or retained special status related to his religious offices and participations in Shinto and Buddhist calendar rituals.

For the rest of his life, Emperor Hirohito was an active figure in Japanese life, and performed many of the duties commonly associated with a constitutional head of state+. The emperor and his family maintained a strong public presence, often holding public walkabouts, and making public appearances on special events and ceremonies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What really Happened Read below

1942

 

January,14th.1942

The conference scored one other major achievement before its close on 14 January. Last on the agenda the British had submitted before the meeting was an item calling for the establishment of “joint machinery” for collaboration.

Just what the British had in mind was not clear, but in preparation for the coming discussion the Americans studied the matter and decided they would seek as their solution to the problem of collaboration the establishment of a Supreme Allied War Council, patterned on the World War I model, and of two committees to support the council — a Military Joint Planning Committee and a Joint Supply Committee.23

 

 

 

 

 

GENERAL TER POORTEN Greets General Wavell (left) on his arrival at Batavia.

 Now, in the first week of January, the 16th

 Army, which had been given the 38th Division to accelerate its drive into the Indies, completed its preparations for the advance. At Davao in the southern Philippines it organized two task forces, one to take the important oil center of Tarakan in northern Borneo, and the other Menado in the Celebes.

 Both left Davao at the same time, 9 January 1942.

The first landed at Tarakan on 11 January and, after overcoming slight resistance from the Dutch defenders aided by American B-17’s based near Surabaya, took that town the same day.

 The second force, reinforced by about 330 naval paratroopers and supported by the seaplane tenders Chitose and Mizuho and three heavy cruisers, took Menado at the same time.

The seizure of these two points completed the Japanese control of

 

 the Celebes Sea

 

And

 the northern approaches to Makassar Strait.

 Through that strait lay one of the routes to Java.30

 

 

 

JANUARY 1942

amazing story of Louis Rapmund.

 

Louis Rapmund

During one of my many late night internet searches I found his name in two obscure articles published in a New Guinea journal in the late 1940s. Rapmund was a Dutch NEI (Netherlands East Indies) officer who worked in western New Guinea facilitating the recovery of Indian, Papuan, and Dutch nationals who had been held by the Japanese. Rapmund assisted Nellist and Rounsaville Teams (of the Alamo Scouts) on their famous mission to liberate a Dutch governor and his family, along with 40 Javanese and twelve French civilians from an internee camp at Cape Oransbari

 

 

Last photo of the Rapmund Family – Madang 1940

“The last time I saw my father was in 1942 in Java,” said Louise. “He was literally running out the back door of our house as the Japanese were coming in the front door.

They were looking for him. This has helped heal a wound in my soul that festered for over sixty years. I loved my father. He was a wonderful man.”

Over the next week Louise gathered what photos she could find of her father and sent them to me for the ASA Photo Archive.

As the photos attest, Louis Rapmund was a striking figure; a handsome young man struck down in the prime of his life in a brutal war. But now thanks to modern technology, the undying love of a daughter, and the generosity of a total stranger, the words he penned a lifetime ago have helped bring others a little closer.

 

 

Louise & husband

 

in the first week of January 1942

Japanese Forces  opened the second phase.

 

The objectives of this phase of the plan included the seizure of the Bismarck Archipelago and Malay Peninsula; the capture of Singapore; and, in preparation for the final assault on Java, heart of the Indies, the acquisition of air and naval bases in southern Sumatra, Dutch Borneo, the Celebes, Amboina, and Timor.

 

 The occupation of Java itself and of northern Sumatra was scheduled for the third phase, after which the Japanese would complete their operations in Burma and consolidate their position in the conquered area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So rapidly had their forces moved and so light had been resistance that even before the end of the year Japanese commanders in the field were urging their superiors in Tokyo to speed the timetable of conquest

 

 

January,1st.1942

 

JAPANESE PRISONERS,

 captured on Bataan, being led blindfolded to headquarters for questioning. On 1 January 1942 the Japanese entered Manila and the U.S, troops withdrew toward Bataan. Army supplies were either moved to Bataan and Corregidor or destroyed. The remaining forces on Bataan, including some 15,000 U.S. troops, totaled about 80,000 men. The food, housing, and sanitation problems were greatly increased by the presence of over 20,000 civilian refugees. All troops were placed on half-rations

On January 2th, 1942

 

, the Philippine capital of Manila was occupied by the japanese

January,5th,1942

The postal used cover with DEI Kon 10 cent stamps send from CDS Madioen 5.1.42 to Batavia center

 

 had sencored red Chop and the c0ver open by sencored ,closed with DEI Official geopend door censor flap

 

It was at this juncture, on 10 January,

 that General Wavell reached Batavia, capital of the Netherlands Indies, located on the northwest coast of Java. Already there or soon to arrive were his deputy, General Brett, and the commanders of his ground and naval force, Lt. Gen. H. ter Poorten and Admiral Hart. In the absence of Air Marshal Sir Richard E. C. Peirse, General Brereton was appointed deputy commander of the air forces. On the 15th, General Wavell formally assumed command of the ABDA area (ABDACOM) with headquarters at Lembang, inland from the capital and about ten miles north of Bandoeng.31 (Chart 2)

From the start it was apparent that the defense of the ABDA area, even in the unlikely event that the promised reinforcements arrived in time, had little chance of success. Already the Japanese had taken Hong Kong, isolated the Philippines, landed in Borneo and the Celebes, and were making rapid progress down the Malay Peninsula.

 To oppose their advance Wavell had, in addition to the British forces fighting a losing battle in Malaya and the American forces in the Philippines, two Dutch divisions in Java and small Dutch garrisons elsewhere in the Indies; a naval force — including the U.S. Asiatic Fleet — of heavy and 8 light cruisers, 23 destroyers, and 36 submarines; and an air force of 4 fighter and 6 bomber squadrons, including the remnants of the Far East Air Force, plus 250 more planes in Burma and Malaya. With these meager forces General Wavell could only try to hold back the Japanese tide while waiting for reinforcements which never came.32

The urgent need for reinforcements was only one of Wavell’s problems. Keeping the peace within his own small international headquarters, unraveling the confused command relationships between his forces, and reconciling conflicting national interests and strategic concepts were others almost as serious. Even so minor a matter as the location of the headquarters could not be settled amicably and it was only after he had overridden the strong objections of his naval commanders that Wavell established his headquarters at Lembang.33

The relationship between Wavell and MacArthur, though it created no difficulties, illustrated the confused situation in ABDACOM. In addition to the task of holding the Malay Barrier, Wavell had also been instructed to re-establish communications with Luzon and to support the Philippine garrison. Before assuming command, he objected to this assignment and proposed that the islands be excluded from the ABDA area. President Roosevelt, without consulting his military advisers, approved this suggestion to avoid any delay in Wavell’s assumption of command. When General Marshall learned of this action he saw

 

 

 

CHART 2–ORGANIZATION OF ABDACOM, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1942

 


ABDA COMMAND
meeting with General Wavell for the first time. Seated around the table, from left: Admirals Layton, Helfrich, and Hart, General ter Poorten, Colonel Kengen, Royal Netherlands Army (at head of table), and Generals Wavell, Brett, and Brereton.

that it might well have an adverse effect upon morale in the Philippines and was contrary to the ABDA agreement. An important reason for the establishment of Wavell’s command had been the desire to co-ordinate the efforts of the Allies in the Far East, and the United States had allocated to the defense of ABDA aircraft which had been under MacArthur’s command or sent out originally for his use. With King’s support, therefore, Marshall recommended to the President that he rescind his earlier message. The President saw the point immediately, and Wavell was told the day after he assumed command that the Philippines would remain in his area.34

The establishment of the ABDA area made necessary also a reshuffling of the U.S. Army commands already in existence in the Southwest Pacific and Southeast Asia. Although MacArthur was assured by the War Department that the establishment of ABDACOM would not alter his position or affect his forces, he actually lost a part of his command. The U.S. Army Forces in Australia were then a part of USAFFE (U.S. Army Forces, Far East) and under MacArthur’s direction. Now he was told that these forces would be formed into a separate command on a level with USAFFE and placed under General Brereton, who had been selected because of his “intimate knowledge of your situation and needs.” The reason for this move was that the Japanese advance into the Indies had made control by MacArthur of the forces in Australia and the Netherlands

Indies impractical. But, he was assured, “when satisfactory communications with the Philippines have once been reestablished your resumption of actual command of all American Army forces in the Far East will be easily accomplished.”35

Other than the paper changes in command, the establishment of ABDACOM had no effect on operations in the Philippines. MacArthur reported formally by radio to his new superior and sent representatives from Mindanao to Java to solicit what aid they could, but the relationship between the two headquarters was never more than nominal.

General Brereton’s assignment as air commander in the ABDA area, pending the arrival of Air Marshal Pierse, complicated an already confusing situation. Brereton was also commander of U.S. Army Forces in Australia (USAFIA), a post General Brett had held before him, and in this capacity also came under Wavell’s control. But this control was only partial, for, as the War Department explained to Brereton, “U.S. troops in Australian territory come under the control of General Wavell only when specifically allotted for service in the ABDA area.”36

The physical difficulties of exercising command simultaneously over USAFIA, a logistical and administrative headquarters in Australia, and over ABDAIR, an operational headquarters in Java, as well as the conflicting missions of the two, made it imperative to clarify Brereton’s status. On the 16th, therefore, a day after he assumed command, General Wavell, at Brereton’s request, asked Marshall to relieve Brereton of his responsibilities in Australia so that he could concentrate on the full-time job of directing his air forces. This was quickly done, and General Barnes, who had in effect been directing the activities of USAFIA since the 12th, was authorized to assume command of base facilities in Australia.37

Barnes himself seems to have been somewhat confused about his status and responsibilities for he was never formally designated as a commander of USAFIA and Brereton continued to receive messages addressed to him with that title. Moreover, when Brereton had difficulty getting logistical support from Australia that he wanted, he complained to the War Department, which promptly informed Barnes that he was to provide that support as best he could. At the same time, the War Department made it clear to Barnes that he was not under Brereton’s but Wavell’s command, and that General Brett, as Wavell’s deputy, could issue orders to him. So far as the War Department was concerned this ended the matter, but General Barnes, even at the end of January, was apparently not clear on his relationship to ABDACOM “in general” and to General Brett “in particular regarding troops and supplies in Australia.”38

Not only was there confusion over command in the ABDA area, but national commanders differed with one another and with the Supreme Commander over the conduct of operations and the allocation of resources. To the American, Dutch, and Australian officers, it seemed that General Wavell was devoting far too much attention, as well as a disproportionate share of Allied resources, to the defense of Malaya, Singapore, and Burma, an attitude that seemed to them to reflect British rather than Allied interests. The American commanders, Admiral Hart and General Brereton, free from any territorial interest in the area, wished to protect the lines of communication and air and naval bases along the Malay Barrier, which they believed essential links in defensive structure of the Southwest Pacific and the starting points for offensive operations. The Dutch desired above all else to concentrate Allied resources on the defense of their territories. And the Australians, concerned over the defense of the homeland, continually pressed for a greater share of the theater’s resources on the east. If General Wavell made any effort to reconcile these views, the records do not show it. Despite the representations of the national commanders to their governments — in Washington Brett’s were refuted by the Army planners, as was his proposal to break up the new theater — Wavell continued to act on the assumption that the security of the Netherlands Indies and Australia depended on the defense of Malaya and Singapore.39

These difficulties were brought out sharply in the discussion of naval reinforcements. Most of the British and Dutch vessels in the area were assigned to convoy duty, leaving only the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, based on Surabaya, free for operations. The Dutch, whose naval forces were under the operational control of the British, were none too happy over this assignment, preferring to employ their vessels in the defense of Dutch territory. Their irritation was further increased by the British announcement of the transfer of some of their cruisers and destroyers to the Indian Ocean and American refusal to provide naval reinforcements for convoy duty. Ultimately the Australians were persuaded to send additional vessels into the area, but the damage had been done and the Dutch resentment persisted.40

The Dutch were displeased also with the way naval operations were being conducted. Admiral Hart, they felt, had his forces too far back and was showing more concern over Darwin and the supply routes to Australia than over the progress of the enemy through Makassar Strait and the Molucca Sea. They were disappointed, too, over their failure to gain command of the naval elements in ABDA. Their interests, they felt, were predominant and their knowledge of the area greater than that of the Americans. This attitude, which Dutch naval officers made little effort to conceal, added to Hart’s already considerable burdens and complicated his task enormously.

By the end of January, relations between Admiral Hart and the Dutch naval commander had become so strained that they could no longer be ignored. It was then that General Wavell suggested to the Prime Minister that Hart

 

be relieved on account of his age and that a Dutch officer, or, if the United States would send naval reinforcements to the ABDA area, a younger American be given command. The suggestion was passed on to Washington and finally to Hart himself who replied that he did not consider himself too old to discharge his duties and did not wish to be relieved. Though both Admirals King and Stark supported the Asiatic Fleet commander, the President decided to adopt Wavell’s suggestion. His decision was influenced largely by the fact that the United States had refused to send naval reinforcements to the area and by the hope that the Dutch would assume a more active role in the naval defense of ABDA. There was never any feeling, Admirals King and Stark later recalled, that Hart had proved unfit or that he was too old to exercise command. After the President had made his decision Hart had no recourse but to step down, which he did on the 5th by asking to be relieved on account of ill health, a course Admiral Stark had recommended to him. Six days later the Secretary of the Navy ordered him home.41 His place was taken by Vice Adm. Conrad E. L. Helfrich, Dutch naval commander.


ADMIRALS HELFRICH AND HART

With the relief of Admiral Hart, ABDACOM lost its last American force commander. Air Marshall Pierse had taken over from General Brereton on 28 January, as originally intended, and the Dutch continued to command the ground forces. The U.S. Chiefs, anxious to secure direction of one of the major elements in ABDACOM in the interests of “homeland support,” put forward Brett’s name as commander of the Allied air forces. Both the President and the Prime Minister supported the nomination, but Brett seems to have had larger ambitions and argued that such a “drastic change” would be unsettling. The matter was dropped.42

While the Allies sought to solve the problem of command and bring reinforcements into the area, the Japanese continued to advance almost without interruption. In Malaya General Yamashita forced the British back from line after line until on 27 January Lt. Gen. A. E. Percival, the British commander in Malaya, withdrew his forces to Singapore. The causeway connecting the fortress to the mainland was blown on 31 January. Only the waters of Johore Strait lay between Yamashita and his goal. For a week, while the Singapore garrison

desperately prepared its defenses, Japanese aircraft and artillery paved the way for the final assault.

The loss of Singapore was a major blow to the Allied cause in the Far East and a disaster of the first magnitude for the British who had long regarded it as an impregnable fortress and the key to the defense of Australia, New Zealand, and India. Fortunately, the British estimate of the importance of Singapore to the security of the Dominions proved incorrect, but that did not lessen the immediate shock or minimize the seriousness of the blow to the British Far Eastern Fleet, which had already suffered the loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse.

With its base gone, the British Navy now had to retire to Sydney in Australia and to Ceylon, and when Ceylon was threatened briefly in April, to the east coast of Africa.

For ABDACOM, which had been established only a month before, the fall of Singapore was a crushing blow. In anticipation of this disaster, General Wavell had warned the Chiefs of Staff on the 13th that a drastic change in plans might soon be necessary. It was doubtful, he wrote, that Sumatra, obviously the next Japanese objective, could be held, and if it were not, then Java would fall. Though he told the Chiefs he intended to continue his present plans for the defense of Java “until situation enforces changes,” it was apparent by the 15th that he had no real hope for success, a view that was reinforced by his recommendation to divert reinforcements, two Australian divisions, already en route from the Middle East to Java, to Australia or Burma, preferably the latter.44

The Dutch took violent exception to Wavell’s estimate. They insisted that Java must be defended, regardless of the fate of Sumatra. To them and to the Netherlands Government-in-exile Java had an even greater political, moral, and sentimental significance than Singapore had for the British. Wavell’s proposal seemed to them an abandonment by their Allies and confirmed their worst fears that ABDACOM was a device to use Allied resources for the defense of Singapore and of British interests in the Far East.

Unpalatable as it was to the Dutch, Wavell’s estimate had to be accepted for not only was Singapore about to fall into Japanese hands, but Java was clearly threatened from three directions — the South China Sea, Makassar Strait, and Molucca Sea. Following up the Borneo

landings of late December and early January, the Japanese, moving by water through Makassar Strait, had landed at Balikpapan

.

. Only a day before, another Japanese force had sailed through the Molucca Sea to land at Makassar on the southwest tip of Celebes Island, facing Makassar Strait. By 10 February that strait and the north shore of the Java Sea were under Japanese control.

The Molucca Sea approach to the Malay Barrier fell into Japanese hands as a result of amphibious hops and naval-air engagements in which the Allies fought a desperate but losing battle. From Menado, which they had taken

 on 11 January,

 the Japanese moved on to Kendari

 

the bulk of the American army in the Philippines was bottled up on the Bataan Peninsula

 

 

 

 

 

and the Japanese had taken Palembang in southern Sumatra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Likely this was one of the Hurricanes flown by the 64th Sentai. Photo was taken at Palembang in 1942, after the airfield was occupied by Kato’s group; those are Japanese ground crews lounging beneath the captured plane. The type is Hurricane IIB

The group was under the command of then-Major Kato Tateo, probably the most famous of the Japanese army’s fighter pilots.

On January 16,

on 23rd January

an attack on Palembang by twenty-seven Japanese bombers showed that the main airfield in Sumatra, P.I, could not be adequately protected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 1.   Click to enlarge the picture  
  2. 2.  
  3. 3.    
  4. 4.     
  5. 5.    
  6. 6.    
  7. 7.        

Since the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941,

Japan and then trying to control natural resources, especially petroleum by attacking and controlling the occupied Dutch East Indies, including Indonesia, which was then known as the best producer of petroleum (Sumatra) where the oil produced can be directly used as fuel ships without having to go through the distillation process first.

 

 

 

January,23th.1942

Jauh sebelum Indonesia merdeka, nan jauh di pelosok terpencil di semanjung utara pulau Sulawesi,  seorang pria yang memiliki semangat beroktan tinggi untuk membebaskan belenggu penindasan penjajah, melakukan tindakan heroik.

Saat negeri ini masih berada dalam cengkraman kolonial Belanda, Wartabone dan pengikutnya lainnya memiliki kreatifitas perjuangan yang unik dan langka. Pagi hari tepat pukul 10, setelah mengepung kota Gorontalo dan menaklukkannya dengan mudah pada pagi buta di hari Jumat tanggal 23 Januari 1942.

 

Hari itu di halaman Kantor Pos, Nani Wartabone mengumumkan kemerdekaan Indonesia, dengan menyanyikan lagu ‘Indonesia Raya’ dan mengibarkan bendera Merah Putih, dia dengan lantang mengumandangkan teriakan kebebasan kemerdekaan. Inilah tindakan yang sangat lancang bagaikan masuk ke kamar tidur kolonial. Di mata penguasa kolonial Hindia Belanda,  setiap gerak gerik bahkan gagasan sekalipun dari setiap individu tertindas kaum terjajah, diganjar dengan hukuman berat. Tindakan Wartabone adalah ‘heroik di atas heroik’ yang bayarannya sangat mahal.

“Pada hari ini, tanggal 23 Januari 1942, kita bangsa Indonesia yang berada di sini sudah merdeka bebas, lepas dari penjajahan bangsa mana pun juga. Bendera kita yaitu Merah Putih, lagu kebangsaan kita adalah Indonesia Raya”, pekik Wartabone yang kala itu berusia 35 tahun.(baltyr web blog)

Proklamasi kemerdekaan Indonesia pada tanggal 23 Januari  1942 oleh Wartabone memang tidak diakui sebagai hari kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia. Namun setidaknya Wartabone sudah mengawinkan sebuah keinginan dengan sebuah kenyataan menjadi sebuah visi kuat yang di dalamnya dia bela sampai mati.

 

Presiden Soeharto memandang tindakan patriotik Wartabone dengan menganugerahkan Bintang Maha Putera Utama pada Hari Pahlawan tahun 1991 kepadanya, yang diwakili oleh putranya, Fauzi. Dan 12 tahun kemudian, Presiden Megawati Soekarnoputri menghargai visinya itu dengan memberi gelar pahlawan nasional kepadanya pada Hari Pahlawan 2003. (*)

 

 

FEBRUARY 1942

 

 

 

Beginning in February 1942,

 

Japan started to invade the territory of Sumatra and began putting his patrol boats around the Java Sea, having previously managed to control some areas in Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

 

Then the Japanese overran the oil city of Palembang as a very valuable time

  • on February 13, 1942.

 

The next day, February 14, 1942

 

 history records the sinking British ship HMS Li Wo by the Japanese navy when the ship was evacuating troops from Java (another source notes that the ship HMS Li Wo was on his way from Singapore to Batavia when ditengeelamkan).

 

February 1942 closed with the outbreak of War of the Java Sea, where the Allied navy joined in ABDACOM (American-British-Dutch-Australian Command) was defeated by the Japanese navy. Dutch East Indies government surrendered unconditionally and surrender its colonies of Indonesia to Japan through Kalijati Agreement on March 8, 1942.

 

 

14th February 1942,

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

 

 

 

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

The Sinking of HMS ‘Li-Wo’

Introduction

On Wednesday 6th March 2002 I visited my niece in Cardiff. Quite casually, she handed me an A4 brown envelope saying that her grandfather (and my father) had given it to her a few years before he died. Inside, I found a 24 page photocopied letter, penned by my father, to the Imperial War Museum about the sinking of HMS ‘Li Wo’.

I have reproduced the letter below exactly as it was written.

Moyra Jones 7th March 2002


The Director

Imperial War Museum

Lambeth Rd

London S.E.1

Sunday 30/8/64

 

Dear Sir,

On the 14th August, this year, I visited London with my Daughter and Nephew, and took them to The Imperial War Museum.

It was a surprise, and a proud moment, and a sad one, when I saw the scale Model of H.M.S. “Li-Woo” (sic), as I am one of the few survivors of the short but epic action, North of the Banka Straits, on Sat 14th February 1942.

I feel that I must write to you, correcting much of the information about the Ship and the action that took place, between H.M.S “Li-Woo”, and a Japanese convoy and Japanese Naval Escorts.

I commented to one of the Attendants on duty, that the facts were wrong, and was advised by him, to see the Records in the Records Department, of which I did.

Which of course, after seeing them, decided to write to you, hoping most sincerely, that you will investigate most fully, the facts I intend to give.

Before I give any account, I wish to make it perfectly clear, that I seek no glory, I seek no financial gain, and I seek no publicity.

My object and reason is purely and simply this.

Ever since 5-30 P.M. Saturday 14th 1942. I have honoured and admired the memory of the Bravest Man I ever knew.

Lt. Wilkinson V.C. R.N.

This is the first time I have written to anyone about this action, as until that visit to the Imperial War Museum, I was always under the impression that the true real facts were fully known.

I wonder how many of the gun’s crew, who composed of “Prince of Wales”, and “Repulse” survivors were interviewed? Or interrogated over this action? I also wish to add, that I was never asked for an account of the action after the war had ended, and the reason why I was unable to give an account during my 3 1/2 years as a Japanese P.O.W. was simply this:-

When I was first taken P.O.W. the survivors of the “Li-Woo” were in a tempory P.O.W. Camp at Muntok, in Banka Island, with Army, Navy, R.A.F. personel, and with many civilians, of which there were many children.

I was only at that Camp, which had no real British Military Administration for a week at the most, when I escaped with Lt. Col. Daly of Dal Force Malaya, Lt. Eno, Army, Sgt. Ken Wharton, Australian Army, only to be eventually betrayed by Natives, and handed over to the Japanese, when we landed at Java.

During my captivity, the Japs never knew that we were recaptured P.O.W.s.

I deemed that discretion was the better of Valour.

I could not mention the “Li-Woo” action North of the Banka Straits, without giving myself away that I was an escaped P.O.W.

The punishment was death.

Also we were mixed with many Dutch, and Dutch Eurasians, many of the Eurasians were Pro-Jap, and would give away their own Mother.

Here now is the facts as I know them, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

After being sunk on the “Prince of Wales” I was sent up into Malaya with:-

C.P.O. Rogers “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Adly(sic) “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Bennett “Repulse”

Ldg Smn Countant “Prince of Wales”.

I need not bother you about details, as it is non revelant to the “Li-Woo”, except this.

After returning to Singapore from Malaya, we were detailed to patrol the Jahore Straits in small boats. We operated from a small village opposite Paula Ubin Island.

We were recalled from there to the Orange Hotel, Thursday afternoon 12th Feb 1942.

We were then detailed to go aboard the “Li-Woo” to sail for Java.

On arrival aboard, we were detailed as Guns Crew, being that the others were Torpedo ratings, and C.P.O Rogers, a Rangetaker, I was appointed Gun Layer.

My Guns crew consisted of C.P.O Rogers, Ldg/Smn Adley, Bennett Countant, and two stoker ratings who were with us in the Jahore Straits Patrol.

We left Singapore Harbour late Thursday night Feb 12th 1942 only to drop anchor outside the Harbour.

On Friday 13th Feb 1942 we sailed for Java with the “Fu Woo” a sister ship. We were attacked many times by aircraft, and came through.

On Sat 14th Feb 1942 we dropped anchor close inshore, we were informed that we were anchoring for a while, trusting to luck that we would not be spotted by enemy aircraft, as the Captain intended to go through the 80 miles of the Banka Straits in darkness.

We were spotted by a Jap seaplane just had we got under way again.

Between 4-30. 5-0 P.M we sighted smoke on the horizon off the Port Bow. It was a convoy.

Lt Wilkingson (sic) asked if anyone could recognise if any of the warships were Jap.

Informed him that I had served two years on the China Station, 1936-1938 and was familiar with Jap warships.

He told me to come to the bridge, and then handed me his telescope.

I saw one Jap light cruiser and two Jap destroyers, without looking for any more, I told him they were Japanese.

He then asked me if I had any doubt, I told him “none whatever”.

The convoy was about 10 mile away, and I was told to report back to the gun.

Captain Wilkingson’s words to us was this:-

“A Jap convoy is ahead, I am going to attack it, we will take as many of those Jap Bastards, as possible, with us.

Those words I will never forget, they have always been fixed clearly in my mind.

I returned to the gun, AND I CHECKED THE AMMUNITION, AND REPORTED IT FROM THE GUN, TO CAPTAIN WILKINGSON.

My report to him was this.

SIX SEM-ARMOUR PIERCING SHELLS.

FOUR GRAZE FUSE SHELLS.

THREE A.A. SHELLS.

He replied :- “Gunlayer, is that all the ammunition you have”?

I answered :- “Yes Sir”, thirteen shells in all, plus three practice shell.”

How or why 13 practice shells came into it, I don’t know, all I can assume is this.

Possibly, it was because for most of the crew, it was their first taste of action, and I know the effect it has on many.

Admitted there was thrteen shells, but they were 6. S.A.P. 4 GRAZE FUSE and 3. A.A.

I do not class a practice shell as shell for action.

Do you think that I can ever forget that moment.

The hopelessness of knowing that I had only six shells that could do any damage, and realising that two shells would probably be wasted before we found the range and target.

The “Li Woo’s” Gunnery Officer joined us, Captain Wilkinson’s name is the only one I remember.

The Gunnery Officer was Ginger headed, I believe he was a New Zealander.

I had a hurried conference with him, and said to him :-

“Look Sir, I have only six shells that can do any damage, four that can do harm if we fire at the super structure as anti personel shells, then our last hope is to set the A.A. shells at Fuse 2 and hope for the best.”

I also pointed out, that unless we were lucky with our first shot, as all we had was “Gunlayers Control”, “Gunlayers Firing”, with no range Finder and no Inclanometre to help, we might waste two shells at least, before we were on target, should we use the practice shells as our ranging shots?”

He paused for a moment, then replied: “it might be a good idea, but then again it might not, as if we can get in close enough, and we find our target, it is a wasted effort.” I received the order to load with S.A.P.

Approx. half an hour later we engaged the enemy.

Our selected target was a transport of between four to five thousand tons.

At an estimated range of four thousand yards, deflection six left, we opened fire.

The first shell was over target.

I ordered, “Fixed Sight, Rapid Salvos.” I know that at least three of our remaining five S.A.P. shells, were bang on target, as fire broke out on her immediately.

Soon she was blazing furiously. In less than two minutes our ammunition was expended.

Captain Wilkinson selected another target, the ship nearest to him, about 800 tons and deliberately rammed and sank it.

We were now among the Jap convoy, helpless, drifting, and no ammo.

I will never forget another hero of this action, a man unknown, unsung, unpraised.

An R.A.F. sargeant who manned the Vickers Lewis Gun, from the time the ship left Singapore, to when the “Li Woo” sank.

It was his deadly accurate fire, that wipe (sic) out the four man gun’s crew aboard the Jap transport we rammed.

The enemy’s gun was about 30 to 40 M.Metre. It was this gun that caused our first casualties.

I myself was wounded in the chest. The R.A.F. Sargent then swept the bridge and decks with his deadly fire, killing many.

He then opened up on another transport about 200 yards away.

The Jap convoy cleared away from us, and we came under fire from the Jap warships.

It was a fearful experience as it took the Japs five to ten minutes to find our range, their gunnery was lousy, and the noise of their shells whistling overhead, always expecting the next one to land inboard, knowing that we had to just sit there and take it, and and the helplessness of not being able to do anything about it.

When they eventually found our range, it was all over.

The “Li-Woo” listed to Starboard and sank stern first.

When we survivors were swimming in the water, the Japs transports closed in. I myself was on one of two rafts which for safety we had tied together. The transports came towards us, and picked up their own survivors, we were then under the impression when they came slowly at us that they were going to pick us up as well.

But we were in for a shock. They came right at us and deliberately rammed us but we realise just before, what their intentions were, and hastily dived into the sea.

With my own eyes, and there are times when the memory of it is most vivid, I saw that transport go among a group of survivors, and mamouver amongst them with churning screws, killing at least a dozen.

It was only the sudden darkness that saved us.

We succeeded in regaining the rafts, and all night we could see the transport we set on fire blazing fiercely.

The following afternoon,

Sunday 15th Feb

 we were picked up by other survivors who were in a boat, with a sail and oars.

It was badly holed, and the gunwales was four inches above the water.

It was only its buoyancy tanks keeping it afloat.

Just after sunrise on Monday

16th Feb, 1942,

we were washed ashore.

My shipmate C.P.O Rogers was in the sailing boat.

We seemed to separate in groups, just aimlessly walking around the Island, there were four of us in the group I was in, C.P.O Rogers was one of them.

Late that afternoon we ran into a Jap patrol and was taken prisioner.

A few days later I met L/Smn Adley, and Bennett, they also had run into a Jap patrol, but were not so fortunate as we were.

The Jap patrol opened fire on them, L/Smn Adley was shot in the arm, and Ldg/ Smn Bennett was bayonetted.

That is my story, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

My one intention, and the only reason why I have written this down, is that the facts should be known, in fact must be known to all, the courage and bravery, and the great achievement accomplished by Lt. Wilkingson V.C. of H.M.S Li-Woo, on Saturday 14th February 1942, against tremendous odds.

I was on the gun deck, during the short journey from Singapore to the end of the “Li-Woo”.

I was the Gunlayer. I will state most emphatically, that to the best of my knowledge, there was no member of the “Li-Woo s” original crew, a member of that gun’s crew.

How can a practise shell cause a transport vessel to burst into flames?

Sunday afternoon we could see her, an abandoned, floating, blackened wreck, smoking slightly.

Do you think it possible?

I will willingly travel to London and undergo any interrogation you wish to put me through. But please, I beg of you, please see that “Lt. Wilkingson V.C. gets the credit that is due to him.

Is this too much to ask, for a man who made the Supreme Sacrifice, and who won the Highest Award that his Country could bestow upon him?

It was my intention after seeing the model of the “Li-Woo” to get in touch with C.P.O. Rogers. I believe that he resides at Bristol, but for the time being, I have decided against it, so that you can have the opportunity to check my story, without any collusion between C.P.O. Rogers or any one else, with me.

I swear to you on oath, that since the war ended, I have not seen or communicated with any of the “Li-Woo” survivors.

There is a lot more details, small ones, that I can give you, but, my aim is, as I have stated previously, Let “Lt Wilkingson V.C. have the just credit due to him, and the facts put right.

Yours sincerely,

T.H. Parsons

E/34 Room

Chace Guildhouse

London Rd

Coventry.

Late Leading Seaman T.H.PARSONS

D/JX.143539

P.S AFTER READING MY STORY WOULD YOU PLEASE PASS ON TO NAVAL RECORDS.


Follow up

HOUSE OF COMMONS

LONDON SWLA 0AA

01-219 4166

From:

The Rt Hon. James Callaghan, MP. 8th January 1986

 

Dear Mr Parsons,

Thank you for your letter with the account of your service in the Far East during the last war. First, allow me to congratulate you on the determination and courage you showed throughout the period.

I will readily take up the matter up with the Ministry of Defence in order to secure a statement from the Admiralty that you took part in the “Li-Wo” action but will not do so until you have been to see me in Cardiff on 18th January, at the offices of the GMBATU, 17 Newport Road, between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m.

I shall look forward to seeing you then, when we can discuss any additional points that need to be put forward.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed Jim Callaghan)


 

This is to certify

that

LEADING SEAMAN THOMAS HENRY PARSONS D/JX 143539

On the 14th February 1942

took part in the action when his Majesty’s Patrol Ship

LI-WO whilst on patrol duty off Singapore, gallantly

engaged the superior forces of the enemy, inflicting

significant damage on a convoy of troopships before being

sunk by a Japanese cruiser. The heroism and self sacrifice

of the many who died and the few who survived were in the

highest traditions of the Royal Navy.

 

George Younger

20th February 1986 SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE

 

February 15, 1942.

Battle of Singapore, British Surrender. Lt.-Gen. Yamashita (seated, centre) thumps the table with his fist to emphasize his terms — unconditional surrender. Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth. (Photo from Imperial War Museum)

“World War II: Battle of Singapore”

Lt. Gen. Arthur Percival marches to surrender to the Japanese, February 1942
Photograph Source: Public Domain
Battle of Singapore – Conflict & Dates:

The Battle of Singapore was fought January 31 to February 15, 1942, during World War II (1939-1945).
Armies & Commanders

British

Lieutenant General Arthur Percival
85,000 men

Japanese

Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita
36,000 men

Battle of Singapore – Background:

On December 8, 1941,

Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s Japanese 25th Army began invading British Malaya from Indochina and later from Thailand. Though outnumbered by the British defenders, the Japanese concentrated their forces and utilized combined arms skills learned in earlier campaigns to repeatedly flank and drive back the enemy. Quickly gaining air superiority, they inflicted a demoralizing blow on December 10 when Japanese aircraft sank the British battleships HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales. Utilizing light tanks and bicycles, the Japanese swiftly moved through the peninsula’s jungles.

Defending Singapore:

Though reinforced, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival’s command was unable to halt the Japanese and on January 31 withdrew from the peninsula to the island of Singapore. Destroying the causeway between the island and Johore, he prepared to repel the anticipated Japanese landings.

 

Considered a bastion of British strength in the Far East, it was anticipated that Singapore could hold or at least offer protracted resistance to the Japanese. To defend Singapore, Percival deployed three brigades of

 

Major General Gordon Bennett’s 8th Australian division to hold the western part of the island.

 

Lieutenant General Sir Lewis Heath’s Indian III Corps was assigned to cover the northeastern part of the island while the southern areas were defended by a mixed force of local troops led by

Major General Frank K. Simmons (Map).

 

 

Advancing to Johore, Yamashita established his headquarters at the Sultan of Johore’s palace. Though a prominent target, he correctly anticipated that the British would not attack it for fear of angering the sultan. Utilizing aerial reconnaissance and intelligence gathered from agents that infiltrated the island, he began to form a clear picture of Percival’s defensive positions.

by Air Commodore Vincent. It was made up partly of the Hurricanes and Buffalos withdrawn from Singapore, and partly of Hurricanes flown direct from H.M.S. Indomitable,

which had arrived off Sumatra on 26th January.

 Forty-eight Hurricanes left her flight deck and, of these, fifteen went on to Singapore and the remainder to P.I, where five crashed on landing. The guns of all of them were choked with anti-corrosion grease, put on as a protection during the long voyage, and they were not able therefore to go into action for some time.

Nevertheless, the enemy did not reach Sumatra unscathed. His convoy coming from Banka Island, already once mauled, was again fiercely attacked on 15th February by the Hudsons and Blenheims of No. 225 Group.

 This time the Hurricanes, though their strength had by then been seriously depleted in attacks made upon them when on the ground at Palembang, were with the bombers.

 The results achieved were even more successful than those of the day before. The bombers and fighters, operating from the secret airfield P.II to which they had hastily repaired, attacked twenty Japanese transports and their escort of warships either in the Banka Strait or at the mouth of the Palembang River. Between 6.30 in the morning and 3:30 in the afternoon, a series of assaults were delivered, their number being conditioned only by the speed with which the aircraft making them could be refuelled and rearmed.

 At first, opposition was strong, but the indefatigable Blenheims of Nos. 84 and 211 Squadrons and the Hudsons of No. 62 Squadron returned again and again until it weakened and eventually died away.

 Before the sun went down, all movement in the river had ceased and such barges and landing craft as survived had pulled beneath the tangled shade of the trees lining its banks.

The Hurricanes, too, though flown by pilots most of whom were fresh from operational training units and had just completed a long sea voyage, took their full share in this heartening affair.

Their newly cleaned guns did great execution and, as a finale, they destroyed a number of Japanese Navy Zero fighters caught on the ground on Banka Island. These were part of a force thought to have flown off from a Japanese aircraft carrier which had been attacked and sunk by a Dutch submarine

 

On 30th January, 1942,

Air Commodore H. J. F. Hunter took command of the improvised Bomber Group, No. 225, in Sumatra, with Group Captain A. G. Bishop as his Senior Air Staff Officer.

Their task was not easy. Sumatra is an island about 1,000 miles long, running parallel to the west coast of Malaya, but extending far to the southward. Its roads are few; so are its railways and the telephone system was primitive.

For defence from air attack, seven airfields, including a secret strip in the heart of the jungle, known as P.II, twenty miles south of Palembang with its oilfield and refinery, had been constructed and were more or less in operation.

 There were no anti-aircraft defences, and the northern airfields were within range of Japanese fighters.

While the much depleted bomber and reconnaissance forces, which had been withdrawn from Malaya, were being reorganized in Sumatra, the belated air reinforcements originally destined for Singapore began to arrive.

They did so in the worst possible conditions. Equipment of all kinds was woefully short. There was a notable lack of tents, and this, since the north-east monsoon was then at its height, was a great handicap to efficiency.

At the secret airfield, P.II, for example, accommodation for 1,500 ground staff was required, but provision had been made for only 250. Transport hardly existed— most of it had been lost in Singapore—and even when every bus and lorry which could be found had been requisitioned, remained scarce and inadequate.

In the hurried preparations for defence, the local Dutch authorities played a conspicuous part.They gave every help that they could,

 

 

On 31st January, 1942,

 a fortnight before the fall of Singapore, statements appeared in the London Press pointing out that now that our forces had retired into the island of that name, they would be provided with ‘an air umbrella’ and would thus no longer have to endure the dive-bombing and machine-gun attacks of a dominant enemy air force. This umbrella would be furnished by fighter squadrons operating from Sumatra and from the islands south and south-west of Singapore, some of them less than fifty miles away.

Those who provided the British public with such glib assurances were ignorant of one major fact. Once the army had been driven out of Malaya, there was no permanent airfield from which fighters could operate nearer than 130 miles, and this distance was far beyond their radius.

The airstrips on Singapore Island could be used only as advanced landing grounds. Islands, such as Rangsang and Rempang were useless, for no airfields could be, or had been, built upon them.

 At no time, therefore, was the umbrella of fighters more than a shadow, a fiction created by commentators 8,000 miles from the scene of events and possessed of no local knowledge. In point of fact, the few airfields available in Sumatra itself were already congested and became more so as reinforcements arrived.

 

 

On 18 January 1942,

 using small fishing boats, the Japanese landed at Sandakan, the seat of government of British North Borneo.

The North Borneo Armed Constabulary, with only 650 men, hardly provided any resistance to slow down the Japanese invasion



SS Van Imhoff (picture: photoship.co.uk)

Because of the Japanese threat early 1942,

 together with probably 477 other German prisoners, he was transported on the ss Van Imhoff (KPM) to the British Indies.

On 19 January 1942

, a day after departure,

 the ship was attacked by a Japanese bomber aircraft, not far from the island of Nias near West Sumatra.

 The captain didn’t want to free the interned just like that. Together with the crew, the soldiers and guards, about 140 men, they left the vessel in the available rescue boats and abandoned the prisoners who were in an enclosure with barbed wire in the hold.

 Only in the very end they were handed out a few wire-cutters. About half of them were able to rescue themselves from the slowly sinking vessel. A surviver, J. Grashoff, saw the boats waiting at a distance of about 500 metres, with a lot of space left in them.

 A Dutch ship which had responded to the distress signal of the Van Imhoff didn’t offer any help when they found out they were German. Of the interned who were able to flee from the ship, a group of 67 arrived after five days on the island of Nas. Walter Spies belonged to the approximately 411 Germans who died with the sinking of the Van Imhoff or in the days afterwards.

 A Dutch crime of war?
Works by Walter Spies can be seen on Bali in the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) and the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne, Where also the Walter Spies Society is established

January,18th.1942

On January 18, 1942

 

set out three weighing 3000 ton ship carrying prisoners. The last ship left the ship Van Imhoff of Sibolga, Sumatra. This ship did not use the red cross mark. So the next day

on January 19, 1942

van Imhoff had an attack of two planes owned by Japanese hunters. The objec panic, Dutch troops assigned to guard prisoners escaped by cargo boat drawn by a motor boat towing.

Dutch troops have been previously damaged sloop boat, water pumps as well as a communication tool. Luckily there was one boat that had not been tampered or not tampered with, then the German prisoners boarded the small boat. 411 of 477 prisoners died and who survived as many as 64 people can survive and reach Nias while 2 others died just when reaching Nias.
In 1942 was the year that determines whether in Europe or the Pacific war.

On the morning of the 19th January,

 

 the Governor Robert Smith surrendered the State

 

handed to him by the Governor of North Borneo

and, refusing to carry on the administration under Japanese control, was interned with his staff.

This unit then captured

 

Tawau and

 

Lahad Datu

On January 22th.1942


Gen.-Maj. H. ter Poorten (rechts) met General Sir Archibald P. Wavell (midden), opperbevelhebber van Abdacom, te Batavia, 22 jan.1942

 

the Balikpapan ‘s Dai Nippon invasion force was sighted heading south through the Makassar Strait.

The Dutch air force attacked the convoy continuously during daylight, but its antiquated Martin B-10 bombers inflicted little damage.

In the predawn hours of the 24th

the Japanese landed 5,500 soldiers in two separate groups. The bulk of Sakaguchi’s 56th Regimental Group came ashore north of town. A detached battalion,

the Surprise Attack Unit commanded by Major Kaneuchi,

 

landed south of Balikpapan.

 Guided by Indonesian fifth columnists,

 the latter force proceeded to the village of Banubaru, cutting off the Dutch line of retreat. Having learned from hard experience at Tarakan, where Dutch coastal artillery had sunk two warships, the Japanese were avoiding the big guns defending Balikpapan.

In the event, the Dutch did not attempt to hold their positions. Hoogenband had received orders to withdraw inland after completing sabotage operations. He led an infantry column out of town, along the road to Banubaru. The Dutch ran into the advancing main body of Kaneuchi’s Surprise Attack Unit, and the Japanese promptly gave battle. Han fought as part of a machine gun crew, feeding the ammunition belt into the weapon as the gunner mowed down the leading edge of the oncoming enemy. The KNIL troops were defeated and the Dutch force broke up. With no other alternatives but death or capture, Samethini joined a group of survivors heading north into the jungle towards their only hope of escape, the airfield at Samarinda. [3]

on the January, 24th,1942

The landings had been made only after a battle with U.S. naval forces — their first of the war — in which the American destroyers won a tactical victory but failed to stop the enemy. The Japanese took Balikpapan easily but failed to capture the oil refineries there. These, the Dutch had already gutted

 the same day they landed at Balikpapan. Amboina Island was occupied a week later by a strong force which overcame the small Dutch and Australian garrison with little difficulty. By the end of the month the Japanese controlled the Molucca Sea and were in position to cut the line between Java and Australia and to breach the east flank of the Malay Barrier.

On the western flank of the barrier, the Japanese had early secured the South China Sea approaches and

 

Offshore it had been a different story.

At approximately 20.00 hours (8 pm) on the 24th,

 American destroyers of Des Div 59 attacked the invasion convoy, sinking four troop transports and an escort vessel. The next day two more transports were claimed, one by Dutch and American bombers, the other by a Dutch submarine. This was the largest naval action since the start of the Pacific War, but the brief Allied tactical victory could not change the outcome of events on land.

Over the next several days, Han and his companions hacked their way through a tangled wilderness teeming with malarial mosquitoes. Pursued and repeatedly attacked, they reached Samarinda and boarded a plane for Java. As the transport winged over Borneo’s deep green forests and muddy brown rivers, Han might have gazed out the window and reflected on this land of opportunity that had so suddenly become a place of death and defeat. But he was not a man to dwell on regrets. Surely Anna and Margie were alive and waiting for him in Surabaya. That mattered more than anything. [4]

On that day, they took their captives to the nearby sea shore:

Even eight patients from the local hospital were among the group of 78 victims marched to a beach near the old Klandasan Fortress. Two of the victims were then beheaded on the beach, the other 76 forced into the sea…all were shot one by one, their bodies left to drift with the tide. [5]

 

 

The only way out: Samarinda II airfield, Borneo
(Allied air recce photo taken in 1944)

 

 



Australian troops of 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion
at Arinem (Western Java) in January 1942

 

 

a group of american tanks captured by the japanese army in the phillipines and used by the japanese during the battle of corregidor and in the invasion of Burma

Burma was to have been seized in two phases and its occupation completed only after operations to the south were over.

But early in January

the schedule had been speeded up and before the end of the month the 15th Army had pushed across the Thai-Burma border and seized

 

Dai Nippon in  Moulmein 1942

Look

 

dutvh POW at Moulmein camp

 

japanese infantry using a type 89 Grenade Discharger against british troops in burma 1942

 

 

officer of the japanese army 56th infantry Division carrying the regimental flag (burma 1944)

read more

 

                                 The Sword and the Cross

                               Two of the dramatic photographs in Pacific Fury illustrating

                                   the cruelty and the compassion of the Pacific conflict

 

Eyewitnesses in Pacific Fury: Alexander Roberts as an RAAF pilot and, bearded, as air liaison officer with the Chindits in Burma; Catherine ‘Kay’ Cotterman, prisoner of the Japanese in Manila; and William ‘Bill’ Macauley, prisoner of the Japanese in Hong Kong

 

On the 20th January 1942

came messages from the President and Chief of Staff, addressing Wainwright as commander in the Philippines and telling him of his promotion to lieutenant general.

No confusion was possible. “Upon the departure of General MacArthur,” wrote Marshall, “you become commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines.”55

Beebe had no choice but to turn over the messages to Wainwright, who, next morning, formally assumed command of U.S. Forces in the Philippines (USFIP), the name of his new headquarters, and designated Beebe his chief of staff. Like MacArthur, he commanded the naval forces as well as those of the Army, and was therefore a joint commander.56

 

 

 

 

January,21st,.1942

It was only when MacArthur learned of Wainwright’s assumption of command on the 21st that he informed the War Department of his own arrangements.

 

japanese officers interrogating american general Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV (bataan 1942)

january,22th.1942

 

Prewar, oil fields and an oil refinery were built at this location. During the middle of December 1941, USN Patrol Wing 10 briefly operated from Balikpapan after retreating from Cavite.

On January 22, 1942

 occupied by the Japanese for the oil fields and refinery

To Marshall these seemed unsatisfactory for a variety of reasons, and he told the President so. Wainwright, he felt, should continue in command.

 The President accepted this advice and MacArthur was advised that unless he had strenuous objections, Wainwright would retain his new post.57 MacArthur made no objections.

 He understood thoroughly Marshall’s difficulties; he said, and would accommodate himself to the arrangements already made. “Heartily in accord with Wainwright’s promotion to lieutenant general,” he radioed, “His assignment to Philippine command is appropriate.”58

 

 

 

american POWs being searchead by japanese guard (bataan 1942)

 

Thus ended the uncertainty and confusion. Wainwright was now confirmed as the commander of all forces in the Philippine Islands with the large authority and heavy responsibilities formerly possessed by General MacArthur. But he was not independent of his former commander, for MacArthur, though not yet officially appointed to his new office, had acquired even greater responsibilities than before and command over an area stretching from Melbourne to Manila

group shotunder fire

 

japanese soldiers advancing under heavy fire of british troops during the invasion of burma (1942)

 

type 92 heavy machine gun crew in the mountains of burma

 

January,23th 1942

 

OFFICERS OF THE WAR PLANS DIVISION, 23 January 1942.

on the 25th January

 

The women and children were sent on by road to Pontianak on the coast, whence they escaped by ship on the 25th January,

only four days before the Japanese occupied the town. Lane placed his battalion under Dutch command for the defence of the airfield and the surrounding area.

There followed a breathing space while the Japanese prepared for their next advance, though clashes took place between patrols near the border.

 

 

 

 

Dai Nippon troops occupied Pemangkat

 

The Japanese troops in Singkawang, 1942.
The man with the moustache on the right is Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi.

 

Pontianak sultane keraton during Japanese occupation

Han arrived in Java at the end of January.

Making his way to Surabaya, he searched at once for Anna and Margie. To his great worry, they were not at his mother’s house and he was unable to find them. He then fell ill with malaria contracted during the forced march in Borneo. The disease evolved the dangerous complication called blackwater fever, and he was sent to a hospital. [6]

The report of Balikpapan’s loss added to the litany of woes announced by the radio broadcasts on Java. Frank Samethini heard the news at Fort Menari, near Surabaya, where he’d been posted since the outbreak of the war:

Weeks pass without a shot being fired by us at the fort. But the radio tells of defeat, of bitter defeat by the ridiculed little men, the former smiling, bowing and hissing barbers, merchants of inferior goods made in Japan. There are also numerous reports of bravery from other sectors of our forces, but the closing message of the bulletin is always the same: battle lost, we retreat before the swarming ants….[7]

 

The day before

Balikpapan’s fall the Japanese

 

overran

 

Kendari

 on the island of Celebes, capturing the finest air base in the East Indies.

I am reading a letter from Lisa while on duty in the listening post (“Darling, do you want it to be a boy or a girl?”), when suddenly a sound from a great distance enters the earphones.

Growing louder and louder, it seems to come from every direction. No, wait, from high in the invisible vault above the cloud banks it comes! In a flash I recognise it with a sudden, racing heart: approaching aircraft. Can’t be ours, we haven’t got that many!

 My thumb sinks the alarm button while I reach for her letter fluttering to the floor. My field glasses show the Jap airplanes up as silver-winged, transparent dragonflies, three flights of five bombers in each squadron, moving slowly across the sky, too high for the black and white popping blossoms of our ack-ack.

 What little is left of our fighter planes whiningly soar upwards to meet their fate. The dragonflies move on southwards – southwards! But that is Surabaya! Fear clutches my throat. My God! Almost immediately I hear the dull boom of exploding bombs in a muffled staccato that pierces through my heart. Where, oh God, have they fallen? [8]

 

(ibid Hans Semethini)

The Japanese planned to attack the airfield from the north, and also from the west by a force landed on the coast. This attack was held up by bad weather for nearly a week, but on the 24th January five companies advanced along the road from the Dutch border, and

 

 by the 25th had reached a village two and a half miles north-east of the airfield. Having destroyed the stores and barracks, the defenders launched an attack

Meanwhile three Japanese companies had left Kuching in small craft during the night of the 25th

 

on the 26th which was repulsed.

That evening a counter-attack succeeded in turning their flank and

early on the 27th

 the order was given to evacuate the airfield. A Dutch tank was used to hold a crossroads for a while. During the withdrawal two Punjabi platoons were surrounded but, refusing to surrender, they fought on under their Indian officer until late in the afternoon.

 It was only when their ammunition was expended and the enemy was attacking in overwhelming numbers that the gallant little party laid down its arms. Japanese reports have since given their casualties at the hands of these two platoons as between 400 and 500 killed or wounded.

Of the seventy Punjabis engaged only three escaped. The remainder were never seen again; there is evidence to show that they were brutally put to death by the infuriated Japanese.

On the evening of the 27th January

the remnants of the Punjabis crossed the Sungei Sambas and took up a position on the high ground at Ledo, fifteen miles south-west of the airfield.

and by daybreak on the 27th

 had landed at Pemangkat due west of the airfield. Striking north-east and south and meeting with little opposition, they quickly captured the coastal villages and moved towards Bengkajang, thus threatening to surround the Allied force at Ledo.

After the fighting at Singkawang II airfield the British-Dutch forces retreated to Sanggau. There this force was split and the Dutch troops went to Sintang, while the British-Indian troops went to Nanga Pinoh.

On the 29th,

after a series of rearguard actions, the Punjabis withdrew to Ngabang and two days later to Nanga Pinoh.

 By this time further resistance was useless,

. The Japanese attack on Ambon, January–February 1942.

The Japanese landed on the island of Ambon on 30 January 1942. After just four days of bitter fighting the under- equipped and poorly prepared Australian and Dutch forces on the island surrendered.

The Australian battalion group of about 1100 men known as ‘Gull Force’ had arrived in Ambon on 17 December 1941 after a three-day trip from Darwin. The group comprised the 2/21st Battalion, which was part of the 23rd Brigade, 8th Australian Division, together with anti-tank, engineer, medical and other detachments. Their task was to join Netherlands East Indies troops – about 2500 men – to help defend the Bay of Ambon and two airfields at Laha and Liang. The Dutch commander, Lieutenant-Colonel J R L Kapitz, was senior to the Australian commander, Lieutenant- Colonel L N Roach, and took control of both forces, dispersing them into two groups. One group was sent to defend the airfield at Laha on the west side of Ambon Bay and the others were deployed to the east of the bay, south of the town of Ambon. Both the Australian and the Dutch forces were inadequately prepared and under-equipped. Lieutenant-Colonel Roach, aware of the futility of their task, made repeated requests for reinforcements of both men and equipment from Australia, even suggesting that Gull Force should be evacuated from the island if it could not be reinforced. Instead, he was recalled to Australia and Lieutenant-Colonel John Scott, a 53-year-old Army Headquarters staff officer from Melbourne, replaced Roach as commanding officer of Gull Force in the middle of January.

The first Japanese air attack on Ambon was on 6 January and by 24 January the Japanese were less than 1000 kilometres from the island. The last of the Allied aircraft were withdrawn on 30 January.

The Japanese landed three battalions on Ambon

during the night of 30-31 January.

 

The Australians lost contact with the Dutch who capitulated

the next day on 1 February.

Scott, the Australian commander, surrendered two days later

on 3 February.

 

The Japanese attack on Ambon, January–February 1942.

The Japanese landed on the island of Ambon

on 30 January 1942.

 After just four days of bitter fighting the under- equipped and poorly prepared Australian and Dutch forces on the island surrendered.

The Australian battalion group of about 1100 men known as ‘Gull Force’ had arrived in Ambon on 17 December 1941 after a three-day trip from Darwin. The group comprised the 2/21st Battalion, which was part of the 23rd Brigade, 8th Australian Division, together with anti-tank, engineer, medical and other detachments.

 

Their task was to join Netherlands East Indies troops – about 2500 men – to help defend the Bay of Ambon and two airfields at Laha and Liang.

 

 The Dutch commander, Lieutenant-Colonel J R L Kapitz, was senior to the Australian commander, Lieutenant- Colonel L N Roach, and took control of both forces, dispersing them into two groups.

 

One group was sent to defend

 

the airfield at Laha

 

 

 

on the west side of Ambon Bay

 

 and the others were deployed to

 

 

 the east of the bay, south of the town of Ambon.

 

Both the Australian and the Dutch forces were inadequately prepared and under-equipped. Lieutenant-Colonel Roach, aware of the futility of their task, made repeated requests for reinforcements of both men and equipment from Australia, even suggesting that Gull Force should be evacuated from the island if it could not be reinforced.

Instead, he was recalled to Australia and Lieutenant-Colonel John Scott, a 53-year-old Army Headquarters staff officer from Melbourne, replaced Roach as commanding officer of Gull Force in the middle of January.

The first Japanese air attack on Ambon was

on 6 January and by 24 January

 the Japanese were less than 1000 kilometres from the island. The last of the Allied aircraft were withdrawn on 30 January.

The Japanese landed three battalions on Ambon during the night of 30-31 January. The Australians lost contact with the Dutch who capitulated the next day on 1 February. Scott, the Australian commander, surrendered two days later on 3 February. Some small groups of men escaped and made their way back to Australia but almost 800 surviving Australians became prisoners of war. The Australians together with about 300 Dutch prisoners of war were put back into their barracks at Tan Tui, north of Ambon town.

On 25 October 1942,

about 500 of the Australian and Dutch prisoners were sent to Hainan, an island in the South China Sea off the coast of mainland China. Led by Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, they left Ambon in the Taiko Maru and arrived in the Bay of Sama on Hainan Island on 4 November. The next day they sailed up the coast to a camp at Bakli Bay.

The Japanese government had recognised Hainan Island’s potential and planned to use the POWs to build roads and viaducts in order to develop agriculture and industry on the island. The prisoners were forced to do hard manual labour under difficult and brutal conditions with a completely inadequate diet. By 1945 the survivors were all starving. Worse still, Scott was an unpopular senior officer who was unable to command the respect of his troops. His unpopularity increased when he organised Japanese rather than Australian discipline for men who violated Australian army regulations.

Early in 1944, 40 of the Australians were sent to work at the Japanese garrison at Hoban, north of Bakli Bay on Hainan. While out on a work party one morning, they were fired on by Chinese guerrillas, some of several thousand nationalist and communist guerillas still operating against the Japanese on the island. Nine Australian POWs were killed, three were wounded and ten others were captured by the guerillas but were never recovered.

At the end of August 1945,

Americans liberated the POWs from Hainan. On Ambon the surviving Australian POWs waited another four weeks to be rescued by the Royal Australian Navy corvettes, HMAS Cootamundra, Glenelg, Latrobe and Junee. The very high (over 75%) death rate on Ambon had been exacerbated when an American bomber dropped six bombs on the Japanese bomb dump right next to the Tan Tui POW camp. The dump ignited and exploded, killing six Australian officers, including the doctor, four other ranks and 27 Dutch women and children. A number of Dutch and Australian casualties died later.

After the Japanese surrender it was discovered that about 300 servicemen who had surrendered at Laha airfield had been killed in four separate massacres between 6 and 20 February 1942. Not one had survived. The prisoners on Ambon and Hainan were subjected to some of the most brutal treatment experienced by POWs anywhere during World War II. Over three-quarters of the Australian prisoners there died in captivity.

 

 

Tan Tui Barracks: on the shores of Ambon Bay, where the Australians were billeted with the Dutch and also where the Japanese kept them as POWs.

  

 

 

 

 

A Japanese landing on the north of the island eventuated

on 30 January 1942,

 then a second landing at Baguala Bay the following day outflanked Dutch defences there, so the AASC element and its stocks from Galala, under Capt S.A. Rose, were moved to Kudamati to join the B Echelon of 2/21 Bn.

those elements in the Kudimati position had no alternative but to follow suit.

At Laha, attacks had begun

on 31 January,

 with the force holding out until 2 February.

 The AASC element there was more actively engaged in the defensive fight – a tribute to one Dvr Doolan who was reputed to have successfully ambushed three truckloads of Japanese appears in Chapter 20; Capt Burns and other members were missing at the end of it. After the surrender in both areas, half of the AASC detachment was taken prisoner, the remainder being battle casualties or beheaded by the Japanese after capture 34

Following intensive air attacks in late January 1942, the Hudsons were withdrawn, leaving the troops without support. The Japanese invasion on 29–30 January, supported by heavy air and sea bombardments, quickly overwhelmed the defenders, who surrendered on 3 February. The small force of about 300 men defending the airfield at Laha were summarily executed by their captors, and buried in mass graves. The fate of these men was not discovered until after the war, while the remainder of Gull Force endured a captivity so harsh that nearly 75 percent of them died before liberation.

 

Most of the men captured at Laha had their hands bound before execution. This signal wire was recovered from one of the bodies exhumed after the war. The enamel plate from the same site appears to have suffered bullet damage, although it is believed that most of the victims were either bayoneted or clubbed to death.

 

Officers of the 2/21st Battalion take a break in Darwin before embarking for Ambon in December 1941. Many of these men later died in captivity.

 

One of the four mass graves in which victims of the Laha massacre were buried. After the war, the bodies were moved to the Ambon War Cemetery

 

Under Australian supervision, Japanese prisoners exhume the bodies of Australian and Dutch soldiers killed in the Laha massacre in February 1942.

31-01-1942,

Djokja Bert, Maudy en René

 

February 1942

The Battle of Singapore Begins:

On February 3,

Japanese artillery began hammering targets on Singapore and air attacks against the garrison intensified. British guns, including the city’s heavy coastal guns, responded but in the latter case their armor-piercing rounds proved largely ineffective.

by 7th February,

 though the Air Force units were still badly intermingled, some kind of order out of chaos had been established.

 

By then, however, most of the reinforcements dribbling in from the Middle East had had to be diverted to Java, for

 

This was confirmed when on 14th February

a successful Japanese paratroop descent was carried out on the airfield: henceforward bomber operations were conducted from the secret airfield at P.II.

The general policy was to send as many Air Force ground staff as possible to Java and to keep in Sumatra only those required to service such aircraft as remained. The main bombing force was No. 225 (Bomber) Group which was also responsible for reconnaissance northwards from the Sunda Strait, and for the protection of convoys. These tasks were performed with the greatest difficulty. By the end of January only forty-eight aircraft remained and most of these ‘required inspection and minor repairs’, or were ‘in particularly poor condition’. In keeping them serviceable the efforts of two Flight Sergeants, Slee and Barker, deserve mention.

For twelve days in February the squadrons continued to act as escorts to convoys and to bomb airfields in Malaya, such as Alor Star and Penang, held a few short weeks before by the Royal Air Force.

To do so they used the northern airfields of Sumatra as advanced landing grounds. Here aircraft could be refuelled but could not remain for any length of time because of Japanese bombers. The long flights involved in these operations imposed a great strain on the crews, who had to fly through torrential thunderstorms which transformed the tropic night into a darkness so intense that many of the recently arrived pilots, whose standard of night flying was, for lack of training, not high, found very great difficulty in finding their way.

At that time the skill and determination of Wing Commander Jeudwine, commanding No. 84 Squadron, was outstanding.

 It was largely owing to his efforts that the force was able to maintain even a modest scale of attack.

Throughout this period, the Malayan Volunteer Air Force, by then evacuated to Sumatra, proved invaluable in maintaining communications between P.I and the secret P.II in their Tiger Moths and other unarmed light civil aircraft.

On February 8,

the first Japanese landings began on Singapore’s northwest coast. Elements of the Japanese 5th and 18th Divisions came ashore

 

 at Sarimbun Beach

and met fierce resistance from Australian troops. By midnight, they had overwhelmed the Australians and forced them to retreat.

Believing that future Japanese landings would come in the northeast, Percival elected not to reinforce the battered Australians.

1942 – Sarimbun Beach Battle

 
     


.
By: Germaine Foo-Tan

 

A plaque depicting the Sarimbun Battle Site at Jalan Bahtera

 

 

 

A view of the Johore Strait taken from the Singapore side. Japanese troops crossed the Strait and landed at Sarimbun around midnight on 8 February 1942.

February 1942 was a dark time for Singapore. After the conquest of Malaya, the Japanese under General Yamashita were poised to attack Singapore and prepared to invade the island from across the Causeway. The assault itself was an exercise of deception and trickery.

The British assumed that any attack by the Japanese army would be by sea. General Percival himself judged that the Japanese would attack on the north-east sector and prepared to defend it aggressively. As it turned out, the Japanese had other plans. General Yamashita devised a tactical cover and deception plan to launch a feint landing on Pulau Ubin and then spring a surprise attack on the eight kilometre wide coastline near Sarimbun. The aim was to achieve a surprise break-in, establish an initial bridgehead line-up to Tengah Airbase and subsequently capture the Sungei Jurong and Bukit Mandai line. All forces were then to reconstitute along that line in preparation for the city attack.

On 8 February 1942, the Japanese artillery east of Johore Bharu continuously fired towards Changi. As planned, this successfully diverted British attention to north-east Singapore so that their intended target, the north-west would be weakly defended when Japanese troops eventually landed. The guns were scattered about in groups of one or two to give the impression that each gun position might be a battery. This led the British to estimate that there were no less than six Japanese artillery regiments present. So successful was Japanese deception that British artillery in north Singapore engaged in fierce counter-battery work.

Meanwhile, the true location of the impending Japanese assault, the north-west coast of Singapore, remained weakly defended.

 Throughout the day, the Japanese fired heavy barrages. Starting at about 1000hrs, they pounded the area around Bukit Mandai, Seletar Pier, Sembawang Airbase and Tengah Airbase with some 25,000 rounds of ammunition, effectively severing the British communication lines. Following this, they fired onto key strongholds along the coast. The artillery barrages were intensified as the Japanese army prepared to land at Sarimbun. Protected by heavy artillery fire, Japanese soldiers from the 5th and 18th Division crossed the Johore Strait in a fleet of small boats and successfully landed at Sarimbun around midnight on 8 February 1942.

In the battle that ensued at Sarimbun, the British were ill-equipped to deal with the assault force. The defended posts were widely separated and there were insufficient local reserves available for immediate counter-attack. The 22nd Australian Brigade entrusted with the defence of the front where the landing took place was given an impossible task. By 9 February, the Japanese had overrun this brigade and made their way to Tengah airfield.

The invasion of Singapore exposed the weaknesses of the defending British forces and serves as a reminder that we must, ourselves, be responsible for Singapore’s security and well-being.

The article written by this writer can be found in the book, “Fortress Singapore – The Battlefield Guide” which was researched and written by the Centre for Heritage Services.

 

 


Figure 8: USS
Benham (DD-397) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 February 1942. Courtesy of Rear Admiral Joseph M. Worthington, USN (Retired), 1980. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

Widening the battle,

 

Yamashita conducted landings in the southwest

 on February 9.

Encountering the 44th Indian Brigade, the Japanese were able to drive them back. Retreating east, Bennett formed a defensive line just east of

Tengah airfield at Belim.

To the north,

 

Brigadier Duncan Maxwell’s 27th Australian Brigade inflicted heavy losses on Japanese forces as they attempted to land west of the causeway. Maintaining control of the situation, they held the enemy to a small beachhead.

The End Nears:

Unable to communicate with the Australian 22nd Brigade on his left and concerned about encirclement, Maxwell ordered his troops to fall back from their defensive positions on the coast. This withdrawal allowed the Japanese to begin landing armored units on the island.

Pressing south, they outflanked Bennett’s “Jurong Line” and pushed towards the city. Aware of the deteriorating situation, but knowing that the defenders outnumbered the attackers,

Prime Minister Winston Churchill cabled General Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief, India, that Singapore was to hold out at all costs and should not surrender.

This message was forwarded to Percival with orders that the latter should fight to the end.

On February 11,

 

Japanese forces captured the area around Bukit Timah as well as much of Percival’s ammunition and fuel reserves.

The area also gave Yamashita control of the bulk of the island’s water supply. Though his campaign had been successful to date, the Japanese commander was desperately short of supplies and sought to bluff Percival into ending “this meaningless and desperate resistance.” Refusing, Percival was able to stabilize his lines in southeast part of the island and repelled Japanese attacks on February 12.

 

Battle for Bukit Timah

HISTORY

The Battle of Bukit Timah was a battle fought during World War II on 11 February 1942 in Singapore between the Allied forces and the Japanese forces.


By the 10th of February,

the Japanese had landed in full force on Singapore Island. They controlled the entire western part of the island, and much of the north.

Their next objective was Bukit Timah and the capture of vital water, food, ammunition, and vehicles, machine parts and other supplies. Now, flushed with success, the Japanese again advanced in full force.

Preparations:

The defending soldiers of the 12th and 15th Indian Brigades, the 27th Australian Brigade, and the Special Reserves Battalion; Tomforce, Merrett Force, Dalforce, and the Plymouth Argylls; Jind State Infantry and the X Battalion — all faced the Japanese onslaught. They fought at various points along Bukit Timah Road.[

 

Battle:

On that night,

 the Japanese 5th Division, supported by tanks, advanced down

 

Choa Chu Kang Road.

 

 The 12th Indian Brigade and some

British troops under Major Angus MacDonald and Captain Mike Blackwood (both were officers from the Argylls who would both later die on

 

 the steamship Rooseboom while escaping Singapore) blocked the road and opened fire with an anti-tank gun, destroying the first Japanese tank. But this was merely the first of a force of 50 tanks.[1]

There followed some hand-to-hand combat, as well as bayonet charges from both sides. The poorly trained and equipped men of Dalforce, armed only with parangs, grenades, rifles and shotguns normally used for hunting, suffered heavy casualties.

By midnight,

the Japanese had overwhelmed the defenders and captured Bukit Timah.[1]

The British launched a counter-attack the following morning with two brigades. But by midday, faced with strong Japanese resistance, the counter-attack failed.[1]

The next day,

 the Japanese Imperial Guard advanced from the North, outflanking the British defenders and forcing their retreat. In the ensuing battle, the Chinese soldiers fought bravely, some to their deaths. Japanese suffered their heaviest casualties in the campaign to occupy Singapore.

 In revenge, they massacred Chinese men, women and children living in a nearby village.

Sources From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bukit_Timah

 

By 13th February,

 the headquarters of the Group decided that a reconnaissance must be made to discover whether or not the Japanese intended to land on Sumatra.

The position in Singapore was known to be desperate, and it was felt that the enemy would assuredly attempt to extend the range of their conquests.

 A single Hudson from No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, accordingly took off in the afternoon and presently returned with the report that there was a concentration of Japanese shipping north of Banka Island.

 This seemed to show that an invasion of Sumatra was imminent. An unsuccessful night attack by Blenheims in darkness and rain was succeeded at first light on 14th February

by an offensive reconnaissance carried out by five Hudsons. They discovered between twenty-five and thirty transports, heavily escorted by naval vessels and fighter aircraft. The suspected invasion was on the way.

 

The five Hudsons, subsequently reinforced by all available bomber aircraft, delivered a series of attacks upon the convoy and achieved conspicuous success. Six transports were sunk or badly damaged for the loss of seven aircraft.

The squadrons engaged, Nos. 1 and 8 of the Royal Australian Air Force and Nos. 27, 62, 84 and 211 of the Royal air Force, fulfilled their tasks without fighter protection, for the Japanese had staged an attack by parachute troops on P.I, the fighter airfield at Palembang.

The attackers were able to cut the road to the south and west of the airfield and to overpower the meagre ground defences. Wing Commander Maguire, the Station Commander, at the head of twenty men, hastily collected, delivered a counterattack which held off the enemy long enough to make possible the evacuation of the wounded and the unarmed.

He was presently driven back into the area of the control tower, where he held out for some time, short of ammunition and with no food and water, until compelled to withdraw after destroying stocks of petrol and such aircraft as remained.

 

.

The fighters which should have accompanied the bomber force attacking the convoy belonged to No. 226 (Fighter) Group, formed

on 1st February

 

The Surrender:

Slowly being pushed back on February 13,

Percival was asked by his senior officers about surrendering. Rebuffing their request, he continued the fight.

The next day,

 

Japanese troops secured Alexandra Hospital

 

 

and massacred around 200 patients and staff.

Early on the morning of February 15,

the Japanese succeeded in breaking through Percival’s lines. This coupled with the exhaustion of the garrison’s anti-aircraft ammunition led

 

Percival to meet with his commanders

 

at Fort Canning. During the meeting, Percival proposed two options: an immediate strike at Bukit Timah to regain the supplies and water or surrendering.

Informed by his senior officers that no counterattack was possible, Percival saw little choice other than surrender.

Dispatching a messenger to Yamashita, Percival met with the Japanese commander at

 

the Ford Motor Factory later that day to discuss terms. T

 

 

he formal surrender was completed shortly after 5:15 that evening.

 

Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/military-history-strategy/178963-battle-singapore-80-000-british-soldiers-surrender-japan.html#ixzz1zQQFZ74K

 

Thus, when the sun set

DEI troops survivors of the battle of Palembang (Sumatra) 15 Feb 1942 this troops would cease to exist after Battle of Java (march 1942)

they’re known as a KNIL in indonesia, people who try to get a better luck by joining the army rather than live as a poor farmer

on 15th February,

 the day on which the fortress of Singapore surrendered unconditionally, the greatest success up till then scored in the Far Eastern War had been achieved, and achieved by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. The landing of the enemy at the mouth of the Palembang River had been completely arrested, thousands of his men had been killed or wounded, and his plan of invasion brought temporarily to naught. The action fought that day on the coast of Sumatra shows only too plainly what might have been accomplished on the coasts of Siam and Malaya had an adequate Air Force been available

Sad to say, this highly successful counter-measure had no sequel.

There were no troops or naval craft available to exploit the victory and the reaction of the Japanese was immediate and violent.

They made another parachute troop landing on Palembang airfield and in the neighbourhood of the town. It was successful and its success jeopardized the situation at P.II, the secret airfield, where stocks of food, ammunition and bombs were running very low. Orders were reluctantly given for a retreat to Java.

All aircraft were to fly; their ground staff were to go by ship and to embark at Oesthaven.

 Here occurred an administrative blunder which added to the difficulties of the Air Force and considerably reduced its further capacity for fighting.

The Dutch authorities at the port had already set on fire the bazaar and destroyed all equipment of a military kind.

A dark pall of smoke lay over the town, and beneath it the airmen striving to carry out their orders and to reach Java as quickly as possible found themselves faced with an obstacle created not by the enemy, but by the British Military Embarkation Officer.

He was one of those men to whom an order is as sacred and inflexible as are the Commandments of Sinai. All officers and men of the ground staff were to be clear of the port by midnight, but they were to leave, so he ordained, without their motor transport or their equipment.

 In other words, they were to reach Java in a condition in which they would be quite unable to take any further part in operations.

To every remonstrance he returned the same answer: those were the orders. It says something for his personality that they were obeyed. No. 41 Air Stores Park left behind them spare Hurricane engines and other urgent stores; so did the Repair and Salvage Unit of No. 266 (Fighter) Wing, and the anti-aircraft guns and ammunition brought away with such difficulty from P.I and P.II were also abandoned.

This departure, in an atmosphere which can only be described as that of panic, was quite unnecessary, for two days later Group Captain Nicholetts at the head of fifty volunteers from No. 605 (Fighter) Squadron, returned to Oesthaven by sea from Batavia in H.M.S. Ballarat of the Royal Australian Navy and spent twelve hours loading the ship to the gunwales with such air force equipment as could by then still be salvaged.

 

On 15 Feb,1942

 

Japanese troops landing at the british territory singapore

on 15 February 1942

In the campaign, which concluded with the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, Yamashita’s 30,000 front-line soldiers and 200 tanks fought against a poorly equiped force with no armored force, Yamashita’s force captured 130,000 British, Indian and Australian troops, the largest surrender of British-led personnel in history

 

 

 

 

officer of the 5th infantry division sergeant saito leading his man (singapore, 1942)

 

 

The Japanese Campaign and Victory 8 December 1941 – 15 February 1942: Lieutenant-General Percival and his party carry the Union Jack on their way to surrender Singapore to the Japanese

On the February. 15th

 

Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth.

 General Percival, with his water, food, and ammunition gone, decided that further resistance was impossible. That afternoon, he met Yamashita at the Ford Motor Factory and formally surrendered his command, an act which symbolized the end of British imperial power in the Far East.43

By 18th February,

 the evacuation from Sumatra to Java of air force pilots and ground staff had been completed and more than 10,000 men belonging to different units, and in a great state of confusion, had arrived in the island.

To add to the difficulties of the situation, the civilians in Java, who up till the landing of the Japanese on Singapore Island had shown calmness and confidence, now began to give way to despair and were soon crowding on to any vessel they could find which would take them away from a country they regarded as lost.

The confusion brought about by the mass of outgoing refugees and incoming reinforcements is more easily imagined than described, and the scenes enacted a few days before in Singapore were reproduced on an even larger scale in Batavia. Equipment, motor transport, abandoned cars, goods of every size, description and quality, littered its choked quays, and still troops and air force ground staff poured in, hungry, disorganized and, for the moment, useless. Inevitably their spirits and discipline suffered, and the climax was reached when it became necessary to disband one half-trained unit.

These few were the only men for whom the burden proved insupportable. The rest rose gallantly to their hopeless task and under the stimulus of Air Vice-Marshal Maltby and Air Commodore W. E. Staton, overcame the chaotic circumstances of their lot and in less than twelve days were ready to renew a hopeless contest.

The fighter strength available had, by the 18th, been reduced to twenty-five Hurricanes, of which eighteen were serviceable.

The bomber and reconnaissance squadrons were in equally desperate case. At Semplak airfield, twelve Hudsons, and at Kalidjati, six Blenheims, sought to sustain the war. Behind them, No. 153 Maintenance Unit and No. 81 Repair and Salvage Unit, together with No. 41 Air Stores Park, did what they could to provide and maintain a ground organization. On 19th February all the Blenheims available, to the number of five, attacked Japanese shipping at Palembang in Sumatra, and this attack was repeated

 on the 20th and 21st,

a 10,000 ton ship being set on fire.

 

On the 19th and 22ndFebruary 1942

 the Japanese delivered two ripostes at Semplak which proved fatal. Of the dwindling force of bomber aircraft, fifteen were destroyed. Yet even after this crushing blow the Air Force still had some sting

 left. On 23rd February,

 three Blenheims claimed to have sunk a Japanese submarine off the coast.

By then the hopes originally entertained by Wavell and the Chiefs of Staff in London of building up the strength of the Allies in Java had been abandoned; Supreme Allied Headquarters had left the island and handed over to the Dutch Command, to which henceforward the remains of the Air Force looked for guidance and orders.

They came from General ter Poorten, who had as his Chief of Air Staff, Major General van Oyen. Under the swiftly developing menace of invasion, these officers, with Maltby and General H. D. W. Sitwell, made what preparations they could to maintain the defence. Despite the encouraging messages which they received about this time from the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Air and the Chief of the Air Staff, Maltby and Sitwell knew that no help from the outside could be expected for a long time.

General ter Poorten had under him some 25,000 regular troops backed up by a poorly armed militia numbering 40,000. Sitwell could count only upon a small number of British troops, two Australian infantry battalions, four squadrons of light tanks and three antiaircraft regiments, of which the 21st Light accounted for some thirty Japanese aircraft before the end came. On the sea, Admiral Dorman commanded a small mixed force of which the main units were a British, an Australian, an American and two Dutch cruisers.

No breathing space for the organization of these inadequate and ill-armed forces was afforded by the enemy.

 

On 26th February,

 a Japanese convoy, numbering more than fifty transports with a strong naval escort, was discovered by air reconnaissance to be moving through the Macassar Strait southwards towards the Java Sea.

On the next day, Admiral Dorman put out to meet it. Hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered he fought a most gallant action and lost his entire fleet, a sacrifice which secured a respite of twenty-four hours. Subsequent to the naval battle the Air Force attacked twenty-eight ships of the convoy eventually found north of Rembang

by No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force,

 being close to the runway, were taken off under fire and reached a nearby airfield at Andir. Kalidjati had fallen; a small ground defence party composed of Army and Air Force officers and men, ably supported by the local Dutch defence force, fought with great gallantry to defend it and died to the last man.

Their efforts were, however, of no avail, for they had been surprised by the swift move of the Japanese who, after landing at Eretanwetan in the early hours of that morning, had encountered no opposition on the ground either on the beaches or at the various strong points covering the river crossings.

The fact was that by then conditions in Java were too confused and desperate to make further defence anything but local and spasmodic.

Nevertheless the Air Force struggled on for a few more days. Nos. 232 and 605 (Fighter) Squadrons had remained in action from

the 17th to 27th February

 doing their utmost to conduct the air defence of Batavia. The normal odds which they were required to meet were about ten to one and they had little warning of the approach of enemy aircraft.

Their task would have been eased and might, perhaps, have been successfully accomplished had they received as reinforcements the P.40 fighters carried on the U.S. aircraft carrier Langley.

 After considerable delays this ship had been ordered to sail for the Javanese port of Tjilitjap. She set out on what was a forlorn hope and as soon as she came within range of Japanese bomber and torpedo aircraft based on Kendari in the Celebes, she was attacked and sunk.

By noon on 28th February

the total strength of the fighters was less than that of a single squadron, but still the hopeless fight continued. It was decided to retain No. 232 Squadron, under the command of Squadron Leader Brooker, since all its pilots and ground staff had volunteered to remain in Java. Vacancies were filled by volunteers from No. 605 and on 1st March the reconstructed squadron, in the company of ten Dutch Kittyhawks and six Dutch Buffalos, all that remained of a most gallant and skilled Air Force which had been in constant action

on the night of the 28th February.

 It was in this action, in which a small force of American Fortresses took part, that Squadron Leader Wilkins, the outstanding commander of No. 36 Squadron, was killed. The squadron claimed to have sunk eight ships; the Americans, seven.

 

 

Feb-March 1942

HMAS Burnie

 last sgip to leave Sumatra,second last to leave java

(courtecy photostream aequasition)

4238. Built at Mort’s Dock, Balmain [Sydney] on the British Admiralty’s account, and commissioned

on April 10, 1941, HMAS BURNIE

had been one of the small and gallant band of RAN corvettes that remained behind to pick up rearguards and stragglers as the Dutch East Indies fell to the advancing might of Japan in early 1942.

With powerful Japanese units all around them, they and a group of Dutch ships, including the minesweeper ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN see pic Nos 985-6], had run the gauntlet of the circling enemy to safely reach Australia, an escape that the sloop HMAS YARRA and two her convoy charges [see preceding entry] had tragically failed to make. Pic NO. 985, showing ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN disguising herself with vegeatation as an island,

 

 

From Feb. 18-20, 1942

during the evacuation of Sumatra,

 

 HMAS BURNIE

had stood off Oosthaven where, after laying demolition charges, she had embarked the rearguards and taken them to Tanjong Priok. She was the last Allied ship to leave Sumatra. On the way out at Java Head she and HMAS BENDIGO rescued survivors from the torpedoed Dutch ship BOERO and carried them to Tjilatjap.

Subsequently, with Commodore John Collins, RAN, and the former captain of HMS PRINCE OF WALES, Captain Leonard Bell, RN, embarked, BURNIE was also, with HMAS BALLARAT, one of the last two ships to get out of Java [see preceding entries]. BALLARAT had turned back to scuttle the small and unserviceable British minesweeper HMS GEMAS that had turned up just as they were leaving Harbour, and embarked her crew. Thus BALLARAT became to last ship to leave Java.

BURNIE was later with the British pacific Fleet at Okinawa. After the war, moving to Royal Navy control in 1946, she was sold to the Royal Netherlands Navy, and was re-named CERAM. She was finally decommissioned in 1958.

a Dutch ship called the SS Rooseboom that sailed from Padang on the island of Java 

 

 

on 26th February 1942,

 bound for Columbo in what was then Ceylon. Padang was, at that time, the last port on the official escape route for Allied troops and civilians from Singapore and Malaya. 

 

Dai Nippon Syonanto(Singapore) Postalhistory

including Sumatra area(1942-1943)

Singapore Postal History(Sumatra under Dai Nippon center Singapore)

 

 

 

 

 

 

In February 1942

 the Japanese were still marching South, ready to invade

During the frequent Japanese air raids of February 1942,

they took refuge in a bomb shelter in the front yard. This was a dugout reinforced with sandbags, built by Emma’s neighbors from across the street. At times they had to remain in the shelter for up to eight hours.

February,1st.1942

 

01-02-1942,

 Djokja

Bert, Pap, Mam en René Op

 

 

the Japanese occupied the Pontianak town

February,2nd.1942

 

 

Surabaya  Starting boombardement in February 1942

In Surabaya, Elisabeth was visiting a friend of her mother’s. She recalls:

The sirens started with a horrible noise and we thought they were just practicing, but then the bombs started to fall and the aeroplanes were fighting in the air. We were so afraid and we all dived under the bed.

 

After what seemed like hours, the all clear came. We were all dazed and didn’t know what to think about it all. There was chaos everywhere…. [9]

 

on February 3th.1942,

the Japanese launched their first major air attacks on the Surabaya                city. Frank was on anti-aircraft observation duty that day:

I am reading a letter from Lisa while on duty in the listening post (“Darling, do you want it to be a boy or a girl?”), when suddenly a sound from a great distance enters the earphones. Growing louder and louder, it seems to come from every direction.

 

No, wait, from high in the invisible vault above the cloud banks it comes! In a flash I recognise it with a sudden, racing heart: approaching aircraft. Can’t be ours, we haven’t got that many! My thumb sinks the alarm button while I reach for her letter fluttering to the floor. My field glasses show the Jap airplanes up as silver-winged, transparent dragonflies, three flights of five bombers in each squadron, moving slowly across the sky, too high for the black and white popping blossoms of our ack-ack.

 

What little is left of our fighter planes whiningly soar upwards to meet their fate. The dragonflies move on southwards – southwards! But that is Surabaya! Fear clutches my throat.

 

My God! Almost immediately I hear the dull boom of exploding bombs in a muffled staccato that pierces through my heart. Where, oh God, have they fallen? [8]


In Surabaya, Elisabeth was visiting a friend of her mother’s. She recalls:

The sirens started with a horrible noise and we thought they were just practicing, but then the bombs started to fall and the aeroplanes were fighting in the air. We were so afraid and we all dived under the bed.

 

After what seemed like hours, the all clear came. We were all dazed and didn’t know what to think about it all. There was chaos everywhere…. [9]

 

 

 

A formation of Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” Japanese medium bombers.
This type flew missions against Surabaya from Kendari, Celebes.

 

 

“There was chaos everywhere….”
Japanese bombs fall on Surabaya (February 1942)

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

In the following Japanese attack the position held out and was bypassed, but as the rest of the battalion on

 

 

the Laitimor Peninsula surrendered

 on 3 February,

Laha airfield, Ambon (as seen in 1945). The Bay of Ambon and the Laitimor Peninsula are in the background. (Photographer: Staff Sergeant R. L. Stewart.)

.

The Battle of Ambon (30 January – 3 February 1942) occurred on the island of Ambon in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), during World War II. A Japanese invasion was resisted by Dutch and Australian forces. The chaotic and sometimes bloody fighting was followed by a series of major Japanese war crimes

February,3rd.1942

The Javanese Etnic group:KRIDO REKSO WIROTOMO: BRANCH DJAKARTA p/a M.L.Joedokoesoemo  Kesehatan II/2 Street Batavia centrum circulAir stencil letter to Mr L.Ch.Damais Java street 72 pavilliun  Batavia centrum,Postalkly used with DEI Karbouw  2 cent CDS Batavia Centrum 3.2.42

 

 The letter :

By means of this letter KRW Jakarta branch officials to declare all the members of his attitude in the current war as follows:


a.Perkumpulan Krido Rekso wirotomo Djakarta  branch remained standing.
b.The Meeting this year  postponed until  at a good time.
c.All the lessons (Beksan and Gamelan) and other works such as “Cipto Ening” and others dismissed.
d.Starting from  February 1942 all members exempt from payment of contributions.

To the members who are delinquent (not paid) contributions are kindly requested to pay arrears until January 1942. This outstanding money (cut at the cost of shipping) continue to be sent to you let bendahari R.Soebari Pasar Minggoe.Djakarta Post Office (f 70)
 

 Apart from the above that if something about the proposal and make associations in this war, the board asked the committee also requested the committee get forgivenes of  any errors
  for its obligations,

yours respectfully
Board-Rekso Krido-Wirotomo
Djakarta branch

(old spelling has been adapted to the current to be easily translated)

 

Original info

Dengan perantaraan  surat ini pengurus KRW cabang Djakarta mempermaklumkan kepada sekalian anggota tentang sikapnya dalam masa perang saat ini seperti berikut:

a.Perkumpulan Krido Rekso wirotomo cabang Djakarta tetap berdiri.

b.Rapat tahun ini ditunda sampai pada saat yang baik.

c.Semua pelajaran (Beksan dan Gamelan) dan pekerjaan-pekerjaan lainnya seperti “Cipto Ening” dan lain-lainnya diberhentikan.

d.Mulai bulan Pebruari 1942 semua anggota dibebaskan dari pembayaran kontribusi.

Kepada Angggota yang masih menunggak(belum membayar) Kontribusi  diminta dengan hormat supaya membayar tunggakan itu sampai bulan januari 1942. Uang tunggakan ini(dipotong dengan ongkos pengiriman)hendaklah terus dikirimkan kepada saudara bendahari  R.Soebari di Kantor Post Pasar Minggoe.Djakarta( f 70)

 Selain dari pada yang tersebut diatas jika sesuatu usul tentang dan buat perkumpulan dalam masa perang ini, maka pengurus meminta kepada penguruds dan juga pengurus meminta dipermaafkan segala kekeliruan

 selama menjalankan kewajibannya,

Wassalam

Pengurus Krido-Rekso-Wirotomo

Cabang Djakarta

(ejaan lama telah disesuaikan dengan yang berlaku saat ini agar mudah diterjemahkan)

 

 

 

Japanese bombing raids against East Java began on 3 February, 1942.

 

and on the 4th February 1942

the Punjabis with Dutch agreement set out in two columns for Sampit and Pangkalanboeoen on the south coast. The British tried to get out of Borneo by going south. Their aim was to find a radio station at Sampit (or if that failed at Pangkalanboen) in order to get contact with Java Island or to reach one of the harbours in the south of Borneo.

The force at Nanga Pinoh was split in three parts: A (Sikh), B (PM) Company and part of Staff (Hindu) Company under command of Major Milligan formed the western column, which took the shorter route, C (Khattack), D (Jat) and part of Staff (Hindu) Company under command of Lieutenant Colonel Ross-Thompson formed the eastern column, which took the longer route and the blitzparty. The blitzparty consisted of 2 officers and 4 men and it was their task to go as fast as possible to Sampit in order to get contact with Java Island

February. 6th, 1942

 

Sydney Morning Herald (February 6, 1942)
National Library of Australia


Japan’s fearsome Zero fighter planes inflicted heavy casualties on the Dutch and Allied interceptors, and the city was soon without effective air defense:

The following week a few more air raids are directed on fortifications outside Surabaya, but the scattered pillboxes and gun emplacements are perfectly camouflaged and no direct hit is suffered.

 

The enemy aircraft, unchallenged since the last Dutch plane was downed, fly low over the dense swamp vegetation in an effort to draw fire and so pinpoint our gun positions.

 

 But the order by the fort commander is clear: repulse enemy landings on the beaches and nothing else. Do not shoot at aircraft, do not even shake a fist at them lest they spot you. Keep your head low and swear if you must, but all all events stay out of sight. What kind of war is this? [10]

 

The enemy was now on Java’s doorstep. Getting 24 hours’ leave, Frank entered Surabaya to find the town “swarming with British and Australian soldiers.” There were also American air and artillery units on Java.

 

 These hastily collected reinforcements, belatedly shipped to the East Indies without adequate arms or supplies, were too little, too late

 

The following week a few more air raids are directed on fortifications outside Surabaya,

but the scattered pillboxes and gun emplacements are perfectly camouflaged and no direct hit is suffered.

The enemy aircraft, unchallenged since the last Dutch plane was downed, fly low over the dense swamp vegetation in an effort to draw fire and so pinpoint our gun positions.

 But the order by the fort commander is clear: repulse enemy landings on the beaches and nothing else. Do not shoot at aircraft, do not even shake a fist at them lest they spot you. Keep your head low and swear if you must, but all all events stay out of sight. What kind of war is this? [10]

(ibid Frank semethini)

 

USS Houston at Tjilatjap central Java in Feb 6th 1942

An Tjilatjap, Java, 6 February 1942,

seen from USS Marblehead (CL-12), which was passing close aboard.
Houston‘s colors are half-masted pending return of her funeral party, ashore for burial of men lost when a bomb hit near her after eight-inch gun turret two days earlier during a Japanese air attack in Banka Strait.

The disabled turret is visible in the center of the view, being trained to port.

The original photograph came from Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s World War II history project working

on 8th February 1942,

 without waiting for the fall of Singapore, launched their attack on southern Sumatra. From Camranh Bay in Indochina came a strong naval force to support the transports headed for Palembang with its airfield and oil refinery. On the 14th about 700 paratroopers were dropped in the Palembang area, but achieved only a limited success against the Dutch and British defenders. At the end of the day Allied troops were still in control, but next morning, when the main Japanese force landed upshore and began to move toward Palembang, they withdrew. Two days later, the Japanese were in control of southern Sumatra, leaving the northern part of the island to the conquerors of Singapore. Only the Straits of Sunda now separated the Japanese from their main objective, Java.45

Shortly before midnight of 8 February,

 under cover of an extremely heavy artillery bombardment, the Japanese began to cross the straits.

By the morning of the February. 9th,

they had established a firm position on the island and were pouring reinforcements into the lodgment area. From there the Japanese spread over the island, infiltrating the defender’s lines and isolating them into small pockets of resistance.

 

 

From Balikpapan, the Japanese moved on to Bandjermasin, along the southeast coast of Borneo, which they took on

On 9 Feb 1942,

The day before the Japanese entered the island, he reported he could leave immediately on a cargo ship; however he was instructed to stay at his post as Australia’s most senior civilian official otherwise Canberra “would be deprived of independent information and effect on morale would be bad’. 

 

 

10 February 1942

February,11th.1942

Adriani, Paulus Lambertus Grimmius.

Born in Makasser on 17 January 1914.

 Died on board of the Hr.Ms. Hydroplane ‘X29′ near Soerabaia

on 11 February 1942.

Flyers Cross. Officer-pilot 2nd class Navy Aviation Service, on board of the Hr.Ms. Hydroplane ‘X29′

Return to sender Postal used cover during WW II because not communication exist sent from CDS Malan 11.5.42 to Breda Netherland

With pmk RETOUR AFZENDER POSTVERBINDING OPGEHEVEN MEANS

RETURN MAIL SENDER LINK REMOVED

NO POSTAL COMMUNICATIONS

MAY BE THIS LETTER SENT BEFORE THE Japanese occupation java in March 2012 including Malang by Dutch KNIL Soldier or their family to the Cadet in Military academy at Breda hollands to J.E.Spanjaard cadet Infantrie 2nd company

(2)February,12th.1942.

The Battle Of Palembang

 

Teishin Shudan (Raiding Group) paratroopers landing during the battle of Palembang, February 1942

The Dai Nippon  paratroops army  by parachute landed at Palembang and the oil area at plaju near Palembang were attack and occupied ,look the pictures.dai Nippon capture the oil field

 

japanese troops in a captured oil field (dutch east indies 1942)

 

 

japanese army paratrooper (Teishin Shudan) using a Type 99 light machine gun during the Battle of Palembang (february 1942)

Kato and his men were diverted to the pending attack on Sumatra in the Dutch Indies (now Indonesia). (The long-ranged Hayabusas were still based at the former British airfield at Ipoh in southern Malaya.)

 

On February 14,

the group supported an airborne landing on Palembang, which succeeded in capturing the airfield and the nearby Dutch oil refineries.

At Palembang airfield, the 64th Sentai took found two comparatively undamaged Hurricane fighters and put them in shape for flying. Major Kato himself piloted one of the British planes, and the other was assigned to squadron leader Capt. Anma Katsumi of the group’s 3rd Chutai. Predictably, the two Japanese officers found themselves under attack by friendly aircraft, as a 64th Sentai veteran recalled. Neither was damaged, evidently, and to prevent another occurrence the tails of both Hurricanes were painted white.

(2)FEBRUARY,14TH,1942

On Saturday the 14th of February 1942,my father came to fetch Henny (my younger sister) and I from our boarding-school for the weekend. We went into town where we did some shopping for my mother and next we went to the Javasche Bank.

When my father came out of the bank, we heard and then saw Japanese planes coming over. This time they machine-gunned Malang. I saw two working men, who were hit, falling from the roof where they were busy.

They were dead, we saw them lying in their blood on the street. I had never seen dead people before; Henny and I were deeply shocked. Henny started crying, my father took us both quickly away from this very sad sight.

(Elizabeth Van Kampen, Memories of the Dutch East Indies: From Plantation Society to Prisoner of Japan,web blog,2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday the 14th of February 1942,

 

 my father came to fetch Henny (my younger sister) and I from our boarding-school for the weekend.

 We went into town where we did some shopping for my mother and next we went to the Javasche Bank.

 When my father came out of the bank, we heard and then saw Japanese planes coming over.

This time they machine-gunned Malang. I saw two working men, who were hit, falling from the roof where they were busy.

They were dead, we saw them lying in their blood on the street. I had never seen dead people before; Henny and I were deeply shocked. Henny started crying, my father took us both quickly away from this very sad sight

(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

Of the adventures of the two columns on their long journey through the almost unexplored jungles and swamps of southern Borneo much might be written. Travelling by forest track and by raft and boat on treacherous rivers, short of food and clothing, and constantly exposed to tropical heat and rain they finally reached the coast. The blitzparty arrived at Sampit on

 14th February 1942,

 

 

 

 

 

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

 

 

 

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

The Sinking of HMS ‘Li-Wo’

Introduction

On Wednesday 6th March 2002 I visited my niece in Cardiff. Quite casually, she handed me an A4 brown envelope saying that her grandfather (and my father) had given it to her a few years before he died. Inside, I found a 24 page photocopied letter, penned by my father, to the Imperial War Museum about the sinking of HMS ‘Li Wo’.

I have reproduced the letter below exactly as it was written.

Moyra Jones 7th March 2002


 

The Director

Imperial War Museum

Lambeth Rd

London S.E.1

Sunday 30/8/64

 

Dear Sir,

On the 14th August, this year, I visited London with my Daughter and Nephew, and took them to The Imperial War Museum.

It was a surprise, and a proud moment, and a sad one, when I saw the scale Model of H.M.S. “Li-Woo” (sic), as I am one of the few survivors of the short but epic action, North of the Banka Straits, on Sat 14th February 1942.

I feel that I must write to you, correcting much of the information about the Ship and the action that took place, between H.M.S “Li-Woo”, and a Japanese convoy and Japanese Naval Escorts.

I commented to one of the Attendants on duty, that the facts were wrong, and was advised by him, to see the Records in the Records Department, of which I did.

Which of course, after seeing them, decided to write to you, hoping most sincerely, that you will investigate most fully, the facts I intend to give.

Before I give any account, I wish to make it perfectly clear, that I seek no glory, I seek no financial gain, and I seek no publicity.

My object and reason is purely and simply this.

Ever since 5-30 P.M. Saturday 14th 1942. I have honoured and admired the memory of the Bravest Man I ever knew.

Lt. Wilkinson V.C. R.N.

This is the first time I have written to anyone about this action, as until that visit to the Imperial War Museum, I was always under the impression that the true real facts were fully known.

I wonder how many of the gun’s crew, who composed of “Prince of Wales”, and “Repulse” survivors were interviewed? Or interrogated over this action? I also wish to add, that I was never asked for an account of the action after the war had ended, and the reason why I was unable to give an account during my 3 1/2 years as a Japanese P.O.W. was simply this:-

When I was first taken P.O.W. the survivors of the “Li-Woo” were in a tempory P.O.W. Camp at Muntok, in Banka Island, with Army, Navy, R.A.F. personel, and with many civilians, of which there were many children.

I was only at that Camp, which had no real British Military Administration for a week at the most, when I escaped with Lt. Col. Daly of Dal Force Malaya, Lt. Eno, Army, Sgt. Ken Wharton, Australian Army, only to be eventually betrayed by Natives, and handed over to the Japanese, when we landed at Java.

During my captivity, the Japs never knew that we were recaptured P.O.W.s.

I deemed that discretion was the better of Valour.

I could not mention the “Li-Woo” action North of the Banka Straits, without giving myself away that I was an escaped P.O.W.

The punishment was death.

Also we were mixed with many Dutch, and Dutch Eurasians, many of the Eurasians were Pro-Jap, and would give away their own Mother.

Here now is the facts as I know them, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

After being sunk on the “Prince of Wales” I was sent up into Malaya with:-

C.P.O. Rogers “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Adly(sic) “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Bennett “Repulse”

Ldg Smn Countant “Prince of Wales”.

I need not bother you about details, as it is non revelant to the “Li-Woo”, except this.

After returning to Singapore from Malaya, we were detailed to patrol the Jahore Straits in small boats. We operated from a small village opposite Paula Ubin Island.

We were recalled from there to the Orange Hotel, Thursday afternoon 12th Feb 1942.

We were then detailed to go aboard the “Li-Woo” to sail for Java.

On arrival aboard, we were detailed as Guns Crew, being that the others were Torpedo ratings, and C.P.O Rogers, a Rangetaker, I was appointed Gun Layer.

My Guns crew consisted of C.P.O Rogers, Ldg/Smn Adley, Bennett Countant, and two stoker ratings who were with us in the Jahore Straits Patrol.

We left Singapore Harbour late Thursday night Feb 12th 1942 only to drop anchor outside the Harbour.

On Friday 13th Feb 1942 we sailed for Java with the “Fu Woo” a sister ship. We were attacked many times by aircraft, and came through.

On Sat 14th Feb 1942 we dropped anchor close inshore, we were informed that we were anchoring for a while, trusting to luck that we would not be spotted by enemy aircraft, as the Captain intended to go through the 80 miles of the Banka Straits in darkness.

We were spotted by a Jap seaplane just had we got under way again.

Between 4-30. 5-0 P.M we sighted smoke on the horizon off the Port Bow. It was a convoy.

Lt Wilkingson (sic) asked if anyone could recognise if any of the warships were Jap.

Informed him that I had served two years on the China Station, 1936-1938 and was familiar with Jap warships.

He told me to come to the bridge, and then handed me his telescope.

I saw one Jap light cruiser and two Jap destroyers, without looking for any more, I told him they were Japanese.

He then asked me if I had any doubt, I told him “none whatever”.

The convoy was about 10 mile away, and I was told to report back to the gun.

Captain Wilkingson’s words to us was this:-

“A Jap convoy is ahead, I am going to attack it, we will take as many of those Jap Bastards, as possible, with us.

Those words I will never forget, they have always been fixed clearly in my mind.

I returned to the gun, AND I CHECKED THE AMMUNITION, AND REPORTED IT FROM THE GUN, TO CAPTAIN WILKINGSON.

My report to him was this.

SIX SEM-ARMOUR PIERCING SHELLS.

FOUR GRAZE FUSE SHELLS.

THREE A.A. SHELLS.

He replied :- “Gunlayer, is that all the ammunition you have”?

I answered :- “Yes Sir”, thirteen shells in all, plus three practice shell.”

How or why 13 practice shells came into it, I don’t know, all I can assume is this.

Possibly, it was because for most of the crew, it was their first taste of action, and I know the effect it has on many.

Admitted there was thrteen shells, but they were 6. S.A.P. 4 GRAZE FUSE and 3. A.A.

I do not class a practice shell as shell for action.

Do you think that I can ever forget that moment.

The hopelessness of knowing that I had only six shells that could do any damage, and realising that two shells would probably be wasted before we found the range and target.

The “Li Woo’s” Gunnery Officer joined us, Captain Wilkinson’s name is the only one I remember.

The Gunnery Officer was Ginger headed, I believe he was a New Zealander.

I had a hurried conference with him, and said to him :-

“Look Sir, I have only six shells that can do any damage, four that can do harm if we fire at the super structure as anti personel shells, then our last hope is to set the A.A. shells at Fuse 2 and hope for the best.”

I also pointed out, that unless we were lucky with our first shot, as all we had was “Gunlayers Control”, “Gunlayers Firing”, with no range Finder and no Inclanometre to help, we might waste two shells at least, before we were on target, should we use the practice shells as our ranging shots?”

He paused for a moment, then replied: “it might be a good idea, but then again it might not, as if we can get in close enough, and we find our target, it is a wasted effort.” I received the order to load with S.A.P.

Approx. half an hour later we engaged the enemy.

Our selected target was a transport of between four to five thousand tons.

At an estimated range of four thousand yards, deflection six left, we opened fire.

The first shell was over target.

I ordered, “Fixed Sight, Rapid Salvos.” I know that at least three of our remaining five S.A.P. shells, were bang on target, as fire broke out on her immediately.

Soon she was blazing furiously. In less than two minutes our ammunition was expended.

Captain Wilkinson selected another target, the ship nearest to him, about 800 tons and deliberately rammed and sank it.

We were now among the Jap convoy, helpless, drifting, and no ammo.

I will never forget another hero of this action, a man unknown, unsung, unpraised.

An R.A.F. sargeant who manned the Vickers Lewis Gun, from the time the ship left Singapore, to when the “Li Woo” sank.

It was his deadly accurate fire, that wipe (sic) out the four man gun’s crew aboard the Jap transport we rammed.

The enemy’s gun was about 30 to 40 M.Metre. It was this gun that caused our first casualties.

I myself was wounded in the chest. The R.A.F. Sargent then swept the bridge and decks with his deadly fire, killing many.

He then opened up on another transport about 200 yards away.

The Jap convoy cleared away from us, and we came under fire from the Jap warships.

It was a fearful experience as it took the Japs five to ten minutes to find our range, their gunnery was lousy, and the noise of their shells whistling overhead, always expecting the next one to land inboard, knowing that we had to just sit there and take it, and and the helplessness of not being able to do anything about it.

When they eventually found our range, it was all over.

The “Li-Woo” listed to Starboard and sank stern first.

When we survivors were swimming in the water, the Japs transports closed in. I myself was on one of two rafts which for safety we had tied together. The transports came towards us, and picked up their own survivors, we were then under the impression when they came slowly at us that they were going to pick us up as well.

But we were in for a shock. They came right at us and deliberately rammed us but we realise just before, what their intentions were, and hastily dived into the sea.

With my own eyes, and there are times when the memory of it is most vivid, I saw that transport go among a group of survivors, and mamouver amongst them with churning screws, killing at least a dozen.

It was only the sudden darkness that saved us.

We succeeded in regaining the rafts, and all night we could see the transport we set on fire blazing fiercely.

The following afternoon,

Sunday 15th Feb

 we were picked up by other survivors who were in a boat, with a sail and oars.

It was badly holed, and the gunwales was four inches above the water.

It was only its buoyancy tanks keeping it afloat.

Just after sunrise on Monday

16th Feb, 1942,

we were washed ashore.

My shipmate C.P.O Rogers was in the sailing boat.

We seemed to separate in groups, just aimlessly walking around the Island, there were four of us in the group I was in, C.P.O Rogers was one of them.

Late that afternoon we ran into a Jap patrol and was taken prisioner.

A few days later I met L/Smn Adley, and Bennett, they also had run into a Jap patrol, but were not so fortunate as we were.

The Jap patrol opened fire on them, L/Smn Adley was shot in the arm, and Ldg/ Smn Bennett was bayonetted.

That is my story, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

My one intention, and the only reason why I have written this down, is that the facts should be known, in fact must be known to all, the courage and bravery, and the great achievement accomplished by Lt. Wilkingson V.C. of H.M.S Li-Woo, on Saturday 14th February 1942, against tremendous odds.

I was on the gun deck, during the short journey from Singapore to the end of the “Li-Woo”.

I was the Gunlayer. I will state most emphatically, that to the best of my knowledge, there was no member of the “Li-Woo s” original crew, a member of that gun’s crew.

How can a practise shell cause a transport vessel to burst into flames?

Sunday afternoon we could see her, an abandoned, floating, blackened wreck, smoking slightly.

Do you think it possible?

I will willingly travel to London and undergo any interrogation you wish to put me through. But please, I beg of you, please see that “Lt. Wilkingson V.C. gets the credit that is due to him.

Is this too much to ask, for a man who made the Supreme Sacrifice, and who won the Highest Award that his Country could bestow upon him?

It was my intention after seeing the model of the “Li-Woo” to get in touch with C.P.O. Rogers. I believe that he resides at Bristol, but for the time being, I have decided against it, so that you can have the opportunity to check my story, without any collusion between C.P.O. Rogers or any one else, with me.

I swear to you on oath, that since the war ended, I have not seen or communicated with any of the “Li-Woo” survivors.

There is a lot more details, small ones, that I can give you, but, my aim is, as I have stated previously, Let “Lt Wilkingson V.C. have the just credit due to him, and the facts put right.

Yours sincerely,

T.H. Parsons

E/34 Room

Chace Guildhouse

London Rd

Coventry.

Late Leading Seaman T.H.PARSONS

D/JX.143539

P.S AFTER READING MY STORY WOULD YOU PLEASE PASS ON TO NAVAL RECORDS.


Follow up

HOUSE OF COMMONS

LONDON SWLA 0AA

01-219 4166

From:

The Rt Hon. James Callaghan, MP. 8th January 1986

 

Dear Mr Parsons,

Thank you for your letter with the account of your service in the Far East during the last war. First, allow me to congratulate you on the determination and courage you showed throughout the period.

I will readily take up the matter up with the Ministry of Defence in order to secure a statement from the Admiralty that you took part in the “Li-Wo” action but will not do so until you have been to see me in Cardiff on 18th January, at the offices of the GMBATU, 17 Newport Road, between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m.

I shall look forward to seeing you then, when we can discuss any additional points that need to be put forward.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed Jim Callaghan)


 

This is to certify

that

LEADING SEAMAN THOMAS HENRY PARSONS D/JX 143539

On the 14th February 1942

took part in the action when his Majesty’s Patrol Ship

LI-WO whilst on patrol duty off Singapore, gallantly

engaged the superior forces of the enemy, inflicting

significant damage on a convoy of troopships before being

sunk by a Japanese cruiser. The heroism and self sacrifice

of the many who died and the few who survived were in the

highest traditions of the Royal Navy.

 

George Younger

20th February 1986 SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE

 

On the February. 15th

 

Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth.

 General Percival, with his water, food, and ammunition gone, decided that further resistance was impossible. That afternoon, he met Yamashita at the Ford Motor Factory and formally surrendered his command, an act which symbolized the end of British imperial power in the Far East.43

Read more info

February 15, 1942.

Battle of Singapore, British Surrender. Lt.-Gen. Yamashita (seated, centre) thumps the table with his fist to emphasize his terms — unconditional surrender. Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth. (Photo from Imperial War Museum)

“World War II: Battle of Singapore”

Lt. Gen. Arthur Percival marches to surrender to the Japanese, February 1942
Photograph Source: Public Domain
Battle of Singapore – Conflict & Dates:

The Battle of Singapore was fought January 31 to February 15, 1942, during World War II (1939-1945).
Armies & Commanders

British

Lieutenant General Arthur Percival
85,000 men

Japanese

Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita
36,000 men

Battle of Singapore – Background:

On December 8, 1941,

Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s Japanese 25th Army began invading British Malaya from Indochina and later from Thailand. Though outnumbered by the British defenders, the Japanese concentrated their forces and utilized combined arms skills learned in earlier campaigns to repeatedly flank and drive back the enemy. Quickly gaining air superiority, they inflicted a demoralizing blow on December 10 when Japanese aircraft sank the British battleships HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales. Utilizing light tanks and bicycles, the Japanese swiftly moved through the peninsula’s jungles.

Defending Singapore:

Though reinforced, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival’s command was unable to halt the Japanese and on January 31 withdrew from the peninsula to the island of Singapore. Destroying the causeway between the island and Johore, he prepared to repel the anticipated Japanese landings.

 

Considered a bastion of British strength in the Far East, it was anticipated that Singapore could hold or at least offer protracted resistance to the Japanese. To defend Singapore, Percival deployed three brigades of

 

Major General Gordon Bennett’s 8th Australian division to hold the western part of the island.

 

Lieutenant General Sir Lewis Heath’s Indian III Corps was assigned to cover the northeastern part of the island while the southern areas were defended by a mixed force of local troops led by

Major General Frank K. Simmons (Map).

 

 

Advancing to Johore, Yamashita established his headquarters at the Sultan of Johore’s palace. Though a prominent target, he correctly anticipated that the British would not attack it for fear of angering the sultan. Utilizing aerial reconnaissance and intelligence gathered from agents that infiltrated the island, he began to form a clear picture of Percival’s defensive positions.

The Battle of Singapore Begins:

On February 3,

Japanese artillery began hammering targets on Singapore and air attacks against the garrison intensified. British guns, including the city’s heavy coastal guns, responded but in the latter case their armor-piercing rounds proved largely ineffective.

On February 8,

the first Japanese landings began on Singapore’s northwest coast. Elements of the Japanese 5th and 18th Divisions came ashore

 

 at Sarimbun Beach

and met fierce resistance from Australian troops. By midnight, they had overwhelmed the Australians and forced them to retreat.

Believing that future Japanese landings would come in the northeast, Percival elected not to reinforce the battered Australians.

1942 – Sarimbun Beach Battle

 
     


.
By: Germaine Foo-Tan

 

A plaque depicting the Sarimbun Battle Site at Jalan Bahtera

 

 

 

A view of the Johore Strait taken from the Singapore side. Japanese troops crossed the Strait and landed at Sarimbun around midnight on 8 February 1942.

February 1942 was a dark time for Singapore. After the conquest of Malaya, the Japanese under General Yamashita were poised to attack Singapore and prepared to invade the island from across the Causeway. The assault itself was an exercise of deception and trickery.

The British assumed that any attack by the Japanese army would be by sea. General Percival himself judged that the Japanese would attack on the north-east sector and prepared to defend it aggressively. As it turned out, the Japanese had other plans. General Yamashita devised a tactical cover and deception plan to launch a feint landing on Pulau Ubin and then spring a surprise attack on the eight kilometre wide coastline near Sarimbun. The aim was to achieve a surprise break-in, establish an initial bridgehead line-up to Tengah Airbase and subsequently capture the Sungei Jurong and Bukit Mandai line. All forces were then to reconstitute along that line in preparation for the city attack.

On 8 February 1942, the Japanese artillery east of Johore Bharu continuously fired towards Changi. As planned, this successfully diverted British attention to north-east Singapore so that their intended target, the north-west would be weakly defended when Japanese troops eventually landed. The guns were scattered about in groups of one or two to give the impression that each gun position might be a battery. This led the British to estimate that there were no less than six Japanese artillery regiments present. So successful was Japanese deception that British artillery in north Singapore engaged in fierce counter-battery work.

Meanwhile, the true location of the impending Japanese assault, the north-west coast of Singapore, remained weakly defended.

 Throughout the day, the Japanese fired heavy barrages. Starting at about 1000hrs, they pounded the area around Bukit Mandai, Seletar Pier, Sembawang Airbase and Tengah Airbase with some 25,000 rounds of ammunition, effectively severing the British communication lines. Following this, they fired onto key strongholds along the coast. The artillery barrages were intensified as the Japanese army prepared to land at Sarimbun. Protected by heavy artillery fire, Japanese soldiers from the 5th and 18th Division crossed the Johore Strait in a fleet of small boats and successfully landed at Sarimbun around midnight on 8 February 1942.

In the battle that ensued at Sarimbun, the British were ill-equipped to deal with the assault force. The defended posts were widely separated and there were insufficient local reserves available for immediate counter-attack. The 22nd Australian Brigade entrusted with the defence of the front where the landing took place was given an impossible task. By 9 February, the Japanese had overrun this brigade and made their way to Tengah airfield.

The invasion of Singapore exposed the weaknesses of the defending British forces and serves as a reminder that we must, ourselves, be responsible for Singapore’s security and well-being.

The article written by this writer can be found in the book, “Fortress Singapore – The Battlefield Guide” which was researched and written by the Centre for Heritage Services.

 

 


Figure 8: USS
Benham (DD-397) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 February 1942. Courtesy of Rear Admiral Joseph M. Worthington, USN (Retired), 1980. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

Widening the battle,

 

Yamashita conducted landings in the southwest

 on February 9.

Encountering the 44th Indian Brigade, the Japanese were able to drive them back. Retreating east, Bennett formed a defensive line just east of

Tengah airfield at Belim.

To the north,

 

Brigadier Duncan Maxwell’s 27th Australian Brigade inflicted heavy losses on Japanese forces as they attempted to land west of the causeway. Maintaining control of the situation, they held the enemy to a small beachhead.

The End Nears:

Unable to communicate with the Australian 22nd Brigade on his left and concerned about encirclement, Maxwell ordered his troops to fall back from their defensive positions on the coast. This withdrawal allowed the Japanese to begin landing armored units on the island.

Pressing south, they outflanked Bennett’s “Jurong Line” and pushed towards the city. Aware of the deteriorating situation, but knowing that the defenders outnumbered the attackers,

Prime Minister Winston Churchill cabled General Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief, India, that Singapore was to hold out at all costs and should not surrender.

This message was forwarded to Percival with orders that the latter should fight to the end.

On February 11,

 

Japanese forces captured the area around Bukit Timah as well as much of Percival’s ammunition and fuel reserves.

The area also gave Yamashita control of the bulk of the island’s water supply. Though his campaign had been successful to date, the Japanese commander was desperately short of supplies and sought to bluff Percival into ending “this meaningless and desperate resistance.” Refusing, Percival was able to stabilize his lines in southeast part of the island and repelled Japanese attacks on February 12.

 

Battle for Bukit Timah

HISTORY

The Battle of Bukit Timah was a battle fought during World War II on 11 February 1942 in Singapore between the Allied forces and the Japanese forces.


By the 10th of February,

the Japanese had landed in full force on Singapore Island. They controlled the entire western part of the island, and much of the north.

Their next objective was Bukit Timah and the capture of vital water, food, ammunition, and vehicles, machine parts and other supplies. Now, flushed with success, the Japanese again advanced in full force.

Preparations:

The defending soldiers of the 12th and 15th Indian Brigades, the 27th Australian Brigade, and the Special Reserves Battalion; Tomforce, Merrett Force, Dalforce, and the Plymouth Argylls; Jind State Infantry and the X Battalion — all faced the Japanese onslaught. They fought at various points along Bukit Timah Road.[

 

Battle:

On that night,

 the Japanese 5th Division, supported by tanks, advanced down

 

Choa Chu Kang Road.

 

 The 12th Indian Brigade and some

British troops under Major Angus MacDonald and Captain Mike Blackwood (both were officers from the Argylls who would both later die on

 

 the steamship Rooseboom while escaping Singapore) blocked the road and opened fire with an anti-tank gun, destroying the first Japanese tank. But this was merely the first of a force of 50 tanks.[1]

There followed some hand-to-hand combat, as well as bayonet charges from both sides. The poorly trained and equipped men of Dalforce, armed only with parangs, grenades, rifles and shotguns normally used for hunting, suffered heavy casualties.

By midnight,

the Japanese had overwhelmed the defenders and captured Bukit Timah.[1]

The British launched a counter-attack the following morning with two brigades. But by midday, faced with strong Japanese resistance, the counter-attack failed.[1]

The next day,

 the Japanese Imperial Guard advanced from the North, outflanking the British defenders and forcing their retreat. In the ensuing battle, the Chinese soldiers fought bravely, some to their deaths. Japanese suffered their heaviest casualties in the campaign to occupy Singapore.

 In revenge, they massacred Chinese men, women and children living in a nearby village.

Sources From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bukit_Timah

 

The Surrender:

Slowly being pushed back on February 13,

Percival was asked by his senior officers about surrendering. Rebuffing their request, he continued the fight.

The next day,

 

Japanese troops secured Alexandra Hospital

 

 

and massacred around 200 patients and staff.

Early on the morning of February 15,

the Japanese succeeded in breaking through Percival’s lines. This coupled with the exhaustion of the garrison’s anti-aircraft ammunition led

 

Percival to meet with his commanders

 

at Fort Canning. During the meeting, Percival proposed two options: an immediate strike at Bukit Timah to regain the supplies and water or surrendering.

Informed by his senior officers that no counterattack was possible, Percival saw little choice other than surrender.

Dispatching a messenger to Yamashita, Percival met with the Japanese commander at

 

the Ford Motor Factory later that day to discuss terms. T

 

 

he formal surrender was completed shortly after 5:15 that evening.

 

Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/military-history-strategy/178963-battle-singapore-80-000-british-soldiers-surrender-japan.html#ixzz1zQQFZ74K

 

On 15 Feb,1942

 

Japanese troops landing at the british territory singapore

on 15 February 1942

In the campaign, which concluded with the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, Yamashita’s 30,000 front-line soldiers and 200 tanks fought against a poorly equiped force with no armored force, Yamashita’s force captured 130,000 British, Indian and Australian troops, the largest surrender of British-led personnel in history

 

officer of the 5th infantry division sergeant saito leading his man (singapore, 1942)

 

 

The Japanese Campaign and Victory 8 December 1941 – 15 February 1942: Lieutenant-General Percival and his party carry the Union Jack on their way to surrender Singapore to the Japanese.

 

 

 

 

The Japanese landing off the west coast of British North Borneo, 1942

 

west borneo

 

Singkawang

Read more info


By the middle of February, Singapore had surrendered,

Read more

THE BATTLE FOR SINGAPORE 

The True Story of Britain’s Greatest Military Disaster 

 

Gen Yamashita landed at singapore

 

General Percival with white flag in Singapore

Read more-book in CD-ROM

Created By dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

“The dai Nippon War In Singapore”

.

 

 

General Arthur Percival, ill-fated British commanding officer in Singapore, Olga and Maisie Prout, the brave sisters who defied the Japanese during the occupation of the island colony and Captain William ‘Bill’ Drower, the man the Japanese couldn’t kill. Their dramatic stories are told in The Battle for Singapore

After the British surrender(in Singapore),

 he and two colleagues escaped on a small boat to Sumatra where they were intercepted and forced to land on Bangka island. 

 At Muntock, Bowden tried to explain his diplomatic status but was then beaten by Japanese guards and taken outside. According to later reports, was shot after being forced to dig his own grave.

 

MEANTIME ON JAVA, AUSTRALIA’S TRADE COMMISSIONER to the Dutch-controlled East Indies, Herbert Anton Peterson, moved his office from Batavia (now Jakarta) to Bandung as the Japanese navy won sea battles in the Sunda Straits and Java Sea.

His wife was safely back in Australia but he had already lost one son in airborne operations and another was a POW in Italy.

 

(3)FEBRUARY,15TH. 1942

On Sunday the 15th of February we received the bad news over the radio that Singapore had fallen into Japanese hands.

Indeed, that was a very sad Sunday. Who had ever thought that Singapore could fall? Were the Japanese so much stronger than the Allies? And then there was the Battle of the Java Sea from 27 February to 1 March 1942.

 

 The Dutch warships Ruyter and

 

 

 Java were hit by Japanese torpedoes; they sunk with a huge loss of life. The Allies lost this battle..

.Jungle and Indian Ocean

Soon it was the New Year.

 We had no more Japanese visitors. There were not many Dutch or other Europeans outside of camps.

 

 In Malang

 

Maurits Joachim en Caroline met hun kleinkinderen, Malang, N.O.I., 1942

 

 

“The last time I saw my father was in 1942 in Java,”

 

Louis Rapmund

 said Louise. “He was literally running out the back door of our house as the Japanese were coming in the front door. They were looking for him. This has helped heal a wound in my soul that festered for over sixty years. I loved my father. He was a wonderful man.”

Rapmund was a Dutch NEI (Netherlands East Indies) officer who worked in western New Guinea facilitating the recovery of Indian, Papuan, and Dutch nationals who had been held by the Japanese.

Rapmund assisted Nellist and Rounsaville Teams (of the Alamo Scouts) on their famous mission to liberate a Dutch governor and his family, along with 40 Javanese and twelve French civilians from an internee camp at Cape Oransbari in October 1944.

He also worked with Littlefield Team in the recovery of displaced Indians in the Geelvink Bay area. For years I had attempted to find Rapmund to interview him, but every trail ran cold. And for good reason.

 

Rapmund (standing far right) with guerrillas – 1944

Margaret Jacobs, claiming to be the niece of Louis Rapmund. She said that her uncle had been murdered in Java by Indonesian extremists in October 1945. But that didn’t correspond with what I had discovered through the Dutch Archives—that Rapmund had died in 1947.

Furthermore, the articles were attributed to Rapmund sometime between 1947-1950, which further muddied the waters. But as a historian accustomed to dealing with emotional family members, faulty memories, incomplete stories, and lack of original documentation, I held something back to test the strength of her claim. Louis Rapmund had a unique middle name: Bernardus-Jan, and the article was written by one L.B.J. Rapmund, clearly a match. But I did not tell Margaret that. Instead, I asked if she knew her uncle’s middle name. She did. And the plot grew thicker.

Source:lance zedric

there was already a camp for men called Marine Camp. And another camp, we were told, called

De Wijk,

‘De Wijk’ in Malang

Town: Malang

District: East Java

Region: Java

Location: Malang is in East Java. The Bergen neighborhood was in the northwest of the city.

 

From November 1942 to 04 April 1944 this location served as a civilian camp

Other name: Bergenbuurt, De Wijk, Goentoerbuurt

Internees: working men; women and children

Number of internees: 7.000

Information: The large camp for women and children in the Bergen neighborhood started in

November-December 1942 as a “protected neighborhood” near Merbaboe Park.

 

 In mid-1943,

the camp was expanded, in a southerly direction to Welirang Street and in a northerly direction to Ringgit Road.

The camp was encircled by barbed wire and gedek. The extreme north section of the camp was intended for men who had to work through the Japanese occupation, alongwith their families.

 

Those men who had been discarded by the Japanese concerns were takento the marine camp, elsewhere in Malang. Their wives and children were sent, along with theother women and children of De Wijk, to camps in central Java.

 

Commendant: Kato

Guards: Native police personnel, heihos

Camp leaders: dhr. Prins; dhr. Lakeman

 

Literature: Liesker, H.A.M. e.a., Je denk, ken niet, maar kèn!! (Waddinxveen 1997)

Alt, M.A., Ons kampleven gedurende de Japansche en republikeinsche bezetting (Soerabaja

[ca. 1947])

Zuster van Onze Lieve Vrouw van Amersfoort, Onder de gevreesde vloedgolf. Onze missie in

oorlogstijd [1948])

Koblitz, F., Die Frauen von Lampersari. Im japanischen KZ auf Java (Wenen 2000)

Moscou-de Ruyter, M., Vogelvrij. Het leven buiten de kampen op Java 1942-1945 (Weesp

 prepared to house women and children. Taking a long, last walk through the rubber plantations and jungle, my father and I beheld the Indian Ocean. My father looked at me and said, “I have to ask you something, you are almost 16 so you are old enough. I want you to look after Mama and your sisters when I have to leave Sumber Sewa. Will you promise me that?” I remonstrated, but he insisted and I agreed.

And so, at the beginning of February 1942, my father received a phone call ordering him to leave our home in Sumber Sewu within six days and report to the Marine Camp in Malang. This would be a fateful separation. By now, most Dutch men were internees.

A Japanese visitor

.

 

On Sunday the 15th of February

we received the bad news over the radio that Singapore had fallen into Japanese hands. Indeed, that was a very sad Sunday. Who had ever thought that Singapore could fall?

 

Were the Japanese so much stronger than the Allies?

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 15 February

 

 

Australian light cruiser PERTH

relieved

 

 

light cruiser ADELAIDE

which departed

 

 

Fremantle harbor Australia

 with convoy MS.4 of four tankers and two cargo ships.

 

On the 15th,

convoy MS.4 was ordered back to Fremantle, except for PERTH and Dutch steamer ‘S JACOB (note: name as shown in reports, but does not appear in Lloyds) (2839grt).

 En route they were joined by

 

 

Dutch steamers SWARTENHONDT (5084grt) and

 

 

 KARSIK (3057grt)ex soneck.

 

On the 21st, three ship convoy was ordered back to Fremantle and PERTH escorted it to within 700 miles of Fremantle before proceeding Tanjong Priok arriving on the 24th.

_____

 

 

American heavy cruiser HOUSTON,

 

 

destroyer PEARY

 

 

and Australian sloops SWAN

 

 

and WARREGO

 

 departed

 

 

Darwin

 

 

 escorting US Army transports MEIGS, MAUNA LOA, PORT MAR

 

 

 

and Australian coaster TULAGI, carrying 1800 troops to reinforce Timor.

 

 

 

Shortly after sailing, the convoy came under air attack, all four transports suffered damage from near misses, and it returned to Darwin.

_____

 

 

 

Auxiliary anti-submarine ship MATA HARI (Temporary Lt G A Brignall RNR) was sunk by Japanese gunfire

 

at Banka. straits

 

 

 

 

 

S/Lt I Ellis MRNVR, Temporary Acting S/Lt (E) W MacCrorie RNVR, Temporary S/Lt (E) T R Gordon MRNVR, Lt V A Burton MRNVR, Lt J R Pickhall MRNVR, Lt Cdr B Scott MRNVR, Temporary S/Lt A H Hogge RNR, S/Lt G Lyons MRNVR,Temporary S/Lt (E) H M MacGregor RNVR, Temporary Acting S/Lt (E) F J Lumley RNR, Temporary S/Lt F W Matthews RNVR, Paymaster S/Lt R W Cornell MRNVR and Temporary Lt A C Carton RNR, were taken prisoners by the Japanese.

_____

 

Steamer RHU (254grt) was seized by Japanese forces at Singapore.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol boat DYMAS, which had departed Singapore on the 13th, was captured by a Japanese cruiser nine miles north of Muntok Light. S/Lt R. G. Banks MRNVR and rest of the crew were made prisoners of war and DYMAS was taken to Muntok.

 

Tug YIN PING (191grt) was sunk by Japanese surface craft 20 miles 225° from Muntok. Of a crew of ten and 65 passengers, 50 were lost, including Capt T K W Atkinson of Singapore Dockyard and Cdr B M Douglas Rtd of SULTAN.

_____

 

Steamers SIUSHAN (296grt), MERSING (65grt) and requisitioned yacht SILVIA were lost at Singapore.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol boats JERANTUT (217grt) and KLIAS (207grt) were scuttled at Palembang.

_____

 

Steamer HONG CHUAN (67grt) was lost at Djambi when she caught fire from burning shore installations and a drifing barge.

_____

 

Cdr (E) G. H. Craven-Phillips of NASAR (RNAS Sembawang) was lost in ML.433.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.65 sank steamer JOHANNE JUSTESEN (4681grt) in 9-04N, 75-58E. Of a crew of 59, one was lost.

 

 

 

 

A light tank of 3rd Hussars disembarks at Sumatra on 14 February 1942.

 

.

 

 February,15th.1942

New information and photos on ML-KNIL Lodestar flights from Max Schep

Dutch researcher Max Schep has some valuable detailed information on ML-KNIL Lodestar flights in February and March 1942 via the logbooks of pilots Lt Jansen and Olt Oonincx.

This shows that the very first foreign military aircraft to arrive in Broome was possibly not Lt Lamade’s SOC-3 floatplane, as noted in Zero Hour in Broome, but Lodestar LT 919. Olt (“under lieutenant”) Oonincx flew this aircraft from Malang to Broome on 15th February, after a flight time of 330 minutes. LT919 continued on to Brisbane and subsequently remained in Australia.

Just hours after LT919 departed Broome, Lt Jansen arrived in Lodestar LT909 at 11.06am on 16th February 1942 (the SOC-3 also arrived on this same day). Jansen was flying a full plane, comprising himself, three crewmen and twelve passengers. The passengers were ML-KNIL aircrews, travelling to meet expected B-25s in Brisbane. They had departed Andir, Java mid-afternoon on 15th February, arriving at Denpassar, Bali a couple of hours later, where they stayed overnight. Soon after 5am the next morning they took off for Broome, arriving after a flight time of 349 minutes, or almost six hours. The newly arrived Dutchmen spent the day in Broome. To celebrate the occasion some of the men were photographed on Broome airfield in front of LT909. The same photographer also took a picture of some men posing in front of Lamade’s SOC-3 on the tidal flats with the long jetty in the background. These are wonderful photos – thank you for sharing them Max.

 

When several machines were destroyed on the ground, bombed by the Japs near Batavia, it became obvious that to go on flying unarmed machines from unarmed civilian bases would mean the destruction of the entire fleet.

The service from Batavia was terminated

on 15 February 1942

 and it was agreed to transfer the KLM base to Australia.

 

 

American B-17 Flying Fortress bombed at
Andir Airfield, Bandoeng, 17 Feb 1942


Ivan, who had watched from his verandah a heavy Jap air attack on Bandoeng while Margot and the servants sheltered in the cellar, decided it was time his wife was moved to safety. He put her name on the evacuee list next day. A week later the servants were serving supper when an urgent message reached the bungalow:
Captain and Mrs. Smirnoff report to the airfield in one hour. Bring warm clothing.

Six planes were to go from Andir Airfield, Bandoeng, that night, Ivan’s would be the last. It was frightening, sitting in the darkened airport, listening for the drone of a Jap bomber, bitten by mosquitoes – and remembering that he had not had time to eat his own supper. But he managed. Long before the mechanics had completed their check on Ivan’s machine, he was sitting comfortable in a corner, scoffing down sandwiches and caviare, regretfully refusing a bottle of champagne.

He climbed into the machine relaxed and refreshed, and made the eight-hour journey to Broome, Northern Australia, easily and uneventfully.

From Broome he took off for Alice Springs, right in the middle of the bare desert; it was not marked on his map, no passenger airline had landed there before. After lunch they were off for a direct flight to the new headquarters in Sydney. Ivan flew his planeload of evacuees safely to Sydney and made sure that his wife was settled, with other wives, in a comfortable hotel.

Then he left for the northern coast and flew, night after night, back and forth over the long, lonely stretch of sea from North Australia to Java, bringing out the last evacuees, the office staffs, and ground personnel as airfields in Netherlands Indies territories were gradually worked to a standstill. He flew with no weather forecasts, no radio link to help him. It was a matter of weeks, days, maybe, before the Japs overran the whole archipelago. Every flight might be his last.

In the end a total of eleven aircraft owned by KLM/KNILM were saved from the Japanese and flown to Australia (two DC2, two DC3, three DC5 and four Lockheed-14 Super Electra). Those aircraft possessed a significant component to Australia’s meagre air transport fleet. All machines arrived in Australia without passenger seats and the sole means of passenger restraint was a length of rope tied down the centre of the cabin!

The Douglas DC-5 was a beautifully looking high-wing machine first flown in 1939. For different reasons only 12 machines ever left the Douglas factories. It was also known as ‘the forgotten Douglas’.

 

 

The new DC5 undercarriage has afterwards been copied on e.g. the modern
ATR-42 from Avions de Transport Regional consortium, shown below.

 

 

 

 

Monday, 16 February

 

 

Auxiliary minesweeper FUH WO (Temporary Lt B Shaw RNVR) was lost on Banka Island, after being beached and blown up by her crew. No officers or ratings were lost.

_____

 

Lt Cdr C A Smith Rtd of SULTAN, Temporary Acting Boatswain C Harding of the Singapore Dockyard, Temporary Lt Cdr T W Moore RNR of SULTAN III, Temporary Lt J F Adams RNR of SULTAN III (Examination Service, Penang), Temporary Lt R H Williams RNR of SULTAN III (Examination Service, Penang), Temporary Lt G R Wiseman RNR of SULTAN, Temporary Lt J S Whyte RNR of Examination Service, Singapore and Temporary Paymaster Lt R H Douglas RNVR at Batavia were lost, presumed missing on the 16th (posted July 1946).

 

Lt R C Beckwith and S/Lt R C Ripley RCNVR, both formerly of battleship PRINCE OF WALES, in SULTAN and FANLING respectively and Temporary Lt A J Martin RNVR in PULO SOEGI, were lost on the 16th (posted January 1946, also Halifax list for Canadian officer)

_____

 

 

Ferry BAGAN (244grt) was scuttled at Palembang.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel ELIZABETH with 15 crew and 11 passengers was sunk by Japanese gunfire in the Banka Strait. Twenty four were missing

_____

 

Steamer TAYLTHYRIUS (10,254grt), which had been damaged on the 3rd, was seized by Japanese forces at Singapore.

.

 

.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.2 departed Batavia with steamers EMPIRE STAR (13,479grt) and PLANCIOUS (5955grt), escorted by light cruiser DURBAN and destroyer JUPITER, the latter detaching the same day.

 

From the Sunda Strait, the ships proceeded independently, PLANCIUS proceeding to Colombo escorted by DURBAN and arriving on the 22nd, while EMPIRE STAR, with US Admiral Hart embarked, proceeded to Fremantle on her own.

 

By 16 February,

three days after Wavell had told the Combined Chiefs in Washington that he might not be able to hold Sumatra,

the situation in the ABDA area had rapidly worsened. There was no longer any chance of holding Java, Wavell now told the Chiefs. Its loss would be serious, he asserted, and would deprive the Allies of their only base in the South China Sea. But, he pointed out, the fall of Java would not be fatal to the Allied cause. Burma and Australia, not Java, he declared, were the “absolutely vital” positions in the war against Japan. He therefore recommended again that the two Australian divisions be diverted to Burma,

 

special naval landing force paratroopers commander Toyoaki Horiuchi on a monument tributed to japanese army and navy paratroopers killed during the invasion of the dutch east indies

 

On 16 February 1942,

The Dutch Royal Air forve use Hurricane MK II B  were flown to Kalidjati and formed into two makeshift oprerational squadrons.

 

 

 

The following day, 17th February,

LT909 flew out at dawn, and subsequently arrived at Brisbane the next day, after stops at Daly Waters and Cloncurry.

The aircraft was back at Broome on 20th February, and then made the long flight back to Java, arriving in Malang after a relatively fast flight time of just over five hours. These aircraft were very hard worked at this time. By the end of February Jansen had flown far to the west, taking passengers to Bangalore, via Colombo and Sumatra: despite the latter island being rapidly occupied by the Japanese at this time. Indeed on the return flight the pilot notes picking up women and children evacuees from Lho Nga and returning to Medan on 3rd March. LT-909 was one of the Lodestars taken to a hidden airstrip outside Andir. At 2.05am on 7th March it departed for the mammoth evacuation flight to Port Hedland. Jansen lists two crew and seven passengers onboard. He landed safely at Port Hedland at 10.20am, after a flight time of over eight hours.

Max Schep is involved with the “Dutch Profiles” series of books which looks into great detail at a selected aircraft type and its Dutch service history. Some of these types are relevant for Australia, such as the P-40s operated by 120 Squadron. An interesting edition on the subject of refugee aircraft and their markings is currently being prepared – a note will be posted when it is available.


Tuesday, 17 February

 

.



American bomber B-17 on fire after Japanese bombardment,
Bandoeng airfield on Java, February 17th 1942

 

 

 

American B-17 Flying Fortress bombed at
Andir Airfield, Bandoeng, 17 Feb 1942

 

Convoy WS.16 escort from Oversay

 

joined

detached

17th

battleship Malaya, aircraft carrier Eagle, cruiser Hermione, destroyers Active, Anthony, Blankney, Croome, Duncan, Firedrake, Laforey, Lightning

destroyers Verity, Walker, Witherington

 
     
     
     
     
 

 

 

The combined convoy was steamers AWATEA, BERGENSFJORD, BRISBANE STAR, DELFTDIJK, DENBIGHSHIRE, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DUCHESS OF YORK, EMPIRE PRIDE, NEA HELLAS, PORT JACKSON, POTARO, SIBAJAK, STRATHEDEN and VOLENDAM. Commodore ships remained as previously.

 

Convoy WS.16A with BERGENSFJORD, NEA HELLAS and VOLENDAM formed the Aden convoy escorted by COLOMBO from the splitting position on 3 April until dispersed off Aden on the 6th after which the ships went to Suez as independents.

 

Convoy WS.16B was the Bombay detachment steaming in the following order from 3 April – AWATEA, BRISBANE STAR, DELFTDIJK, DENBIGHSHIRE, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DUCHESS OF YORK, EMPIRE PRIDE, PORT JACKSON, POTARO, SIBAJAK and STRATHEDEN, escorted by ALAUNIA and WORCESTERSHIRE (which joined at the splitting position) and arrived at Bombay 8 April.

 

.

_____

 

Dutch destroyer VAN NES and escorted Dutch steamer SLOET VAN DER BEELE (2977grt), carrying evacutees from Billiton, were sunk by Japanese bombing south of Banka. There were no survivors from either ship.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel TANDJONG PINANG (133grt) with 17 crew and 150 passengers (survivors from steamer KUALA lost on the 14th), was sunk by Japanese surface craft 30 miles south of Pulo Ubar. There were only three survivors and Temporary Lt B Shaw NZRNVR, Temporary Lt E G Gerard NZRNVR and Temporary Lt G Studholme NZRNVR were lost. Commissioned Gunner A Rafferty, who also had been rescued from KUALA was also lost.

.

 

_____

 

Dutch light cruiser HEEMSKERK arrived at the Seychilles, and carried on, arriving at Colombo on the 21st.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.3 departed Tandjong Priok with steamers KRIAN (857grt), ORISKANY (1644grt) and RESANG (252grt) for Colombo and GIANG ANN (1063grt), auxiliary patrol ships DARVEL and PING WO (3105grt), the latter towing disabled destroyer VENDETTA, for Fremantle.

 

VENDETTA left Tanjong Priok harbour in tow of two tugs and was met outside the harbour by PING WO, which took over the tow before they joined SJ.3 escorted by destroyer ELECTRA and sloop YARRA. On the 22nd off Christmas Island, light cruiser ADELAIDE relieved YARRA in the escort.

_____

 

Convoy SR.6 of steamers WINGSANG, CHILKA, and ELLENGA departed Calcutta for Rangoon, escorted by Indian sloop INDUS, while convoy MR.4 with steamers KUTSANG, NEURALIA and PRESIDENT DOUMER had departed Madras on the 16th for Rangoon, escorted by light cruiser EMERALD. On the 19th, the two convoys merged as SR.6. Due to the situation around Rangoon only troopships ELLENGA (5196grt) and NEURALIA (9182grt) were to proceed there. The rest of the convoy was ordered to Calcutta and arrived on the 22nd.

_____

 

Steamer TATUNG (1560grt), which had been immobilised, was seized by Japanese forces at Tanjong Batoe.

 

 

February 18th 1942

A Small Group Army and Air Force aircraft ABDACOM (American British Dutch Australian Command) operation with

 

British aircraft  Huricane at Tjililitan in Batavia.


Ten Aircraft

 

Brewsters

at the Airport Assistant Tjisaoek and 10 Huricane aircraft in the second part of Branch IV in Kalidjati

 

Wednesday, 18 February

 

 

 

Destroyer ENCOUNTER was sent from Batavia to evacuate RAF and service personnel from Padang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light cruiser DANAE and

 

 

ENCOUNTER evacuated 877 evacuees from

 

Padang.

 

Japanese military delivering speech at the padang in 1942

 

 

Muara Padang

 

 

PANGKOR also brought out 244 from

Benculen.

 

 

 

Bung Karno at Benculen 1942

now

 

 

 

 

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.55 reported sinking a transport north of Sunda Strait.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel MALACCA (210grt) was scuttled in the Tjemake River, Sumatra.

 

 

De Zeven Provincien Surabaya 18/2/1942.

In time of WWII ship served as floating battery at Surabaya. was sunk by Japanese aircraft at Surabaya 18/2/1942. She was raised by Japanese, used as a hulk and subsequently scuttled again.

 

Thursday, 19 February

 

 

In Japanese carrier based air attacks on Port Darwin, American destroyer PEARY (LCDR J M Bermingham), British tanker BRITISH MOTORIST (6891grt), steamers ZEALANDIA (6683grt), NEPTUNIA (5952grt), American steamer MAUNA LOA (5436grt) and Army Transport MEIGS (7358grt) were sunk, and British steamers BAROSSA (4239grt) and MANUNDA (9115grt) damaged.

 

PEARY lost LCDR Bermingham, LT A F Gustafson, LT M M Koivisto, Ensign P M Joyce and seventy six enlisted men, with LT R L Johnson and thirteen enlisted men wounded. BRITISH MOTORIST with a crew of 60 and one gunner, lost two crew. ZEALANDIA had three crew killed. NEPTUNIA’s cargo, which included depth charges, exploded and 45 crew were killed. MAUNA LOA had five crew killed. MEIGS lost two crew.

_____

 

American steamer DON ISIDRO (3261grt) was badly damaged by Japanese bombing NW of Bathurst Island, near Darwin in 11S, 130E, beached and considered a total loss. Four crew died, seven missing and 73 rescued by Australian minesweeper WARRNAMBOOL. Two of the survivors died after reaching Darwin.

 

American steamer FLORENCE D (2638grt), in company, was sunk by Japanese bombing at 10-56S, 130-07E. Three crew were lost and the 34 survivors rescued by WARRNAMBOOL and lugger ST FRANCIS.

_____

 

American destroyer EDSALL, in operations in the Dutch East Indies, was damaged by the explosion of one of her own depth charges close aboard.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.4 departed Tandjong Priok with British steamers LEE SANG (1655grt), MODASA (9070grt), STANMORE (4970grt), Norwegian ERLING BROVIG (9970grt) and Dutch GENERAAL MICHIELS (1282grt), GENERAAL VAN GEEN (1290grt) and GENERAAL VAN SWIETEN (1300grt) for Colombo, escorted by light cruiser DRAGON until the 21st February. The ships arrived at Colombo independently between 28 February and 3 March.

_____

 

Convoy SM.2 departed Tandjong Priok with steamers WHANG PU (3204grt) and CABLE ENTERPRISE (943grt) for Fremantle, escorted by light cruiser DRAGON until later in the day.

_____

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA lost her Walrus when it hit the ship during landing and caught fire. Pilot Flight Officer E J Rowan RAAF was killed, but S/Lt G H Jackson RAN and the TAG were rescued.

 

 

 

Lieutenant Walker’s P40E Kittyhawk after the air raid on 19 February 1942

 

Read more info

TWO JAPANESE AIR RAIDS
AT DARWIN, NT
ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942

THE LEAD UP TO THE RAIDS

Although the Australian mainland was not invaded it was, of course, attacked by air and sea forces. By far the heaviest attack was the air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942. Various estimates regarding the loss of life in this devastating series of attacks on 19 February 1942 have been put forward but these days, the “official” number seems to be 243 killed and about 350 injured or missing. The Brisbane Courier Mail” of the 20 February 1942 reported the large Japanese attack on Darwin and reported that “Damage to property was considerable. There were some casualties. Details not yet available”

As part of the leadup to this attack the Japanese carried out some reconnaissance flights. On 10 February 1942 a Japanese Mitsubishi C5M reconnaissance aircraft of the 3rd Kokutai which was based at Ambon flew over Darwin. They spotted 27 ships in the harbour and approximately 30 aircraft at the Darwin Civil and RAAF airfields.

There was a lot of confusion regarding the number of Japanese aircraft involved in these raids. The Brisbane Courier Mail reported the two raids on Darwin stating that 93 bombers were involved in the first raid. It indicated that four Japanese bombers were shot down. It also made mention that a Japanese “spy plane” had flown over Darwin the previous week. This would have been the Japanese reconnaissance flight on 10 February 1942.

NOTE:-   The book “Protect & Revenge” indicates that 54 Mitsubishi G4M heavy bombers had flown from their bases at Ambon and Kendari to bomb Darwin on 19 February 1942. In addition there were 18 dive bombers and 36 escorting Zeros from Japanese aircraft carriers. Perhaps this referring to the second raid that day.

Ten Kittyhawks (Warhawks) of the 33rd Pursuit Squadron (Provisional), led by Major Floyd Pell, had originally been on their way to Perth to be partially disassembled and placed on ships for Java. When they reached Port Pirie, they were diverted to Darwin for escort duty with the USS Houston convoy to Timor and then ferry to Koepang in Java. One of the aircraft crashed at Port Pirie killing the pilot and 4 more had become unserviceable.

When they arrived in Darwin on 15 February 1942 they had found that the USS Houston convoy had already departed. On arrival Major Pell met up with Lt. Robert G. Oestreicher of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron and his P-40E which then gave Pell command of 11 aircraft. Oestreicher and Lt. Robert J. Buel had been left behind with their 2 unserviceable aircraft when the rest of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron left for Java on 10 February 1942.

On 15 February 1942, The USS Houston broke radio silence to advise that the convoy was being followed by a Japanese Kawanishi H6K “Mavis” flying boat of the 21st Air Flotilla based at Ceram. It followed the convoy for about 3 hours before it eventually dropped a number of 60 kg bombs from 3,000 metres. Lt. Buel and Lt. Oestreicher were both on patrol at the time, but only Lt. Buel could be contacted by radio. He was ordered to intercept the Japanese flying boat. Buel attacked the Flying Boat from the rear but was shot down by the rear gunner in the flying boat. Buel’s smoking aircraft crashed into the sea. Buel however was also successful in hitting the Japanese flying Boat. It crashed into the sea.

After this incident, Major Pell led one of two patrols of 3 Kitthyhawks later that same afternoon, to give aerial cover for the Houston convoy. A flight of Japanese bombers attacked the Houston convoy on the 16 February 1942. The convoy threw up a firece anti-aircraft barrage which drove off the Japanese bombers. The ABDA Command ordered the convoy back to Darwin. They arrived back in Darwin harbour on the evening of the 18 February, the day before the major Japanese bombing raid on Darwin.

USS Houston and USS Peary both refuelled and left immediately bound for Tjilatjap. USS Peary was involved in an encounter with a possible Japanese submarine and after burning up a lot of fuel it returned to Darwin on 19 February 1942.

 

THE FIRST RAID

Japanese Vice-Admiral Chu’ichi Nagumo ordered a weather reconnaissance aircraft to fly over Darwin. It arrived over Darwin at about 7.30am. As its radio was unserviceable, Nagumo received no intelligence information back from the aircraft.

Nagumo ordered the attack on Darwin. The day turned out to be a fine day (weatherwise). There were about 46 ships packed into Darwin Harbour of that fateful day.

By the early hours of the 19 February 1942 the Japanese naval force was located about 350 kms north west of Darwin. The Japanese aircraft carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu were arming their aircraft and warming up their engines.

By 8:45am the force of 188 aircraft led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida had been launched. It comprised:-

36    A6M2 Type “O” fighter aircraft
71    D3A “Val” dive bombers
81    B5N “Kate” high level bombers

A US Navy Catalina of the Patrol Wing 22 was unfortunate to be the first victim of the large Japanese force. It was attacked by nine Japanese “O” Type fighters near the northern tip of Bathurst Island. The pilot, Lt. Thomas Moorer was forced to crash land the Catalina into the sea. The crew, including 4 wounded men, were then rescued by the merchant ship “Florence D”.

Some early warning of the Japanese raid was given by two sources but they were lost in the system and not acted on before the attack began. Lt. John Gribble (Navy Reserve) transmitted his sighting to the Naval Communications Station at HMAS Coonawarra at about 9:15 am. Father John McGrath at the Bathurst Island Mission radioed his sighting to the Area Combined Headquarters (ACH) at Darwin a few minutes later. While he was sending his message six Japanese fighters strafed the area where he was damaging some buildings and destroying a Douglas C-53 aircraft of the 22nd Transport Squadron.

Mc Grath’s message was received at the Coastal Radio Station V.I.D. Darwin at 9:37am and passed to the Area Combined Headquarters at the Darwin RAAF airfield. The message did not get through to the appropriate commanding officer, ensuring that the Japanese attack was a complete surprise as was the case with Pearl Harbor.

Commander Fuchida’s attack force crossed the Northern Territory coast east of Darwin near Koolpinyah. They then turned to the north west and headed over the Noonamah area headed for Darwin. The surprise attack on Darwin began at 9:58am on 19 February 1942.

 

THE DEFENCE BY THE US KITTYHAWKS

Ten aircraft of the 33 Pursuit Squadron (Provisonal) led by Major Pell’s and had tried to follow the lead B-17 to Timor at 9.15am that morning but had to turn back due to fog. One unserviceable aircraft had been left behind in Darwin. On their return to Darwin, Pell and four others headed for the Darwin RAAF airfield to refuel while five others were kept in the air on patrol duties.

Lt. Oestreicher was the first pilot to spot the attacking Japanese force. Lt. Jack Peres was immediately shot down near Gunn Point, east of Darwin. Personnel from the 2/14th Australian Field Regiment witnessed this crash and took some time to convince their commanders that its had been shot down by a Japanese aircraft.

Lt. Elton S. Perry was also killed when his Kittyhawk was shot down. After being badly wounded in the left shoulder Lt. William R. Walker landed his aircraft at the Darwin RAAF airfield only to then see it strafed and burn to the ground on the runway.

 

Lieutenant Walker’s P40E Kittyhawk after the air raid on 19 February 1942

Major Pell attempted to take off from the Darwin RAAF airfield but his aircraft was hit by a strafing Japanese fighter aircraft and  was killed when he then parachuted out of the aircraft at about 24 metres. The fourth pilot killed was Lt. Charles Hughes whose aircraft was hit by gunfire as it raced down the runway to takeoff.

 

Remains of a P-40 Kittyhawk of 33 Pursuit Squadron
after the bombing raid at Darwin on 19 February 1942

Lt. Robert McMahon took off and was immediately attacked by a Japanese aircraft. He bailed out of his P-40 over Darwin Harbour and was rescued by some US Navy personnel from Patwing 10 who had just evacuated their strafed and now burning Catalinas.

Lt. Burt H. Rice took off and also parachuted from his damaged Kittyhawk over Darwin Harbour and spent the night in mangroves. He was rescued the next day.

Lt. Bert Glover took off and his aircraft entered a flat spin and crashed on the Darwin RAAF airfield. Glover received minor injuries and watched as his aircraft was destroyed by strafing Japanese aircraft.

Nine Kittyhawks (Warhawks) were destroyed and four pilots, Major Pell, Jack Peres, Lt. Charles Hughes and Lt. Elton S. Perry were killed by strafing Japanese aircraft. Only the aircraft of Lieutenant Bob Oestricher survived the raid. Eleven RAAF aircraft were also destroyed.

 

ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERIES AND SEARCHLIGHT STATIONS DEFEND DARWIN

The Japanese were targeted by a number of anti-aircraft batteries as follows:-

2nd Anti-aircraft Battery
14th Anti-aircraft Battery

There were A-A Batteries at Darwin Oval, Fannie Bay, and other strategic locations around the town. After the high level bombers had completed their mission, the dive-bombers and fighter aircraft took over.

The 14th Anti-aircraft Battery put their guns onto independent control. One of the guns manned by Jack Mulholland was assigned a 90 degree field of fire over Darwin Harbour.

The dive-bombers were attacking the larger ships and the fighter aircraft were strafing the smaller vessels. The 14th’s guns was too slow to engage the Japanese aircraft at such short range.

The only strategy they could adopt was to put up a shield of fire above the ships in the harbour. The shortest recommended fuse setting was 2 seconds. They selected 1.5 seconds as the fuse setting to reduce the range before the shell would explode.

Eventually one of the shells exploded near the nose of one of the dive-bombers. The damaged Japanese dive-bomber side slipped into the harbour.

The 19th Light Horse Machine Regiment had machine guns located on the oil tanks near the harbour. HMAS Katoomba, which was located in the floating dock at the time of the attack, put up an intense barrage of anti-aircraft fire.

Most of the Searchlight Stations in Darwin were machine-gunned during the first raid. Lance Corporal F. Terone (N103222) assisted by Sapper Dick Spedding at Ironstone Searchlight Station managed to shoot one Japanese fighter aircraft down with their machine gun. This was the first Japanese aircraft brought down by ground fire ov

er Australian soil during WW2. Jack Mulholland told me that this searchlight battery would only have had one Lewis Gun.

 

US NAVY CATALINAS ATTACKED

Three Catalinas of the US Navy’s Patwing 10 were destroyed in the harbour as follows:-

#4 (BUAERO Number: 1214, ex- 102-P-27, ex- 102-P-12, ex- 1-P-12)
#8 (BUAERO Number: 1233, ex- 101-P-8,  ex- 18-P-8)
#41 (ex- Y-41)

Darwin based scuba divers working for a Japanese gas company Inpex found the wreckage of one of the above US Navy Catalinas in the East Arm area in the last week of May 2008. It was the last of six US Navy Catalinas wrecks to be found in Darwin Harbour.  Inpex is surveying the seabed in Darwin Harbour for a proposed gas plant. Diver Sue Sultana was the first to see the Catalina wreckage, in some 18 metres of water. The Northern Territory government is now considering the site for heritage listing.

 

PARAP CIVIL AIRFIELD ATTACKED

The Civil Airfield at Parap was also bombed. A de Havilland Puss Moth VH-UPN owned by Roy Edwards was destroyed in the attack. RAAF Wirraway A20-232 was damaged by shrapnel. At one stage there was reported to be 10 Zero’s strafing the Civilian airfield at Parap. The first bomb was a direct hit on 13 Squadron RAAF‘s hangar. 13 Squadron RAAF suffered damage to their Headquarters area, their stores and spares. They had not long returned to Darwin after being based at Laha and Namlea in Ceram.

The hangar for 12 Squadron RAAF also suffered a direct hit. It was accommodating a number of US aircraft at the time of the air raid.

A “Val” dive bomber crashed in the sea, north of East Point after it was hit by a cone of gunfire from the town’s defences. The gunner in the “Val” was killed.

 

 

Darwin Air Raids, Feb 1942. Wrecked Lockheed Hudson.

Charles Eaton Photographic Collection via Mitch Williamson

 

SHIPS ATTACKED IN DARWIN HARBOUR AND NEAR BATHURST ISLAND

There were some 46 ships in Darwin Harbour at the time of the attack. 21 of these ships were sunk or were badly damaged. Two others, the Don Isidro and the merchant ship “Florence D” were destroyed near Bathurst Island. The freighter Don Isidro was beached near Bathurst Island.

The wreck of the “Florence D” was located located in late 2008. This was first reported on 30 December 2008. It was located by fisherman Wayne Keeping and diver Jim Miles lying in 10 metres of murky water on its starboard side off Bathurst Island. The ship was apparently carrying 500,000 anti-aircraft rounds. The bow of the ship had been extensively damaged. Wayne Keeping, located the ship by accident in 2006 using his depth sounder. He attempted to dive on the wreck twice in the following two years but had to battle numerous jellyfish and very strong tides. Former chief minister Marshall Perron put diver Jim Miles in touch with Wayne Keeping and within a few weeks they had located and dived on the wreck.

 

 

 

SHIP

KILLED

WOUNDED

DETAILS

SS Admiral Halstead

-

-

Damaged

SS Barossa

   

Damaged and sunk

SS Benjamin Franklin

-

-

Norwegian tanker, Damaged (see Note below)

SS British Motorist

2

-

 

HMAS Deloraine

-

-

 

Don Isidro

11 survivors died on beach of Bathurst Island

-

73 rescued by HMAS Warnambool on 20 February 1942. During the rescue they were bombed by a Japanese float plane. HMAS Patricia Cam was involved in salvage work on the Don Isidro on Bathurst Island in May 1942.

Florence D

4 (3 ship’s crew, 1 US Navy aircrew)

-

2,600-tonne cargo vessel. 30 survivors made it to Bathurst Island in a lifeboat and camped on the beach for 3 days before they were rescued.

HMAS Gunbar – RAN Minesweeper

1

8

First ship to be attacked.

HMAS Kangaroo

1

-

Norman R. Moore (cook) killed

HMAS Kara Kara

2

-

Emms and PO. Moore died after the attack on the boom ship HMAS Kara Kara. Emms died from his wounds on Hospital Ship Manunda.

HMAS Katoomba

-

-

 

Kelat

-

?

Coal Hulk, sunk on 24 Feb 42 as a result of damage. HMAS Tambar attempted unsuccessfully to salvage Kelat in 1943.

HMAS Kirra

-

-

 

Manunda – Hospital Ship

11

18 seriously wounded

40+ minor wounds

 

SS Mauna Loa

5

-

Sunk

HMAS Mavie

-

-

 

USAT Meigs

   

Sunk

MV Tulagi

2

-

The Captain of the Tulagi pulled up anchor and moved across the other side of the harbour and avoided being hit. It was apparently beached at that location. 2 US soldiers were killed on MV Tulagi.

Neptuna

45

?

 

USS Peary

91

?

 

HMAS Platypus

-

-

Damaged

SS Port Mar – US Transport

1

-

Beached

HMAS Southern Cross

-

-

 

HMAS Swan – RAN Sloop

3

19

Breen, Purdon, and Sault killed

HMAS Warrego

-

-

 

HMAS Warnambool

   

Escaped damage and no casualties

USS William B. Preston

10

-

Damaged

Zealandia

2 died from wounds

-

 

TOTAL

191

107

 

NOTE:- Sometimes there is some confusion between the above mentioned S.S. Benjamin Franklin, a US Liberty ship launched on 16 November 1941 which was attacked in Darwin Harbour on 19 February 1942 and the M.V. Benjamin Franklin launched in 1926 which was sunk exactly one year earlier on 19 February 1941 in the North Atlantic.

 

 

OTHER CASUALTIES

The Post Office, the Telegraph Office, the Cable Office and the Postmaster’s residence all suffered either a direct hit or blast and were a complete loss. All the staff of the Post Office and Telegraph Office were killed which included the Postmaster and his family.

 

War Correspondent Robert Sherrod, od Time magazine, in front
of the remains of the Darwin Post Office in June 1942

There were many injuries as a result of the raids and the Darwin Hospital and the Berrimah Australian General Hospital were both very busy treating the seriously injured.

The Police Barracks were hit and were a total loss, together with the Police Station. Constable McNab was one of the wounded.

The “All Clear” was eventually sounded at about 10:40 am.

 

DARWIN WHARF

There were about 22 wharfies killed during the Japanese attack on the 19 February 1942.

Colwell Burleigh Giles was one of the 22 wharfies killed on the 19 February. His brother, Toby Giles was working along side him when the attack started. They were loading a ship when the Japanese air raid started. Toby remembered that he and his brother were running back along the wharf when something happened and Toby ended up in the water. Toby lost his leg in this incident and no trace of his brother Colwell was ever found. It is assumed that a Japanese bomb landed right on top of their location. Colwell Giles’ name is on a Memorial in Darwin.

 

THE JAPANESE CASUALTIES IN THE FIRST RAID

From a variety of sources I have found information that suggests that at least 4 Japanese aircraft were shot down in the first air raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942.

- A “Val” dive bomber crashed in the sea, north of East Point after it was hit by a cone of gunfire from the town’s defences. The gunner in the “Val” was killed.

- An Imperial Japanese Navy A6M2 “Zero”, was hit in the oil tank by a single .303″ rifle bullet over Darwin Harbour and crashed on Melville Island

- Two D3A “Vals” were shot down by Lieutenant Bob Oestricher.

Harry Gordon’s book “Voyage from Shame” indicates that only two Japanese aircraft were shot down in the first air raid on Darwin. So could there be some confusion about who shot down one of the Val’s. Was it Darwin’s anti-aircraft guns or Oestricher’s P-40?

 

Can anyone confirm how many Japanese aircraft were shot down
in the first and second air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942?

 

Terry and Yoshiko Gusterson have a copy of a letter dated 30 April 1942, written by Japanese pilot Shoichi Ogawa, who was flying beside Wt. Off. Katsuyoshi Tsuru in his “Val” dive bomber during the first Japanese air raid on Darwin. Katsuyoshi Tsuru was Yoshiko Gusterson’s grandfather.

Shoichi states in the letter that he was not allowed to write any details until the Government approved everything. The letter stated, that on the 19th February 1942, Tsuru and others left the aircraft carrier Kaga at 7am in the morning and headed towards Darwin.

Their target was the West Point base in the first bombing raid. He reached there at about 8.30am and bombed a military shed (airplane hanger) north east of Darwin.

 His mission was a success and then on the way back to the ship, he was hit in the gasoline tank and the airplane caught on fire. He crashed into the water at 8.46am, 2000meters east of the military airport.

Ogawa received a radio message that one  plane had blown itself up in the ocean. It appears that Tsuru could have ejected from his plane as he wasn’t injured at the time but it would be a disgrace to himself and his country to remain alive. They believed that they should die for their Emperor.

When Shoichi looked back he saw flames 40metres high from Tsuru’s plane. Pilots reported that the plane was still burning when they were returning to the Kaga after the 2nd raid. The other crew member in Tsuru’s “Val” was NAP 1/C Musashi Uchikado.

Shoichi Ogawa knew Katsuyoshi Tsuru since Hawaii – Pearl Harbor and he mentioned also a Bismarck plan.

Some research by Robert Piper indicated that there are 19 bodies in the POW Camp at Cowra in New South Wales, who were from the Darwin air raids and that Katsuyoshi Tsuru was one of those.

 It is believed that Katsuyoshi Tsuru was originally buried at Darwin and then transferred to Cowra. Terry Gusterson’ told me on 9 September 2002 that his Japanese father-in-law is very excited about possibly finding and visiting his father’s gravesite (if it still exists).

Terry and Yoshiko Gusterson visited Darwin with Yoshiko’s father in about 1997 and attended the museum at West Point.

 

THE SECOND AIR RAID

As Fuchida’s force had approached Darwin, Japanese aircraft were already taking off for a second air raid on Darwin for the 19 February 1942. Twenty seven G4M1 “Betty” bombers of the Tokao Kokutai, 23rd Koku Sentai took off from Kandari in the Celebes, while another twenty seven G3M1 “Nell” aircraft took off from their new base at Ambon. Their target was the airfields in Darwin.

 

“Betty” bomber

 

HOW MANY WERE KILLED IN DARWIN ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942?

Modern history seems to record that there were 243 deaths in Darwin on the 19 February 1942 after two major air raids by Japanese aircraft. Anecdotal evidence would seem to suggest there were many more deaths than this. Many of the servicemen that were in Darwin that day believe that more than 243 were killed.

The Australian Government initially announced that 15 people had been killed and 24 wounded. It took many weeks before the public in the other main cities of Australia became aware that hundreds had actually died.

One soldier based in Darwin at the time of these major Japanese raids says the he saw barges of tangled bodies towed out to sea after the attacks. The Mayor of Darwin at the time said that about 900 people had been killed.

Rex Ruwoldt who had been based at Lee Point, received their news bulletin over the filed telephone from their field Headquarters a few days after the raid. It mentioned an estimate of 1100 deaths which had been based on estimates from Army Intelligence. Rex believes that a large number of those killed were part of the 2,000 or so itinerant works in Darwin at the time of the attacks. They would have been caught by surprise and would not have had access to slit trenches.

Darwin Historian Peter Forrest believe the death toll was somewhere between 400 to 500. At the time of the attacks, there would have been significant numbers of evacuees from Java and Ambon. How many of these people were killed?

Adelaide Historian John Bradford believes the figure is about 250 killed. He had been told a story by one person that he had been a member of burial party that had buried 1,500 people on a Darwin beach.

Ross Dack was a member of a burial team at Mindil Beach. He said that there were lots of bodies which were shoved in a large hole dug by a bulldozer. Nobody counted the bodies. They were all black, covered in oil. Ross believes that the bodies were later exhumed and relocated to Adelaide River War Cemetery.

Unfortunately there is no documentary evidence to support these memories from many years ago. If there were that many, who were they all? The Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour database shows only 18 deaths for Military personnel killed in Darwin on 19 February 1942.

Directly after the bombing the bodies of the dead were buried as close as possible to where they were found. This could be many number of places including the many of the beaches around Darwin. They were exhumed as soon as possible and re-interred at the Berrimah War Cemetery and then at a much later date they were once again exhumed and re-interred at the Adelaide River War Cemetery.

 

 

 

LIST OF THOSE KILLED ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942

Killed on ships

187

33rd Pursuit Squadron pilots

4

Australian Army

?

148th F.A., US Army

3

RAAF – at RAAF airfield

?

Catalina aircrew (#2306)

1

Post Office

10?

Darwin Wharf

22?

Civilians killed

4?

TOTAL

229?

I need your assistance to build up the details for this list.
I would like to start a list of the names of all those killed
so that they will always be remembered.

 

Details of those killed in Darwin on 19 February 1942 

 

US Army Personnel Wounded at Darwin on 19 February 1942

 

 

COMMISSION OF INQUIRY

The raid, was Japan’s biggest single air attack since the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941. During the Darwin raid some of the defenders displayed great courage. Others did not, and many, including servicemen, fled south. The conduct of the Australians after the raid was so disturbing that the government appointed Mr. Justice Lowe of the Supreme Court of Victoria to conduct an inquiry. Our extracts from his report to Curtin deal with the raid itself, not the aftermath.

 

Document 224

Lowe to Curtin

27 March 1942

Report

FINDINGS OF COMMISSION OF INQUIRY


The first raid commenced just before 10 a.m. … A number of high altitude bombers came in from the south-east of the town, flying in a ‘V’ formation and at a height which was variously estimated by witnesses but was probably not less than 15,000 feet. One formation consisted of 27 bombers. The bombing was that which is known as pattern bombing in which the individual machines drop their bombs at a signal from the Squadron Leader.

The first bombs fell over the harbour. Having completed their run this group of bombers after a circuit returned and dropped bombs again in pattern over the town. Much difference of opinion was expressed by witnesses as to the number of machines engaged in this attack. I am inclined to think that the view of Air Marshall Williams is correct and that the number of high altitude bombers did not much (if at all) exceed 27.

After the high altitude bombers there came a number of dive bombers escorted by fighters, and these attacked the shipping in the harbour.

The number of dive bombers and fighters is uncertain, but I think it probable that Air Marshall Williams is correct in his view that the total number of high altitude dive bombers and fighters did not exceed 50. The cause of confusion lies I think in the impression conveyed to witnesses that the same squadron returning for another run was an added group of enemy planes. An attack was also made about the same time by enemy machines on the R.A.A.F. aerodrome and on the civil aerodrome, and by machine-gun fire on the hospital at Berrima some 9 miles from the town, and in each case a good deal of damage was done which I shall presently particularise. The “All-clear”: was sounded about 10.40 a.m.

THE DAMAGE

(a) On Water: The attack upon the harbour caused great damage to installations and shipping.  … Alongside the inner limb of the pier when the  raid started were berthed the “Neptuna” and the “Barossa”. The “Neptuna” had among her cargo a quantity of explosives. She was set on fire by enemy bombs, as was also the “Barossa” on the opposite side of the pier. After the enemy planes had departed the “Neptuna” blew up and caused the destruction of a large section of the inner limb of the pier, and it is probable, too, that the “Barossa” was injured by this explosion.


    Other ships lost in addition to the “
Neptuna” were the “Zealandia”, the “Meigs”, the “Maunaloa”, the “British Motorist” and the U.S.S. Destroyer “Peary”. Ships damaged were the “Barossa”, the “Port Mar” (U.S.) and the hospital ship “Manunda“.  …

© on the Land

On land the Administrator’s office was hit by an enemy bomb and is a total loss.   …   The Police Barracks are a total loss, together with the Police Station and the Government Offices attached. The Post Office, the Telegraph Office, the Cable Office and the Postmaster’s residence all suffered either by a direct hit or blast and are a complete loss. The Civil Hospital was much damaged.   …  There was some damage done to two or three private residences which are probably also to be counted a complete loss.

A second raid occurred about 11.55 a.m. and lasted for about 20-25 minutes. This raid was upwards of 27 heavy bombers which flew at a great height and indulged in pattern bombing, more than 200 bombs being dropped according to one observer. These bombers were unescorted by fighters. This raid caused much damage to the surface of the RAAF Station and to the Hospital thereon. No attempt was made in the second raid to bomb the town or the port.

(d) The Aerodrome: I have not sought to discriminate between the damage done on the RAAF Station by these two raids. The hangars and repairs shops were destroyed, the hospital damaged, and damage was also done to the hutments. The losses in aircraft were as follow:-

Australian

6 Hudsons destroyed on the ground
1 Hudson in hangar badly damaged
1 Wirraway badly damaged

American

8 P.40’s [Kittyhawks] destroyed in the air
2 P.40’s destroyed on the ground
1 B.24 [Liberator] destroyed on the ground (sic – This was an LB-30A)
1 P.40 damaged in the air

LOSS OF LIFE

…  It is impossible to spea[k] with certainty of the number of people who lost their lives, but I am satisfied that the number is approximately 250, and I doubt whether any further investigation will result in ascertaining a more precise figure ….

ACCURACY OF BOMBING

All the evidence given before me concurred in the view that the bombing of the Japanese, especially the dive bombing, was extremely accurate. The high level bombing did not achieve the same degree of accuracy, but was moderately accurate and caused a great deal of damage. Air Force officers, however, expressed the view that there were no novel tactics displayed and that the performance of the Japanese aircraft was not beyond their expectations. All these officers insisted that the accuracy was due to lack of  effective opposition by our own Forces, rather than to any specially high qualities displayed by the Japanese.  …

WARNING OF THE RAID

There was a general con[s]ensus of opinion that the general alarm sounded [preceded] the falling of the first bomb by a very short space of time, probably seconds.

A warning that a large number of aircraft had been observed passing overhead at a great height over Bathurst Island and were proceeding southward, was received by the officer-in-charge of the Amalgamated Wireless Postal Radio Station at Darwin at 9.35 on the morning of the 19th February. That officer repeated the message to RAAF Operations at 9.37. No general alarm was given in the town until just before 10 o’clock.

Evidence was given before me that according to the routine usually observed, RAAF Operations would communicate a message to A.C.H. (Area Command Headquarters) and that A.C.H. would communicate to Navy and Army Headquarters. RAAF Operations would also, in the normal routine, communicate a message to A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions) Headquarters.

On full consideration of the evidence, I find that the failure by RAAF Operations to communicate with A.R.P. Headquarters is inexplicable. The excuse given in evidence for the delay was based upon the fact that earlier that morning a number of U.S. planes – P.40’s – had set out for Koepang and, meeting with adverse weather, had returned. Some discussion, it is said, ensued as to whether the planes referred to in the above message were the American planes returning or enemy planes, and that this discussion accounted for the greater part of the delay which ensued.

I find it difficult to accept this explanation. The evidence now shows almost conclusively that most of the American P.40’s had actually landed on the RAAF station when this message was received, and that the remainder – two or possibly three machines – had remained on patrol at some height.

Moreover, the direction from which the planes were reported was not that in which the P-40’s would normally be returning. In any event the Station Commander, Wing Commander Griffith, stated expressly that he did not consider that the planes flying over Bathurst Island southward might be American planes returning. Another significant fact was the jamming by the enemy of the radio telephone from Bathurst Island after the sending of the above message.

The delay in giving the general warning was fraught with disaster. It is impossible to say with certainty what would have happened if the warning had been promptly given when received by RAAF Operations at 9.37, but it is at least probable that a number of men who lost their lives while working on ships at the pier might have escaped to a place of safety.

There is much in evidence, too, which suggests that a warning of 20 minutes or even of 15 minutes might have enabled vessels in the harbour to get under way and move, and to have had a far better opportunity of avoiding the enemy attack than that which in fact they had. A twenty minutes warning might also have enabled the officials at the Post Office who were killed to have gone to a place of safety.

The warning received by way of Bathurst Island was not the only warning received. Military Headquarters received a separate warning through an observation post at 9.50, and there is evidence that Navy Headquarters were notified, possibly from A.C.H., at 9.45.

Much evidence was given in an attempt to fix the precise responsibility for the delay in giving the general alarm, and in tracing the actual communications which passed from R.A.A.F. Operations to other quarters. I have felt that time cannot usefully be spent in the circumstances in determining this matter, but it is plain that the Station Commander must take some responsibility for the failure of action on the part of R.A.A.F. Operations.

There is other evidence to indicate that this particular Service was conducted with some laxity. No log book was kept before 6th February, 1942 and the log book kept after that date discloses a gap in the entries between 16th and 20th February, 1942.  ….

[AA: A 2670, 116/1942]

 


 

Miss Daisy Martin was a part-Aboriginal girl who had been brought up at Kahlin Compound and was employed as a maid at Government House in Darwin. On 19 February 1942, during the Japanese bombing raids, she sheltered with the Abbott family and other staff at Government House.

Daisy was killed beneath falling masonry and concrete when the office received an almost direct hit from a 1,000-pound high explosive bomb. She was buried in a temporary grave at Kahlin Beach the next day, but was exhumed and reburied at Berrimah War Cemetery on 30 June 1942. Her body was later transferred to the Adelaide River War Cemetery.

A plaque in memory of Miss Daisy Martin was installed near the spot where she was killed on 19 February 1942.

 


 

Wing Commander A.R. Tindal, the Commanding Officer of No. 24 Squadron RAAF was killed during the first Japanese air raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942. Carson’s Field in the Northern Territory was renamed Tindal Airfield in honour of Wing Commander Tindal.

Some pictures from the Photo Album
of
Frank Ellis, of 24 Squadron 

   
   
   
   

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I’d like to thank Silvano Jung, John Bradford and Terry Gusterson for their assistance with this home page.

I’d like to thank Tony Derksen, the nephew of Colwell Burleigh Giles, one of the wharfies killed on the wharves in Darwin Harbour.

I’d like to thank Cameron Alexander for helping me to sort out the confusion between the two ships called Benjamin Franklin.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

“Darwin Bombed”
“The Unit History of 14 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery”
by Jack Mulholland

“Australian War Strategy 1939 – 1945″
“A Documentary History”
By John Robertson & John McCarthy

“Protect & Revenge” (Page 21)
“The
49th Fighter Group in World War II”
by S.W. Ferguson & William K. Pascalis

“Darwin’s Air War – 1942-1945. An Illustrated History”
By the Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory (Bob Alford)

“The Weekend Australian” 
9 – 10 Feb 2002

“Hospital Ships – Manunda, Wanganella, Centaur, Oranje”
by Rupert Goodman

“Wrecks in Darwin Waters”
by Tom Lewis

“For Those in Peril – A comprehensive listing of the Ships and Men of the RAN who have paid the Supreme Sacrifice in the Wars of the 20th Century”
by Vic Cassells

“In the Highest Traditions … RAN heroism Darwin 19 February 1942″
by John Bradford

“Bloody Shamble 2″
by ?

 

February 19th.1942

The Japanense boombardement Buitenzorg(Bogor) semplak  airfield and in the midday attack  Bandung Andir airfield

Gubernor General Tjarda vsn Stoukerborough with his  Chief of Staf Ter Porten moved from Batavia to Bandung and they stayed at

 

Mei Ling Villa which owned by  the Tionghoa Volkraad (house of representative)’s member H.H. Kan

 

February ,19th.1942

In a major engagement above Semplak on 19 February 1942

,

eight Dutch Brewster fighters

intercepted a formation of about

 

 35 Japanese bombers with an escort of about

 

 

 

20 Zeros.

The Brewster pilots destroyed 11 Japanese aircraft and lost four Brewsters; two Dutch pilots died.[33]

The Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger

(“Military Air Service of the Royal Netherlands East Indian Army”, ML-KNIL)

had ordered

 

 144 Brewster B-339C

 

and 339D models,

 the former with rebuilt Wright G-105 engines supplied by the Dutch and the latter with new 1,200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-40 engines Brewster purchased from Wright.

At the outbreak of war, only 71 had arrived in the Dutch East Indies, and not all were in service.

 A small number served briefly at Singapore before being withdrawn for the defense of Java.

As the Brewster B-339 aircraft used by the ML-KNIL were lighter than the modified B-339E Brewster Mark Is used by British, Australian, and New Zealand air forces, they were able at times to successfully engage

 

 the Japanese Army Nakayama  Ki-43 “Oscar”, although both the “Oscar” and

 

the Japanese Navy’s A6M Zero

 still out-climbed and out-turned the B-339 at combat altitudes (the Zero was faster as well).[32]

 

 

Brewster Buffalos of the ML-KNIL

Apart from their role as fighters, the Brewster fighters were also used as dive bombers against Japanese troopships.

Although reinforced by British Commonwealth Brewster Mk I (B-339E) aircraft retreating from Malaya, the Dutch squadrons faced superior numbers in the air, and were too few in number to stem the advance of Japanese ground forces.

In a major engagement above Semplak

Wednesday, 18 February.1942

Destroyer ENCOUNTER was sent from Batavia to evacuate RAF and service personnel from Padang.

Light cruiser DANAE and

ENCOUNTER evacuated 877 evacuees from

Padang.

on 19 February 1942,

eight Dutch Brewster fighters intercepted a formation of about 35 Japanese bombers with an escort of about 20 Zeros. The Brewster pilots destroyed 11 Japanese aircraft and lost four Brewsters; two Dutch pilots died.[33]

on February 19th and on February 27th

the Japanese annihilated the bulk of the American, British, Dutch and Australian naval forces opposing them at the Battle of the Java Sea. American forces in the Philippines surrendered on May 8th while the British in Singapore surrendered on February 15th.

In only one place had a Japanese Naval task force been prevented from its goal and that was at the Battle of the Coral Sea. 

Between 4-8 May the US Navy’s Task Force 11 and Task Force 17 centered on the Carriers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown prevented a Japanese invasion force from taking Port Moresby. Their aircraft sank the light carrier Shoho, damaged the modern carrier Shokaku and decimated the air groups of the Japanese task force.

But it was the unexpected raid by US Army Air Corps B-25 Bombers launched from the USS Hornet under command of Colonel Jimmy Doolittle

February 20th.1942.

This put Surabaya within range of enemy bombers. From Kendari,

 

Friday, 20 February

 

 

 

BATTLE OF BADOENG STRAIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allied ships were in two groups.

 

The first were Dutch cruisers DE RUYTER, JAVA, Dutch destroyers PIET HEIN and the American JOHN D FORD, and POPE. Dutch destroyer BANCKERT was part of the force, but ran aground at the mouth of Tjilatjap harbour and could not proceed.

 

The second group was Dutch cruiser TROMP from Surabaya and American destroyers STEWART, PARROTT, JOHN D EDWARDS and PILLSBURY from Ratai Bay.

 

STEWART was damaged by Japanese gunfire, with one enlisted man killed and the executive officer LT C B Smiley and one enlisted man wounded. JOHN D EDWARDS had one enlisted man wounded. PIET HEIN (Lt Cdr J M L I Chompff) was lost with all but 33 of her crew and TROMP was badly damaged.

 

_____

 

Convoy SM.3 departed Batavia unescorted with British steamers ADRASTUS (7905grt), CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt), MARELLA (7475grt), Dutch PHRONTIS (6181grt) and Norwegian PROMINENT (2282grt). Steamers CITY OF MANCHESTER and PROMINENT proceeded to Tjilatjap and the rest of the convoy to Fremantle.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.5 departed Batavia with British steamers ANGBY (786grt), FILLEIGH (4856grt), JALAKRISHNA (4991grt), LULWORTH HILL (7628grt), SILVERLARCH (5064grt), YOMA (8131grt) and Norwegian HAI LEE (3616grt). Escort at the start was by heavy cruiser EXETER, destroyer STRONGHOLD and Indian sloop JUMNA. The ships proceeded to Colombo, arriving independently between 28 February and 6 March.

_____

 

Battleship WARSPITE arrived at Sydney, NSW, after refitting in the United States.

 

_____

 

Destroyer NIZAM departed Colombo for the west coast of Sumatra to evacuate personnel. Patrol vessel PANGKOR of the China Force was also sent to evacuate personnel. NIZAM was recalled on the 21st for escort duties.

_____

 

Australian minesweeper BALLARAT evacuated important stores and completed the destruction of port facilities and abandoned equipment at Oosthaven on the 20th.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.65 sank steamer BHIMA (5280grt) in 7-47N, 73-31E. Crew of 68, two passengers, all rescued.

_____

 

Steamer KOOLAMA (4068grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing off Wyndham, West Australia.

_____

 

Dutch steamer TOBELO (983grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at Kupang.

_____

 

Steamer JALAKRISHNA (4991grt) was damaged by Japanese bombing in the Dutch East Indies.

Following their quick success at Ambon,

 the Japanese moved on to Timor, landing at Koepang and Dili

 on 20 February 1942.

 While 2/2 Indep Coy extricated itself inland, the landing force in the south trapped 2/40 Inf Bn against a blocking force of paratroops and, cut off from its supply base and short of ammunition, it was forced to surrender.

 

 

 

Saturday, 21 February

 

 

Convoy SJ.6 departed Tandjong PrioK with steamers MANGOLA and THEPASTRIN NAWA (3260grt) for Fremantle and KIANG (1451grt), JALAVIHAR, ELSA, STRAAT SOENDA (6439grt) and GENERAAL VAN DE HEYDEN (1213grt) for Colombo.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.7 departed Tandjong Priok with troopship ORCADES (23,456grt), carrying 3768 troops and refugees, escorted by destroyer ELECTRA to the 22nd and Australian light cruiser HOBART to the 23rd, when the convoy dispersed and the escorts detached. ORCADES arrived at Colombo on the 27th.

 

Americans providing reinforcements for Australia.46

Washington agreed with Wavell’s estimate of the probable loss of Java. Reinforcement was evidently futile and the wisest course, the Combined Chiefs thought, would be to send at least one of the Australian divisions to Burma and the other to Australia. It was clear also that the fall of Java would split the ABDA area and make a co-ordinated defense of its eastern and western extremities impossible. The British therefore suggested that Burma be taken out of ABDACOM and transferred to their command in India, a proposal that the U.S. Chiefs and General Wavell, who had always believed Burma was an integral part of the Indian command, readily accepted. This was accomplished formally

on 21 February.47

 

Sunday 22, February

 

 

LANGLEY and SEA WITCH, carrying crated aircraft, were detached to Java. LANGLEY was lost and SEA WITCH was able to escape after delivering her cargo at Tjilatjap.

 

LANGLEY was sunk by Japanese bombing. Only sixteen crew and passengers were lost. The survivors were picked up by WHIPPLE and EDSALL. WHIPPLE then scuttled LANGLEY.

 

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 5 March.

_____

 

Patrol vessel PANGKOR departed Batavia to evacuate personnel from Sibolga and Ongha, then proceeded to Colombo.

_____

 

Boom defence vessels BARRIER, BARLANE and BARRICADE departed Batavia for Colombo and patrol vessels CIRCE and MEDUSA for Fremantle, via Tjilatjap.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.8 departed Tandjong Priok with EDENDALE (1659grt) for Fremantle and FU KWANG (1559grt), TINOMBO (872grt) and ROOSEBOOM (1035grt) for Colombo.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 sank Dutch steamer PIJNACKER HORDIKJ (2982grt) south of Tjilatjap.

 

 

Monday, 23 February

 

 

Norwegian steamer BELITA and Norwegian collier WOOLGAR departed Colombo for Batavia, escorted until the 25th by destroyer NIZAM and minesweeper BATHURST. The merchantmen proceeded independently for Batavia until recalled.

_____

 

Convoy SM.4 departed Tandjong Priok with steamer SPRINGDALE (1579grt) for Fremantle and SEIRSTAD and PERAK (1188grt) for Colombo. The ships proceeded independently after Sunda Strait.

 

The plan for sending the Australian divisions to Burma, however, came to naught. Concerned over the defense of their own country, the Australians persistently refused, despite strong appeals from Churchill and Roosevelt, to permit the diversion of these divisions to Burma, and finally,

on 23 February, they were ordered home.48

Though the loss of Java was conceded by all except the Dutch, there was a reluctance to act on this assumption. To do so would create the impression that the Americans and British were deserting their Dutch allies. On the 20th, therefore, the Combined Chiefs, asserting that “every day gained is of importance,” directed Wavell to defend Java “with the utmost resolution” and not to withdraw or surrender any of the troops there. To minimize the loss of Allied troops in Java, the Chiefs specifically prohibited Wavell from reinforcing that island further, but did give him discretion to use his naval forces and American planes in Australia as he thought best.49

Even as these fresh instructions were being received at ABDACOM, the Japanese were making their execution impossible. On the 19th, they landed on the southern tip of Bali, immediately to the east of Java. Next day they landed on Timor, half of which was Dutch and half Portuguese. Control of these islands, lying between Java and northwest Australia, completed the isolation of Java, placed Japanese land-based fighters within bombing range of the Dutch base at Surabaya, and made further reinforcements from Australia impossible.

 

 

 

 

. on 23 February

had been ordered to Tjilatjap, on the south coast of Java,

 

with its cargo of thirty-two assembled P-40’s and their pilots. On the 27th, almost within sight of Java, it was spotted by Japanese patrol planes and sunk. The freighter Seawitch with 27 P-40’s in her hold had left Fremantle at the same time, but sailed separately and made its way successfully to Java. It arrived there on the eve of invasion and the P-40’s, still crated, were dumped into the sea to prevent their capture.55

Meanwhile the Japanese had completed their preparations for the invasion of Java. D-day was set for

 air reconnaissance confirmed that the airfield was unfit for use. Thereupon Air Headquarters made arrangements for supplies to be dropped and the following day three Blenheims from Singapore, modified to carry containers, successfully dropped 900 pounds of supplies on the airfield.

the 23rd February

 at Kenamboi, where they were re-united with C and D Company.


February,24th,1942

Japanese filght attacked and bombardement Kemajoran Batavia, Semplak Buitenzorg and Kalijati airfield.

Tuesday, 24 February

 

 

Steamers INDRAGIRI (592grt), NAM YONG (1345grt), and BOERO (7135grt) departed Tandjong Priok for Colombo.

_____

 

Dutch steamer KOTA RADJA (7117grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at Surabaya.

 

Dutch light cruiser HEEMSKERK departed Colombo for Trincomalee to embark ammunition and proceed to the Dutch East Indies. She then left Trincomalee the next day for Sunda Strait with all despatch, but was diverted to Tjilatjap on the 26th. On 1 March, both she and destroyer ISAAC SWEERS were ordered to return to Colombo.

 

 

Krakatau (right) at anchor in Soerabaja, February 24 1942

 

 

 

Wednesday, 25 February

 

British heavy cruiser EXETER, Australian light cruiser PERTH and British destroyers ENCOUNTER, ELECTRA and JUPITER departed Tanjong Priok to join Dutch Admiral Doorman’s force at Surabaya. Australian light cruiser HOBART was also ordered to sail, but had not completed refuelling. Instead she joined a Western Striking Force with light cruisers DANAE, DRAGON and destroyers TENEDOS and SCOUT. The EXETER group arrived at Surabaya at 0330/26th and sailed at 1900 that day.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 sank Dutch steamer BOERO (7135grt) south of Sunda Strait. Crew of 70, with no casualties.

.

_____

 

. With the Japanese making ready for the final assault on Java,

General Wavell turned to his superiors for new instructions. Their orders were to transfer command of Java to the Dutch and withdraw, but to maintain ABDACOM and keep his headquarters intact. When and where he would go was left to him. Ground forces “for whom there are arms” were to remain and continue the fight, but air forces that could operate from bases outside Java and other troops “who cannot contribute to defense” were to be withdrawn, the Americans and Australians to go to Australia. General Brett was to return to Australia, when released by Wavell, to command the U.S. forces there.50

The ABDA commander did not agree with the program. What he wanted was the dissolution of ABDACOM, all reason for its existence having disappeared. Burma, he pointed out, had already been separated from the ABDA theater and Java’s defense was a local problem, best handled by the Dutch themselves. If the Philippines, which had never really been under his control, were taken over by the Americans again and northwest Australia by the Australians, he told the Chiefs, he could turn over his remaining forces to the Dutch and leave the area by

25 February.51

This recommendation was in line with the solution being proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff for the establishment of two areas in the Far East, one to be under American control and to include Australia; the other a British area encompassing India and the Indian Ocean. The Dutch opposed such a solution for fear it would mean the end of Allied assistance in the Netherlands Indies. ‘For God’s sake,’ wrote the Dutch governor-general to Marshall, “take the strong and active decisions and don’t stop sending materials and men.”52

Still anxious to avoid the appearance of abandoning their allies, the U.S. Chiefs continued to oppose the dissolution of ABDACOM. But in recognition of the fact that Wavell had lost the confidence of the Dutch and obviously wanted to pull out, they agreed to the dissolution of his headquarters and his transfer to India, leaving control of the ABDA area to the Dutch. And lest the Dutch should think that the Americans had made this arrangement to shirk their commitments, Marshall assured the Dutch governor that the forces then assembling in Australia were “seeking opportunity to enter the ABDA battle” and would “continue their full support of the Dutch commanders in their magnificent fight.”53

On the 25th

General Wavell turned over command to the Dutch and left for India where General Brereton had already gone to organize an American air force. This move placed MacArthur technically under the Dutch, but he had already been told that “because of your special situation all procedures in your case remain as heretofore.”54 The burden of defending Java was now squarely on the Dutch. Their forces, with the exception of minor ground units (including an American artillery battalion), American and British naval units, and a small U.S.-Australian fighter force, composed the entire command.

There was still a chance that fighters could be brought in by sea, though the air ferry route had been closed by the Japanese seizure of Timor. To this task was assigned the aircraft tender Langley,

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 26 February

 

 

Convoy MR.5 departed Madras with steamers ERINPURA (5143grt), ETHIOPIA (5574grt), KAROA (7009grt) and VARSOVA (4701grt) escorted by heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE, which departed Trincomalee on the 26th. The convoy and escort arrived at Rangoon on 3 March.

_____

 

Steamer ASHRIDGE was the last steamer to departed Tandjong Priok, escorted through the Sunda Strait by destroyer STRONGHOLD

Back in Balikpapan, the Japanese rounded up civilians and the newly captured prisoners of war. They delayed their promised vengeance until

 

 

 

Alstede, Paulus Simon.

Born in Buitenzorg (Bogor, Java) on 20 June 1906.

Died on board of the Hr.Ms. Cruiser ‘Java’ in the Java Sea

 on 27 February 1942.

(also see Jan Frederik Haayen at The Netherlands Antilles). Bronze Cross, War Commemorating Cross, Officers Cross XV. Lieutenant-at-sea 1st class, navigation-officer on board of Hr.Ms. Cruiser ‘Java’

 

On February 27th,1942,

And then there was the Battle of the Java Sea from 27 February to 1 March 1942. The Dutch warships Ruyter and Java were hit by Japanese torpedoes; they sunk with a huge loss of life. The Allies lost this battle.

 

 

japanese destroyer Inazuma launching a type 93 long lance torpedo against allied ships in the Second Battle of the Java Sea

 

Frank looked out from Fort Menari to see a small fleet of Allied cruisers and destroyers – American, British, Dutch, and Australian – steaming through the Western Fairway:

…the binoculars pick up the sleek outlines in camouflage grey, stealing through the mist of dawn out into the open sea. Our gallant Navy sailing to their last engagement with the enemy, to bear the brunt of the great onslaught. [11]


In the Java Sea the ABDA fleet boldly attacked the more powerful Japanese warships escorting the East Java invasion force, hoping to break through and sink the troop transports.

The Japanese, with their heavier guns and advanced “Long Lance” torpedoes, drove them off after inflicting severe losses.

Among the vessels sunk was

 the Dutch flagship, the light cruiser De Ruyter.

She went down with 345 of her crew, including Warrant Officer Frans Anton Boerman, Frank’s father-in-law.

Read more

 

Dutch cruiser De Ruyter
Laid down: 1933. Launched: 1935. Commissioned: 1936
Seven 150-mm guns on a 6442-ton displacement
Crew: 435

In the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February 1942, De Ruyter was the flagship of the Dutch rear-admiral Karel Doorman, with his flag captain Eugène Lacomblé (who had previously served on board the ship as a lieutenant). Off the north coast off Java the ABDA fleet was surprised at night by a Japanese squadron consisting of the heavy cruisers Nachi and Haguro supported by 14 destroyers.

De Ruyter was supposedly hit by a single Japanese Long Lance torpedo at about 23:30 and sank at 02:30 the next day with the loss of 345 men, including Admiral Doorman and Captain Lacomblé. Her wreck was found after the war and declared a war grave, with only the ship’s bell (now in the Kloosterkerk in the Hague) being recovered.

 

Battle of the Java Sea

In February 1942, the Allies established a naval “Combined Striking Force” for the protection of Java.

 The “Eastern Striking Force”, comprising the Dutch cruisers Java and De Ruyter, the US heavy cruiser Houston, the British cruiser Exeter, and the Australian cruiser Perth , was placed under the command of Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Doorman. “Eastern Striking Force” also included the destroyers Witte de With and Kortenaer (RNN), J.D. Edwards, Alden, John Ford and Paul Jones (USN), and Jupiter, Electra and Encounter (RN).

On February 27,

 Doorman’s force sailed from Surabaya to intercept the Japanese “Eastern Invasion Force”, which comprised four cruisers and 14 destroyers, escorting 41 transport vessels. At about 4 pm, the two forces met in a battle which lasted much of the night. Outgunned, Doorman’s force was unable to engage the invasion fleet, which escaped to the north while the escort vessels were pressing their attack.

Allied casualties were heavy.

 

Admiral Doorman

was lost along with both of the Dutch cruisers and almost all of their crews.

The Exeter was badly damaged by shell-fire, and was sunk along with its escorting destroyer Encounter two days later. Among the other destroyers engaged, Kortenaer, Jupiter and Electra were all sunk, with considerable loss of life. The Japanese invasion fleet was delayed, but not prevented from making a landing on Java on 28 February. The surviving cruisers, Houston and Perth, were sunk on the evening of the same day as they attempted to withdraw to Ceylon, having encountered the Japanese “Western Invasion Force” in the Sunda Strait.

 

Admiral Doorman’s flagship De Ruyter at anchor shortly before the battle of the Java Sea.

Read more about Admiral Karel dorman

Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN

 

Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman

Born Utrecht April 23, 1889 – Died on board light cruiser De Ruyter February 28, 1942

 

Although Karel Doorman was the son of an army officer, he joined the officer’s course at the Naval Institute in 1906, which he completed successfully four years later. After some years in the Netherlands East Indies, he returned to Holland to become one of the pioneers in Dutch naval aviation. He earned his wings in 1915, and what followed was a turbulent period at the naval airfield De Kooy until 1921, during which he survived 33 emergency landings. Then, he went to the High Naval Academy to study the art of naval warfare. He was sent out to the NEI for the last time in 1937, where he became the Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Service during the last prewar years. Being an aviator himself, he understood the value of a well-trained and well-equipped Naval Air Service (the correct Dutch term is Marine Luchtvaartdienst, or MLD) and under his command, the MLD became just that.

In June 1940, he was given command of the Netherlands East Indies Seagoing Squadron, which normally included the bulk of the Dutch surface fleet. Although a neglected dysentery started to play up shortly before the start of the Pacific War, he retained command and was also given command of the Combined Striking Force on February 3, 1942. The idea was to use this scratch-collection of Dutch, American, British and Australian warships to attack and destroy Japanese invasion convoys. During the month of February, the force made a number of sorties, which were usually unsuccessful due to Japanese aerial intervention. It only came to blows during the Battle of Badung Strait, when a numerically superior Allied Force attacked four Japanese destroyers and a transport, unfortunately without much success. In return, the Japanese managed to sink the destroyer Piet Hein and damage several other ships.

After this battle, it was clear that the next step would be the invasion of Java island. In compliance with Admiral Helfrich’s orders, Doorman continued to sweep the Java sea with his force, until the Japanese invasion fleet was finally sighted on February 27. Although the two forces were more or less equal in terms of strength, the Allied were handicapped by the lack of a good communication system, aerial reconnaissance and rest during the past few months. Both the light cruisers Java and Doorman’s flagship, De Ruyter were hit and sunk by torpedoes, taking a heavy toll among the exhausted crews. It is believed Doorman, his staff and De Ruyter’s commanding officer, Commander E.E.B. Lacomblé chose to remain on board as the cruiser sank.

In honor of Admiral Doorman, the only two Dutch aircraft carriers and lastly, a new frigate were named after him. In addition, he was one of only persons who were made Knights in the Military Order of William 3rd class. [1]

Ranks
Midshipman 1st class [2] August 24, 1910
Lieutenant August 24, 1912
Lieutenant-Commander November 1, 1920
Commander February 1, 1933
Captain September 6, 1937
Rear-Admiral May 16, 1940

 

Postings [3]
Coastal defence ship Hr.Ms. Tromp and Hr.Ms. De Ruyter 1910 - 1913
Light cruiser Hr.Ms. Noord Brabant April, 1914 - 1915
Pilot Instructor 1916 - 1917
Commanding Officer, Naval Airbase De Mok August 18, 1917 -  
First Officer, Naval Airfield De Kooy   - 1920
Commanding Officer, Naval Airfield De Kooy 1920 - 1921
Student Netherlands Naval War College November 2, 1921 - 1923
Staff Officer, Ministry of Navy, Weltevreden (Java) 1923 - 1926
Gunnery Officer, coastal defence ship Hr.Ms. Zeven Provinciën May 14, 1926 - January, 1928
Head MLD Technical Department, The Hague March 12, 1928 - July 14, 1928
First Officer, Naval Airfield De Kooy July 14, 1928 - November 2, 1931
Commanding Officer, minelayer Hr.Ms. Prins van Oranje 1932 - 1932
Commanding Officer, destroyer Hr.Ms. Witte de With 1933 - 1933
Commanding Officer, destroyer Hr.Ms. Evertsen and Group Destroyers 1 1934 - 1934
Chief of Staff, Den Helder naval base June, 1934 - September 4, 1937
Commanding Officer, light cruiser Hr.Ms. Sumatra October 25, 1937 - June 15, 1938
Commanding Officer, light cruiser Hr.Ms. Java June 15, 1938 - August 13, 1938
Commanding Officer, Naval Air Service NEI August 17 1938 - May 5, 1940
Commanding Officer, NEI Squadron June 17, 1940 - February 27, 1942
Commanding Officer, Combined Striking Force February 3, 1942 - February 27, 1942

 

Awards
Dutch Knight in the Military Order of William (MWO.3)
Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion (NL)
Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau (ON.4)
Service Medal for naval officers, for 30 years’ of service (XXX)
Mobilization Cross 1914-1918 (Mk)
Foreign Silver Cross 5th class, Order Virtuti Militairi (Poland)

 


[1]: The other was Captain J.P. van Helsdingen, a fighter pilot of the KNIL airforce. He was killed in action on March 5, 1942.
[2]: The rank of sublieutenant had not yet been introduced at this time.
[3]: For a more thorough, albeit romanticized, description of Doorman’s career, the book
“Ik val aan, volg mij”  by Anthony van Kampen (Published by C.V. Uitgeverij, Amsterdam, 1947), is recommended reading.

 

 De Ruyter was lost in the battle along with Doorman and 344 of its crew.

The Dutch cruiser Java under attack from Japanese aircraft in February 1942.


Read more info

The mysterious fate of Cornelius Blaak and PK-AFZ

Some months ago we received a query from a relative of Dutch KNILM pilot Cornelius Blaak. His only son is now 80 years old and knew very little about his father’s death in February 1942.

 Blaak was the pilot of KNILM DC-3 PK-AFZ, which crash-landed in Sumatra after getting lost at the end of a flight from Broome to Batavia. Although they survived the crash landing, Blaak and three crew members were killed soon afterwards. The family had received some information from the excellent Pacific Wrecks organisation as per:
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/dc-3/ph-afz.html

Dutch airline history specialist Richard Pflug was asked if he could shed any further light on this incident. He replied with the following in November 2011:

According to what I read,

in the night of 26/27th of February 1942

 PK-ALT, PK-ALO and PK-AFZ left Broome with destination Bandung.

That night there were very strong winds making the planes drift. Only PK-ALO made it to Bandung. PK-ALT and -AFZ drifted of course.

The radio operator on board PK-ALT remembered a technique from training called “impulse bearing” to get a tie line on Bandung. Despite heavy static he was able to get some bearing on Bandung, but was unable to determine if the were NE or SW of Bandung.

They decided to fly 15 minutes due South. With no land in sight the turned 180 degrees and found Prinsen Island and Krakatau. The radio operator of PK-ALT tried to transmit this information to his colleague Pieter Pronk on PK-AFZ.

Although the mechanic of PK-ALT loaded 400 litres of fuel over the allowed take-off weight of the DC-3, the result of the drifting and searching for land is that they have insufficient fuel to make it to Andir and around 2.00 AM, some 9 and a half hours after the left Broome, they touch down at Kamajoran with almost empty tanks.

PK-AFZ never arrived…..

After the war the fate of PK-AFZ and its crew was investigated by the Dutch government. The tail section was found near Tandjung Batoe. According to interviews with locals the crew survived the emergency landing almost unscathed. At a nearby village they tried to organise a boat to get to Palembang. They were betrayed to Japanese forces and on March 1st soldiers attacked their hideout. In the following shoot-out two crew members were killed. A third crew member was hit in the shoulder, escaped to the river and presumably drowned. Radio operator Pieter Pronk managed to escape and made it back to the village, but later was delivered to a passing Japanese patrol and beheaded on March 4th.

There seems to be a copy of the full investigation in a Dutch archive. This document might be very useful; if you are interested I will try to get hold of a copy of this document.

Richard was kind enough to visit the Dutch archives, and replied with this on 23rd December 2011:

Last Monday I visited the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) and copied their file on PK-AFZ, containing letters to Plesman (CEO of KLM), De Bruijn (Manager Operations of KNILM) the widow of pilot Nieuwdorp, the death certificates of the crew members, etc. One letter is largely written in English.

According to the reports the crew was able to get the plane on the ground largely intact. A local offered his services to help them, but instead organized a mob to rob them as they were in possession of money. Allegedly two crew members were killed; one was wounded but drowned in a swamp while trying to flee. Pronk was captured wounded and treated well by his Japanese captures. But the battalion had to move on, they decided he was a burden and beheaded him. So it’s a pretty dramatic and sad story!

The family of Blaak was very happy to receive the documents. They didn’t know these letters and documents existed.

As Richard mentions, the Blaak family was very happy to receive this information. Here is the wording of the English section of the report in the Dutch archives, referred to above:

Amsterdam, 7th November 1946

On February 26th, 1942, the aircraft PK-AFZ carried out a regular ammunition transport from Broome, Australia to Batavia as its point of destination. There was therefore no question of a diversion to another airfield. Atmospheric conditions were bad. There was the ordinary monsoon headwind from (the) Western direction. Thunderstorms in the Batavia region made radio contact with the ground impossible, either from Bandoeng or Batavia.

Besides, total black-out made it impossible to make out Batavia, lights could only be turned on when immediately above the airfield, so that captain te Roller, doing the same flight under the same atmospheric conditions, also passed the Batavia airfield, but by incident was able to check his position (in the neighbourhood of the Isle of Krakatou and – having 1200L more fuel onboard – could return safely. Mr Blaak’s aircraft had no cabin tanks as Mr te Roller had and seems to have made a forced landing on the South East coast of Sumatra, near Palembang at Kajoe Agoung, apparently in the estuary of the river.

Batavia’s wireless operator seems to have heard weak S.O.S. signals sent by wireless operator Pronk on board of the aircraft and later it was reported that the crew landed safely. Suggestions for a rescue flight with an amphibious aircraft could at that time not be followed up. The ill fate of the crew became known afterwards and nothing about the aircraft itself has been heard ever since. No debris were found afterwards or reported to have been found.

This was dated 1946. The death certificates were dated September 1947, so presumably some further information was eventually received, as summarised by Richard above

February.28th,1942

The battle in Java sea, 

 

the battle ship “de Ruyter”,

 

”Java”

 

”Kortenaer”

 

HMS Electra

And

 

destroyer HMS “Jupiter” were burned  and

HMS “Evertsen” from Dutch Navy  broken during boarding to Australia at Sunda straits.

At the night the dai Nippon  army landing at Java Island with 18 thousand of  with 100 light pantser with basic at Merak.XVI th army division

Read more info the battle of java sea

 

BATTLE OF THE JAVA SEA

27TH FEBRUARY 1942

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

IJN Haguro April 1936
(Courtesy of Irootoko Digital Color Photos)

 

PERTH left Batavia on the 24th for Surabaya to join the combined American-British-Dutch -Australian fleet ( ABDA ) under the command of Dutch Admiral Karel Doorman.   The ships had not exercised together before and communications and signalling between ships was very awkward.   The fleet left Surabaya on the night of 26th February to search for the Japanese Invasion Fleet but were unable to locate them.

The next day Japanese ships were reported  to the north and at 4.12pm contact was made.The battle was fought in two stages

AFTERNOON.
                             For the early part of the battle the Japanese were out of range of PERTH’s guns  but at 4.25pm she opened fire on Jap destroyers off her starboad bow.  At 4.37pm she came under intense and accurate fire from the Japanese 8″ cruisers NACHI and HAGURO.   

 HMS EXETER

was hit at 5.14pm and immediately lost speed and  PERTH was forced to swerve quickly to avoid a collision.

  PERTH immediately circled EXETER laying a protective smokescreen.

 At 5.40pm HMS ELECTRA

was hit by gunfire and sank soon after. At 5.45pm the NACHI and HAGURO appeared through the smokescreen.  The light  cruiser NAKA and destroyers  were even closer.  

 In the exchange of fire, PERTH  appeared to have scored hits on HAGURO

but this was incorrect.  At 6.30pm the Japanese retired and were lost from view.

 

 

IJN Nachi

 

NIGHT
                  At 7.15pm

a Japanese aircraft dropped flares illuminating PERTH

and the other ships and fifteen minutes later PERTH

opened fire on destroyers delivering a torpedo attack on her port side. 

 The destroyer HMS JUPITER hit

what was thought to have been a Dutch mine and exploded and sank at 9.25pm. 

 PERTH passed by survivors from HMS ELECTRA at 10.15pm

 but was under orders not to stop and attempt rescue. 

 At 10.30pm

 PERTH and HOUSTON once again began an exchange of fire

With

 NACHI and HAGURO and at the same time the IJN destroyers delivered another torpedo attack.

The allied cruisers were steaming in line ahead led by De RUYTER,

Then

 PERTH, HOUSTON, JAVA.

Just after 11pm

 NACHI and HAGURO fired torpedoes hitting both JAVA and De RUYTER.

  JAVA blew up

an with appalling explosion. Her stern broke off and she sank in fifteen minutes with

 the loss of of over 500 men.

 PERTH had to swerve violently to avoid colliding with De RUYTER. De RUYTER stayed afloat

for nearly another two hours before sinking.

Admiral Doorman and 344 of his crew were lost in the sinking.

PERTH and HOUSTON now broke off the action and headed for Tanjong Priok, the port of Batavia.

 

 

IJN Naka 1942

 

 

 

De Ruyter

 

 

 

Java

 

 

 

Kortenaer

 

 

WWII Cruiser HMS Exeter Found

The Heavy Cruiser that fought like a Lion in World War Two

 

The HMS Exeter – public domain

The Royal Navy’s Heavy cruiser HMS Exeter had a brief but legendary war service. In her 18-months of War she helped kill the Graf Spee and fought the Japanese.

It can be argued Battleships really started World War One. The Anglo-German naval arms race was the kindling to the fire that erupted all of the Europe in that Great War. At Versailles, Germany, vanquished in combat, was to rid herself of most of her Great High Seas Fleet, keeping only a few old tubs. In the inter-war period she was allowed to build a class of 16,000-ton ‘pocket-battleships’ -essentially very large cruisers with a battleship’s guns. The pocket battleships were to be the scourge of the sea in the event of war, ranging the globe sinking merchantmen by the dozens. One of these, the Admiral Graf Spee, engaged in the legendary Battle of the River Plate with three British cruisers and eventually scuttled herself on a bluff. In this battle the cruiser HMS Exeter, with her 8-inch guns, was the only ship that could make effective hits on the German battleship’s armor. One of these hits by the Exeter effectively wrecked the Graf Spee’s boiler room and caused her to withdraw and seek repairs.

These cruisers, the Ajax, Exeter and Achilles earned everlasting naval fame in this running battle in 1939.

All went onto very different fates. The HMS Ajax, a 7000-ton Leander class light cruiser, went on to fight in the Pacific and then in the Battle of Normandy before being broken up and scrapped in 1949. The HMS Achilles, a sister ship of the Ajax also finished the war and, in the service of the Royal New Zealand Navy, was eventually scrapped in 1976 after decades of peacetime service. The HMS Exeter, a 10,000-ton heavy cruiser of the York class, was severely damaged in the battle with the Graf Spee but was repaired in time to see combat in the Pacific.

As a member of the ABDA “Fleet that God Forgot” that fought the Imperial Japanese Navy under impossible odds in 1942, HMS Exeter was lost. She was heavily damaged in the Battle of the Java Sea and was ordered away to limp home. Finding herself just days later in combat with four Japanese cruisers and five destroyers and only supported by a pair of destroyers herself she was sunk 90 miles off Bawean Island in what is now Indonesia on March 1st, 1942 after a terrific gunfight. She has just been found after being lost at sea for over sixty years. Her wreck shows signs of the battle and it remains as a final testament to her short wartime service. Her last commander, RN Captain Oliver Loudon Gordon MVO, survived the war in a Japanese POW camp in published a memoir entitled “Fight It Out” published in 1957

 

 

Battle of the Java Sea

In February 1942,

 the Allies established a naval “Combined Striking Force” for the protection of Java. The “Eastern Striking Force”, comprising the Dutch cruisers Java and De Ruyter, the US heavy cruiser Houston, the British cruiser Exeter, and the Australian cruiser Perth , was placed under the command of Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Doorman. “Eastern Striking Force” also included the destroyers Witte de With and Kortenaer (RNN), J.D. Edwards, Alden, John Ford and Paul Jones (USN), and Jupiter, Electra and Encounter (RN).

 

 

On February 27,

 Doorman’s force sailed from Surabaya to intercept the Japanese “Eastern Invasion Force”, which comprised four cruisers and 14 destroyers, escorting 41 transport vessels.

At about 4 pm,

 the two forces met in a battle which lasted much of the night. Outgunned, Doorman’s force was unable to engage the invasion fleet, which escaped to the north while the escort vessels were pressing their attack.

Allied casualties were heavy.

Admiral Doorman was lost along with both of the Dutch cruisers and almost all of their crews.

 The Exeter was badly damaged by shell-fire, and was sunk along with its escorting destroyer Encounter two days later. Among the other destroyers engaged, Kortenaer, Jupiter and Electra were all sunk, with considerable loss of life.

The Japanese invasion fleet was delayed, but not prevented from making a landing on Java on 28 February.

The surviving cruisers, Houston and Perth, were sunk on the evening of the same day as they attempted to withdraw to Ceylon, having encountered the Japanese “Western Invasion Force” in the Sunda Strait.

 

Admiral Doorman’s flagship De Ruyter at anchor shortly before the battle of the Java Sea.

 De Ruyter was lost in the battle along with Doorman and 344 of its crew.

 

The Dutch cruiser Java under attack from Japanese aircraft in February 1942.

Friday 27, February.1942

BATTLE OF THE JAVA SEA

Destroyer JUPITER (Lt Cdr N V J T Thew) was sunk by Japanese destroyers.

Five ratings were killed and one died of wounds while Temporary S/Lt A L Cato RNZNVR, Lt (E) V D Hodge OBE, Midshipman M G Rivington RNR, Lt J W R Spedding DSC and eighty six ratings were missing. Cdr Thew, Gunner (T) E D Furneaux and 45 ratings survived, but 27 of the ratings died while prisoners of war.

 

Destroyer ELECTRA (Cdr C W May) was sunk by Japanese destroyers. Cdr May, Lt R Jenner-Fust OBE, Lt E A Coale, Lt (E) F McLeod, S/Lt R Price RNR, Temporary Lt H W Davies RNVR and 102 ratings were lost.

 

 Of the survivors, S/Lt S H Cruden RNVR and four ratings were taken prisoner by the Japanese from the water, and Gunner (T) T J Cain, Surgeon Lt W R D Seymour and forty three ratings were picked up by American submarine S.38 at 0315/28th.

 

On arriving on the scene, S.38 was attacked by destroyer ENCOUNTER, but not damaged. One rating died of wounds after arriving in Java, and 10 wounded ratings were left at Surabaya and later captured. Seven died while prisoners of war.

 

Forty survivors from JUPITER and 42 from ELECTRA departed Tjilatjap in early March on Dutch steamer VERSPECK and arrived in Australia

 

on 10 March.

 

Dutch destroyer KORTENAER was sunk by Japanese warships. ENCOUNTER picked up 113 survivors and took them to Surabaya.

 

Dutch light cruisers DE RUYTER and JAVA were sunk by Japanese warships. British Temporary Lt W A. Jackson RNVR and Temporary Acting S/Lt W G Jenkins RNVR, on board DE RUYTER were rescued and made prisoners of war.

_____

 

Australian light cruiser HOBART, British light cruisers DANAE and DRAGON, British destroyers TENEDOS, SCOUT and the Dutch EVERTSEN departed Tanjong Priok at 2330, with the orders that if no enemy were sighted, they would retire through the Sunda Strait to Ceylon. Early on the 28th, EVERTSEN became separated and returned to Tanjong Priok. On 1 March, the force arrived at Padang to embark evacuatees, with HOBART and DANAE taking on board 648 and 319 evacuees, respectively. These ships, less DRAGON, arrived at Colombo on 5 March. DRAGON arrived on the 6th.

_____

 

Dutch light cruiser TROMP, after being damages by Japanese ships on the 20th/21st, departed Surabaya for repairs at Fremantle.

_____

 

American seaplane tender LANGLEY (CDR R P McConnell) was sunk by Japanese bombing 75miles SSE of Tjilatjap. Sixteen crew and passengers were lost – LT W C Bailey, Warrant Officer R . Curtis, five enlisted men and nine passengers, and 11 enlisted men wounded. The 308 survivors were picked up by US destroyers WHIPPLE and EDSALL, after which WHIPPLE scuttled LANGLEY.

_____

 

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.53 sank Dutch steamer MOESIE (913grt) 25 miles from Banjoewangi.

_____

 

Steamer NAM YONG (1345grt) was sunk by Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean in 15-55S, 108-05E. Master and four crew made prisoners of war.

28 February, Saturday

Lt Cdr A H Terry DSC, command unknown and Acting Surgeon Cdr T . Stevenson OBE, MB, BCH, formerly of SULTAN II, were lost on the 28th (posted April 1946).

_____

Japanese submarine I.53 sank steamer CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt) in 8-16S, 108-52E. Crew of 115, 21 gunners and one passenger, with three crew lost and six presumed captured. I.53 also sank Dutch steamer PARIGI (1172grt) in 8S, 109E.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 damaged tanker BRITISH JUDGE (6735grt) ten miles south of Princess Island, Sunda Strait, and escorting sloop JUMNA and minesweeper WOOLLONGONG counter-attacked. Oiler WAR SIRDAR, also with this convoy, was bombed and set afire. She was beached on Agenielien Island, northwest of Batavia in 5-31S, 106-36E, and declared a total loss on 1 March.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.4 sank Dutch steamer BAN HO GUAN (1693grt), which was en route from Padang to Tjilatjap, south of Bali.

_____

 

Dutch steamer TOMOHON (983grt) was sunk by Japanese surface craft off Tjilatjap. Crew of 30 rescued.

On 28 February ,1942

Dutch-led forces, supported by about 5500 British, 3000 Australians (the lightly equipped Blackforce infantry brigade), and 750 Americans (a Texas National Guard unit attached to Blackforce), met the Japanese invasion of the island at Bantam Bay/Merak and Eretan Wetan (West Java) and at Kragan (East Java).

 

That day the last two Qantas flying boats moored at Chilacap (Central Java) made their final flight, full of civilian refugees, to Broome in Western Australia.

In Bandung, Peterson visited Australian women who had decided to remain with their families and distributed cash to those who needed it. Austrade’s local staff hid Trade Commission documents, closed the office and disbursed until the end of the Japanese occupation

estimated that the convoys would reach Javanese waters early

on the 27th.

Hurriedly he made his plans to meet the attack with a woefully inferior naval force led by

 

Rear Adm. K. W. F. M. Doorman.

 All Doorman had were 2 heavy cruisers, one of them the USS Houston, 3 light cruisers, and 11 destroyers.

Contact between the opposing forces came shortly after 1500 of the 27th, and the fight that began then raged throughout the afternoon and into the night. By the time the battle of the Java Sea was over the Allies had lost half their ships, including the flagship and Admiral Doorman. The Japanese had not lost a single vessel.56

28 February.

 Supporting the invasion was the largest force of warships the Japanese had yet assembled for an amphibious operation. In it were four battleships, led by

 

Admiral Nobutake Kondo,

a carrier group led by Admiral Nagumo of Pearl Harbor fame, and the two attack forces, each now considerably reinforced.

The approach of the Japanese was carefully traced by the Allies, and

 

 Admiral Helfrich, Hart’s successor as Allied naval commander,

 

During the next few days

 the Japanese completed their control of the air and sea approaches to Java. From their circle of bases surrounding the island patrol planes kept constant watch while bombers completed the destruction of Allied airfields and military installations.

At the same time

 the powerful battle fleet ranged the waters of the Java Sea to hunt down the remnants of the Allied fleet which were split between Surabaya and Batavia, seeking some way to make their escape into the Indian Ocean.

The last fight began on the night of 28 February

When

 the heavy cruisers USS Houston

and

 

H.M.S. Exeter,

 

accompanied by

 

 the light cruisers H.M.A.S. Perth

and two destroyers,

 tried to slip through Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra.

 The Japanese had already closed the strait and the Allied warships sailed into a trap.

That night, in a vigorous battle which lasted past midnight,

the Houston

 

and

 

 Perth

went down.

On 28 Feb 1942

Dutch-led forces, supported by about 5500 British, 3000 Australians (the lightly equipped Blackforce infantry brigade), and 750 Americans (a Texas National Guard unit attached to Blackforce), met

 

the Japanese invasion of the island at Bantam Bay/

 

Merak

and Eretan Wetan (West Java) and at Kragan (East Java).

 

During the Battle of the Java Sea on 28 February 1942

The battle in the Pacific was taken up by the Americans, and the Allies, consisting of troops from NZ, Australia and Great Britain. Also the KNIL military who escaped from the Japanese to Australia played a part. In a painful struggle which cost many lives, island by island was conquered. The Dutch East Indies however was skipped because the target was Japan

 

Little boats used in the Battle of the Java Sea

That day the last two Qantas flying boats moored at Chilacap (Central Java) made their final flight, full of civilian refugees, to Broome in Western Australia.

 

Though the Dutch had concentrated their remaining ground forces in Java, mostly in the western portion of the island, the issue was never in doubt. The Japanese moved inland rapidly, splitting the Dutch Army on the island and isolating the defenders into small groups.

For the Allies the fall of Java marked the loss of the Malay Barrier,

 “the basic defensive position”

 in the Far East. The strategic significance of this loss was enormous. Not only did the Allies lose the resources of the Indies and their lines of communications northward, but they found themselves in a perilous position, split into two areas and threatened by invasion.

The gateway to the Indian Ocean lay open and Australia and India were in dire danger. And the Allies could ill afford to lose the ships, planes, and men that went down in the heroic defense of Malaya, Singapore, and the Indies.

The defeat of ABDACOM was, in a sense,

 the inevitable outcome of Allied weakness.

There was no time to assemble in an area so remote from the sources of supply sufficient aircraft to contest Japanese domination of the air.

Although reinforcements adequate for this task were allocated by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, only a trickle, barely enough to replace losses, reached its destination.

The warships that might have challenged the invaders were engaged in other tasks, and when they were finally organized into a combined striking force it was already too late.

 In the six weeks of its existence

ABDACOM never had a chance to test the validity of General Marshall’s contention that a unified command would “solve nine-tenths of our troubles.”

But important lessons about Allied command could be learned from the disagreements and differences which marked the brief existence of ABDACOM and these were not lost when the time came to establish other commands later in the war.

While the campaign for Java was in progress,

 the Japanese had pushed on to take northern Sumatra and central Burma, thus consolidating their control of the southern area and cutting China off from its Allies.

 From Singapore, ten days after that fortress had fallen,

 came the troops to take northern Sumatra.

With their arrival the defenders of the island fled to Java in time to join the fight there, and eventually to surrender.

Read more

 

                

Amazing Australian: Beryl Stevenson (nee Beryl Spiers and later Beryl Daley) was a young shorthand writer from New South Wales who served as secretary to two British generals in Singapore and Java and later worked for General George Brett in Melbourne and General George Kenney in Brisbane, Port Moresby, Hollandia and the Philippines. She was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Army and rose to the rank of major

 

Burma Railway hero Major James ‘Jake’ Jacobs of the 2nd AIF; Lieutenant-Commander Mackenzie Gregory of the RAN (who was on the bridge of HMAS Canberra when she was attacked by the Japanese in the Battle of Savo Island), and Flight Lieutenant Rex T. Barber of the USAAF (the pilot who killed Admiral Yamamoto in mid-air)… just three of the dozens of vivid stories told in Pacific Fury

Next day, March,

 the Exeter was sunk off the coast of Borneo.

Meanwhile the Japanese convoys had come in for the landing. On the way the convoy was attacked by three submarines and the remaining planes of the Allied air force, about ten light bombers and fifteen fighters, and suffered some damage. But the landing was accomplished without serious difficulty, and by morning of the 1st the Japanese were consolidating their positions and rapidly expanding the beachheads

In the meantime were C and D Company split into three marching groups. The Staff Company arrived as first in Sampit on 1st March 1942.

 

March 1942

1942

 

March,1st.1942

On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm

the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra(Teluk Bayur tahun 1942 masa sebelum pendudukan Jepang)

read the story on next page

On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm

 the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra when it was spotted by the Japanese submarine I-59 and torpedoed. It capsized and sank rapidly leaving one life boat (designed to hold 28) and 135 people in the water. 80 people were in the lifeboat the rest clung to flotsam or floated in the sea.

Two of these survivors, one of whom was a Corporal Walter Gibson, were picked up nine days later by the Dutch freighter Palopo.

Until the end of the Second World War they were assumed to be the only survivors.

Sadly, Robert Kingshott did not survive and his body was never recovered. The reason that I mention Walter Gibson, is that he wrote an account of his survival which demonstrates the conditions he, and others, endured in the days following the sinking.

 

According to Gibson in and around the lifeboat were an estimated 135 survivors, many with injuries, including Gibson himself who was in the lifeboat due to those injuries. 

 

By the time the boat had drifted for more than 1,000 miles, to ground on a coral reef, less than 100 miles from Padang, Rooseboom’s starting point, only five of its 80 passengers remained alive, and one of those drowned in the surf while trying to land.

 

In Gibson’s account the ordeal that followed the sinking showed the worst of human nature under some of the most extreme conditions. On the first night many of those in the water drowned or gave up. Some twenty men built a raft from flotsam and towed it behind the boat. The raft slowly sank and all twenty perished three days later. In the first few days discipline collapsed men and women went mad with thirst, some drinking sea water which sent them into hallucinations.

Many threw themselves overboard rather than face further suffering, and a gang of five renegade soldiers positioned themselves in the bows and at night systematically pushed the weaker survivors overboard to make the meagre rations go further.

 

 Gibson claims to have organized an attack on the renegades with a group of others who rushed them and pushed them en masse into the sea. Brigadier Paris died, hallucinating before he fell into his final coma.

 

The Dutch captain was killed by one of his own engineers. Towards the end Gibson realized that all who remained alive were himself, another white man, a Chinese girl named Doris Lin (who turned out to be a secret agent for the British) and four Javanese seamen.

 

That night the Javanese attacked the other white man and started to eat him alive. Later the oldest Javanese died.

 

The lifeboat eventually landed on Sipora, an island off Sumatra and only 100 miles from Padang, where the Rooseboom started its journey 30 days earlier.

 

One of the Javanese seaman drowned in the surf whilst the other two disappeared into the jungle and have never been found.

 

After a period of being treated by some of the local population Doris Lin and Gibson were discovered by a Japanese patrol.

 

 Gibson was returned to Padang as a prisoner of war while Lin was shot as a spy soon afterwards. 

 

It is not clear at what point Robert died, but I would hope that his death was quick and as painless as possible.

 

Robert was my 5th cousin once removed

Source:

 Jan Brian Kingshot

Intro Dutch version

 

Netherlands Indies during Japanese occupation


Map: stuwww.uvt.nl

The capitulation of Japan on 15 August 1945 makes an end to what is called the Second World War. This capitulatie was officially commemorated in Holland only in 1970, and only once. Up til then the attention had mostly been aimed at the events in the home country. Only an urn with soil from Indonesia was added in 1950 to the other urns in the monument at the Dam. From 1980 the 15-August commemoration has been held every year and since 1988 there is monument for the Dutch victims of the world war in Asia, the Indies monument in The Hague. The money for it was raised by the victims themselves. Also in other places, like Arnhem-Bronbeek, Roermond, Amstelveen and Den helder monumenten were erected or commemorations held. Finally in 1999 the date of 15 August was recognised as a historical day: the ende of the Second World War. The last erected monument (Bronbeek, 17 August 2004) commemorates the thousands of victims from the Japanese prisoner transports at sea.

Occupation
The Japanese capitulation also made an end to the Japanese occupation of the former Netherlands Indies. After the attack of Japan at the American Navy Basis Pearl Harbor (Hawai) and the American declaration of war (8 December 1941) afterwards, the Japanese warfare extended from China to the Asian areas of British, Americans, Dutch and their allies. Parts of the Indonesian islands were already attacked in January and February 1942. On 27 February the battle of the Java Sea took place: under leadership of the Dutch admiral Karel Doorman the allied fought a desperate battle against the much better equipped and prepared Japanese (see also Surinam, KNIL). On 1 March 1942 the conquest of Java started, on 8 March the colonial authorities capitulated.

The occupation of the Netherlands Indies (by some 300,000 Japanese and Korean military men and civil servants) was welcomed by a part of the native population. The nationalistic part of the elite cooperated with Japan: it would bring independence from the Dutch yoke. Indeed the foundation for an independant country and army (‘Peta’) was layed. Others mistrusted the motives and methods of the Japanese occupation and were less enthousiastic. Especially Moluccans, Manadonese (Sulawesi) and Timorese actively resisted (see story Litamahaputty).


A talisman given by family, friends and acquaintances to a Japanese soldier. It is full of the names, with our without wishes and encouragements, from these people. The large text on the right hand side of the flag says: “In honour of Mr. Tirasaki Hiroharu” and next to it “Keep courage”. Wished to him by Narita Kinjuro, who probably was the initiator. It is very likely Tirasaki Hiroharu has been a camp guard because the flag was taken by an ex-prisoner to Holland – http://www.museumverbindingsdienst.nl/leven3.html

Oppression
The major part of the 70 million inhabitants, ‘the people’, ‘rakyat’, was illiterate, and suffered increasingly under the occupation. Almost all men were put to work, usually a ‘force labourer’, ‘romusha’, or as aid soldier, ‘heiho’. Hundreds of thousands were deported to other parts of the archipel, to New Guinea, Birma, Siam, the Philippines or Japan. Many women were forced to become prostitutes, ‘consolation girls’ (‘yugun ianfu’) for the Japanese soldiers. Farmers were forced to deliver rice. The military police, ‘kempetai’, led a reign of terror in some places. The economic situation worsened. From 1945 there was a acute shortage of food and textiles.

Indonesian consolation girls
During the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands Indies about 20,000 Indonesian, Indo-European and also Dutch women were forced to act as prostitutes (‘Consolation girls’) for the Japanese soldiers. After the war their stories had to be kept secret for too long. Out of shame, out of the sexual charge. Or, in the case of Indonesian women, out of respect, because Japan helped the country to free itself and the independence fighters did not want to face the Japanese atrocities. Photographer Jan Banning (made ‘Sporen van oorlog: overlevenden van de Birma- en de Pakanbaroe-spoorweg’ ['Traces from the war: survivors of the Burma and the Pakanbaroe Railway']) and journalist Hilde Janssen therefore started in 2008 the project ‘Troostmeisjes in Indonesië’ (‘Consolation girls in Indonesia’), a series of portrets, in pictures and in text, of the former forced prostitutes. In Indonesia twenty women are being interviewed extensively (oral history) and photographed. The portraits are recorded in a book and a traveling exposition (source: http://www.v-fonds.nl/pagina_202.html).


Wainem (picture: Jan Banning, text: Hilde Janssen)

Wainem, 1925, Mojogedang – Middle-Java, was taken from her home and forced to prostitution, first a year in Solo and afterwards in Yogyakarta. Together with other women in a hangar she was forced to weave mats and cook food during daytime. Sometimes they were raped on site, but usually soldiers took them to their room at the barracks. “Every week an Indonesian surgeon examinated us for pregnancy, while a Japanese soldier was watching. I never got pregnant during that time.” After the war, together with a group of women, she walked about a hundred kilometers home. “Our people chased the Japanese out with bamboo spears. They grabbed everything we had: our rice, our money, our gold. In the evening when the air-raid alarm went off and we hid ourselves, the Japanese went into our houses and ransacked the place.” She would rather not be reminded of what happened in that hangar. “That is such a long time ago. My son, who wasn’t born yet, already has grandchildren.” (source: http://nos.nl/artikel/152957-niet-mijn-bedoeling-deze-troostmeisjes-als-zielepoten-te-fotograferen.html).

Internment

The majority of the 300,000 Dutch and other Europeans in the colony, whites (‘totoks’) and coloured (‘Indo’s’), saw the Japanese occupation comparable to what the Germans had done in Holland. Some saw though that the colonial was nearing its end or sympathised with the Indonesian strive for independence.

Like the Germans in Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles – often anti-nazi’s and jewish refugees – were imprisoned from May 1940 in internment camps (see there), and like Japanese civilians in the United States from 9 December 1941 were interned, this also happened to a part of the highly educated European top in the western colonies of Asia. Their fate was much worse though. About 16,800 of the 100,000 interned didn’t live to see the end of the Japanese occupation, which is about a sixth of the camps population (see also article Liesker and Slors).

Compared tot the occupied British and French colonies the largest number of civilians were interned in the Netherlands Indies: about 100,000. 35,000 of them were younger than seventeen years. There were separate camps for women, where also the younger children stayed; and there were also boy camps.

Sub-camps for religious

Less known perhaps is there were also sub-camps for religious, as for instance the camp Blitar on East-Java and in camp Kuching in the Maleisian part (Serawak) of Borneo. Below is informatie which concerns camp Kuching.

The attack from the Japanese at Java starts on 1 March 1942. Other islands, like Borneo, are attacked much sooner, in some regions just after the bombing of 8 December 1941 on Pearl Harbour.

From the diary, written in stenography, of friar Bernulfus Bosman from Broeders van Huijbergen:
“19 December 1941. The war starts here (Pontianak (Kalimantan, S.-Borneo)) devestating. While walking on the gallery of the school, we here planes. There’s no air-raid alarm. A bombardment on the Chinese quarters follows. The Dutch-Chinese school receives a direct-hit: the schoolrooms of the youngest are in ruins (the children were already sent home) and among the older students there are 15 dead. In town there are hundreds of victims and big fires. All friars work day and night to offer help. Pontianak becomes a dead town. On 27 January 1943 the Japanese occupy Singkawang (about 100 km north of Pontianak). Two days later it’s Pontianak turn. The friars get house arrest and barbed wire prikkeldraad straight next to the house. We can’t even get into the garden. All the time about four men are on guard. The friars house in Pontianak becomes more and more crowded, because all arrested inland civil servants are brought here. After a couple of months there are over 100 occupants in a friars house that used to be too small to accomodate 15 men.”

Kuching (at that time British Borneo, Serawak)


Camp Kuching (drawing: Broeders van Huijbergen)

In July 1943 the friars from Singkawang and Pontianak (Kalimantan) are housed in a internment camp near Kuching (about 200 km north-east of Singkawang). The camp has almost 3,000 inhabitants, half of them die during the following years. The camp is devided into 10 sections, one of them a section of about 100 religious (also missionaries). The sisters and nuns are, not seperately, housed in the womens section. The camp inhabitants have to work hard: they have to enlarge the airfield and build roads, during which there’s more and more shortage of food. Especially in 1945 many of the prisoners die of exhaustion, dysentery and hunger oedema.


Camp Kuching with waving men just before the liberation (picture: Broeders van Huijbergen)

On 25 March 1945 a first sign of hope: during mass high up in the air two shining American bombers fly over the camp. Everyone runs for the trenches but the bombers drop pamphlets. But camp life in Kuching still continues for almost half a year. On 11 September 1945 the survivors are liberated. Next the survivors can recover for some months on the island of Labuan at the coast of Brunei. The friars camp on the beach, 10 meters from the sea. The ones who suffered most, are in a field hospital to regain strength.
Already in December 1945 the School of Economics in Pontianak reopens (thanks to the help of many ex-students) and in January primary school starts again.

The story of friar Angelus van der Zanden about his experiences during the war in the prison in Kediri, the men’s camp Tjimahi and the camp Blitar (Java) is elsewhere on this website.

1 dead, 1 damaged
Eventually in 1946 friar Claudius Sommen still dies of dysentery because of the hardships in the camp. Friar Ireneus van de Avoird had a hard time during the rest of his life as resulte of the inhuman treatments he was given because he always stood out for his fellow-friars in the camp.

After 15 August 1945
After the liberation from the Japanese occupation the colonial Netherlands Indies heads for its down fall. The battle for independence is mainly fought on Java. The Broeders van Huijbergen on southern Borneo hardly notice anything. After the transfer of sovereignty in 1949 new rules apply. The official language becomes Bahasa Indonesia and other school books arrive. Finally the friars have to choose in December 1951 whether they want to have the Indonesian nationality. The ones who want to stay Dutch citizens, won’t formally be able to teach after 1960. The bishop of Pontianak advises all religious to ‘adapt to the people’, but gives everyone freedom of choice. Eventually half of the Broeders van Huijbergen accept Indonesian citizenship.

 

 

Note: The congregation of the Broeders van Huijbergen
The congregation of the ‘De Broeders van Huijbergen’ was founded in 1854 in the Brabant village of Huijbergen (Netherlands). From 1888 the emphasis was on ‘good education’ and within a few years friar primary and secondary schools appeared. Already in 1892 a private teacher college was founded.
In 1921 the first friars left for the Netherlands-Indies, the emphasis of the mission again with education. In Indonesië there are still (2006) friars in 8 towns: Singkawang (Serawak), Pontianak (Serawak), Pati (Java), Yogyakarta (2 – Java), Kuala Dua (Kalimantan), Sekadau (Kalimantan) and Putussibau (Kalimantan). Closed are: Bandjarmasin (Kalimantan), Blitar (Java), Kudus (Java), Njarumkop (Serawak) and Sanggau (Kalimantan).

Sources

  • ·  Huijbergen and the far ends on earth – The Broeders van Huijbergen 1854-2004, Rob Wolf, private publishing by the Broeders van Huijbergen 2004
  • ·  The Broeders van Huijbergen working for half a century in Indonesia – 1920-1970, private publication by the Broeders van Huijbergen 1970.
    Marja Eijkhoudt

 

 

Continuation Internment

In the beginning the camps were enclosed town parts. Also about 160,000 civilians from Holland or elsewhere in Europe stayed outside the internment camps. Their life also wasn’t free of hunger, humiliation and oppression. European women also were forced to work as ‘consolation girls’ for the Japanese and Korean troops. Men usually were, as prisoner of war, interned.

Thousands of men were forced to work in Sumatra (‘Pakan Baroe’) and Birma/Siam (‘River Kwai’) to build the railways through the jungle. 3,000 Dutch lost their lives during this forced labour at the Birmese railway, 1,000 in Sumatra. Many thousands romusha’s also lost their lives.

42,000 colonial military men and women, white and coloured Dutch, Surinams, Moluccans and others were imprisoned as prisoners of war in the Netherlands Indies (20,000 British civilians and 50,000 prisoners of war on the Maleisian peninsula, 27,000 French in Indochina). From the occupied regions in East-Asia in total 68,000 prisoners of war and civilians were transported by ships to other parts of the Japanese Imperium, to China, Taiwan and Japan, some to Nagasaki (see speech Han Bawits and memories by Ronald Scholte in Stories). During the transports at sea thousands lost their lives by lack of air and food, and especially by attacks from the allies. The ships also carried weapons and couldn’t be recognised from the air as prisoner transports. An notorious transport was that of the Junyo Maru. All fifteen ‘hell ships’ had a name ending on Maru.

On 16 September 1944 the Japanese ship Junyo Maru with over 6,000 passengers left Tandung Priok, Java. 4,200 of them were Javan forced labourers, ‘romusha’. The others were Dutch, Surinam, British, Australian and American prisoners of war. On 18 September British submarine HMS Tradewind torpedoed the ship. It sunk and only 880 persons survived. It would turn out to be the third biggest shipping disaster ever. Among the drowned were about 1,000 KNIL-men, four of them from Surinam. The major part of the survivors were put to work at the ‘death railway’ on Sumatra.

Most memories of the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands Indies have been written down by civilians from the internment camps. There were kept, despite the prohibition, many diaries, as for instance the camp notes of prof. dr. I.J. Brugmans.

Sources:
Images of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia. Personal testimonies and public conceptualizing in Indonesia, Japan and the Netherlands. Editor: Remco Raben Waanders-NIOD 1999.

Information Broeders van Huijbergen, prior friar Eduard Quint

Data private collection John T.S. Brouwer de Koning version 5.3

http://www.go2war2.nl
http://www.cofepow.org.uk/remembrance

Pictures: http://www.museumverbindingsdienst.nl/leven3


15 August and the war in South-East Asia
 Commemoration 15 August 1945 FoundationWhy commemoration on 15 August?

The 5th of May is the day for the annual official commemoration of the liberation from the German oppression. But when the Germans capitulated on 5 May 1945, the Japanese oppression in the former Netherlands Indies still weighed heavily upon all the people living there. To the Dutch from this former Indies therefore the date of capitulation of Japan, the 15th of August 1945, and with it the actual end of the Second World War, is the turning point in their history.

Unlike in Holland, the date on which the oppressor capitulated brought no liberation. When Japan surrendered, no allied forces were in the Netherlands Indies yet. The Japanese soldiers weren’t allowed to strive for the Japanese goals anymore, but were ordered to keep rest and peace until the allied forces could take over.
But two days after the capitulation of Japan, an influential group of Indonesians decided to declare the independace of the Republic of Indonesia, independence from Holland and independance from Japan. As a result of this the Indonesian forces tried to do everything possible to lay their hands on the weapons of the Japanese army, in order to prevent the Dutch to return to their former power over the colony; the start of the independance war was a fact and went hand in hand with terrible violence.

So, for the Dutch in the former Indies the 15th of August 1945 didn’t bring liberation, in fact it marks the date of the beginning of the definitive end of the Netherlands Indies they’d grown up in, lived in, worked in and suffered in during the war. Many of them blamed – and still sometimes blamed – the Japanese for the loss of their home country.
Every day the 15th of August is the day on which all these far-reaching events for the Dutch in South-East Asia and the people who died because of this, is commemorated.

With the capitulation on 8 March 1942 the Japanese army on Java made almost 90,000 prisoners of war: 67,000 KNIL-military men and women and almost 22,000 British, Australians and Americans. From the KNIL-men 9,200 escaped and 15,000 local people were recruited al Heiho aid-soldier to the Japanese army. Eventually almost 43,000 men were imprisoned, among them almost 5,000 local military men who stayed loyal to the Netherlands Indies.
The circumstances under which thes prisoners of war were put to work were, as well as for the housing in the camps as for food and health care appalling. There also was a reign of terror in the camps, where a persons life didn’t count as much. From 8 March 1942 until 15 August 1945 about 8,500 KNIL prisoners from the Netherlands Indies died (3,100 at the Birma-railway; 1,000 at the Pakan Baroe-railway; 3,100 at the torpedoeing of the prisoner ships – just only the sinking of the Junyo Maru cost 1,600 prisoners their lives plus about 4,000 Indonesische romusha’s – , 600 at the building of airfields etc. and 700 in the camps in Japan). From the Dutch, Britisch and American prisoners of war one in four or five didn’t live to see the end of the war.

Between mid 1942 and the end of 1943 gradually also all Dutch civilians were interned. Also the Indo-Europeans, who’s ancestors were whites for more than 50%, had to share this fate. In fact the Japanese wanted to make the Dutch ‘invisable’ for the native population by interning them. In total they were about 100,000 people, 33,000 men and boys, 67,000 women and children. The age limit for internment of boys in men or boys camps gradually sunk from 15 years to 10 years (see also poem of Govert Huyser – it didn’t happen everywhere because in some camps mothers successfully resisted. Also the transport from girls to brothels was successfully blocked in some cases by mothers. Still in early 1944 girls were transported to brothels).

In the beginning many internments camps were only strictly shielded parts in town; in 1944 the occupants of a few hundred areas were concentrated and crammed into some crowded barrack-camps. During the years of war also food supplies and hygiene worsened. Also the brute attitude of the Japanese and their accomplices (Koreans and Indonesian aid soldiers or Heiho’s) provided an atmosphere of constant fear.
At the end of the war it turned out about 16,800 civilians died, comparatively more men than women and children.

For those with Indonesian blood who could stay outside the camps, the situation often was evenly precarious. Because of the breadwinner usually being interned as prisoner of war, many families were deprived of an income and the women had to find out for themselves how to make a living. Also they were subject to the arbitrariness of the Japanese masters, among it forced prostitution.

The mutual misunderstanding of each others cultures had in many situations devestating effects. The compulsary bowing equalled the compulsary greating in the army and wasn’t meant as nagging. In the Japanse army hitting, heavy physical punishment and even putting to death, were normal rules of discipline. In the eyes of the occupier beating up was a humane punishment, and jailing a bigger disgrace because it caused more loss of face. When you had to be put to death decapitation was more honourable than a bullet which was more honourable than bayonetting.

The ‘humane’ punisment of beating and flogging could happen to anyone, any Japanese could do this to someone. It could also happen to an innocent person: if the ‘guilty’ person wasn’t found, soon someone else was caught or an entire group was punished. For the prisoners of war these punishments were already hard to swallow, but for the women, young boys and girls and old men this was almost even more horrific. Many of them suffered from psychological damage. The recovery from it – if possible – still went on many years after the war.

A systematical resistance was almost out of the question. But there have been small groups everywhere who manly tried manhaftig to give the Japanese a hard time. Because the Japanese were convinced – wrongly – that behind the resistance was a strict organisation with a strategic plan, they tried everything to eliminate this resistance. Many of these groups have been rounded up by the Japanese military police, the Kempei Tai, and the persons involved had, during their ‘interrogation’, endure the most gruesome torturing.
Almost none survived. Also many innocent lost their lives this way, especially on Sumatra and Borneo. One of the reasons why the resistance and guerilla units often didn’t stand a chance, was the passive attitude from the native popluation. Part of this population welcomed the new authority, especially in the beginning. The sympathie of the population for the Japanese gradually declined though, especially from 1944, but the Kempei Tai had established a cunning ‘blabbing’ systeem which left the population no way to go.

Political developments outside the camps

Shortly after the capitulation of the KNIL here and there an Indonesian flag waved and the national anthem was sung. But already on 20 March 1942 these expressions were prohibited by the occupier. The striving for autonomy for Indonesia was smothered professionally. The recruiting and training of Indonesians for the Heiho aid-army and the PETA volunteer-corps was, as seen by the Japanese, exclusively meant to support the Japanese war efforts.
It wasn’t anymore ‘Asia for the Asians’, but ‘Japan the light, the protector and the leader of Asia’. The founding of many sorts of federations was ordered: for all Moslems, all Chinese, Arabs, and also for the (yet) free Indo-Europeans. Also there were federations for all sugar factories, shop owners, merchants, journalists, doctors and chemists.

Rice distribution was introduced and the exclusive sale of agricultural products to Japan. Private estates were expropriated and controlled. Prices, salaries and rents were lowered and frozen. All schools were requisited.

In 1942 the Keibodan (aid police)was established, the Barisan Pemoeda Asia Raya (great-Asian youth corps), which later fused into the Seinendan (military youth movement). Als the Tonarikumi system was introduced for sectioning the kampongs and dessa’s in an Aza (or neighbourhood). This way the Japanese influence could penetrate deep into society.

Prominent Indonesians were ordered in December 1942 to design an umbrella organisation the ‘Poetera’ (Poesat Tenaga Rakjat, or center of the peoples strength) to bundle to peoples activities and cooperate with Japan. This umbrella organisation at first was exclusively meant for Indonesians and had an Indonesian signature; a year later it would be transformed in an organisation of Japanese design: the Djawa Hokukai (National Peoples Movement).
Many odd jobs for Japan were carried out by the organisation. Recruitment for PETA, Heiho, Keibodan and Seinendan (army, aid militia, aid police and youth) were forced by the Tonarikumi system; indicating for romusha forced labour was intensified, actions against non-loyal Indonesion Dutch started. Also compulsary rice supplies were enforced, harvesting and forced cultivation were supervised; the Seinendan searched for hidden food supplies. The cultivation of Djarak-plants (an oily ricine-plant) was compulsary for the production of motor oil for the Japanese planes. In 1944 a compulsary saving action started, Indonesians with a saving account book had to hand over their credits.
The recruitment of romusha’s took place at an unprecedented scale. Most of them were forced to work on Java and Sumatra for the building of airfields and railways. Also for the cole mines in Borneo, the nickel production in Celebes and for airfields in New-Guinea. The romusha’s had to work under appalling circumstances (even worse than the prisoners of war who were forced labourers) and died by the sackful. According to Indonesian estimates from 1951 during the war some millions of romusha’s have been deported and many hundreds of thousands died.

Despite the many meetings from a large number of organisations from the Djawa Hokukai economy worsened. After the internment of the Europeans and the increasing Japanese forced regulations cultures dwindled, and public health worsened. The prices in 1944 during the Japanese occupation were a sixfold of the prices in 1938 under the Netherlands Indies Gouvernement. Rice rations already were lowered and food riots started. There was no more clothing available. Gold, silver and jewelry had to be handed over. Car tires and oil were only available to the army and the authorities.
In July 1944 48 Heiho’s were shot because of objection to labour, and also at the end of 1944 still some executions were carried out. In January 1945 a revolt started in Blitar among the PETA; during the fights 68 Indonesian military died. The population of rich Indonesia were weighed down during the last year of war by an enormous shortage of rice and other necessities, like textile and fuel. There was openly criticism on the tyranny of the occupator, its inhuman treatment of the romusha’s. This could happen most of all because more and more information seeped through which indicated a lost war.
Early 1945 Japan proposed to replace the Hokukai by the organisation Angkatan Baroe: the New Conscription; in May 1945 the first serious actions were undertaken with a promise of premier Koiso of September 1944 (eight months before!) for more independence. The red-white flag was allowed, the name Indonesia was introduced, commissions made proposals and organisations prepared for the national cause.

The war scene, the capitulation, but no peace

While the Japanese were lord and master of the Indies Archipel, the fights with the allies, and specifically with the Americans, happened on the edges of the archipel. Because the advance of the Japanese to the south in May and June 1942 already stagnated by respectively the lost battle in the Coral Sea and the battel of Midway, and this news was known in the internment camps through illegal radio’s, the prisoners had the idea the war would soon be over. They couldn’t be wrong more.
The Japanese defended the conquered territories with everything possible at the cost of enormous losses, also on American side. Therefore the American supreme command decided not to liberate the Indies first, but to push through via two attack routes as quickly as possible to Japan itself. The western route went along the Phippines, the eastern route along the islands in the Pacific. Small islands became of enormous strategical importance because they could produce airfields from which bombers could shell the next target and finally Japan.

One of these islands, the notorious island of Iwo Jima (from the picture where 5 marines planted the American flag) was conquered in four weeks on the Japanese occupiers, during which the entire Japanese forces of 22,000 men fought till their death and the Americans mourned for almost 7,000 dead and 19,000 wounded. These incredible huge losses, which also happened during the conquering of New Guinea and the Philippines made the American supreme command realize that an invasion of Japan itself would be a massacre never seen before. When at that moment the first atomic bombs were operationally available, it was decided to deplore the weapon. Thus on 6 and 9 August 1945 the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were razed to the ground. The number of victims at that time (and also later as a result of radiation) is many times less than the number of victims that would have fallen during an invasion. Also Dutch prisoners of war fell victim. Ronald Scholte (1924) survived the attack on Nagasaki (see Verhalen).
The shockeffect was so that the Japanese emperor, against the will of the army, decided on 15 August 1945 to capitulate.

 

For many people in the internment camps, but also for those who weren’t interned, the capitulation was just in time. The health situation was that bad (dysenty, malaria, hunger-oedema), the number of dead would have been considerably larger if the war had continued for a couple of months.

Because of the interned being cut off from the outside world during the years of war, they weren’t able to observe nationalism in Indonesia had taken root in large parts of the population. When the Dutch, after the capitulation of Japan, believed to continue their lives frome before the war, they were confronted with the fact that on 17 August 1945 the Indonesian nationalists Soekarno and Hatta had proclaimed the independant republic of Indonesia.

Thereupon Indonesian forces (‘Pelopors’ or front fighters) came into action, who set out to murder the Dutch and their Indo-European ‘followers’, in such a way the colonial gouvernment couldn’t be restored. In this bitter, confusing and bloddy period, the ‘bersiap’ (‘bersiap’ is the Indonesian command ‘attention’), meanwhile the here and there landed English and Ghurka’s tried – together with the Japanese – to protect the Dutch and evacuate them. In the cities Bandoeng and Semarang it even were the local Japanese commandanders (respectively general Mabuchi and major Kido) who effectively protected the Dutch against the Indonesian forces, despite the fact they were in favour of independance.
Many Indo-Europeans and Chinese, who stayed during the war outside the camps, were now interned by the Indonesian police to protect them against those forces who wanted to butcher them together with the Dutch.

Though the Dutch gouvernment end 1945 had returned to Batavia (Jakarta) and some parts of the country were functioning under Dutch administration again, the Indonesian ‘gouvernment to be’ was in command in many regions.
Holland didn’t as yet want to face reality, that Indonesia had become an independant state. Despite the fact the Dutch had just been going through many years of war and oppression, a force of 100,000 men was sent to the Netherlands Indies. [Ed.: At the moment the number is considered to have been 150,000, also mentioned in the tv documentary ‘Nederland valt aan!’ (The Netherlands charge), of 21 July 2012.
After many failed negotiations and two military actions (the so-called ‘Policing Actions’ of July 1947 and December 1948), which were forced to stop within ten days because of external international pressure, Holland recognized in 1949 the legitimate existence of the Republiek of Indonesia. In December of the same year authority was handed over, and came an end to 350 years of Dutch involvement in the Indonesian archipel.

A huge stream of repatriants from Indonesia to Holland was the result. The at that time common word ‘repatriant’ though passed over the fact that many of them never had set foot on Dutch soil and that the arrival in Holland and the ‘loss of the Indies’ brought about emotional shocks, from which many of them never completely recovered. Many of the repatriated had to overcome many problems in finding a new way of living, for their stories about what they had went through was no attention and when applying for job they often met explicit, unreasonable distrust.
And than there were the Moluccans and the Indo’s who, after fifteen years of uncertainty about their existance, still had to take refuge in a cold country which they knew only from stories.

And finally the youngest, who felt lost for years in an incomprehensible and indistinct whirlpool; who didn’t know safety in their youth, but only uncertainty and fear and who often carried this shortage for many years with them.
In another way such shock awaited also the military men and women of the KNIL and the Royal Forces, who did their duty for Gouvernment and Queen, and were treated during the following years many times on emotional and often injust criticism on their ‘dirty’ war.

Therefore the commemoration on the 15th of August has its own comprehensive meaning to the Dutch-Indies community in Holland, a meaning which never can be replaced by the commemoration on 4 and 5 May.

Text: Hans Liesker and Peter Slors
Commemoration 15 August 1945 Foundation

Netherlands Indies (gays)A still fairly unknown chapter is the position of gays in the Netherlands Indies in the thirties and fourties of the 20th century. Marieke Bloembergen published about them in ‘De geschiedenis van de politie in Nederlands-Indië. Uit zorg en angst.’ (The history of the police in the Netherlands Indies. By concern and fear. (Boom/KITLV, November 2009). A black period was the raid on gays of the colonial elite between November 1938 and January 1939. The raid was hatched by the Javabode, the main editor being a sympathizer of the NSB (Dutch national socialist movement), and the Christelijke Staatspartij (Christian State Party). Also the Resident of Batavia and the Head of Police, Fievez de Mailines van Ginkel, was a victim. The most famous of the 223 arrested lived on Bali. He was the renowned German artist Walter Spies.Walter Spies
After his arrival on Bali (1927), the Russian born, versatile German painter and artist Walter Spies (1895-1942) became the center of a ‘Artisten Coöperatie’ (artists cooperative) named Pita Maha. The cooperative comprised Balinese artists. Spies had international fame and was visitied on Bali by celebrities like Charley Chaplin, the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, the writer Vicky Baum and the film-maker Von Lessen. The last three produced important works on Bali.

Walter Spies (picture: adhidharma.net)

In December 1938 Spies was arrested because of the ‘unbridled sensuality’ in the group he was the center of. His arrest was part of a witch hunt against gays (or suspected gays) in the Netherlands Indies. The Resident of Batavia and Head of Police, Feviez de Malines van Ginkel and many other leading figures were run in. The hunt was an echo of the Ries-affair in the Netherlands. The Jewish senior executive L.A. Ries, was in 1936 falsely accused of sexual acts with a minor (under 21) and had to resign. The affair fitted within the political conservative climate of the depression, during which time nazi Germany was a threat and inspiration. Also in the Indies there was a depression and a threat of war from vanuit Japan.
In his prison cell Walter Spies was allowed to continue painting and compared his emprisonment with the shaking of fluids ‘before use’. Balinese friends organised a gamelan concert near the prison. In his cell in Surabaya he painted one of his best works: ‘The landscape and its children’. After eight months he was released. A second arrest followed in May 1940, but for other reasons. Spies was a German and, from the occupation of the colonial motherland on, belonged to a enemy nation. He was interned in camp Ngawi on East Java and in camp Kotatjane on Sumatra. This time he wasn’t released. Also he wasn’t allowed to have his painting gear brought over from Bali.

SS Van Imhoff (picture: photoship.co.uk)

Because of the Japanese threat early 1942, together with probably 477 other German prisoners, he was transported on the ss Van Imhoff (KPM) to the British Indies. On 19 January, a day after departure, the ship was attacked by a Japanese bomber aircraft, not far from the island of Nias near West Sumatra. The captain didn’t want to free the interned just like that. Together with the crew, the soldiers and guards, about 140 men, they left the vessel in the available rescue boats and abandoned the prisoners who were in an enclosure with barbed wire in the hold. Only in the very end they were handed out a few wire-cutters. About half of them were able to rescue themselves from the slowly sinking vessel. A surviver, J. Grashoff, saw the boats waiting at a distance of about 500 metres, with a lot of space left in them. A Dutch ship which had responded to the distress signal of the Van Imhoff didn’t offer any help when they found out they were German. Of the interned who were able to flee from the ship, a group of 67 arrived after five days on the island of Nas. Walter Spies belonged to the approximately 411 Germans who died with the sinking of the Van Imhoff or in the days afterwards. A Dutch crime of war?
Works by Walter Spies can be seen on Bali in the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) and the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne, Where also the Walter Spies Society is established.

Sources:
http://www.nos.nl/nosjournaal/artikelen/2009/11/14/141109_jacht_op_homos_indie.html
– NOS-documentaire uit 1981 over Walter Spies: Schoonheid en Rijkdom
http://www.walterspies.com/walter_spies_biography.html
http://www.adidharma.net/features/walterspies.jpg
– en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Spies
– users.skynet.be/network.indonesia/bart003.htm
http://www.nrcboeken.nl/recensie/rederij-koninklijke-paketvaart-maatschappij-wel-en-wee-van-een-indische-rederij-door-a-j-j-
http://www.volkskrant.nl/archief_gratis/article624087.ece/Wie_was_mr_L.A._Ries
http://www.nieuwsdossier.nl/dossier/1941-01-19 [wrong year]
– Ad van Liempt, De Oorlog. Drama’s in de Indische archipel. Volkskrant 5 dec. 2009

Speech by dr. Bernard Bot,
minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands15 August commemoration at the Indies Monument, The Hague, 15 August 2005Picture: http://www.minbuza.nl

Dear attendance, ladies and gentlemen,

I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity by the Foundation Commemoration 15 August 1945 for making today this memorial speech. To me, as the minister of Foreign Affairs en representative of the gouvernement, it’s a honourable task. But, like many of you, I’m also here as a child of the Indies. Just as with you this commemoration brings to me feelings and emotions, surface today positive as well as negative memories to Indonesia, 5 time zones and 14,000 kilometers away from this place, but emotionally so near. They are the memories you’ll carry the rest of your life, but who don’t have to interfer with an optimistic and forward looking attitude to life. After all, commemorating is, besides remembring, also looking forward.

First the past: with the capitulation of Japan, exactly 60 years ago, there also came an end to the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands Indies, an occupation which brought grief to so many of us. We remember the members in our families and our friends who gave their lives of died during the Japanese occupation. We also remember the countless forced labourers, the Romusha’s, who often died nameless.

After the capitulation the suffering, contrary to what was so dearly hoped for, wasn’t over yet. Right after the capitulation a vacuum of power existed which could only partially be filled by the British. During this so-called Bersiap period many thousands of innocent Dutch-Indies and Indonesian civilians, mostly women and children, lost their lives.

In the years after a painful, lenghty and violent separation of roads between Indonesia and Holland followed. For a great part of the Dutch-Indies community we thus speak about many years of physical and psychological suffering.

For myself, I look back on my time in the camp Tjideng with mixed feelings. Perhaps as a child you’re less quickly touched by the sorrow and the hardships around you, perhaps you take things more easily. But you also grow up very fast. A stay in an orphanage, when my mother was hospitalized, made me streetwise very early.

Probably that’s why this period is still so sharp and vivid in my memory. I vividly remember the internment, the departure of my father to Birma, the koempoelans in the morning and in the evening, the hours of waiting and afterwards the bow for camp commander Soni. I also know you died a thousand deaths when you couldn’t attend the koempoelan because you were ill, because the Japanese could find out with a check. The memory of the hunger is something that, I believe, with my generation lives on strongly in the sense that you won’t throw away easily anything that is still a bit edible.

A small anecdote. We were forced to maintain some allotments supposedly to grow some vegetables. I was ordered to help in a tomato bed. I was very dissapointed when some morning almost ripe tomatoes had dissapeared.

I suspected the boy next door of this evil deed and decided to retalliate. Only, his tomatoes were all still unripe and green. I still ate them which I repented afterwards. It’s wasn’t for long when I felt sick to death and had to confess to my mother what I had done. “Boy”, she said, “you’ll always get what you deserve”.

A lot is written again about the Japanese capitulation. Ofcourse it’s terrible what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But I also know that war couldn’t have gone on for a bit longer, otherwise we wouldn’t have survived this camp. And for sure my father wouldn’t have returned from Birma and Siam. To me therefor, 15 August is a day with a special meaning.

The liberation, the return of my father, who I didn’t recognise ofcourse when we first met again, the return to Hoalland, are likewise uneraseble memories I’d like to share with you today. The welcome in Holland was something of a cold shower. And I don’t say this because of the cold climate I went to. It was hard to explain what we had gone through. The regular reaction was, that with us in the Indies, at least the sun had been shining, while they suffered from cold during the hunger winter. In shor, nobody in Holland was waiting for that group of Dutch from the Indies. Soon you learned not to talk to much about your experiences, but listen with sympathy to the stories about the war in Holand, the Germans and the destruction camps.
Maybe that’s the reason why we were able to integrate so well and so quickly in Dutch society. Maybe therefore we quickly stuck plasters on all those wounds and picked up our lives. And ofcourse there also were reasons to be grateful. We had survived and at least found a new home. Personally therefore, I’m grateful to stand in front of you, that I like so many of you endured this period well, and have shown you can come out of this ordeal even stronger.

(Living history)
Sixty years, ladies and gentlemen. The distance in time between today and the events in the past is growing all the time. And doesn’t this bring the risk of oblivion, like Mr. Boekholt pointed out two years ago on this occasion? I hope and trust this won’t happen. I think future generations will stay interested in the common past ot The Netherlands and Indonesia. I think our youth is willing to adopt this history, like the students from the Liberal Christian High School adopted the Indies monument and like so many other schools for instance maintain the militairy cemetaries. But to convincingly cherish the history, the past and the knowledge about that past also must be relevant today and in the future for our youngsters.

Winston Churchill once said it like this: the further one is able to look back, the further one is able to see in the future. Indeed: historical knowledge isn’t a superfluous luxury, but the condition for a clear view on the future. And this certainly meant for the relation between Holland and Indonesia. When the Dutch will come in contact with Indonesia and Indonesians, in whatever way, they’ll have to know something about the history of this country, and therefore also about centuries of shared Indonesian-Dutch history. Dutch people, who think they can succesfully go into business or diplomatic channels in Indonesia, without knowing anything about the history, usually come away with a flea in their ear.

When a society wants to meet the future with faith and optimism, it must be prepared to be honoust about the less favourable sides of its own history. Certainly in a time when we in Holland – at work, in the sports cantine and at school – want to bridge the diverse ethnic an religious communities in our country. In the context of this commemoration it means that we dare admit that even after the introduction of the so-called ethical politics the interests of the Indonesian population for most Dutch was at best a second degree item.

Working on a mutual future. That shouldn’t only be the motto within our own society, but als in the relation between Holland and Indonesia. The challenges we have to take up are manyfold, like the battle against intolerance, extremism and terrorism.

Indonesia is important. It’s a driving force behind regional cooperation in South-East Asia. As a secular state Indonesia houses more moslims than any other country in the world, but it’s also the guard of centuries of budhist, hinduist and christian traditions. As such Indonesia has a say in the dialogue between the cultures. During the Dutch chairmanship of the European Union last year therefore, we’ve payed a lot of attention to intensifying the connections with Indonesia.

(Message to Jakarta)
Ladies and gentlemen, to further intensify the relation between Indonesia and Holland, it’s helpful to remove whatever is left of old sores, as far as it’s within our power. Therefore, as representative of our country and as representative of the generation who experienced the pain of the separation, I’ll take a plain today, travel through those five time zones and cover these 28,000 kilometers. On the 17th of August then, I will represent our country at the Indonesian celebration of the proclamation of independence on the 17th of August 1945. I will explain to the Indonesian people that my presence can be seen as a political and moral acceptation of that date.

But what really matters now is that we clearly show the Indonesians our opinion. Already for decades Dutch representatives join the celebrations of the Indonesian independence on 17 August. With the support of the Cabinet I’ll clearly explain to the Indonesians that Holland realizes the independence of the Republic of Indonesia already started on 17 August 1945 and that we – sixty years to date – genrously accept this fact in a political and moral sense.

Acceptance in a moral sense also means that I will join the former expressions of regret about the painful and violent separation of Indonesia and The Netherlands. Almost sixthousand Dutch militairy lost their lives in this battle, many lost limbs, or became victim of psychological traumas, for which, again, was only little interest in Holland.

By the large scale deployment of militairy resources, our country ended up on the wrong side of history so to speak. This is especially wry for all people involved: for the Dutch-Indies community, for the Dutch militairy, but first of all for the Indonesian population.

Ladies and gentlemen, only when we stand on the top of the mountain, we’re able to see the simplest and shortest way up. This also goes for the people who were involved in taking decisions in the fourties.

Only in hindsight it’s clear the separation between Indonesian and Holland took far too long and was achieved by much more militairy force than needed.

This is the message I’ll take with me to. I also fiercely hope for the understanding and the support of the Indonesian community, the Moluccan community in Holland and the veterans of the policing actions.

After all, to keep our mutual history alive, we also need a mutual perspective on our future. Working together for a healthy and safe futer, and for the good relation with Indonesia, will help us to bear even the most painful aspects of our past.

I thank you for you attention.

Sources: http://www.pelita.nl, http://www.sh15aug1945.nl and Ministery of Foreign Affairs

Commemoration speech by prof. dr. B. Smalhout
The Hague, 15 August 2004Picture: http://www.meervrijheid.beToday it’s exactly 59 years ago the Japanese empire surrendered to the allies. Only at that day came an eind to the Second World War. This war had been so terrible that even today some generations still suffer from the physical but especially also psychological damage they sustained between 1942 and 1945.

In our country there are two groups of people were the sorrow never wears off. That is the relatively small group of jewish civilians who survived the holocaust. They are less than ± 30,000. Over 80% of our jewish population has been murdered by the Germans.
The second group comprises of you, the Dutch-Indies people. You spent an important part of your lives in our former Netherlands East Indies. By much of the progressive media you have been blamed for almost 60 years, having cooperated with a colonial system which, seen in the light of todays views, would be objectionable.
But they forget most of you loved the former Indies as their second homeland. What Holland achieved in that tropical archipal over 300 years, can still be named with honour. Holland led the foundation, in that giant country which embraces over 1/8 of the earths circomference, for what is now the republic of Indonesia.

It is amazing at that time we governed that huge area which already had ± 70 million inhabitants, and developed with a comparatively smaal group of Dutch working there. A group which was seldom larger than 300,000 people! Schools were established, education was stimulated and hospitals were built. An excellent legal system was introduced, in which specific Indies traditions were considered, the so-called ‘Adat’.
In Holland at universities there were professorships for Indies law, tropical medicine, tropical agriculture and Indology. Scientists and doctors managed to fight diseases as smallpox, cholera, pest, typhus, beri-beri, dysentery, malaria andn lepra in that enormous archipel. They saved the lives of millions. Even nowadays, almost 60 years after Holland left Indonesia for good, Indonesion law is still partly founded on the work of Dutch jurists. And prominent Indonesians still send their children for a higher education to Dutch universities.

Ofcourse in todays light a colonial system can’t be justified anymore. But it is something we never can blame the Dutch for who worked in the Indies. Not even a hundred years ago opinions about this were completely different. Still after-war left-progressive views led to a taboo on the concept of ‘Netherlands Indies’. And this is one of the causes the Dutch-Indies community is continuously frustrated by. The reception in Holland at your repatriation after the war was very cool, almost hostile. For many of the completely broke old-Indies people there was hardly human relief. After years in Japanese camps or horrible forced labour in the entire Far East, there was no money for you, no pay of back salary, hardly any clothes, hardly any housing en hardly any compensation.

And also with it is many of you hadn’t been terrorised solely by the Japanese, but after the liberation on 15 August 1945 as wel by the so-called ‘freedom fighters’, the pemoeda’s of Soekarno. That was the notorious bersiap-period. The frustration stayed. Because you as an Indies community bore a different culture. Achievements like discipline, good manners, courtesy, politeness, traditions, loyality, respect for and loyalty to the royal house can be found more with you than with the Dutch who don’t have an Indies past. This all led to a feeling of not always being exepted. Or in the worst case pure discrimination. In our strongly devaluated education nothing is told anymore about the 300 years of Netherlands-Indies history. Even the word ‘national history’ is banned. That was, according to our pink-red education experts too nationalistic, too authoritarian and therefore objectionable.

It was also very frustrating the Indies community had to wait over 55 years before our governement allowed to commemorate the 14th and 15th of August as official remembrance days. The same left policy is also the cause why the old KNIL military men and women never received their back salary from the years they were imprisoned. And also that one of the greatest heroes of war, the KNIL-officer Jack Boer never received consideration for a fitting Military Willems Order. In November 1945 he liberated from the Werfstreet prison in Surabaja 2,384 Dutch civilians who were imprisoned by the pemoeda’s from Soekarno to be murdered massively. Jack Boer conquered the heavily guarded prison with the help of only 10 British-Indies Gurka’s and one old Stuart tank. He saved with it almost two and a half thousand Dutch lives. Jack Boer died in 1993, but his widow is still alive. But until now not even a posthumous decoration can be given.

This is why many of you aren’t able to share your experiences with your children and grandchildren. They often hardly know what it’s all about. And they even often don’t want to hear it. They think it’s moaning about what used to be. Because your stories are about a time and a country they can’t imagine, because of seriously lacking any historical insight. In my archives are heartbreaking letters from old-Indies people who have, already only because of this, a disturbed relation with their offspring. The consequence is these people often timidly block their past and never want to talk about it again. The same phenomenon can be seen with jewish people who survived the holocaust. They feel their experiences arte too terrible to speak about or they are afraid others might not believe them.

Also there’s in Holland the completely wrongly belief that the past should be left alone by now. That one can’t live with what’s gone. That one should only keep an eye on the future and forget about the rest. That is the most stupid thing to do. Because we’re all products from history. One can’t build a meaningful future without knowing about the past and taking lessons from it. Therefore knowingly disregarding the subject historiy on schools, what has happen for almost thirty years, is a crime to our younger generation.
Only by knowing what has happened, one can learn to think critical. For example about the sociological riddle that highly developed cultures, nations, like the Germans and the Japanese, could descend to such a low moral level during the war. Only thinking about this, makes it possible to unmask lifethreatening political psychopaths at an early stage and by that preventing large scale calamities. The deliberate oppression by the state of that knowledge seems to suspect the gouvernement is aiming for a young electorate who don’t know a thing. People being kept ignorant are ideal for ambitious politics with dangerous ideas.

Therefore I want to impress on you not to conceal your experiences. Tell about them. Publish them or just write them down for yourself, so they won’t go lost. You can be proud of what you’ve done and about what you’ve survived. You are an indispensible cornerstone in the building of our national history. Like all survivers, both from the Japanese as from the German terror. Only if we’ve come to terms with those experiences and sublimated them into our self-consciousness, than we can raise the subject of mutual approach, understanding and perhaps even a cautious form of forgiving our former enemies. It is the painful process of growing up from peoples and nations.

In a minute we’ll leave for the Indies monument. There we will commemorate in respect the ones who didn’t live to experience the joy of the liberation on 15 August 1945. But also you’ve to proudly realise you’re an unerasable part of Dutch history. A history indeed of sorrow and misery. But worth to be told a thousand times over.

Source: www.sh15aug1945.nl

A dark page in the 400 year history of relations between the Netherlands and Japan
(Japanese emperor in The Netherlands)Experiences of victims during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies 1942-1945Japanese version 1 2 3 4

Introduction

On December 8, 1941 the American base Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese after which the United States and The Netherlands declared war on Japan. In March 1942 the Japanese landed on Java and after a three month’s battele, the Dutch East Indies were forced to surrender.
Of the approximately 350,000 Dutch the Japanese first interned the men and later on the women and children followed. Cruelty and violence were often typical for the behaviour of the Japanese guards. Especially in the last year of the occupation the internees in the overcrowded and insanitary camps suffered from chronic malnutrition, hunger oedema, dysentery and malaria. Many thousands have died as a result of these diseases.
Although the majority of the Eurasian men were interned as prisoners of war, many Eurasian women and children were able to remain out of the camps. Because of loss of income many of these families got into difficult situations. Forced labour, forced prostitution, torture, chronic malnutrition and diseases took their toll. The Indonesians’ behaviour was also increasingly hostile, which culminated in the so-called Bersiap-period (battle of independence) after the Japanese occupation had ended.
After Indonesia’s independence, approximately 300,000 Dutch citizens out of sheer necessity left for The Netherlands, a country still recovering from the war with Germany. They left behind over 42,000 deceased.

A survey

Even after 55 years the impending visit by the Japanese emperor appears to evoke fierce emotions among the Dutch who fell victim to the Japanese war. ‘The Vereniging van Kinderen uit de Japanse Bezetting en de Bersiap 1941-1949 (Association of Children from the Japanese Occupation and the Bersiap 1941 -1949) also known as the KJBB has, in co-operation with the Province of North-Holland, asked Mr F.A. Begemann to conduct a survey among those who lived in the fonner Dutch East Indies as children during the war.
Thirteen members of this Society were interviewed at length. A report of these interviews was presented to 80 members of the KJBB during their meeting of March 25, 2000. The report was discussed extensively and commented on by those present. These comments have been incorporated in the final report, which is considered to be representative of the opinions of all KJBB members.
During these interviews the participants were not just asked about their views on the coming visit of the emperor, but they were also asked about their personal backgrounds and especially their experiences during the war were discussed at length.

What did they experience as children during that period?

All children, whether interned or outside the camps have suffered hunger during the Japanese occupation. For many of them this has resulted in physical illness but in many cases it has also affected their mental strength. This in part explains why decades later so many of these children are still troubled by their traumatic experiences during the Japanese occupation.
Besides hunger these former children have also frequently experienced violence. In and outside of the camps children were beaten and abused. Frequently children were made to watch others being abused, for instance their parents.
During the Japanese occupation most children were separated from one or both of their parents. Nearly all fathers were interned, including those of Eurasian children. In many cases the children also lost their mothers: temporarily, because of illnes or malnutrition or permanently when they died as a result of the war. In many cases the separation from their parents appears to have seriously affected the development of these children.
Because of the Japanese occupation children were torn from their normal lives. Besides being separated from one or both of their parents most of them also lost their family homes, their schools and their schoolmates. The children who were interned had to adapt to completely new living conditions. Life outside of the camps also changed dramatically, even when just taking into account the loss of regular income.
In as well as outside of the camps the children had to learn how to survive, for instance by trading or stealing food. In war conditions children are often forced to adapt in ways they are not yet capable of in terms of their development. This has resulted in both psychological and physical damage. Many of these children continue to suffer the effects in later life, such as recurring insomnia, nightmares and anxieties. As a result many have had to give up their career prematurely.
After the capitulation of Japan many families were reunited but this was a difficult process. The men returning from the camps often found it difficult to share their experiences with their wives, who had also gone through a lot themselves. The children noticed the change in their parents and how it affected the atmosphere at home. In many cases the parents were unable to help their children deal with their war experiences.
After the Japanese capitulation in August 1945 the struggle for independence in the former Dutch East Indies broke out. This conflict not only resulted in many casualties but it also caused a great number of people to flee the country. The reception of the victims from the Indies was difficult since the Netherlands had also suffered severely as a result of the war in Europe. Their experiences and problems generally fell on deaf ears. This resulted in social isolation for this group of people which in turn has aggravated their problems.

How do the KJBB members feel about the impending visit of the Japanese emperor?

Although opinions on the visit of the emperor among KJBB members differ there is consensus on one point:

It is important that during his visit of the Netherlands emperor Akihito apologises to the victims for what was done to them by Japan during the war. These apologies are required from the emperor himself because the acts of violence have been committed in the name of his father, Hirohito.

Why is this so important to the KJBB members? The arguments turn out to be connected with the years of war:

  1. The demand for apologies does not stem from feelings of hatred, but from a need for justice
    The reason for this demand for apologies is best illustrated by an analogy. A society can only continue to exist if it is based on a system of law, which provides a foundation for social rules. A person who commits a crime denies this system of law and places himself outside of society. He can only be admitted back into society if he recognises his mistake. For by apologising the system of law is reconfirmed.
    Mutatis mutandis the same is true for the emperor of Japan. The victims of the Japanese war can only receive the emperor if he acknowledges that Japan has made mistakes in the past and apologises for these mistakes.
    There is a second reason why this is important to the victims. The majority of the victims has had to end their career prematurely because of physical and psychological problems. For many of them this has resulted in feelings of guilt and shame. People who can no longer conform to social expectations usually suffer from feelings of guilt even if they cannot be held responsible. The explicit assessment that the blame for the problems of these victims lies not with the victims themselves but with Japan’s aggression is therefore very important.
  2. The war has not yet become part of the past
    The war in South-East Asia is more than fifty years ago. Then why is this war still not a thing of the past for the victims?
    First of all because they are still haunted by their traumatic memories and suffering from various health problems caused by the war. Think for example of a woman who is unable to sleep because of the backpains she suffers as a result of life in the camps. For her the war is still very much a thing of the present.
    The past also remains a part of the present because many victims continue to experience Japan as a hostile and menacing nation. By apologising the emperor would distance himself from the past. In doing so he would make it easier for Japan’s victims to achieve a sense of closure.
  3. Giving meaning to being a victim
    Because of the war with Japan a lot has gone wrong in the lives of its victims. How does one live with the sorrow over what has happened?
    For many victims it proved to be important to give a sense of meaning to being a victim. Many use the Jews as a model because they not only commemorate their dead but also warn against new forms of fascism. Driven by similar motives many victims of the war in Southeast Asia try to support forces within Japanese society who try to prevent new Japanese aggression.
    Viewed from this perspective it is essential that Japan recognises the fact that in the past things have happened which are unacceptable. By apologising the Japanese emperor will express Japan’s desire to distance itself from the past.
    This in turn will support the attempts of the victims to give meaning to their war sufferings.
  4. Special attention for children in war situations
    In many places in the world armed conflicts are still taking place. In these situations many of the victims are children. This is tragic, because children especially deserve to be protected from violence by adults.
    It would therefore be commendable if in his apologies the emperor would explicitly mention the people who were children during the war. It would first of all mean recognition for those who experienced the war as a child, but it would also draw attention to the fate of those children who still today fall victim to violence caused by war.

This is a summary of the publication:
‘Vanuit een behoefte aan rechtvaardigheid – Reacties binnen de KJBB op het voorgenomen bezoek van de keizer van Japan aan Nederland’
(‘From a need for justice – Reactions within the KJBB to the intended visit of the emperor of Japan to The Netherlands’)
NPI/KJBB, April 2000

 

 

Read Wjat really Happened

 

 

In March 1942

 the commander of the United States Army Forces in the Far East was ordered to move to Australia by the President of the United States. Troops from the United States began arriving in Australia

 

 


 

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The invasion of Java
(Click map to enlarge)

 


On March 1st,1942

the Japanese landed at four points on the north coast of Java: Merak, Bantam Bay, Eretenwetan, and Kragan.

The invaders encountered occasionally heavy resistance as they advanced across the island, but wherever the Allies stood, the enemy smashed them, drove them back, or simply outflanked them. The colonial government fled the capital, Batavia, for the relative safety of Bandung. On March 8 the Dutch leadership, demoralized and fearful of possible Japanese reprisals against civilians, ordered the military forces to surrender. [12]

 

Soldiers of the Japanese 2nd Division celebrate their landing at Merak

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

 

48th Division landing trucks at Kragan

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

 

The Japanese Army enters Surabaya

Photo Source: Netherlands Institute for War Documentation

 

 

Dutch soldiers surrender on Java

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

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The Battle of Java (Invasion of Java, Operation J)

 was a battle of the Pacific theatre of World War II. It occurred on the island of Java from 28 February-12 March 1942.

It involved forces from the Empire of Japan, which invaded on 28 February 1942, and Allied personnel. Allied commanders signed a formal surrender at Japanese headquarters at Bandung on 12 March.

ABDA Order of battle

Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (KNIL Army): Lieutenant-General Hein Ter Poorten

  • 1st KNIL Infantry Division: Major-General Wijbrandus Schilling[2]
  • 2nd KNIL Infantry Division: Major-General Pierre A. Cox
  • 3rd KNIL Infantry Division: Major-General Gustav A. Ilgen
  • British troops (ca. 5,500 men): Major-General Sir Hervey D.W. Sitwell[3]
  • US troops (ca. 750 men:) Major-General J.F. Barnes
  • Australian troops (ca. 3000 men): Brigadier Arthur S. Blackburn.[4]

Forces

The Japanese forces were split into two groups:

 the Eastern Force,

with its headquarters at Jolo Island in the Sulu Archipelago, included the 48th Division and the 56th Regimental Group.

The Western Force,

 based at Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina included the 2nd Division and the 230th Regiment (detached from the 38th Division).

The Allied forces were commanded by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) commander, General Hein ter Poorten.[5]

Although the KNIL forces had, on paper, 25,000 (mostly Indonesian) well-armed troops, many were poorly trained. The KNIL forces were deployed in four sub-commands: Batavia (Jakarta) area (two regiments); north central Java (one regiment); south Java (one regiment) and; east Java, one regiment.

The British, Australian and United States units were commanded by British Major General H. D. W. Sitwell.[3]

The British forces were predominantly anti-aircraft units: the 77th Heavy AA Regiment, 21st Light AA Regiment and 48th Light AA Regiment. The only British armoured unit on Java was a squadron of light tanks from the British 3rd Hussars.[6] Two British AA regiments without guns, the 6th Heavy AA Regt and the 35th Light AA Regiment were equipped as infantry to defend airfields. The British also had transport and administrative units.

The Australian formation — named “Blackforce” after its commander, Brigadier Arthur Blackburn V.C.[7]

 included the Australian 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion, the Australian 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion, a company from the Royal Australian Engineers, a platoon from the 2/1st Headquarters Guard Battalion,[8]

about 100 reinforcements diverted on route to Singapore, a handful of soldiers who had escaped from Singapore following its fall to the Japanese, two transport companies, a casualty clearing station, and a company headquarters unit. Blackburn decided to re-organise his troops as an infantry brigade. They were well-equipped in terms of Bren guns, light armoured cars, and trucks, but they had few rifles, submachineguns, anti-tank rifles, mortars, grenades, radio equipment or Bren gun carriers. Blackburn managed to assemble an HQ staff and three infantry battalions based on the 2/3rd Machine Gun, the 2/2nd Pioneers, and a mixed “Reserve Group”. The only U.S. ground forces in Java, the 2nd Battalion of the 131st Field Artillery (a Texas National Guard unit) was also attached to Black Force.[9]

 

 

 

West Java Campaign

West Java Campaign from Merak and Bantam Bay

After discussing the war preparation on 21 January with the commander of the 3rd Fleet and inspected the 48th Division at Manila, Lieutenant General Hitoshi Imamura received an order to attack Java on 30 January.

The convoy consisted of 56 transport ships with troops aboard from 16th Army Headquarters, 2nd Division and 230th Infantry Regiment. The convoy left Cam Ranh Bay at 10:00 on 18 February, and the commander-in-chief Lieutenant General Hitoshi Imamura was aboard on the transport ship Ryujo Maru. The convoy escort was under the command of Rear Admiral Kenzaburo Hara.[12]

At 23:20 on 28 February, the transport ships carrying the Nasu and Fukushima detachments commenced landing operations at Merak. Ten minutes later they were joined by the other transport ships; the one carrying the Sato detachment dropped anchor at Bantam Bay. By 02:00 on 1 March, all ships had reached their designated positions. The KNIL Merak Coastal Detachment, made up of a section from the Captain F.A.M. Harterink’s 12th KNIL Infantry Battalion, machine-gunned the invaders but was quickly defeated.

On 1 March, the invaders set up new headquarters at Serang. The troops of the 2nd Division led by Lieutenant-General Masao Maruyama were divided into the following detachments:

  • Nasu Detachment: Major-General Yumio Nasu
  • Fukushima Detachment: Colonel Kyusaku Fukushima
  • Sato Detachment: Colonel Hanshichi Sato

The Nasu detachment was ordered to capture Buitenzorg to cut the escape route from Batavia to Bandoeng. The Fukushima and Sato Detachments would in the meanwhile head for Batavia through Balaradja and Tangerang.

On 2 March, the Nasu detachment arrived at Rangkasbitung and continued to Leuwiliang, 15 mi (24 km) west of Buitenzorg. The Australian 2/2nd Pioneer and 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalions were positioned along a riverbank at Leuwiliang and put up a vigorous defence. Highly accurate volleys from “D” Battery, U.S. 2/131st Field Artillery, destroyed many Japanese tanks and trucks. Blackforce managed to hold up the Japanese advance for two full days before being forced to withdraw to Soekabumi, lest it become trapped by Japanese flanking manoeuvres, and was ordered to retreat to Soekabumi. Around the same time, the Fukushima and Sato units headed westwards to Madja (Maja) and Balaradja (Balaraja). They found many of the bridges already destroyed by the retreating Dutch and were forced to find other routes; some units took the opportunity to make for Buitenzorg.

On 4 March, Ter Poorten decided to withdraw his forces from Batavia and Buitenzorg to reinforce the defence of Bandoeng. The following evening Dutch troops in Batavia surrendered to the Sato Detachment. By dawn of 6 March, the Japanese troops had attacked Buitenzorg, which was guarded by the 10th Company, KNIL 2nd Infantry Regiment; 10th Company, 1st Infantry Regiment; Landstorm troops and a howitzer unit. In the morning Buitenzorg was occupied, while a large number of Allied soldiers had retreated to Bandoeng. The Nasu Detachment pursued them through Tjiandjoer and (Tjimahi), entering the city on 9 March. The Shoji Detachment also entered Bandoeng on the same day, arriving from the north, having travelled via Lembang.

West Java Campaign from Eretan Wetan

On 27 February, the unit 230th Infantry Regiment, led by Colonel Toshishige Shoji, separated from the main convoy and landed on 1 March, at Eretan Wetan, near Soebang on the northern coast of West Java. The unit’s objectives were to capture the important Kalidjati airfield and weaken the Allied air arm, while the 2nd Division attacked Batavia.

At dawn on 1 March, nine Brewster and three Glenn Martins from the KNIL Air Force, together with 12 Hurricanes from the 242nd and 605th RAF Squadrons, carried out attacks on Japanese troops at Eretan Wetan. Using motor vehicles, the Japanese rapidly advanced to Soebang. At noon, the Kalidjati airfield was finally occupied following a tenacious defence carried out by 350 British troops. Meanwhile, other Japanese units led by Major Masaru Egashira bypassed Allied defences and headed for Pamanoekan (Pamanukan), and from then on to (Tjikampek), where they were able to cut the road link between Batavia and Kalidjati.

The fall of Kalidjati airfield greatly alarmed the Dutch, who set about planning hasty and ill-prepared counterattacks. On 2 March, a KNIL armoured unit (the Mobiele Eenheid), commanded by Captain G.J. Wulfhorst with approximately 20 tanks, and supported by the 250 men of Major C.G.J. Teerink’s 5th KNIL Infantry Battalion, launched a counterattack against the Shoji unit outside Soebang. The attempt initially went well, but in the afternoon the attack was repulsed. Afterwards, the main force of the Japanese 3rd Air Brigade arrived at Kalidjati airfield.

By the night of 7 March, Japanese troops had arrived at the plateau of Lembang, which is only 5 mi (8.0 km) north from Bandoeng. At 10:00 on 8 March, Major-General Jacob J. Pesman, the commander of Stafgroep Bandoeng,[13] met Colonel Toshishige Shoji at the Isola Hotel in Lembang and surrendered.

Japenese Order of battle

2nd Division: Lt. Gen. Masao Maruyama[14]

  • Nasu Detachment: Maj. Gen. Yumio Nasu
    • 16th Infantry Regiment
    • 1st Battalion of 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 1st Company of 2nd Engineer Regiment
    • Two motor transport companies
  • Fukushima Detachment: Col. Kyusaku Fukushima
    • 4th Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Battalion of 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 5th Anti-Tank Battalion
    • 2nd Company of 2nd Engineer Regiment
  • Sato Detachment: Col. Hanshichi Sato
    • 29th Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Tank Regiment
    • 1st Company of 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 2nd Engineer Regiment
  • Shoji Detachment: Col. Toshishige Shoji[15]
    • 230th Infantry Regiment
    • One mountain artillery battalion
    • One engineer company
    • One anti-tank battalion
    • One light tank company
    • One anti-aircraft battery
    • Two independent engineer companies
    • One platoon of the Bridge Material Company
    • One motor Transport Company
    • Part of the 40th Anchorage Headquarters
    • Part of the Airfield Battalion

East Java Campaign

Moving eastward

The East Java campaign was composed of the 48th Division from the Philippines. On 8 February, the 48th Division departed from Lingayen Gulf, Luzon Island (Philippines) protected by the 4th Destroyer Squadron. On 22 February, the convoy arrived at Balikpapan and the Sakaguchi Detachment joined the 48th Division aboard the ships.

On 25 February, the convoy left Balikpapan, and sailed southward to Java. On 27 February, the ABDA fleet under command of Rear-Admiral Karel Doorman was detected and attacked by the 5th Destroyer Squadron and other units of the 3rd Fleet in the Battle of the Java Sea. The Japanese won the battle and at 00:15 on 1 March, the fleet landed in Kragan, a small village in East Java, approximately 100 mi (160 km) west of Surabaya.

The 3rd (Motorised) Cavalry Squadron of the 1st Dutch KNIL Cavalry Regiment, under the command of Ritmeester C.W. de Iongh, resisted the landing force but was quickly subdued.[16]

Meanwhile, the flying boat Dornier X-28 of the 6th GVT (Groep Vliegtuigen or Aircraft Group) from MLD, B-17 bombers of the U.S. 7th Bomber Group, A-24 dive bombers of the U.S. 27th Bomb Group and Vildebeest torpedo-bombers from the 36th RAF Squadron worked round the clock to harass the invaders.

After landing, the 48th Division was divided into:

  • Imai Unit (Right Wing): Colonel Hifumi Imai
  • Abe Unit (Left Wing): Major-General Koichi Abe
  • Tanaka Unit (Tjepoe Raiding Unit): Colonel Tohru Tanaka
  • Kitamura Unit (Bodjonegoro Raiding Unit): Lieutenant Colonel Kuro Kitamura

Moving southward

The Sakaguchi Detachment from Balikpapan joined the East Java Invasion fleet as well. After landing, they were divided into three units with one battalion each: Kaneuji Unit, Major Kaneuji commanding; Yamamoto Unit: Colonel Yamamoto commanding; and Matsumoto Unit, Lieutenant Colonel Matsumoto commanding; these units moved south with the objective to occupy Tjilatjap in order to capture the harbour and block the retreat to Australia. In one week, they advanced rapidly and overcame all Dutch army defence found in Blora, Soerakarta, Bojolali, Jogjakarta, Magelang, Salatiga, Ambarawa and Poerworedjo. The Kaneuji and Matsumoto Detachments moved through the mainland, captured Keboemen and Purwokerto, north of Tjilatjap on 8 March. The Yamamoto Unit fanned out along the beach and mounted a two-pronged attack, entering Tjilatjap on 8 March. By then, however, the Dutch had withdrawn to Wangon, a small town located between Purwokerto and Tjilatjap. On the following day, Major-General Pierre A. Cox — the Dutch Central Army District commander — surrendered his troops to the Japanese.

Any expectation of reinforcement from America was dashed

 on March 1

 by the news of Japanese landings on Java.

 

 

 

Japanese Order of battle

48th Division: Major-General Yuitsu Tsuchihashi[17]

  • Imai Unit (Right Wing): Colonel Hifumi Imai, commander of the 1st Formosan Infantry Regiment
    • 1st Formosan Infantry Regiment
    • One mountain artillery battalion
    • One engineer company
  • Abe Unit (Left Wing): Major-General Koichi Abe
    • 48th Infantry Group Headquarters
    • 47th Infantry Regiment
    • One mountain artillery battalion
    • One engineer company
  • Tanaka Unit (Tjepoe Raiding Unit): Colonel Tohru Tanaka
    • 2nd Formosan Infantry Regiment
    • One mountain artillery battalion
    • One engineer company
  • Kitamura Unit (Bodjonegoro Raiding Unit): Lieutenant Colonel Kuro Kitamura
    • 48th Reconnaissance Regiment

Sakaguchi Detachment: Major-General Shizuo Sakaguchi[18]

  • Yamamoto Unit: Colonel Yamamoto
    • 1st Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regiment
  • Kaneuji Unit: Major Kaneuji
    • 2nd Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regiment
  • Matsumoto Unit: Lieutenant Colonel Matsumoto
    • 3rd Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regim

 

THE DAI NIPPON MILITARY OCCUPATION JAVA ISLAND

 1942

COLLECTION

 

officer of the special naval landing force, Major Uroku Hashimoto using his binoculars during the invasion of the dutch east indies (january 1942)

 

Japanese landings

 

 

The Japanese 2nd Division landed at Merak, 1 March 1942

 

 

Japanese bicycle infantry moving through Java.

The Japanese troops landed at three points on Java on 1 March. The West Java invasion convoy landed on Bantam Bay near Merak and Eretan Wetan. The West Java convoy had previously fought in the Battle of Sunda Strait, a few hours prior to the landings.[10]

Meanwhile, the East Java invasion convoy landed on Kragan after having successfully defeated the ABDA fleet in the Battle of the Java Sea.[11]

(1)March,1th,1942

March 1st’1942 :”Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia This Day”

 

1.MARCH. 1st, 1942

(1) Early in the morning this day,

 

 

Dai Nippon forces landing in Java and succeeded without any struggle by DEI forces(KNIL) and Indonesia Native people accepted DN Frces with up the DN and Indnesian national flag because Dai Nippon propaganda before the war that Indonesia will Independent when they occupied Indonesia,

 

Soldiers of the Japanese 2nd Division celebrate their landing at Merak

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

 

 


At the same time, Three Dai Nippon Forces Landing  area in Java:

 

japanese destroyer bombarding allied forces during the invasion of the Dutch East Indies.


(a) Banten Beach at Merak

 

Type 96 25mm Gun crew observing the naval bombardment on the beach during the invasion of the dutch east indies

 

 

daihatsu landing craft transporting soldiers of the special naval landing force during the invasion of the ducht east indies

 

japanese navy troops firing inside a landing craft against dutch troops during the invasion od the dutch eats indies

 

type 95 ha-go light tanks in Merak

 

with route

 

 

Banten attack Map 1942

Merak-Serang-Rangkasbitung-Leuwiliang-Buitenzorg(Bogor)-Kragilan-Tanggerang-Batavia

 

special naval landing force infantryman marching (dutch east indies, december 1941)

 

 

soldiers of the SNLF landing in the dutch east indies (1942)

 



Japanese troops crossing a bridge during
their advance towards Batavia, March 1942

 

under the command of

 

the commander-in-chief 16th Dai Nippon forces Lt.Gen.Hitoshi Immamura,

with

 

the 2nd Division under Commander May.Gen. Maruyama,

and

the 49th Division under Commander May.Gen Tsuchi Hashi ,

 also Brigade under commander

May. gen.Sakaguchi

and one Resiment under commander

 

Col, Shoji.

 

Let.Col. Noguchi

tank commander

 

 

Description

tank commander Lieutenant Colonel Noguchi of the 2nd Recon Regiment equipped with 16 Type 97 Tankettes during the Java Island Campaign, March 1942

 

 

 

 

 

tank crew

 

 

Description

japanese tank crew with their type 94 tankette

tankette

 

a japanese tank commander receiving his type 94 tankettes (dutch east indies 1942)

 

Commander of the japanese marines paratroopers colonel Toyoaki Horiuchi (dutch east indies, 1942)

 

 

 

japanese army officer Genjirou Inui, he fought in java, phillipines and guadalcanal, then he returned to japan for the rest of the war

 

 

 

Description

tyep 94 tankette passing through river

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(b) Eretan Wetan near Indramajoe

 


(ill 4) The Vintage Dutch Map of Eretan Wetan near Indramajoe Dai Nippon landing area 1942,caption Indramajoe map 1942

(c) Krangan Rembang middle Java,

 

48th Division landing trucks at Kragan

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign


The fleet of Dai Nippon Naval Forces reach the Krangan coast ,a village between Rembang and Lasem, about 160 km west of Soerabaja.


The Sakaguchi detachment from Balikpapan joined this invasion fleet. After landing divided into 3 units with 1 battalion of 124th Infantry Regiment :
(c.1) Col.Yamamoto,1st Battalion unit.
(c.2) Mayor Kaneuji, 2nd Battalion unit.
(c.3) Let.Col.Matsimoto,3rd battalion unit.
In one week ,they advanced rapidly and overcome all Dutch army defended in Blora ,Solo ,Bojolali-Yogja ,Magelang and Ambarawa
the Map will illustrated

After this surrender, newly arrived Sparrow Force commander

Brig W.C.D. Veale

 moved his headquarters north towards Portuguese Timor with a guard of AASC members and walking casualties.

On 1 March 1942

 

The very first day there was a panic in Semarang and by the Internal Administration, and Police took to their heels. A traffic jam of cars arrived in the afternoon in Solo, and onstelde faces were told, that the entire port complex was on fire, warehouses companion were open and the people were plundered, and almost all Europeans had fled to safety .Peters Brothers and Sisters were among the few survivors.

  And the journey took Japanese troops landed at Rembang not the road to Semarang, but to solo

Here is our demolition corps stocks in the central fire and the work behind our house. It was perfectly calm; flames and columns of smoke went straight up. “It’s not inconceivable that otherwise our monastery also a proof of the flames would have become
We wondered what that had utility for destruction, the one critiseer. Unaware of where one is the hero berlep gunslige army communiques

(122)

By 1st March 1942,

 

 the position became clear enough after the confusion of the previous two days. The convoy which No. 36 Squadron had attacked was one of three all making for Java.

 What remained of the Blenheims and Hudsons after the bombing of Semplak, took off from Kalidjati whither they had been transferred, an d did their best to interfere with the Japanese landing at Eretanwetan, some eighty miles from Batavia.

They went in again and again, some pilots being able to make three sorties, and accounted for at least three and possibly eight ships, but they could not prevent the landing.

By dawn on 1st March

the bomber crews, who had operated almost without a break for thirty-six hours, were approaching the limit of endurance.

 Hardly had they dispersed, however, to seek the rest which had at last been given them, when the Dutch squadrons sharing their airfield left without notice.

The Dutch aircraft had just disappeared into the clear morning air when a squadron of Japanese light tanks, supported by lorry-borne infantry, made their appearance.

 The exhausted pilots of No. 84 Squadron, who had by then reached their billets eight miles away, had no time to return to their aircraft, which were in consequence all destroyed or captured; but the last four Hudsons possessed



THE CAMPAIGN IN JAVA AND SUMATRA, FEBRUARY – MARCH 1942

 

beside the Royal Air Force, attacked the Japanese, who were engaged on two new landings begun that night at Eretanwetan.

 Despite intense anti-aircraft fire, twelve Hurricanes went in low and inflicted heavy losses on Japanese troops in barges and set on fire six small sloops and three tanks. They also caused a certain number of casualties and a certain amount of damage to the Japanese troops going ashore at another point on the west coast of Java.

Though the Royal Air Force could hamper the landings and increase their cost in terms of casualties, they could not prevent them, and the next day saw the Hurricanes pinned to their airfield at Tjililitan, whence they were withdrawn with some difficulty to Andir, near Bandoeng. During the withdrawal they maintained a running fight with Japanese fighters.

The last remnants of the Air Force maintained the fight for another three days, attacking the newly captured airfield at Kalidjati

 

 

 

 

THE CAMPAIGN IN JAVA AND SUMATRA, FEBRUARY – MARCH 1942

 

On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra

 

On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm

 the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra when it was spotted by the Japanese submarine I-59 and torpedoed. It capsized and sank rapidly leaving one life boat (designed to hold 28) and 135 people in the water. 80 people were in the lifeboat the rest clung to flotsam or floated in the sea. Two of these survivors, one of whom was a Corporal Walter Gibson, were picked up nine days later by the Dutch freighter Palopo. Until the end of the Second World War they were assumed to be the only survivors. Sadly, Robert Kingshott did not survive and his body was never recovered. The reason that I mention Walter Gibson, is that he wrote an account of his survival which demonstrates the conditions he, and others, endured in the days following the sinking.

 

According to Gibson in and around the lifeboat were an estimated 135 survivors, many with injuries, including Gibson himself who was in the lifeboat due to those injuries. By the time the boat had drifted for more than 1,000 miles, to ground on a coral reef, less than 100 miles from Padang, Rooseboom’s starting point, only five of its 80 passengers remained alive, and one of those drowned in the surf while trying to land.

 

In Gibson’s account the ordeal that followed the sinking showed the worst of human nature under some of the most extreme conditions. On the first night many of those in the water drowned or gave up. Some twenty men built a raft from flotsam and towed it behind the boat. The raft slowly sank and all twenty perished three days later. In the first few days discipline collapsed men and women went mad with thirst, some drinking sea water which sent them into hallucinations. Many threw themselves overboard rather than face further suffering, and a gang of five renegade soldiers positioned themselves in the bows and at night systematically pushed the weaker survivors overboard to make the meagre rations go further. Gibson claims to have organized an attack on the renegades with a group of others who rushed them and pushed them en masse into the sea. Brigadier Paris died, hallucinating before he fell into his final coma. The Dutch captain was killed by one of his own engineers. Towards the end Gibson realized that all who remained alive were himself, another white man, a Chinese girl named Doris Lin (who turned out to be a secret agent for the British) and four Javanese seamen. That night the Javanese attacked the other white man and started to eat him alive. Later the oldest Javanese died.

 

The lifeboat eventually landed on Sipora, an island off Sumatra and only 100 miles from Padang, where the Rooseboom started its journey 30 days earlier. One of the Javanese seaman drowned in the surf whilst the other two disappeared into the jungle and have never been found. After a period of being treated by some of the local population Doris Lin and Gibson were discovered by a Japanese patrol. Gibson was returned to Padang as a prisoner of war while Lin was shot as a spy soon afterwards. 

 

It is not clear at what point Robert died, but I would hope that his death was quick and as painless as possible.

 

Robert was my 5th cousin once removed

Soyrce: Jan Brian Kingshot

 

On the 1st March 1942 she was scuttled on the coast of Madura oppositeon march ist at the coast madura

By 1st March 1942,

 

 the position became clear enough after the confusion of the previous two days. The convoy which No. 36 Squadron had attacked was one of three all making for Java. What remained of the Blenheims and Hudsons after the bombing of Semplak, took off from Kalidjati whither they had been transferred, and did their best to interfere with the Japanese landing at Eretanwetan, some eighty miles from Batavia.

They went in again and again, some pilots being able to make three sorties, and accounted for at least three and possibly eight ships, but they could not prevent the landing.

By dawn on 1st March

the bomber crews, who had operated almost without a break for thirty-six hours, were approaching the limit of endurance.

 Hardly had they dispersed, however, to seek the rest which had at last been given them, when the Dutch squadrons sharing their airfield left without notice.

The Dutch aircraft had just disappeared into the clear morning air when a squadron of Japanese light tanks, supported by lorry-borne infantry, made their appearance.

 The exhausted pilots of No. 84 Squadron, who had by then reached their billets eight miles away, had no time to return to their aircraft, which were in consequence all destroyed or captured; but the last four Hudsons possessed


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CAMPAIGN IN JAVA AND SUMATRA, FEBRUARY – MARCH 1942

 

beside the Royal Air Force, attacked the Japanese, who were engaged on two new landings begun that night at Eretanwetan.

Dr Iwan Note

Dr Iwan just visit Eretan beach near Losarang village and Indramjoe at Sunday 21 september 2012, eretan beacch now became

 

the Tourist bwach(Pantai wisata), no obe know that in march 1st 1942 The Dai Nippon forces landed there and one day the Japanese will praying for their ancestor who ever landing there, and from these villiage visit the route to Subang and Kalidjati.

 read more info from dutch researches

invasion Eretan Kulon

The editors of The War visited the site of the Japanese invasion of Java twice, once to researching in 2008 and once to film in 2009. Below two fragments thereof from the Blog of War.
Jakarta, December 20, 2008

[Research] morning by car from Bandung straight north. Journey through mountains and tea plantations. The aim is the beach where the Japanese landed in late February 1942. That happened in various places on the north coast of Java.

I chose Eretan Wetan. It is a fishing village, it is in any tourist guide and there is a nice story about the Dutch official Van der Plas.

I hope it’s a bit like when, with beautiful flat sandy beach and palm trees. So it looks at least on the Japanese newsreel from 1942. As we approached the shore, the clouds hang lower. A tropical downpour during lunch, overlooking a shelter.

Eretan Wetan is muddy after all the rain. Looking for old people. Preferably above 70 years – the invasion 64 years ago. We’ll go to Mr. Agus Salim, then 6 years, now almost blind and a bit deaf.

He remembers the Japanese very well. They came in the middle of the night. When morning he dared go outside, he saw a stream of Japanese soldiers with swords. They were just down come ashore.

No, not in Eretan Wetan, but in the neighboring village. It’s called Eretan Kulon. It is confirmed by others. Why in the standard of Lou de Jong is wrong, no idea. Usually, this kind of facts with him entirely correct.

Eretan Kulon is a collection of scattered houses. While we beside the car to doubt, is Ms. Wan Li approached. Ado, a shrill voice, but very helpful. She guides us along dirt paths to the sea.

From afar I see all that there is working on a dike. Workers lay basalt boulders, the sea is choppy and saves almost over. I’m desperately wondering about my dream tropical beach.

Mr. Karsam comes over, introduces himself as the neighborhood representative. He keeps a watchful eye on the dike. He is 65 and yes, when he was young, was still a wide beach. He points to Atik, “See you there later that rig? The beach was halfway. And the Japanese came ashore. “

The rig is located about 5 km from the coast. This time is the historical place swallowed by the sea. Oh, that is perhaps better than a sandy beach. I come back here, with Rob Trip.

Jakarta, March 19, 2009

[Filming] From Linggadjati we drive north to capture where the Japanese invasion force landed in Java. It is near the village Eretan Kulon.

Last time I talked with Mr. Atik and Karsam, the chairman of the village council. Then it was an enthusiastic talker. Now he is somewhat nervous by the camera and all formal responses to the questions of Rob.

After a while talk is a little looser. Fortunately, because the environment here remains beautiful. Jacko films except the sea the village. Include the itinerant barber.

Text: Gerda Jansen Hendriks

 

 Despite intense anti-aircraft fire, twelve Hurricanes went in low and inflicted heavy losses on Japanese troops in barges and set on fire six small sloops and three tanks. They also caused a certain number of casualties and a certain amount of damage to the Japanese troops going ashore at another point on the west coast of Java.

Though the Royal Air Force could hamper the landings and increase their cost in terms of casualties, they could not prevent them, and the next day saw the Hurricanes pinned to their airfield at Tjililitan, whence they were withdrawn with some difficulty to Andir, near Bandoeng. During the withdrawal they maintained a running fight with Japanese fighters.

The last remnants of the Air Force maintained the fight for another three days, attacking the newly captured airfield at Kalidjati

Robert is recorded as dying “at sea”

 on 2nd March 1942.

Robert William George Kingshott was a Warrant Officer Class II with 7 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery. His service number was 840146.

 

 

on the nights of the 3rd, 4th and 5th March.

These assaults were made by the remaining Vildebeests of No. 36 (Torpedo Bomber) Squadron, of which only two were serviceable when the end came. On the morning of the 6th, they were ordered to seek the dubious safety of Burma, but both crashed in Sumatra and were lost. At the same time the gallant remnant of No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, took its three remaining Hudsons to Australia.

In Java, as in Malaya, the attitude of the local white population contributed in no small measure to the swift and overwhelming disaster. The feelings of the Dutch in Java can best be described as those of confused despair.

The island on which they lived and from which they drew the source of their great wealth had been at peace for many generations.

Now, the prospect of the destruction by fire and high explosive of all that had been built up and handed on to them from the past stared them in the face and their hearts misgave them. If any great show of resistance were to be made, Surabaya and Bandoeng would burn.

Why then make it, when the chances of success were infinitesimal? When it is remembered that the chief Far Eastern bastion of an ally far stronger than they were had fallen after a bare fortnight’s siege, their attitude is understandable.

 It was, however, responsible for the grim scenes which were enacted during the last few hours of resistance. ‘I was in command that morning’, records an officer of the Royal Air Force writing of the events of the last day, ‘of a big convoy with all the remaining spare arms, ammunition and such-like equipment of the Royal Air Force in Java. We practically had to fight our way through the mess to prevent the lorries being forcibly stopped, and get them, according to our orders, up on to the hill roads where we understood—poor mutts—that at last we would have another go at the Nips’.

The surrender of Java was thus a foregone conclusion as soon as the Japanese had set firm foot upon the island.

Nevertheless it took place in circumstances which, to say the least of it, showed little consideration towards the armed forces, ill-armed and ill-prepared though they were.

The Tanaka Unit occupied Tjepoe on 2 March,

 

the 2nd March 1942

Information on KNILM evacuation flights via Broome & Derby from Richard Pflug

The following was sent some months ago by Richard Pflug, summarising information in Dutch language sources.

There is some good detail on the KNILM evacuation flights which took place

around 2nd March 1942.

This was at the peak of the USAAF evacuation and the Broome aerodrome was crowded to capacity, mainly with huge B-17s.

Some of the Dutch aircraft arrived right at this time, and were directed north to the small field at Derby. This was the only known use of Derby during the evacuations.

According to what I read the KNILM/KLM management was well prepared for the evacuation. For instance they asked Shell to direct an oil tanker with aviation fuel to the port of Broome.

They also ordered spare parts to be delivered in Australia (but these were impounded by the US Army).

Although the government was in charge of making the passenger lists some crew members were able to “smuggle” colleagues on board.

Captain Evert van Dijk for instance took KLM chief radio engineering C.R. Klooster on his second round trip with him as his “co-pilot”, while the man was not on the official evacuation list.

On the second group of planes, radio operator Hans Pool gets his friend Dick Sweitser (who got wounded when DC-3 PK-AFW was shot down over East Borneo on January 24th) on board DC-5 PK-ADC.

When Captain Van Messel arrives in Broome on March 2nd 1942 with DC-5 PK-ADB he asks if Japanese reconnaissance planes have been sighted over Broome recently.

 It is confirmed that an unidentified plane has passed at high altitude.

Based on earlier experiences with airfields on Java, he is pretty sure this means a Japanese attack is eminent within 48 hours and decides to leave Broome as soon as possible.

 B17s from the 7th and 19th group however get priority with refuelling. With much persuasion Van Messel and his colleague Reyers with the L14 PK- AFP manage to get refuelled and leave.

Captain Deenik with DC-5 PK-ADD has less luck. He is advised to go on to Derby and get refuelled there for the further flight to Daly Waters.

According to the book “De Douglas DC-5 – een kort maar bewogen bestaan” (translation: The Douglas DC-5 – a short but moving history) by Pieter C. Kok, Captain Dirk Rab with DC-5 PK-ADC, nearing the Australian coast heads for a course just few degrees more south of Broome, just after dawn on the morning of March 2nd he locates the small coral reefs “Rowley Shoals” and turns east to Broome.

When he arrives he also gets the advice to go on to Derby for refuelling for the flight to Daly Waters.

 Flying time will be some 40 to 45 minutes. The tanks of the DC-5 are nearly empty, but fearing a Japanese attack they decide to take the risk. About 30 minutes out, with Derby in sight, both engines begin to sputter and eventually stop.

Captain Rab manages to land the plane safely in a field with long alang-alang grass. They are stranded without fuel, water and food. And without power from the generators from the engines they are also unable to send an S.O.S.

According to the story mechanic John Gijzemijter thinks up a creative way to get out an S.O.S.

When they get the tail of DC-5 down, the last bit of remaining fuel flows to the lowest point in the tank. And with this they might be able to start up an engine for a few seconds, power up the radio equipment and send an S.O.S. The passengers and crew manage to carefully pull down the tail with their weight and muscle power. Gijzemijter manages to get an engine running and radio operator Lambrechtsen sends the S.O.S. and position of the plane. The signal is picked up in Broome.

DC-2 PK-AFL with Gerrit Jan Schippers arrives in Broome at about 10.00 AM, after a flying time of 7 hours 5 minutes.

They hear PK-ADC is missing but the radio transmission has been received. It takes 2 and half hours to get the plane checked and refuelled. With food and an open drum of water held in place by an American soldier, PK-AFL takes off to look for the stranded DC-5.

Seeing a DC-5 at Derby Schippers thinks PK-ADC managed to reach the destination and touches down at 13.35. He learns that the DC-5 is PK-ADD. 8 minutes later he is back in the air, sees a flare and then is able to spot the camouflaged PK-ADC.

He touches down gently not to spill the water in the open drum, but while taxiing he makes a sharp turn, the soldier loses his balance and the drum tips over.

After transferring fuel both planes head back to Broome. PK-AFL reaches Broome at 15.40 and the crew is instructed to go on to Port Hedland.

Schippers takes off again at 18.00 hours. PK-ADC stays at Broome for the night.

An article in the “Knickerbocker Weekly – Free Netherlands-‘of 21 February 1944 the flight of Captain Smirnoff, March 3, 1942.
For general information about the “Knickerbocker Weekly ‘, read the introduction to the thesis of Charlotte Cook,”

The Knickerbocker Weekly and the Netherlands Information Bureau

 

Een artikel uit de ‘Knickerbocker Weekly – Free Netherlands-‘ van 21 february 1944 over de vlucht van Captain Smirnoff van 3 maart 1942.
Voor algemene informatie over de ‘Knickerbocker Weekly’ ; lees de inleiding van het proefschrift van Charlotte Kok :

 ‘The Knickerbocker Weekly and the Netherlands Information Bureau …’

 

Wikipedia : Het neerschieten van KNILM Douglas DC-3 ‘PK-AFV’
Wikipedia :
Iwan Smirnoff

 

 

 


Right-click on the following page, then click in the window ‘open link’. Now you can open the page once more increase as with the left mouse button, so the “+ magnifying glass icon ‘mode. Click again to zoom out and then back-page (upper left arrow in the browser) to return to the article.

 

Klik met de rechtermuisknop op de onderstaande pagina ; klik daarna in het geopende venster op ‘open link’. Nu kun je de geopende pagina nog éénmaal vergroten als je met de linkermuisknop klikt, om zo het ‘+ vergrootglas-ikoontje’ te activeren. Klik nogmaals om te verkleinen en daarna op page-back (pijltje linksboven in de browser) om terug te keren naar het artikel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capt Smirnoff in U.S.

Capt Ivan Smiroff of The netherland East Indies Air Forces in the U.S. to haved bullet removed from his body in order to be sure of being able to find his way while flying, he told the newsman at press conference in San Fransisco Last week

Captain Smiroff said the steel bullet recieved when shot by the Japanese in March 1942 threw off his plane compass.

His plane was carrying a load of evacuoes from Java when the enemy fifghter shot it down near Broome in Nothern Australia.

On Board were diamonds valued in the neighborhood $21.000.000.which were lost but later discovered.

Since then Smiroff has flown 600 hours with The American Air Transport Command based in Australia.

He praised the work of the work transport planes in war operations, saying without them the Pacific war would not been successfully carried out.

He pointed out the jungle and the lack of roads permitted only transport plane to convey material and troops.

He remarked that unfortunately the transport pilot had no glory , only work.

“The Japs know they are Hecked”he declared Captain Smirnoff . who was famed as an airlined pilot and air racer before the war,pointed out that where as at the time of the Pearl Harbor. The allies were completely unorganized , they now were on offensive

CAPTAIN IVAN SMIRNOFF
RUSSIA’S 4TH HIGHEST ACE IN WWI
NATURALISED DUTCH CITIZEN
CAPTAIN OF A CRASHED DC-3 DAKOTA

 

Captain Ivan Vasielivich “Turc” Smirnoff was born at dawn on 30 January 1895 on a small farm near Vladimir, about 120 miles west of Moscow.

Ivan Smirnoff was Russia’s fourth highest Ace in World War I. He was credited with shooting down 11 German aircraft. He was highly decorated as follows:-

- Croix de Guerre
– Cross of St. George (when he was foot soldier)
– White Eagle of Siberia
– Order of St. Anna
– Order of St. George (equivalent to our Victoria Cross)
– Order of St. Stanislaus

Ivan was naturalised as a Dutch citizen. In early 1942, Captain Smirnoff had flown his DC-3 Dakota transport aircraft between Java and Australia evacuating Royal Netherlands Indies Airlines office and ground staff, along with civilians and service personnel.

On 3 March 1942, Dutch Dakota DC-3 PK-AFV of the KNILM (Netherlands East Indies KLM) piloted by Captain Ivan Smirnoff, left Bandung in Java headed for Australia with a plane load of evacuees and a box of diamonds worth approximately £300,000. They managed to escape Java just 3 days before the Japanese took the Bandung area. They were attacked by three Japanese Zeros about 80 kms north of Broome. Captain Smirnoff was wounded several times in his arms and hip. Smirnoff managed to put the Dakota into a steep spiral dive with the Zeros in pursuit and made a forced landing on the beach. The box of diamonds went missing after the crash.

Full details of the above crash
and the loss of the diamonds

 

Ivan Smirnoff eventually died in a Catholic clinic on the Spanish Island of Majorca on 23 October 1959.

The National Archives’ ANGAM Database shows the following records held regarding Smirnoff:-

SMIRNOFF Tivan – Nationality: Dutch – Arrived Perth per Dutch Air Force Plane 13 March 19421942 to
1942PP246/4DUTCH/SMIRNOFF T

 

LINKS TO OTHER INTERNET SITES

Ivan Smirnov
The Aerodrome Home Page

LINKS TO OTHER INTERNET SITES

Ivan Smirnov
The Aerodrome Home Page

 

Ivan Smirnoff eventually died in a Catholic clinic on the Spanish Island of Majorca on 23 October 1959.

The National Archives’ ANGAM Database shows the following records held regarding Smirnoff:-

SMIRNOFF Tivan – Nationality: Dutch – Arrived Perth per Dutch Air Force Plane 13 March 19421942 to
1942PP246/4DUTCH/SMIRNOFF T

Captain in the US 317th Troop Carrier Group

For the first few months the aircraft and crews belonging to KLM/KNILM were busy ferrying supplies from Archerfield, Brisbane, Queensland to US bases in Northern Australia.

 

The crew members were Te Roller, Hulsebos, Dirk Rap, Peter Deenik, Van Dijk, Jan Van Balkom, Iwan Smirnoff, Van Messel, Dunlop, Frans Van Breemen and Rijers.

 

But, in May 1942

came the end. Their aircraft (two DC2, two DC3, three DC5 and four Lockheed-14) needed maintenance and spare parts which only the Americans could supply.

 

One day when Ivan drove to the airfield he found all the machines in their hangars and the director waiting for the pilots. He told that it was no longer possible for a civil company (KLM/KNILM) to get a licence to bring out spares from the USA.

 

The director explained that although KNILM operated their aircraft under charter to the U.S. military, General MacArthur had been reluctant to allow so many valuable aircraft to remain in civilian hands. As a result, KNILM were coerced into selling their aircraft to the USAAF.

 

This coercion took the form of a suspension of logistical support such as the impounding of one hundred cases of spare parts. To prevent the fleet being grounded KNILM had now arranged for its sale to the American Army Command.

 

Surviving documents suggest that all of the KNILM aircraft were to have been sold to the Australian government for a token £5 each, but the transaction was apparently overruled in favour of a sale to the USAAF. This purchase is reputed to have cost Uncle Sam $530,000.00 for ten aircraft (one Lockheed-14 had been written off).

 

Nicholas Dijkstra, a friend of Ivan Smirnoff, explains:

 

“KNILM management negotiated a handover of the aircraft to the US Air Force. Our crews, based in Sydney and Brisbane, were very upset about this decision. It meant that a useful service came to a sudden end, whilst the future of the crew members remained uncertain. Still, in my opinion this was not the reason that five(*)aircraft of KLM/KNILM flew a few days later under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

 

 

On a beautiful Sunday in the month of May 1942, two US ‘Kittyhawks’ had flown under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

I was in Elizabeth Bay at the time, or near there, and saw them. Traffic on the bridge came to a full stop and people were excited. The following day it was the main item of conversation – everybody thought that it was a great stunt. Nobody had done that before!

 

A couple of days later on 14 May, when the aircraft of KLM and KNILM were being prepared for the final flight to Wagga Wagga, we were also talking about the ‘Kittyhawk Stunt’.

 

We were to make a short flight over Sydney for a final check of the aircraft. Some people of the ground staff suggested that it would be nice to come along for the short flight, so at the end close to fifty people, ground staff personnel, waiters and waitresses from the restaurant at the airport as well as kitchenstaff, were taken on board ready for take off.

 

Then one of the pilots suggested that we could do better than the two US Kittyhawks and fly some of the aircraft in formation under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. A KLM radio-operator, Joe Muller (he had previously been shot down at Carnot Bay, WA, with KLM Captain Ivan Smirnoff in the DC3 PK-AFV) was asked to go to the control tower to ask permission to fly under the bridge. Watching from the tarmac we could see Joe Muller talking to the personnel in the control tower

 

. After a few minutes he came out to the walkway alongside the tower, Joe Muller looked in our direction and then raised his thumb in what we took to be the ‘OK’ signal. And off we went…

 

The five(*)aircraft took off and eventually took up formation approaching the bridge from the Sydney Heads.

 

Still in formation we flew under the bridge, pulled up, made a wide turn and then flew in single line again under the bridge and then returned to Kingsford Smith Airport.

 

After we landed and taxied to the ramp, there was hell to pay! Anybody with some kind of authority was there. It then became clear that Joe Muller had not asked for permission to fly under the bridge.

 

He explained to us that his thumbs-up signal only meant that the aircraft looked fine! The authorities did not have much to nail us down with, but we heard later that an order had been issued, forbidding to fly under the bridge and that anyone doing so, would be fined one hundred pounds ($200) for every person aboard.”

 

(*) According to Nicholas Dijkstra there were five machines and he flew with Captain Jan van Bal

At least (according to other sources) the machines flying under the bridge were:

 

DC2, PK-AFK, piloted by Captain Frans Van Breemen
DC3, PK-ALW “Wielewaal” piloted by Captain Peter Deenik
DC5, PK-ADC, piloted by Captain Dirk Rab with John Gyzemyteras Flight Engineer

 

 

….”What about us?” growled Ivan. “You selling us, too?”
Ivan persisted: “I am with you to build things up, not to knock them down. Can you suggest some other way?”
The director was sorry, but he couldn’t.

 

It was dreadful to think of KLM machines in the hands of the Yanks. It was dreadful to contemplate the prospect of sitting idle, month after month, waiting for the war to end. The Yanks were in dire need of pilots but when Ivan asked for a job the young captain in charge took one look at him and said, dryly: “Thanks, Pop, I guess we’ll get by and not trouble you.”

 

Ivan lived well now, he had grown ‘fat and flourishing’. In fact he had grown so much that he burst out of all his clothes and had to search the Sydney shops to find seventeen-and-a-half-inch collars.

 

During most of 1942 the Japanese still thought they were going to win the whole Pacific region, and they found Port Moresby on New Guineato be vital to fulfil that goal. The Allied, on the other hand, had not yet understood how important it really was to defend the very same area.

 

The first real victory against the Japs in the Pacific Ocean was carried out mostly by Australian troops. From 25 August to 7 September 1942 the Australians defeated the Japanese at Milne Bay about 350 km south-east of Port Moresby. This victorybecame an important turnpoint in WWII, it showed to everyone that the Japs could be beaten, and therefore the morale was now extensively increasing everywhere.

 

General MacArthur had had his HQ well of the way in Melbourne, but when things eventually started to look better, he moved his HQ to Brisbane. And when the Japs were defeated on New Guinea, he moved his HQ further on, to Port Moresby.

 

….Finally, on 20 January 1943 Ivan was gazetted Captain (First Pilot) in the 39th Troop Carrier Squadron, 317th Troop Carrier Group(which later that year (30 September) moved their headquarters from Townsville to Port Moresby) for operational flying duty. His appointment was made by General Kenny, Chief of Staff. It was an honour – there were only four First Pilots named. Now Ivan had joined the Americans.

 

 

 

 

But Ivan had to learn about some US flight rules that appeared silly to him. One of the regulations laid down, that unless the weather (In Opinion Of Ground Control) were 100% good, the trip was cancelled. The experienced pilots went wild over this too-cautious rule.

 

Ivan just refused to accept it and soon after was preparing to leave when ground control signalled:
“Trip off, weather tricky.”
“Nonsense!” he roared down the airfield intercom. “Put me on to the fellah in charge here.”
When he was put through he blew up the airfield commander good and proper.
The commander listened patiently then said:
“I get your point, Captain; just the same, you can’t fly.”
“Like hell I can’t!” bellowed Ivan. “Who is the guy that gives you your orders?”
“Senior Colonel, Divisional Command.” He was given the name of a base a hundred miles away.

 

To the switchboard operator Ivan roared: “Get me Divisional Command,” and when, an hour later, the call came through, insisted on getting on to the senior colonel and putting a politer version of his case.

 

“I sure admire your spirit,” said the colonel, “all the same, you can’t fly.”
“Colonel,” growled Ivan, almost crushing the receiver in his hands,
“I know that an order is an order. All the same I am now obliged to send a report to the General in charge of your Air Force.”
“You do just that,” said the colonel, and hung up.

 

Ivan composed a blistering report and organized a girl typist to “English” it for him.

 

He never got an answer but in 3 days’ time a directive “from the Old Man himself” went out to all airport commands. “This man Smirnoff,” it said, “he’s Dutch. Let him fly whenever he says, disregard regulation in his case.”

 

So Ivan was becoming a legend in yet another country, and the ground staffs, at every base, turned out cheerfully in all weathers to give him the best servicing the could. They knew that if Captain Smirnoff said he was going up, he damn’ well would.

 

Months later Ivan was told that his letter had been circulating in “the highest circles” and that MacArthur had yelled with laughter and said: “Get me some more of those damn’ Dutch, I could do with them.”

 

 

 

The corner of Annerley Road and Laurier Street in Brisbane, Queensland.

 

….Margot was now living in Brisbane, close to the Brisbane River, in another furnished flat at the corner of Annerley Road and Laurier Street, so that Ivan could sleep at home between his arduous journeys to Port Moresby on New Guinea. There were only 5 kilometres to drive from Archerfield Airport to Annerley Road and Margot.

 

She had never worked harder in her life – the younger Dutch pilots, unhappy in the local “hotels”, looked upon the Smirnoff home as Netherlands territory. The Australian climate agreed with her, she felt better, and there were experienced doctors at hand who saw to it she suffered no more pain than was absolutely unavoidable.

 

 

 

 

 

When Ivan first flew to Port Moresby there was nothing there at all – not a hut, not a yard of tarmac, not a telephone.

 

MacArthur fixed that. He had the complete airfield – stores, canteens, sick bays, offices, landing strips and all – built in just 3 days. “Those Yanks, they do an amazing job,” said Ivan. Only a month after the first airfield was completed Port Moresby was surrounded by not less than 7 airfields.

 

Ivan ferried tools, building materials, jeeps, ammunition, bacon and eggs, and medical stores from Brisbane to Port Moresby in a series of bewildering priorities that he could never fathom. On one of his very earliest flights he took a complete plant for making Coca-Cola!

 

On the return flights to Brisbane Ivan took sick and wounded. Once he evacuated the whole hospital, all down with malaria – patients, doctors, nurses, everybody.

 

He also carried back Japanese prisoners for interrogation. This was a horrible task; nearly all the prisoners were sick, suffering from dysentery.

 

En route to Port Moresby Ivan gladly took on additional observation and spotting duties, mostly reporting movements of Jap destroyers and submarines. They soon learned that the Great Barrier Reef was favourite ‘parking lots’ for captains of the enemy submarines. They were easy to spot from high altitudes, and easy to destroy afterwards.

 

There were 2100 kilometres to fly between Brisbane and Port Moresby, and they normally made an intermediate stop at Townsville both ways. This service was maintained every 24 hours. After a 24 hour round trip to Port Moresby each crew member had a day off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the right you see a detail from Ivan’s personal briefcase, which he carried on his missions to Port Moresby on New Guinea. Below in the ID-window the following can be read:

 

This case and contents are the property of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Click on the picture to enlarge…

 

At the same time, when Ivan was busy at the US 317th Troop Carrier Group, KLM had managed to build up new activities. In August 1942 they had opened a service to Ciudad Trujillo in Peru and now, one year later, by August 1943, they were running a service of Lockheed-14’s from Miami in USA. The Dutch Air Force had been given a base at Jackson, Mississippi, where the Netherlands flag flew supreme – the only foreign flag, other than those flown at embassies – with permission to wave over United States territory. Ivan now realized that by hook or by crook he must get himself to America.

 

the transport of the diamonds from Java to WA during WWII, the bombing of Broome, the Dakota crash and survival of half the passengers. Fascinating history. The second part deals with the court case, when three men were charged with stealing the diamonds. Fascinating depiction of the life led by those men in outback Australia in the 1940s

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

“The Hidden Chapters – Untold Stories of Australians at War in the Pacific”
by Robert Piper

 

Please look another info from magazine below

“As The third Year Begin”

And try to read the small words, the complete info exist in CD-ROM

 

 

 

 

(2) All of the West Java Postal office were closed not opretated inculding Tjiandjoer.

 

Front Capitulation cover 1942

 

 

Back Capitulation cover 1942

(1ll.5) Postally free postally used Geadvisers (Registered) cover with Commander of the forces and the Departmen of War’s chief (Commandant Leger en hoofd departement van Oorlog ) official Headquaters Stamped send from The Dutch East Indie Forces Head Quaters Bandoeng CDS Bandoeng Riaow Str 27.2.42, arrival Cds Tjiandjoer 28.2.42 and after that the post office closed, open after capitulaition CDS Tjiandjoer 4.4.42 Onafgeh. and ret.afzd handwritten postmark (Cann’t delivered and return to sender) , arrived back CDS Bandoeng 6.4.42 (during dai nippon occupation0 to Dai Nippon Forces Headquaters in java .(The very rare Dai Nippon capitulation Postal History collection from the DEI forces headquaters back to Dai nippon forces Bandoeng Headquaters only one ever seen, if the collecters have the same collectins please send information via comment-Dr iwan S.)
Caption : capitulation cover 1942

 

Dai Nippon Army Landed at Merak, and other area

 

(3)March,3th.192

The latest used of DEI Imprint revenue 1942 on the document of money storting 2500 guiler at DEI Bank Wscompto Buitenzorg(now bogor), the owner told that after storting the money he left his house and all his belonging nothing left when he back in  May 1942 ,all his belonging were robbery . In the document there written at may ,5th 1942 the money get back from the vabk and keep in his house, Same with postal service in May 1942 did not operated,sarting agai at May 1942. This collections belonging to my friend Mr Gunawan from Bogor,thank you Mr Gunawa for your informations

The same imprint DEI revenue 1942 used  in september 1942 used by the Japanese school look below.

 

while

the Kitamura Unit occupied Bodjonegoro on 3 March.

 The Japanese proceeded further and overwhelmed the Dutch defences at the Ngawi Regency, Tjaroeban (Caruban), Ngandjoek, Kertosono, Kediri and Djombang.

At Porong, near Surabaya, the Dutch infantry from 8th, 13th Battalion, 3rd Cavalry Unit and the American 131st (Texas) “E” Field Artillery Regiment gave fierce resistance to the incoming Japanese.

 Eventually the Allied troops under Major-General Gustav A. Ilgen had to retreat to the island of Madura upon the completion of demolition of the city’s infrastructure.

.

 

Wyndham raid photo received via WA historian Kevin Gomm

WA author / historian Kevin Gomm sent this fascinating photo of the burnt out DH-84 Dragon at Wyndham aerodrome.

 The damaged civil hangar is visible in the background.

This was all a result of the 3rd March strafing by a squadron of Zeroes, mirroring the attack on Broome.

Indeed a more well known series of photos was taken of the Broome raid wreckage and can be viewed via the Australian War Memorial online collection.

However this particular photo is not from that same series, although it must have been taken at a similar time, very soon after the raid and before the wreckage was cleared up. It actually appeared in a Sydney newspaper (The Daily Telegraph), just after Wyndham was raided for a second time, on 24th March 1942. Strangely the photo never featured in the West Australian newspaper, which would seem the obvious candidate.

Kevin Gomm has extensively researched all of the WWII attacks on WA, as well as maritime events.

He has visited all of the attack sites and has a detailed knowledge of anything surviving from the wartime years.

 His book Red Sun on the Kangaroo Paw documents each of the Japanese raids and attacks on WA during WWII.

 It is currently being re-released as a 70th Anniversary 1942-2012 Commemorative Edition.

The book is available from http://www.helveticapublishing.com – indeed the site is well worth a visit, concentrating solely on WA military history.

March.2nd.1942.

 

At midnight March 3rd

the positions of the planes of the second group are:

  • Lockheed L14 – PK-AFP – Captain A. Reyers – Alice Springs
  • Douglas DC-5 PK-ADB – Captain G. van Messel – Alice Springs
  • Douglas DC-5 PK-ADC – Captain M.S. Rab – Broome
  • Douglas DC-5 PK-ADD – Captain P.A. Deenik – Daly Waters
  • Douglas DC-2 PK-AFL – Captain G.J. Schippers – Port Hedland
  • Douglas DC-2 PK-AFK – Captain F. van Breemen – emergency strip near Daly Waters (he can’t find Daly Waters after sunset. Using his landing lights and finds this strip with two crossed “runways” of mowed grass some 600 metres long. And after three attempts manages to make a precautionary landing)

In the early morning of March 3rd the crew and passengers of PK-ADC have breakfast on the airfield (where according to the story there are no more non-alcoholic drinks available. Just beer). Just before the attack begins PK-ADC is the first plane of the day to get take-off clearance. As they receive the air raid warning on the radio, they go down to treetop level, to escape attention

 

(3)March,4th.1942

On 4 March,

 MacArthur split this command and created a separate Visayan Force under Brig. Gen. Bradford C. Chynoweth.

 

japanese soldiers observing smoke coming from a american position during the battle of bataan

 

Sharp remained in command of Mindanao, the only island south of Luzon on which a major Japanese force had landed.53 This move was probably designed to permit General Sharp to devote all his energies to the defense of Mindanao, the base from which MacArthur still hoped to mount a counteroffensive against the Japanese.

But careful as he had been in making

these arrangements (to go into effect the day after his departure), and briefing the force commanders and new deputy chief of staff, MacArthur neglected one thing — to inform the War Department. Whatever the reasons, the result was utter confusion.

 

type 95 ha-go tank of the japanese army 7th tank regiment using fouliage for camouflage (phillipines 1942)

 

The War Department assumed that Wainwright, the senior officer in the islands, was in command of all forces in the Philippines as MacArthur had been, and addressed him as such.

 

japanese tank crew man posing with a knock out american tank (phillipines 1942)

 

But the messages, intended for Wainwright and marked for the commander in the Philippines came to Beebe who had no recourse but to refer them to MacArthur, then en route to Australia. Beebe’s position was an embarrassing one and he urged his chief repeatedly to clear up the matter with Washington. But to no avail. MacArthur remained silent and the War Department uninformed.54.

Batavia have declared as the open city

The Dutch government at London ordered DEI Governor Tjarda military handed over power to General ter  Porten and DEI Govenor General Dr van Mook domiciled in Australia

on the nights of the 3rd, 4th and 5th March.

These assaults were made by the remaining Vildebeests of No. 36 (Torpedo Bomber) Squadron, of which only two were serviceable when the end came. On the morning of the 6th, they were ordered to seek the dubious safety of Burma, but both crashed in Sumatra and were lost. At the same time the gallant remnant of No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, took its three remaining Hudsons to Australia.

In Java,

as in Malaya, the attitude of the local white population contributed in no small measure to the swift and overwhelming disaster. The feelings of the Dutch in Java can best be described as those of confused despair.

The island on which they lived and from which they drew the source of their great wealth had been at peace for many generations.

Now, the prospect of the destruction by fire and high explosive of all that had been built up and handed on to them from the past stared them in the face and their hearts misgave them.

If any great show of resistance were to be made, Surabaya and Bandoeng would burn.

Why then make it, when the chances of success were infinitesimal?

When it is remembered that the chief Far Eastern bastion of an ally far stronger than they were had fallen after a bare fortnight’s siege, their attitude is understandable.

It was, however, responsible for the grim scenes which were enacted during the last few hours of resistance. ‘I was in command that morning’, records an officer of the Royal Air Force writing of the events of the last day, ‘of a big convoy with all the remaining spare arms, ammunition and such-like equipment of the Royal Air Force in Java.

We practically had to fight our way through the mess to prevent the lorries being forcibly stopped, and get them, according to our orders, up on to the hill roads where we understood—poor mutts—that at last we would have another go at the Nips’.

The surrender of Java was thus a foregone conclusion as soon as the Japanese had set firm foot upon the island.

Nevertheless it took place in circumstances which, to say the least of it, showed little consideration towards the armed forces, ill-armed and ill-prepared though they were.

On 5th March,

ter Poorten convened a conference in Bandoeng

which was attended, amongst others, by Maltby and the Army Commander, Sitwell. At this meeting, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief painted a picture of the situation which could not  have been more gloomy. Bandoeng, he said, might fall at any moment, and if its outer defences were pierced, he did not propose to defend the town.

The native Indonesians were very hostile to the Dutch and this hostility made it quite impossible to retire to the hills and there carry on a guerilla war.

Nevertheless, though he himself was prepared to surrender, he would, he said, issue orders to the local Dutch commanders to maintain the fight.

He had, he averred, instructed his troops not only to do so, but also to disregard any order which he might be compelled to issue calling upon them to lay down their arms.

In the event,

when discussing the final terms of surrender with

 

GeneralMasao  Maruyama, the Japanese Commander-in-Chief,

the Dutch Commander subsequently withdrew this order to disobey orders.

The attitude of ter Poorten does not seem to have been shared by

General Schilling, commanding at Batavia,

who was prepared to emulate the selfless gallantry of Admiral Dorman, but who did not possess enough weight to influence the general situation.

After some discussion, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief was induced to name an area north of Santosa as the spot where British forces should concentrate for a final stand, but he made no secret of his opinion that to do so would be folly or worse.

That grim evening, therefore, Maltby and Sitwell were brought face to face with the imminence of disaster. One slender hope remained. General Schilling, who had not been present at the conference, was understood to favour a retreat to the hills in south-west Java whither, it was said, he had already been able to transfer a certain quantity of stores and ammunition with the courageous intention of prolonging resistance.

Hardly had this faint flame been kindled, when it expired. Ter Poorten made any such move impossible by making Schilling responsible for the defence of Bandoeng while at the same time issuing orders that it was not to be defended, and forbidding any further fighting.

The two British officers took what counsel they could together. The surrender of some of those under their command, those for example at the airfield of Andir, was inevitable.

 

Andir was part of Bandoeng

which had been declared an open town, and the officers and other ranks at Poerwokerta had neither rations nor arms. Their position was, in the circumstances, hopeless. For the rest, Santosa seemed to offer the only chance but, when reconnoitred, it was found to be quite unsuitable for defence and to be inhabited by Dutchmen who had obviously no intention of continuing the struggle.

Throughout this confused period, matters were further complicated by the efforts made to evacuate as many men of the Royal Air Force as could be got away. They left from Poerwokerta, priority of passage being accorded to aircrews and technical staff.

 

By 5th March

seven out of twelve thousand had been taken off, but by then no more ships were available for they had all been sunk and about 2,500 of the air force awaiting evacuation were therefore left stranded in the transit camp.

In these attempts to send away as many skilled men as possible the Dutch gave but little help.

They could not be brought to realize that our airmen were quite unpractised as soldiers and would be of far greater value playing their part as trained members of an aircrew or as technicians on the ground, in some other theatre of war, than they would be trying, without arms or food, to stage a last stand.

Santosa being unsuitable, about 8,000 mixed English and Australian forces, of whom some 1,300 belonged to the Royal Air Force, were concentrated at Garoet; here, too, the Dutch District Civil Administrator, Koffman, proved unsympathetic.

He feared what he described as ‘a massacre of the whites’ if any guerrilla warfare were attempted, and made no effort to collect supplies or to give any aid to the British forces which had so inconveniently arrived in his district. They were by then in a sorry plight and by then, too, the last embers of resistance in the air had expired.

 

 

 

(4)March,5th.1942

Batavia(Jakarta) occupied by dai Nippon Army

lead by Let.General Immamura

 

 

A Japanese soldier outside oil tanks near Jakarta destroyed by Dutch forces in March,5th. 1942

 

Dai Nippon tanl entering Batavia(Jakarta) march.5th.1942



Japanese tanks with infantry entering Batavia, March 1942

The other was Captain J.P. van Helsdingen, a fighter pilot of the KNIL airforce. He was killed in action on March 5, 1942

Batavia fell on the March,5th 1942

without a struggle, after the government moved inland to Bandoeng. It was not safe even there, for the Japanese closed in on this mountain retreat and by the 8th were in position to attack the remnants of the Dutch Army defending it. The next morning the Dutch surrendered and the fight for Java was over.57

For the Japanese, the conquest of the Indies was the crowning achievement of the war. It realized their long-cherished dream of empire. The rich resources of Southeast Asia, the oil, rubber, and manganese needed for war and for the control of Asia, were now in their possession. And all this had been won in three months.

On this day Ciater and the north area of Subang occupied by the Dai Nippon military army.

 

Read more

The Last day Of Batavia

(Setyawati Soelaiman,the private notes during Dai nippon Occupation)

Alpha

 

We will be very sorry if he would fall, he was a young adept, I still see it last time when batavia  would have been invaded by the armies of Dai Nippon d I still to  RH building (hoogeschool Recht, High School of Law)

 

I saw some friends who are still busy studying, in a room that has been a faculty library literature “How Optimik” I thought, when I see my future keruang Prof.Soepomo dressed in cloth and blankon . He was assigned to lead the Faculty of Law and is to be received stamps of the Japanese at the time the building was occupied,

On the road a truck stop, look Prof Kemperts Bernet, Professor Werthiem and several other professors. they are held hands up has regards . Jakarta City Fall afternoon (8-3.42 not right, the right day 5-3.48).


All of the Netherlands, Britain and Australia are uniformed prison. The first days are still a lot of unrest so that we do not dare go home kerumahkarena we heard that when the army occupied Shanghai dai nippon been many robberies and rapes,

 

in Batavia was not so.
When some soldiers looted warehouses Dai nippon act strongly against the leader of a robbery. Rape does not sound happen but the hosts dai nippon bring the Korean people as the troops advanced, they were assigned to take the vehicles to the invasion of Bandung.Mobil of my  father was also taken.

When the situation had died down, I dare to ride bicycles to visit Ida ross who lived not far from the factory Salemba Amfiun near the college of Medicine.

 

We talked about the situation at that time and we asked what would happen next before the surrender by the Japanese army, the head of the family have bought and keeping  rice at home, because there is no yangtahu whether the father will still be retained in office and whether his family and still be able to eat later .
On another day I saw a long line of white people. There is already a beard and did not seem clean. The legend says that the prisoners were told to walk away from Glodok  prison to prison struiswijk  (now Salemba prison)
I think that the professor and professor Bernet Kempers = other professors in the row.

Women of Europe and Australia was soon taken prisoner j8uga and finally put into special camps for their camp.
They are still able to prove themselves that they were Indo, so the descent was a native ditangkap.Karena not overrun the state archives of people who find evidence of it.
Mrs. Bernet Kempert and two sons captured as well, with the other ladies, they stay away from her husband.
Professor Bernet Kempert living in camps in Java, but there are some other scholars anaara Bok van de Casparis Neckeren and taken to Burma and Thailand to work to make a fire road Railway
. Thankfully they survived in captivity so that Prof. Bernet Kempert can gather with his family. They are still embedded in the Lord and perhaps prof Bernet Kampert, Bob van de Casparis Heekeren and retained this earth to be a teacher kita.karena archaeologists have not time for them to go and they who teach us how to protect and have our own cultural heritage.

We are very disappointed that the Government of Japan’s occupation would not hold the school to humanoris. Which may be passed is the school of law, medicine and dentistry and engineering,
At the Museum held courses in Javanese and Sanskrit and several other lectures by Professor Poerbatjeraka and some other figures. I heard from friends that read the room museum that is not a nice thing because it is often heard cries of people being tortured by Professor Kempetei dibekas room because of the high School of Law has become the headquarters Kenpetei.
I heard that when the building was occupied by some Japanese soldiers throwing a book from our library kempert prof sought out the window.
Mrs Dr de Jong our lecturers in Dutch seventeenth century to the present menyelamatkannya.Pak Prijono also said: “Lady, lady’s life remembered”

Original info

Kami akan sangat menyesal kalau ia akan gugur , ia masih muda cakap, Saya masih melihatnya terakhir kali m ketika batavia sudah akan diserbu oleh Balatentara dai Nippon . saya masih kegedung R.H(Recht hoogeschool,Sekolah tinggi Hukum) saya melihat beberapa  teman yang masih sibuk belajar , dalam ruangan yang telah menjadi Perpustakaan Fakultas sastra”Betapa Optimik”  pikir saya, ketika saya keruang depan saya melihat Prof.Soepomo  yang berpakaian  kain dan blankon.  Ia ditugaskan untuk memimpin Fakultas Hukum dan ialah yang akan menerima prang-orang Jepang pada saat gedung tersebut diduduki,

Di jalan sebuah truk berhenti ,nampak Prof Bernet Kemperts,Professor Werthiem  dan beberapa professor lainnya . mereka mengacungkan tanggan  sebagai salam . Sore itu Kota Jakarta Jatuh(8-3.42 not right,the right day 5-3.48) .

Semua orang belanda ,Inggris dan australia yang berseragam dipenjarakan. Hari-hari pertama masih banyak kerusuhan sehingga kami tidak berani pulang kerumahkarena kami dengar bahwa ketika Shanghai diduduki tentara dai nippon  terjadi banyak perampokan  dan perkosaan, ternyata di Batavia tidak begitu.

Ketika beberapa gudang dirampok tentara Dai nippon bertindak dengan keras terhadap pemimpin perampokan .Perkosaan tidak terdengar terjadi/ tetapi Balatentara dai nippon membawa orang Korea sebagai  pasukan terdepan , mereka ditugaskan mengambil kendaraan-kendaraan untuk penyerbuan ke Bandung.Mobil ayah juga dibawa.

Ketika keadaan sudah mereda , saya berani naik sepeda untuk mengunjungi Ida nasution yang tinggal di salemba tidak jauh dari pabrik  Amfiun dekat perguruan tinggi Kedokteran. Kami mengobrol tentang keadaan pada saat itu dan  kami bertanya apakah yang akan terjadi  nanti sebelum penyerahan oleh tentara Jepang , para kepala keluarga sudah membeli  dan menyoimpan  beras dirumah,karena tidak ada  yangtahu apakah  Ayah masih akan dipertahankan dalam jabatannya dan  dan apakah keluarganya masih dapat makan nanti.

Pada hari yang lain saya melihat suatu barisan panjang orang kulit putih,. Ada yang sudah berjenggot dan kelihatannya tidak bersih. Konon kabarnya  para tahanan  disuruh berjalan kaki dari penjara Glodok ke penjara struiswijk(sekarang Penjara salemba)

Saya pikir bahwa professor Bernet Kempers dan profesor=profesor lain berada dalam barisan itu.

Wanita-wanita eropa dan Australia tidak lama kemudian ditawan j8uga dan akhirnya dimasukkan kedalam Kamp kamp khusus untuk mereka .

Mereka yang masih dapat membuktikan dirinya  bahwa mereka orang Indo, jadi keturunan seorang pribumi tidak ditangkap.Karena itu arsip negara  diserbu orang-orang yang mencari bukti itu.

Nyonya Bernet Kempert  dan kedua putranya ditawan juga, dengan nyonya-nyonya lainnya ,mereka tinggal jauh dari suaminya.

Prof Bernet Kempert tinggal dalam kamp di Jawa tetapi ada beberapa orang sarjana  anaara lain Bok van Neckeren  dan de Casparis yang dibawa ke Burma dan Thailand untuk bekerja membuat jalan Kerata api

.Syukurlah mereka bertahan  dalam tawanan sehingga Prof Bernet Kempert dapat berkumpul lagi dengan keluarganya. Mereka masih dipayungi oleh Tuhan  dan mungkin prof Bernet Kampert, Bob van heekeren dan de Casparis  masih dipertahankan dibumi  ini untuk menjadi guru para arkeolog kita.karena belum waktunya mereka pergi dan merekalah yang mengajar kita bagaimana melindungi dan memiliki warisan budaya kita sendiri.

Kami sangat kecewa bahwa Pemerintah Pendudukan Jepang  tidak mau mengadakan sekolah untuk humanoris. Yang boleh diteruskan adalah sekolah hokum,Kedokteran dan kedokteran gigi serta tehnik,

Di Museum diadakan kursus-kursus dalam bahasa Jawa dan sansekerta dan beberapa kuliah lain oleh Profesor Poerbatjeraka dan beberapa tokoh lainnya. Saya dengar dari teman-teman bahwa bahwa membaca diruangan Museum bukan merupakan hal yang menyenangkan karena seringkali terdengar  teriakan orang yang sedang disiksa  oleh Kempetei dibekas ruangan Profesor karena Gedung Sekolah tinggi Hukum sudah menjadi  markas Kenpetei.

Saya dengar ketika gedung itu diduduki beberapa serdadu jepang melempar-lemparkan buku  dari perpustakaan kami  yang diusahakan prof kempert keluar jendela.

Ny Dr de Jong dosen kami dalam bahasa Belanda abad ke XVII ingin menyelamatkannya.Pak Prijono yang hadir juga mengatakan;”Nyonya, ingat nyawa nyonya”.

Until that on Thursday, March 5

in the afternoon times an our-student of Br Marcellin panting and trembling they had him three times to say before they understood it said that the Europeans from their homes were and the mob have invaded to loot, and that we “Our Lord” would bring.
It turned out that half the city was already plundered by Javanese and Japanese shock troops, without the Brothers there iels of knew. On board were the Pastor Versteegh H.Hoslies by Br.Ov.Justus reach out. The H.Vaten were hidden in a basket with charcoal.
One gentle encouragement in those anxious hours in each other’s proximity and silently praying it will be around the long table in the recreation room, listening on possible from above certain orders or directions should be given. In vain were heard in the distance, only the jeers of the marauding crowd.
Thank God came after the onset of dusk one of our boys home with the comforting news that the Japanese had ordered, the disaster axes at six o’clock to strike.

New shock when the next morning relapse werd.De gangs were now approaching our house. The Juliana Hotel on the corner of the street. Was totally empty up. The blinds go relen of the Brothers saw a stream Javanese pass, laden with mattresses, blankets, linens, table etc saved.
At the other end of the long street of houses some retired military. Even this did not escape the rapacity. But it is striking – let me rather say an order of God’s good-hero that the buildings of both the Mission Fathers, Brothers and Sisters spared.

the surrender

(121)

 

 

Netherlands East Indies

 

 

Lt. August Deibel of 2-VLG-V with his Buffalo (serial B-3110) at RAF Kallang, early 1942. He shot down two Nakajima Ki-27 fighters on 12 January before being wounded and having to bail out himself.[N 8][23]

(

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fall of Java Island, March 1942

 

 

 

Bombardment of Soerabaja by the Japanese planes.
The naval establishment is seen on the left of the canalised
River Mas on the right is the Royal Dutch Naval Air Station Perak

 

Destruction of ammo stacks in Soerabaja, March 1942

 

 

 

Personnel of 211th Squadron RAF, most probably at Tjilatjap, possibly on the railway station platform, in March 1942

 

 

Personnel of 211th Squadron RAF, most probably at Tjilatjap, possibly on the railway station platform, in March 1942The Fall of Java Island



 


Bombardment of Soerabaja by the Japanese planes.
The naval establishment is seen on the left of the canalised
River Mas on the right is the Royal Dutch Naval Air Station Perak


Australian troops of 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion
at Arinem (Western Java) in January 1942

 

 




Personnel of 211th Squadron RAF, most probably at Tjilatjap, possibly on the railway station platform, in March 1942
Copyright © Jim Fryatt and Don Clark


Cadets and instructors of the ML-KNIL at Andir, Java Island

 




Dutch KNIL soldiers with their AA guns,
Dutch East Indies 1941-1942


As soon as capitulation on Java became evident, destruction parties began their work.
Here is a part of the naval yard in Soerabaja

 




In 1940, the so-called Stadswacht was erected to act against enemy paratroopers and “Vijdfe Colonne” (enemy spies) in areas
unprotected by regular KNIL forces. These were normally old
draftees and volunteers, including foreigners like British


Dutch soldiers of the 10th KNIL Battalion
Palembang, February 14th, 1942

 




American bomber B-17 on fire after Japanese bombardment,
Bandoeng airfield on Java, February 17th 1942


Japanese troops between Buitenzorg and Bandoeng, Java 1942

 




Japanese troops landing trucks at Kragan, Eastern Java 1942


Dutch Marines during an exercise, Java Island

 




HMS cruiser Exeter sinking in the Java Sea, March 1942


Japanese troops crossing a bridge during
their advance towards Batavia, March 1942

 




Japanese bicycle troops entering in Batavia, March 8th 1942


Japanese troops entering Soerabaja, March 1942

 




Japanese tanks with infantry entering Batavia, March 1942


Japanese bicycle troops entering Batavia, March 1942

 

 

 


Recording of the signing of the capitulation agreement.
On the left is Lt-General H. Ter Poorten.
The man scratching his nose is Lt-Col P.G. Mantel
Java, March 1942


After the signing of the capitulation.
In the centre Lt-General Imamura,
right Major-General Bakker and Lt-General Ter Poorten.

 




Japanese soldiers with a group of Dutch POWs, Java 1942


Japanese soldiers captured a group of Dutch soldiers, Java 1942

 




Allied POWs on their way to POW camps, Java Island 1942


1st Lieutenant J.G.M. Nass (Korps Mariniers) in conversation
with an Indonesian native, Java Island, late 1941
Courtecy © Mariniers Museum Rotterdam & Felix Bakker

   

 

 

On 5th March,

ter Poorten convened a conference in Bandoeng which was attended, amongst others, by Maltby and the Army Commander, Sitwell. At this meeting, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief painted a picture of the situation which could not  have been more gloomy.

Bandoeng, he said, might fall at any moment, and if its outer defences were pierced, he did not propose to defend the town.

The native Indonesians were very hostile to the Dutch and this hostility made it quite impossible to retire to the hills and there carry on a guerilla war. Nevertheless, though he himself was prepared to surrender, he would, he said, issue orders to the local Dutch commanders to maintain the fight.

He had, he averred, instructed his troops not only to do so, but also to disregard any order which he might be compelled to issue calling upon them to lay down their arms.

In the event, when discussing the final terms of surrender with General Maruyama, the Japanese Commander-in-Chief, the Dutch Commander subsequently withdrew this order to disobey orders.

The attitude of ter Poorten does not seem to have been shared by General Schilling, commanding at Batavia, who was prepared to emulate the selfless gallantry of Admiral Dorman, but who did not possess enough weight to influence the general situation.

After some discussion, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief was induced to name an area north of Santosa as the spot where British forces should concentrate for a final stand, but he made no secret of his opinion that to do so would be folly or worse.

That grim evening, therefore, Maltby and Sitwell were brought face to face with the imminence of disaster. One slender hope remained. General Schilling, who had not been present at the conference, was understood to favour a retreat to the hills in south-west Java whither, it was said, he had already been able to transfer a certain quantity of stores and ammunition with the courageous intention of prolonging resistance.

Hardly had this faint flame been kindled, when it expired. Ter Poorten made any such move impossible by making Schilling responsible for the defence of Bandoeng while at the same time issuing orders that it was not to be defended, and forbidding any further fighting.

The two British officers took what counsel they could together. The surrender of some of those under their command, those for example at the airfield of Andir, was inevitable.

Andir was part of Bandoeng which had been declared an open town, and the officers and other ranks at Poerwokerta had neither rations nor arms. Their position was, in the circumstances, hopeless. For the rest, Santosa seemed to offer the only chance but, when reconnoitred, it was found to be quite unsuitable for defence and to be inhabited by Dutchmen who had obviously no intention of continuing the struggle.

Throughout this confused period, matters were further complicated by the efforts made to evacuate as many men of the Royal Air Force as could be got away. They left from Poerwokerta, priority of passage being accorded to aircrews and technical staff.

 

 

 By 5th March

seven out of twelve thousand had been taken off, but by then no more ships were available for they had all been sunk and about 2,500 of the air force awaiting evacuation were therefore left stranded in the transit camp.

In these attempts to send away as many skilled men as possible the Dutch gave but little help.

They could not be brought to realize that our airmen were quite unpractised as soldiers and would be of far greater value playing their part as trained members of an aircrew or as technicians on the ground, in some other theatre of war, than they would be trying, without arms or food, to stage a last stand.

Santosa being unsuitable, about 8,000 mixed English and Australian forces, of whom some 1,300 belonged to the Royal Air Force, were concentrated at Garoet; here, too, the Dutch District Civil Administrator, Koffman, proved unsympathetic.

 He feared what he described as ‘a massacre of the whites’ if any guerrilla warfare were attempted, and made no effort to collect supplies or to give any aid to the British forces which had so inconveniently arrived in his district. They were by then in a sorry plight and by then, too, the last embers of resistance in the air had expired.

March,6th.1942

Batavia(Djakarta) Occupied by Dai Miltary Army

 

Japanese bicycle troops entering Batavia, March 1942

 

Enemy troops reached Surabaya

 on the March, 6th.1942 ,

(hans semethini)

fighting their way into the suburbs in the Wonokromo district and advancing along the Surabaya River towards the Gunungsari golf course.

The Samethinis must have heard the artillery fire from American defensive positions, but this ceased on the 7th as Allied resistance crumbled.

 From the direction of the port and naval base came the sound of heavy explosions. Black smoke clouds billowed from burning oil stocks and war material, set ablaze to deny them to the invaders.

 

 

Japanese enter Surabaya

 

This picture (taken from Jacob Zwaan, Gouvernementeel Intermezzo) shows an ex-K.N.I.L. Chevrolet truck loaded with Japanese troops entering Soerabaja in March 1942.


The truck must have been taken over by the Imperial Japanese Army on its way to the city,  a practice not uncommon to invading armies in a hurry that are short of transport.

 

 By 7th March,

 only two undamaged Hurricanes were left and on that day these, the last representatives of a fighter force which, during the campaign in Sumatra and Java, had accounted for about forty aircraft, their own losses amounting to half as much again, were destroyed.

On the next day, 8th, March 1942

came the inevitable climax. About 9 a.m., to their great astonishment, the British commanders received a translation of a broadcast, made an hour previously by ter Poorten, in which he said that all organized resistance in Java had ceased, and that the troops under his command were no longer to continue the fight.

The Dutch land forces, in striking contrast to their Navy and Air Force, had capitulated almost without a struggle. They felt themselves to be no match for the Japanese.

This broadcast revoked all previous decisions and was ter Poorten’s final word. Maltby and Sitwell were placed in an impossible position.

 A decision of decisive import had been taken and promulgated without reference to them.

If, however, they decided to disregard it, their troops, should they continue the struggle, would, under international law, be subject to summary execution when captured. They had few arms, and what there were, were in the hands of men untrained to them; they were surrounded by a hostile native populace, with little food and, for drinking, they had nothing but contaminated water.

 In such conditions and with medicine-chests empty, they were in no state to carry on the fight. Moreover their whereabouts and intentions were well known to the enemy.

 In these circumstances, the two commanders had no alternative but to comply with the Dutch Commander-in-Chief’s order to surrender. Four days later they negotiated terms with the Japanese commander in Bandoeng, Lieutenant General Maruyama. He undertook to treat all prisoners in accordance with the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1929.

How they subsequently fared can be gathered from a description of the arrival in Batavia two years later of a contingent which had been sent to one of the numerous islands of the Malayan archipelago, there to work on airfields.

 It has been set down by a squadron leader, once a Member of Parliament, who survived the horrors of Java, horrors which were repeated in Malaya, in Siam, in Korea, in Japan—anywhere where the Japanese were in control of unarmed and defenceless men—and is one of the few printable pages of a diary kept intermittently during his captivity and hidden from his gaolers:

Of all the sights thatI would like to forget [he writes]I think I would put first some of these returning island drafts being driven into Batavia . . . Imagine a series of barbed wire compounds in the dark with ourselves a gathering furtive stream of all races East and West, in every kind of clothing or none; here an old tunic in rags with a pair of cut down pyjama trousers, there a blanketed shivering malaria case or someone with night-blindness groping along with a stick, blundering over gypsy bundles of still sleeping prisoners.

 At the side runs a camp road with one high floodlight and all of us waiting to see if any of our friends have made the grade and returned.

At last a long procession of stooping figures creeps down the road with jabbering Nips cracking at their shins with a rifle or the flat of a sword. Most of them half naked, and they leading those going blind with pellagra.

Others shambling along with their feet bound up in lousy rags over tropical sores (not our little things an inch across but real horrors), legs swollen up or half paralysed with beri-beri, enormous eyes fallen into yellow crumpled faces like aged gnomes.

 And then a search—God knows what for after months in a desert and weeks at sea. Some Jap would rush up and down hurling anything any of them still possessed all over the place, while as sure as the clock, the dreadful hopeless rain would begin again like a lunatic helplessly fouling his bed.

 Everything swilling into the filthy racing storm gutters; men trying to reach out and rescue a bit of kit and being picked up and hurled bodily back into the ranks; others clutching hold of a wife’s photo or suchlike souvenir of home, small hope for the Nips always liked pinching and being obscene about a woman’s picture.

And at last after two or three hours when everyone was soaking and shivering with cold, the dreary, hunted column would crawl down the road out of the patch of light where the great atlas moths disputed with the bats, away into an isolation compound, with no light, no food, no knowledge of where to find a tap or latrine, with wet bedding or none at all.

The Nips would disappear laughing and cackling back to bed, we faded away to our floor space and all was quiet again; and the evening or the morning was the eight or nine hundredth day and God no doubt saw that it was good.

In few respects does a nation show itself in its true colours more clearly than in its treatment of enemies who have the misfortune to fall into its hands.

 To describe as bestial the behaviour of the Japanese towards their prisoners of war of whatever race or rank is an insult to the animal world.

Of the thousands of Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force officers and airmen who fell into Japanese hands in Malaya, Sumatra, Java and later Burma, 3,462 only were found alive, after due retribution had fallen from the skies above Hiroshima upon the sons of Nippon.

Not by any means all the Air Force was captured in Java. Some, as has been related, were successfully taken by ship to Australia, and a small number to Ceylon. By a combination of good fortune and stern courage a still smaller number escaped.

 Of these, the most remarkable was Wing Commander J. R. Jeudwine, commanding No. 84 Squadron, which it will be recalled lost the last of its Blenheims at the capture of Kalidjati.

Such pilots and ground staff as remained had been sent to the port of Tjilitjap, there to be taken by ship to Australia.

 No ship, however, was forthcoming; the port was in flames, and the ‘Scorpion’, the only seaworthy vessel to be found, was a ship’s lifeboat capable of holding at most twelve.

To try to avoid capture by taking to the woods and jungles near the shore there to await rescue by submarine offered a slender chance.

To seek that help in an open boat seemed certain death. Jeudwine and ten others chose this course and boarded the ‘Scorpion’. Flying Officer C. P. L. Streatfield alone knew the elements of sailing; Pilot Officer S. G. Turner could handle a sextant and was chosen as navigator; the remainder of the crew was made up of another officer and seven Australian sergeants.

On the evening of 7th March,

they put to sea, bound for Australia which the navigator calculated would take sixteen days. It took forty-seven. Through all that time they never lost heart, though as day after day passed in blazing sun or torrential rain, the chances of reaching land grew smaller and smaller.

They played games, held competitions, but found ‘that the mental exercise made us very hungry and that talking and arguing brought on thirst’. Saturday night at sea was kept religiously, a ration of liquor being issued, which was found on closer investigation to be a patent cough cure.

 Their worst experience was the visit paid to them by a young whale, about twice the size of the ‘Scorpion’, who came to rest lying in a curve with its tail under the boat.

 ‘Eventually it made off, and when we had regained the power of movement, we passed round a bottle of Australian “3 Star” Brandy . . . after which we did not care if we saw elephants, pink or otherwise, flying over us in tight formation’. At long last, they sighted land near Frazer Islet, were found by a Catalina flying boat of the United States Navy, and taken to Perth. An American submarine sent at once to Java found no sign of their comrades.

Such men as these typify the spirit of the less fortunate who had fought to the end in circumstances which, from the very beginning, made victory impossible, and even prolonged defence out of the question. It was through no fault of theirs that they did not accomplish more.

The straits to which they were reduced, flying unsuitable aircraft in the worst conditions, were soon reproduced on the same scale farther north. How the Air Force fared in the first campaign of Burma must now be told

 

 

Japanese Period

The fall of Singapore to the Japanese, making the position of the island of Java as the center of the Dutch East Indies government threatened. When about to attack Indonesia, Japan, earlier ruled the oil-producing regions such as the Tarakan in East Kalimantan, Bunyu Island and Balikpapan. Mastery of these areas is essential to support the interests of war by Japanese forces in the Pacific.

 After Borneo, Sumatra, Japan then attacked the Dumai, New Feed and Palembang. Last new Japanese attacked the island of Java by landing troops in Banten, Indramayu and Banyuwangi.

 

In a short time managed to occupy a strategic place on the island of Java. Until finally, on March 8, 1942, the Dutch surrendered unconditionally to the Japanese in kalijati, West Java. So since that’s the Japanese power in Indonesia.

The period of Japanese occupation in Yogyakarta held from

March 6, 1942.

 They immediately occupied the government buildings originally occupied by the Dutch government. The Japanese occupation of the city of Yogyakarta is running very smoothly without any resistance. With the motto of the Three A (Nipon Light of Asia, Asian Leaders and Nipon Nipon Protector Asia), they do the parade by walking and biking to move toward the center of the city of Yogyakarta. This is done to attract the sympathy of the people of Yogyakarta.

 

From Sampit boats were sent to pick up C Company, while D Company was ordered to halt at Kotabesi. C and Staff Company marched from Sampit south but on March 7th 1942

they got word that the Japanese troops had landed 14 km south of them. A platoon of C Company was sent on a reconaissance mission but very soon they came under fire. As the British soldiers had very little ammunition, they broke off contact and returned back to Sampit.

The Brewsters flew their last sortie

on 7 March.

 Altogether, 17 ML-KNIL pilots were killed, and 30 aircraft shot down; 15 were destroyed on the ground, and several were lost to misadventure. Dutch pilots claimed 55 enemy aircraft destroyed.[30]

March 7, 1942,

the Japanese government imposed the Law No. 1 of 1942 that the position of regional leaders still recognized but is under the supervision Kooti Zium Tjokan Kyoku (Japan Governor) who is based in Kantai Tjokan Building (Great House). Center for Army forces stationed in Japan in addition to Kotabaru also in focus at Fort Vredeburg. Japanese troops stationed in Fort Vredeburg is Kempeitei the army’s famous choice of hard and cruel.

In addition Vredeburg fort was also used as a place of detention for prisoners of the Dutch and the Indo Dutch who were arrested. Indonesian politicians also were arrested for holding a successful campaign against Japan.

In order to meet the need of weapons, the Japanese army to bring weapons from Semarang.

Before distribution to the posts which require a first in the store in Fort Vredeburg. Gunpowder warehouse located in every corner of the fort except in the northeast corner. It was the consideration that the security in the region more secure. Placement of gunpowder warehouse in every corner of the fort is intended to ease when the war abruptly.

Japanese mastery over Vredeburg lasted from 1942 until 1945, when the proclamation has been resounding and the nationalization of the buildings which occupied Japan began to be implemented. During that although the de facto controlled by Japan but formal judicial status of the land still belongs Sultanate.

From the description it can be said that during the Japanese occupation (1942-1945) building functioned as a fortress Vredeburg Kempeitei army headquarters, ammunition storehouse and home detention for the Dutch and the Indo RI Netherlands as well as the politicians who oppose the Japanese.

 

 

 

On March,7th.1942

Thhe Dai Nippon Miltary Order no 1 

Undang-undang balatentara Dai Nippon tentang Menjalankan Pemerintahan  di tetapkan di Djakarta (Alamsjah,1987)

On this day, the Dai Nippon army occupied Lembang and at this city there were a meeting between Dai Nippon army led

 

by Toshinari Shoji

 with the DEI army

 

 

 

at Isola Hotel(three photos)

The JDai Nippon ultimate Dutch east Indie Army, If they don’t surrender without condition ,in 24 housr, Bandung will attacked to dawn.

 

Cadets and instructors of the ML-KNIL at Andir, Java Island

At the same time, the last filght from Andir flight Field Buah Batu North Bandung city  to Australia by KNIL flight DC 3 Widevaal  DEI Governor General

 

 

Dr van Mook ,

Dr van der Plass  and commandant KNIL Maj.Gen.l.H.van Oyen.

the first Kalidjati Capitulations’s  meeting in 7th at night night

 was also attended by

 

Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer

 the Governor-General Tjarda van Starkenborg , the official starting date of March 4, 1942 no longer served as the highest pamnglima Armed Forces (also has awarded the Dutch East Indie  General governorship

 

 Dr. van Mook to

 and gave the position

 

 General Hein ter Poorten

the commander of the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger

at that meeting were considered by the Dutch as a mere military surrender,

It is increasingly becoming important due to  so many people think and believe that the events of the Dutch capitulation to the Japanese surrender were total military both civil and after March 8th, 1942 that is no longer the Government of the Netherlands East Indies and indeed  the fact like that

History thus shows that there is  Dutch East Indies government  in exile 

 

 March.7th.1942

Capitulation Dai nippon at Kalidjati military airport, The Dutch Armed Forces surrender

(1) The House of capitulation’s Meeting now

 

 

 

(a) Interior still same meubeleur

 

(b)Exterior

 

(2)The Position of the capitulations meeting participant.

Painted by DR R.Hoesein,given to Dr Iwan.

 

Photographs from different angles on the Dutch capitulation to the Japanese in the House Kalidjati dated March 8, 1942 at 15,99-16.00 this picture without the governor present Tjarda9Tjarda General dated March 7, 1942 evening, no pictures, no paintings of the Japanese officer who looks light light-DrIwan notes)

A. Army Gen. Dai Nippon Edo
B. General Hitosi Immamura

 

C. Chief of staff Seikagura Okazari
D. Translator one
E. Translator  two
F. Army Chief of Staff of the Netherlands bekkers

G. Gen. H.T er Poorten
H. Colonel P.C.Manel
X Japan’s officers

 

 

 

 

  1. Army Gen. Dai Nippon Edo
    B. Jenderasl Immamura

C. Chief of staff Seikagura Okazari
D. Translator one
E. Translator  two

X Japan’s officers

 

Original info

Foto dari sudut yang berbeda tentang kapitulasi Belanda kepada jepang  di Gedung Kalidjati  tanggal 8 Maret 1942 jam 15,99-16.00 gambar ini tanpa gubernur Jendral Tjarda9Tjarda hadir tanggal 7 Maret 1942 malam,tak ada foto,yang ada lukisan dari opsir Jepang yang kelihatan lampu yang menyala-DrIwan notes)

 

 

 

 

  1. B.   Jenderal Edo Angkatan darat Dai Nippon
  2. C.   Jenderal Immamura

 

  1. D.    Kepala staf  Seikagura Okazari
  2. E.    Penterjemah satu
  3. F.    Pertejemah dua
  4. G.   Kepala Staf Tentara Belanda Bekkers

F.Jenderal H.Ter Poorten

G.Colonel P.C.Manel

H.Perwira-perwira Jepang

 

 

(c)The Original Photos

Let General Hitoshi Immamura the command of Dai nippon Army

 

 

had the cpitulation Meeting at kalidjati army port March 7th at night ,Immamura didnot want to meet with the ex DEI Govenorgeneral Tjarda

 

But the meeting was cancancelled because Gen. Yamashita did not want to tolk with ex Governor General who did not have the Military  power anymore. Let Gen Ter Poorten surrender without notice to Dai Nippon Army at Kalijati in first meeting 7th 1942 and they went back and Let Gen Immamura asked Ter Poorten to announce about surrender in the morning 8th 1942 and will back at 10.00 am to Kalidjati with bring the list of DEI army power

 By 7th March,

 only two undamaged Hurricanes were left and on that day these, the last representatives of a fighter force which, during the campaign in Sumatra and Java, had accounted for about forty aircraft, their own losses amounting to half as much again, were destroyed.

 

On the next day,

 8th, Match 1942

came the inevitable climax. About 9 a.m., to their great astonishment, the British commanders received a translation of a broadcast, made an hour previously by ter Poorten, in which he said that all organized resistance in Java had ceased, and that the troops under his command were no longer to continue the fight.

The Dutch land forces, in striking contrast to their Navy and Air Force, had capitulated almost without a struggle. They felt themselves to be no match for the Japanese.

This broadcast revoked all previous decisions and was ter Poorten’s final word. Maltby and Sitwell were placed in an impossible position.

A decision of decisive import had been taken and promulgated without reference to them.

If, however, they decided to disregard it, their troops, should they continue the struggle, would, under international law, be subject to summary execution when captured. They had few arms, and what there were, were in the hands of men untrained to them; they were surrounded by a hostile native populace, with little food and, for drinking, they had nothing but contaminated water.

In such conditions and with medicine-chests empty, they were in no state to carry on the fight. Moreover their whereabouts and intentions were well known to the enemy.

In these circumstances, the two commanders had no alternative but to comply with the Dutch Commander-in-Chief’s order to surrender. Four days later they negotiated terms with the Japanese commander in Bandoeng, Lieutenant General Maruyama. He undertook to treat all prisoners in accordance with the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1929.

How they subsequently fared can be gathered from a description of the arrival in Batavia two years later of a contingent which had been sent to one of the numerous islands of the Malayan archipelago, there to work on airfields.

It has been set down by a squadron leader, once a Member of Parliament, who survived the horrors of Java, horrors which were repeated in Malaya, in Siam, in Korea, in Japan—anywhere where the Japanese were in control of unarmed and defenceless men—and is one of the few printable pages of a diary kept intermittently during his captivity and hidden from his gaolers:

Of all the sights thatI would like to forget [he writes]I think I would put first some of these returning island drafts being driven into Batavia . . . Imagine a series of barbed wire compounds in the dark with ourselves a gathering furtive stream of all races East and West, in every kind of clothing or none; here an old tunic in rags with a pair of cut down pyjama trousers, there a blanketed shivering malaria case or someone with night-blindness groping along with a stick, blundering over gypsy bundles of still sleeping prisoners.

At the side runs a camp road with one high floodlight and all of us waiting to see if any of our friends have made the grade and returned.

At last a long procession of stooping figures creeps down the road with jabbering Nips cracking at their shins with a rifle or the flat of a sword. Most of them half naked, and they leading those going blind with pellagra.

Others shambling along with their feet bound up in lousy rags over tropical sores (not our little things an inch across but real horrors), legs swollen up or half paralysed with beri-beri, enormous eyes fallen into yellow crumpled faces like aged gnomes.

And then a search—God knows what for after months in a desert and weeks at sea. Some Jap would rush up and down hurling anything any of them still possessed all over the place, while as sure as the clock, the dreadful hopeless rain would begin again like a lunatic helplessly fouling his bed.

Everything swilling into the filthy racing storm gutters; men trying to reach out and rescue a bit of kit and being picked up and hurled bodily back into the ranks; others clutching hold of a wife’s photo or suchlike souvenir of home, small hope for the Nips always liked pinching and being obscene about a woman’s picture.

And at last after two or three hours when everyone was soaking and shivering with cold, the dreary, hunted column would crawl down the road out of the patch of light where the great atlas moths disputed with the bats, away into an isolation compound, with no light, no food, no knowledge of where to find a tap or latrine, with wet bedding or none at all.

The Nips would disappear laughing and cackling back to bed, we faded away to our floor space and all was quiet again; and the evening or the morning was the eight or nine hundredth day and God no doubt saw that it was good.

In few respects does a nation show itself in its true colours more clearly than in its treatment of enemies who have the misfortune to fall into its hands.

To describe as bestial the behaviour of the Japanese towards their prisoners of war of whatever race or rank is an insult to the animal world.

Of the thousands of Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force officers and airmen who fell into Japanese hands in Malaya, Sumatra, Java and later Burma, 3,462 only were found alive, after due retribution had fallen from the skies above Hiroshima upon the sons of Nippon.

Not by any means all the Air Force was captured in Java. Some, as has been related, were successfully taken by ship to Australia, and a small number to Ceylon. By a combination of good fortune and stern courage a still smaller number escaped.

Of these, the most remarkable was Wing Commander J. R. Jeudwine, commanding No. 84 Squadron, which it will be recalled lost the last of its Blenheims at the capture of Kalidjati.

Such pilots and ground staff as remained had been sent to the port of Tjilitjap, there to be taken by ship to Australia.

No ship, however, was forthcoming; the port was in flames, and the ‘Scorpion’, the only seaworthy vessel to be found, was a ship’s lifeboat capable of holding at most twelve.

To try to avoid capture by taking to the woods and jungles near the shore there to await rescue by submarine offered a slender chance.

To seek that help in an open boat seemed certain death. Jeudwine and ten others chose this course and boarded the ‘Scorpion’. Flying Officer C. P. L. Streatfield alone knew the elements of sailing; Pilot Officer S. G. Turner could handle a sextant and was chosen as navigator; the remainder of the crew was made up of another officer and seven Australian sergeants.

On the evening of 7th March,

they put to sea, bound for Australia which the navigator calculated would take sixteen days. It took forty-seven. Through all that time they never lost heart, though as day after day passed in blazing sun or torrential rain, the chances of reaching land grew smaller and smaller.

They played games, held competitions, but found ‘that the mental exercise made us very hungry and that talking and arguing brought on thirst’. Saturday night at sea was kept religiously, a ration of liquor being issued, which was found on closer investigation to be a patent cough cure.

Their worst experience was the visit paid to them by a young whale, about twice the size of the ‘Scorpion’, who came to rest lying in a curve with its tail under the boat.

‘Eventually it made off, and when we had regained the power of movement, we passed round a bottle of Australian “3 Star” Brandy . . . after which we did not care if we saw elephants, pink or otherwise, flying over us in tight formation’. At long last, they sighted land near Frazer Islet, were found by a Catalina flying boat of the United States Navy, and taken to Perth. An American submarine sent at once to Java found no sign of their comrades.

Such men as these typify the spirit of the less fortunate who had fought to the end in circumstances which, from the very beginning, made victory impossible, and even prolonged defence out of the question. It was through no fault of theirs that they did not accomplish more.

The straits to which they were reduced, flying unsuitable aircraft in the worst conditions, were soon reproduced on the same scale farther north. How the Air Force fared in the first campaign of Burma must now be told

8th March 1942

 

 

 

 

Status of land still owned Sultanate fortress, but the de facto held by the Dutch government. Because of the strong Dutch influence the Sultanate party can not do much in overcoming the problem of possession of the fort. Until finally the Japanese Army troops occupied the fort in 1942 after the Dutch surrendered to the Japanese with marked with kalijati Agreement in March 1942 in West Java.

On the March, 8th 1942

(hans semethini),

at 9:00 a.m.,

General Ter Poorten, commander-in-chief of Dutch forces, surrendered all of Java to the Japanese.

(correction this info not true,please more info below-Driwan note)

At 11:00 p.m.,

(this was in surabaya and  in bandung 6.30 am Driwan note )

NIROM, the radio network of the Netherlands East Indies, concluded its final broadcast:

“We are closing now. Farewell until better times. Long live the Queen!”

The night deepened and Surabaya passed into a shadow that was to prevail, even under the brightest noonday sun, for the next three and a half years.

 

Oil stocks torched by retreating Dutch forces in Surabaya
Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

Read the study about this situation by DR Ong Hok Ham below.

DEI Army surrender which announced at the newpaper morning

Two Dutch pilots, Jacob van Helsdingen and August Deibel, scored highest with the Buffalo with three victories each.

Following the surrender of the Netherlands East Indies

 

March,8th,1942

 

AT 09:00 ON 8 MAR,

THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF of the Allied forces,

 

Ter Poorten, announced the surrender of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army in Java. In news paper and radio.

and

the second meeting at Kalidjati 10,00 am

with bring the list of DEI army powers. Immamura write in his memoir that they have sign the capitulation acta which never seen anymore (lost),

and at March 8th 1941 at 13.00 am at Kalidjati airfield there was the second meeting t only with the command od DEI Army General Ter Porten and Kastaf Col Bakkers

 

 

after meeting they made a photo in the front of the meeting house which still exist now with the same meubelueur. look the photos below.

(c1) Interior

 

 

 



Recording of the signing of the capitulation agreement.
On the left is Lt-General H. Ter Poorten.
The man scratching his nose is Lt-Col P.G. Mantel
Java, March 1942

 

 

 

Situation now

 

 

 

 

 

(c2) exterior

 

 



After the signing of the capitulation.
In the centre Lt-General Imamura,
right Major-General Bakker and Lt-General Ter Poorten.

 

very difficult to find the original clear photos of the kalidjati capitulation meeting, all the pictures were taken by Dr Huesein at the location now which given to me not so clear, who have the original clear photos please show us. I just found more clear picture above

 

situation now

 

 

 

Read more about Kalidjati Capitulation

(DR,Dr  Roesdy Hoesein, and DR Ong Hok Ham,thesis,)

8 March 1942 is the day of the Dutch East Indies government nai gray because it was the day the determination of the fate of who will rule later in Indonesia.
Housed in a non-commissioned at one home environment Kalidjati airfield (near the West Java Earring) has held a historic meeting between the Netherlands and Japan where it was agreed that the Dutch royal army led by Lieutenant General Hein ter Poorten Surrender unconditionally to the Dai Nippon army 16th  under the leadership

 

 

Let. Gen. Hitoshi Immamura.

March 8 meeting

(corrections the first meeting in 7th night-Dr iwan notes)

was also attended by

 

Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer

the Governor-General Tjarda van Starkenborg , the official starting date of March 4, 1942 no longer served as the highest pamnglima Armed Forces (also has awarded the Dutch East Indie  General governorship

 

Dr. van Mook to-note Dr. Iwan)

and gave the position

 

General Hein ter Poorten

the commander of the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger

at that meeting were considered by the Dutch as a mere military surrender,

It is increasingly becoming important menginggat so many people think and believe that the events of the Dutch capitulation to the Japanese surrender adlah total meliter both civil and after March 6, 1942 that is no longer the Government of the Netherlands East Indies and indeed  the fact like that

History thus shows that there is  Dutch East Indies government  in exile  .

(Dr Iwan has a collection of letters, documents KNIL troops from Java flee  to Australia through the following Hollandia, now Jayapura in Papua west to Brisbane Australia and settled in camp Casino, is one the evidence of the Dutch East Indies government in exile and also the commander of the KNIL also be in Australia when the military hand over power, notes Dr. Iwan)


How to actually sit up the issue of events, many experts who studied up to now but still can not answer completely, the problem is the lack of documents about the events ini.Berbeda owned by British capitulation to the Japanese in Singapore, where there are documents and photographs complete.

Events do not get caught missing Kalijati rimbanya documents and photographs of these events is very little left.

Many authors have revealed this incident from both the Dutch and the Japanese. For example, General Immamura never written much in the memory of this event. Of the Netherlands has recently written a book called “tot Vaarwel Tijden Battery” by JE Bijkerk, then the book “Indie Onder Japanasche” by WHdEllias Indonesia as well as from the DR Ong Hok Ham write a dissertation for the degree requirements of the 1968 literature, ie a book titled “The collapse of the Dutch East Indies”

However the summary it remains to clarify whether the event was just a military penuerahan or delivery of the Dutch East Indies government both de facto and de Jure.

This becomes important because one of the reasons why the Dutch are still felt to stay in power and returned by the Allies to re-colonize Indonesia.
From the writings of the chroniclers as an example of such can be described as follows:
Dr Ong Hok Ham Thesi
Page 264

 

Capitulasi meeting room now still same


General Imamura

 

Commander (Immamura) addressed: “What Toean surrender unconditionally”

Governor-General mengelengkan head to answer: “No.”

Immamura: “If the Lord does not speak as the Supreme Commander of the master dating why here”

(Since negotiations stalled Immamura considered leaving the Netherlands for 10 minutes)

 

(page 266)
After 10 minutes of finished Immamura told the governor General (EX) Tjarda: “I do not want to talk about civil government, the host did not seem to have the ultimate power to answer (my claims), I now forbid the master speak a word of the moment and I just speaking to  the Commander of the army “

When Immamura repeated his demand once again,

 

Ter Poorten

accept to give up on behalf of all the Dutch East Indies.

Governor-General (ex) and then said: “Because of this decision (which is the submission Army), not including my power, then I will leave the room and go” and he stood

SOURCE
J.E. Bijkers
(The bridge has been translated by the publishers see page 316)

Ten minutes had passed, when Immamura with his entourage had to go back once more spatial GB (Governor General) tries to give the city of Bandung, but now looks at all the Japanese generals had lost his temper, although he remains respectful: ‘It seems the better I do not spoke again with diplomats and legal experts, but the next will deal with the military masters “.
(This is the fault of General Immamura, he just wanted to talk and seek military matters and submission of the Armed Forces. So he has achieved what he wanted. Immamura sejogyanya must survive on the surrender of the Indian total belanda.Jadi including “Country”, yet perhaps the time he did not realize, this is not de facto mean a lot, but in so doing the Governor General has received what the government desired in London / Prime Minister Gerbrandy)


 
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
(Ex governor general) Tjada van Stockenborogh feel so yugasmya has ended. She calmly said: “Because here will be dealt with purely military matters, I want to leave this chair. But if you still want to talk about the interests of Mr. People, I am willing for it “

Told later that, in principle, Ter Poorten took delivery of the Dutch East Indies Army unconditionally to Japan and will be broadcast via Nirom (Nederlansch Omroep Maatschapij Indie Radio) Radio Dutch East Indies on the news about the date of delivery of the next day 9 (correction dated 8) in March 1942. And then at 13:30 Ter Poorten have to come back to bring dafter Kalidjati Dutch East Indies Army forces, after which he signed a statement.

The next day’s broadcast at 6:30 Nirom what prompted the Japanese and at (h) one afternoon Ter Poorten and his staff were in Kalidjati back.


 
Recording of the signing of the capitulation agreement.
On the left is Lt-General H. Ter Poorten.
The man scratching his nose is Lt-Col P.G. Mantle
Java, March 8th 1942

In his memoirs General Immamura states that both parties signed the surrender documents are composed of two g-one in Japanese and Dutch about 13:20 hours time Java, from the Dutch Present-General and Chief of Staff H.Ter Poorten Maj.Jen. Bakkers, Let.Kol. Mantle and Captain JDThijn as an interpreter. Still not clear whether the date of 9 (correction  8) in March 1942 in Kalidjati dditanda indeed have such a protocol signed surrender of the Dutch to the Japanese?


A source of scientific history in the Netherlands believe that it never happened. Immamura own generals later (later) insisted that the document existed. Maybe when the recapitulation of Japan to the Netherlands in 1946, many documents were destroyed and burned so that the Japanese side can not prove it now.
(See photo outside the building after  th the signing of the capitulation agreement  from the Netherlands to Japan during the day, Dr Iwan Notes)

 

After the signing of the capitulation.
In the center Lt-General Imamura,
Major-General right Bakker and Lt-General Ter Poorten.

 


The historic building (in Kalidjati) still stand tall, well groomed with a neat (and tidy). This building was once used but now the Air Force Air Force and local government initiatives (local government) as a museum of local dimnfaatkan Dutch capitulation to the Japanese.

According to the Base Commander (Air) Mat. Let.Kol aviator Sadjad Hasan, now has many visitors who come there especially foreigners, especially the Japanese Veteran Kalidjati every year each perinagtan Kai Japanese invasion of Java ang bring their children and grandchildren. Merka will reminisce and tell to the generation of the event below. It seems that the Netherlands is less use of it.

There is a local government’s plans for more mengalang Local tourism potential of this sort of warning about the Second World War as Santosa Island of Singapore (English to Japanese capitulation of Bataan and Corregidor or in the Philippines)

 

 

 

Dr. Iwan’s Note
In the Books “Bandoeng”, I read that the incident was on March 7, 1942 night, Immamura ban photo taken, fortunately there is a painting made ​​by a Japanese officer where the evening meeting looks a lamp lighting

Thank You Dr Roesjdi Hasan for your amazing Info of Kalidjati Capitu;lation and I hope the more info will informed you,also for another collectors and scholar historian please comment and send more info

Original info

8 maret 1942

adalah  hari kelabu bagi pemerintah Hindia belanda karena hari itu adalah hari penentuan tentang nasib siapa yang akan berkuasa kemudian di Indonesia.

Bertempat disebuah rumah bintara dalam lingkungan lapangan terbang Kalidjati(dekat subang Jawa barat)  telah diadakan pertemuan bersejarah antara pihak Belanda dan Jepang dimana telah disepakati bahwa tentara kerajaan belanda yang dipimpin oleh Letnan Jendral Hein ter Poorten Menyerah tanpa syarat kepada Balatentara dai Nippon ke 16 dibawah pimpinan Letenan Jenderal Hitoshi Immamura.

 

Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer

Pertemuan tanggal 8 Maret ini juga dihadiri oleh gubernur Jenderal Tjarda van starkenborgh yang resminya terhitung tanggal 4 Maret 1942 tidak lagi menjabat sebagai pamnglima tertinggi Angkatan Perang(juga telah menyerahkan jabatan gubernur Jenderal Hindia bdelanda kepada Dr van Mook-catatan dr Iwan)  dan telah menyerahkan jabatan tersebut pada Jendral ter Poorten  sehingga pertemuan ini dianggap oleh pihak belanda sebagai penyerahan militer semata,

Hal ini semakin menjadi begitu penting menginggat banyak orang menganggap  dan meyakini bahwa peristiwa kapitulasi belanda kepada jepang adlah penyerahan total baik meliter maupun sipil artinya setelah 6 Maret 1942 tidak ada lagi Pemerintah Hindia Belanda (di Indonesia yang ada pemerintahan pengasingan di australia)dan memang  kenyataannya.demikian.

Sejarah kemudian menunjukkan yang ada adalah Pemerintihan hindia belanda dalam pengansinga dibawan gubernur General Dr van Mook di Australia.(Dr Iwan memiliki koleksi dokumen surat jalan tentara KNIL menuju Brisbane Australia liwat Hollandia,sekarang Jayapura Papua barat menuju Australia dan bermukim di camp Casino, ini salah satu bukti adanya pemerintahan Hindia belanda dalam pengasingan dan juga komandan KNIl juga berada di Australia saat penyerah kekuasaan militer ini-catatan Dr Iwan)

Bagaimana sebenarnya duduk pesoalan kejadian, banyak ahli yang meneliti sampai sekarang namun tetap tidak dapat menjawab  dengan tuntas, masalahnya adalah kurangnya dokumen-dokumen dimiliki tentang peristiwa ini.Berbeda dengan kapitulasi Inggris kepada jepang di singapura ,dimana ada dokumen dan foto-foto lengkap .

Peristiwa kalijati dokumennya hilang tidak ketahuan rimbanya dan foto-foto peristiwa tersebut sangat sedikit yang tersisa.

Banyak penulis telah membeberkan peristiwa ini baik dari pihak Belanda maupun pihak Jepang. Misalnya Jenderal Immamura pernah menulis memorinya  dan banyak menyebut peristiwa ini . Dari pihak Belanda  baru-baru ini ditulis sebuah buku berjudul “Vaarwel tot Batere Tijden” oleh J.E. Bijkerk , kemudian buku “Indie Onder Japanasche” oleh W.H.d.Ellias demikian juga dari pihak Indonesia DR Ong Hok Ham menulis sebagai disertasinya untuk persyaratan gelar sarjana sastra tahun 1968, Yaitu buku berjudul “Runtuhnya Hindia Belanda”

Namum semuanya tetap sumir untuk menjelaskan apakah  peristiwa itu hanya sekedar penuerahan militer  atau penyerahan Pemerintah hindia Belanda baik de fakto dan de Jure.

Hal ini menjadi menjadi penting karena menjadi salah satu alas an kenapa pihak Belanda masih merasa tetap berkuasa dan kembali dengan pihak sekutu untuk menjajah kembali Indonesia.

Dari tulisan para penulis  sejarah sebagai contoh misalnya dapat diuraikan sebagai berikut :

Thesi DR Ong Hok Ham

Halaman 264


General Imamura

Panglima(Immamura) menyapa:”Apa toean menyerah tanpa syarat”

Gubernur Jenderal mengelengkan kepala untuk menjawab:”Tidak”

Immamura:”Jika Tuan tidak bicara selaku Panglima tertinggi mengapa tuan datang kesini”

(Karena perundingan dianggap macet Immamura meninggalkan pihak Belanda selama 10 menit)

(halaman 266)

Setelah 10 menit selesai Immamura mengatakan kepada gubernur Jendral(EX) Tjarda :” Saya tidak mau berbicara tentang pemerintahan sipil ,tuan rupanya tidak memiliki kekuasaan tertinggi untuk menjawab(tuntutan saya), Saya sekarang melarang tuan berbicara satu katapun dari saat ini dan saya hanya berbicara dengan Panglima tentara”

Ketika Immamura mengulangi tuntutannya sekali lagi, Ter Poorten menerima untuk menyerah atas nama seluruh Hindia Belanda.

Gubernur Jenderal(ex)  lalu mengatakan :” Karena pengambilan keputusan demikian(yang dimaksud penyerahan Tentara), tidak termasuk kekuasaan saya,maka saya akan meninggalkan ruangan dan pergi” lalu ia berdiri

SUMBER

J.E. Bijkers

(sudah diterjemahkan oleh penerbit Jembatan lihat halaman 316)

Sepuluh menit baru saja berlalu ,ketika Immamura dengan para pengiringnya telah masuk lagi keruangan  sekali lagi GB(Gubernur General)  mencoba untuk menyerahkan kota Bandung , tetapi sekarang tampak sekali jendral Jepang  itu telah kehilangan kesabarannya, walaupun ia tetap hormat:’ Tampaknya lebih baik saya tidak  berbicara  lagi dengan diplomat dan ahli hokum, tetapi selanjutnya akan berhubungan dengan pihak militer tuan-tuan”.

(ini merupakan kesalahan  dari Jenderal Immamura , dia hanya mau berbicara  dan mengusahakan soal –soal militer  dan penyerahan Angkatan Perang. Jadi dia telah mencapai apa yang diinginkannya . Immamura sejogyanya harus bertahan pada penyerahan total Hindia belanda.Jadi termasuk”Negeri” , namum mungkin pada saat itu dia tidak menyadari , Defacto hal ini tidak berarti banyak,tetapi dengan demikian Gubernur General telah mendapatkan apa yang dikehendaki pemerintah di London/Perdana Menteri Gerbrandy)

 

Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy

(Ex Gubernur general)Tjada van Stockenborogh  merasa dengan demikian yugasmya telah berakhir .Dengan tenang ia berkata:” Karena disini akan ditangani soal-soal militer murni , saya ingin meninggalkan  Kursi ini,. Namun jika Tuan masih ingin membicarakan kepentingan Penduduk , saya bersedia untuk itu”

 

Diceritakan kemudian  bahwa pada prinsipnya  Ter Poorten menerima penyerahan Tentara Hindia belanda tanpa syarat  kepada Jepang  dan akan menyiarkannya melalui NIROM(  Nederlansch Indie Radio Omroep Maatschapij) Radio hindia belanda tentang  berita tentang Penyerahan tersebut besok hari tanggal 9 (koreksi tanggal 8)  Maret 1942. Dan selanjutnya  pada pukul 13.30  Ter Poorten harus datang kembali  ke Kalidjati membawa dafter kekuatan Tentara Hindia Belanda , setelah itu ia menanda tangani  suatu keterangan.

 

Esok harinya  NIROM jam 6.30  memang menyiarkan  apa yang diminta  pihak Jepang dan pukul(jam) satu  siang Ter Poorten  beserta staf  sudah berada di Kalidjati kembali.

 

Recording of the signing of the capitulation agreement.
On the left is Lt-General H. Ter Poorten.
The man scratching his nose is Lt-Col P.G. Mantel
Java, March 8th  1942

 

Dalam memoirnya Jenderal Immamura menyatakan bahwa kedua pihak menanda tangani dua dokumen  penyerahan yang disusun g-masing  dalam bahasa Jepang dan Belanda kurang lebih jam 13.20  waktu Jawa, Dari pihak Belanda Hadir  Jenderal H.Ter Poorten dan  Kepala Staf Maj.Jen. Bakkers, Let.Kol. Mantle  dan Kapten  J.D.Thijn  selaku penterjemah . Masih tidak  dapat dipastikan  apakah tanggal 9 (koresksi 8)  Maret 1942  di Kalidjati memang  benar telah dditanda tangani semacam protocol  penyerahan dari  Belanda kepada jepang ?

Suatu  sumber sejarah Ilmiah  di Negeri Belanda  yakin bahwa hal itu tidak pernah terjadi . Jenderal Immamura sendiri  belakangan (kemudian) bersikeras bahwa  dokumen itu pernah ada . Mungkin ketika  rekapitulasi Jepang  kepada belanda  pada tahun 1946  banyak dokumen  yang dihancurkan  dan dibakar  sehingga pihak  Jepang tidak  dapat membuktikannya sekarang.

( Lihat foto di luar gedung setelah enanda tanganan kalitulasi dari Belanda kepada jepang disiang hari-Dr Iwan Notes)



After the signing of the capitulation.
In the centre Lt-General Imamura,
right Major-General Bakker and Lt-General Ter Poorten.

 

Gedung bersejarah tersebut( di Kalidjati) masih berdiri tegak, terawat  dengan apik(baik dan rapi) . Gedung ini pernah dipakai  AURI  tetapi sekarang atas prakarsa AURI dan PEMDA(pemerintah daerah)  setempat dimnfaatkan sebagai museum kapitulasi belanda kepada Jepang.

 

 

 

Menurut komandan Pangkalan (Udara) Kalijati .Let.Kol penerbang Hasan Sadjad, sekarang sudah banyak pengunjung  yang dating kesana terutama orang asing , pihak Veteran Jepang  terutama Kalidjati Kai setiap tahun  tiap perinagtan invasi Jepang  ke Jawa ang membawa anak  dan cucu mereka . Merka akan bernostalgia  dan bercerita  pada generasi dibawahnya  tentang peristiwa tersebut .Nampaknya pihak Belanda kurang memanfaatkannya.

Ada rencana  pihak Pemerintah daerah Setempat  untuk lebih  mengalang potensi turisme ini kurang lebih  semacam tempat peringatan Perang dunia Kedua seperti dipulau santosa Singapore (kapitulasi Inggris  kepada jepang atau Bataan  dan Corregidor di Filipina)

 

Catatan dr Iwan

Dari Buku Bandung, saya membaca bahwa kejadian ini pada tanggal 7 Maret 1942 malam hari,Immamura melarang diambil photo, untung ada sebuah lukisan yang dibuat oleh opsir Jepang dimana rapat malam hari terlihat adanya penerangan  lampu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dai Nippon Bicycle army troops  entering Batavia(now Jakarta)

Japanese bicycle troops entering Batavia, Java Island, Dutch East Indies, March 8th 1942



Japanese bicycle troops entering Batavia, March.8th, 1942

Bandung and Surabaya and all Java occupied by Dai Nippon army

on 8 March 1942,

17 ML-KNIL Buffalos

were transferred to the USAAF and RAAF in Australia

(3).March,9th.1942

After capitulation Kalijati, General h.Ter Porten became POW

Look his Identity Card below

 

The 9th of March,

when we were in the recreation-room from our boarding-school while all the girls were looking through the windows into the streets,

the Japanese entered Malang.

Henny and I stood there together.

They came on bicycles or were just walking. They looked terrible, all with some cloth attached at the back of their caps, they looked very strange to us. This was a type of Japanese we had never seen before. Much later I learnt that many Koreans also served as shock-troops in the Japanese Army.

The nuns went to the chapel to pray for all those living in the Dutch East Indies.  But the Dutch East Indies is lost forever.

Dutch a forbidden language

My father found it too dangerous for my mother and youngest sister Jansje to stay with him at Sumber Sewu, because there were still small groups of Australian, English and Dutch military fighting in the mountains in East Java against the Japanese troops, notwithstanding the fact that the Dutch East Indies government and Army had surrendered.

My mother and Jansje came to stay at our boarding school [at Malang], where there were small guest rooms. We all stayed inside the building, only the Indonesians working for the nuns went outside to do the shopping.

A few days later we received the order that all Dutch schools had to be closed down, so several parents came to take their daughters. The school looked empty and abandoned. We all felt very sad, our happy schooldays were over.

Dutch became a strictly forbidden language. Luckily we had a huge library at school so I had lots of books to read in those days.

A few weeks later my father phoned my mother and said that the four of us should return to Sumber Sewu as he had heard that Malang was no longer a safe place for us to stay.

I was really very happy to be back home. Rasmina, our cook, and Pa Min, our gardener, were happy to have my mother back again. There was absolutely nothing to fear on the plantation, the “Indonesians” (actually Javanese and Madurese) on the plantation were nice as ever and we didn’t see any Japanese soldiers around.

Indeed we were safer at Sumber Sewu. Life began to feel like a vacation,

I started walking with my father again and visited the local kampung (village) and since we had no more newspapers to read, I started reading several of my parent’s books.

We received a Japanese flag, together with the order that the flag had to be respected and had to hang in the garden in front of our house.

My father no longer received his salary, just like all the other Dutch, British, Americans and Australians, living in Indonesia. All our bank accounts were blocked; no one was even allowed to touch their own money.

We still had rabbits and eggs to eat, and several vegetables my mother and Pa Min had planted long before the war in the kitchen garden, and we had many fruit trees.

The thought that we might have to leave Sumber Sewu made me feel very sad. To me this plantation was a real paradise on earth, with its pond in front of the house with the two proud banyan trees, the lovely garden my mother and Pa Min had made, the kitchen where Rasmina made so many delicious meals. The sounds early in the morning, and the sounds in the evening were also very special, I can still remember them so well.