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Encyclopedia > Indonesian National Revolution
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Indonesian National Revolution
Date August 17, 1945 - December 27, 1949
Location Indonesia
Result Netherlands recognized Indonesian Independence
Casus belli Indonesian Declaration of Independence
Japanese surrender in World War II
Combatants
 Indonesia Flag of Netherlands Netherlands
Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom
Commanders
Soekarno
Gen. Sudirman
Simon Spoor, Hubertus van Mook, Sir Philip Christison, EC Mansergh
This article describes the events that led to Indonesian independence from the Netherlands in the late 1940s. For the events related to the 1998 fall of President Suharto, see Indonesian 1998 Revolution.
This article is part of
the History of Indonesia series
Pre-colonial Indonesia (before 1602)
Srivijaya (3rd century–1400)
Sailendra (8th Centry-832)
Kingdom of Mataram (752-1045)
Kediri (1045–1221)
Singhasari (1222–1292)
Majapahit Empire (1293–1500)
Mataram Sultanate (1500s to 1700s)
Dutch East Indies (1602–1945)
Anglo-Dutch Java War (1810–1811)
Padri War (1821–1837)
Java War (1825–1830)
Aceh War (1873–1904)
National Revival (1899–1942)
Japanese Occupation (1942–1945)
Independence (1945–1965)
Declaration of Independence (1945)
National Revolution (1945–1949)
Asian-African Conference (1955)
Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (1962–1965)
New Order (1965–1998)
Overthrow of Sukarno (1965–1966)
Act of Free Choice (1969)
Reformasi (1998–present)
Revolution of 1998 (1996–1998)
2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake (2004–present)
[Edit this template]

The Indonesian National Revolution or Indonesian War of Independence is the name of the conflict between Indonesia and the Netherlands from the time of Indonesia's declaration of independence in 1945 and the Netherlands recognition of independence in 1949. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1945 (MCMVL) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (362nd in leap years). ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... Casus belli is a modern Latin language expression meaning the justification for acts of war. ... The Indonesian Declaration of Independence was officially read at exactly 10. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... Image File history File links Flag_of_Indonesia_(bordered). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Netherlands. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Sukarno Sukarno (June 6, 1901 - June 21, 1970) was the first President of Indonesia. ... General Sudirman General Sudirman (January 24, 1916 - January 29, 1950; also spelled Soedirman) was the military commander of Republican Indonesian forces during Indonesias fight for independence from the Dutch in the 1940s. ... Haji Mohammad Soeharto (born June 8, 1921), more commonly referred to as simply Soeharto (Suharto in the English-speaking world), is a former Indonesian military and political leader. ... In 1998, following over thirty years of military dictatorship under General Suharto, the 1998 Indonesian Revolution led to the introduction of democracy. ... The nation-state known in modern times as Indonesia encompasses an archipelago of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretching along the Equator. ... Image File history File links Historyofindonesia. ... Map of Southeast Asia at end of 12th century. ... At a point in time when Sri Vijaya had been the established leader in the Southeast Asian region for about 100 years, the Sailendra Kingdom of Java emerged. ... Mataram was an Indianized kingdom based in Central Java between the 8th and 10th centuries CE. The centre of the kingdom was moved from Central Java to East Java by Mpu Sindok. ... Kediri was a Hindu kingdom based in East Java from 1045 to 1221. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Majapahit Empire was an Indianized kingdom based in eastern Java from 1293 to around 1500. ... This article is about a historic kingdom on Java in what is now Indonesia. ... The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, (Dutch: Nederlands-Indië) was the name of the colonies set up by the Dutch East India Company, which came under administration of the Netherlands during the 19th century (see Indonesia). ... Anglo-Dutch Java War in 1810-1811 was a war between Great Britain and Netherlands fought entirely on Island of Java in colonial Indonesia The governor-general of the Dutch East Indies, Herman Willem Daendels (1762_1818), fortified the island of Java against possible British attack. ... The Padri War also called Minangkabau War is the name given to the skirmishes fought by Dutch troops from 1821 to 1837 in West Sumatra, Indonesia. ... The Java War was fought in Java between 1825 and 1830. ... The Aceh War (also Achinese War) took place from 1873-1904 between the Netherlands and the people of Aceh in Sumatra as the Dutch attempted to colonize this independent state on the northern-most tip of Sumatra. ... The period of the Dutch Ethical Policy and Indonesian National Revival was a period in Indonesian history spanning from 1899 until the Japanese Invasion in 1942. ... The Japanese occupation of Indonesia refers to the point in the history of Indonesia during the World War II between 1942 and 1945 while Japan ruled Indonesia. ... The Indonesian Declaration of Independence was officially read at exactly 10. ... The Asian-African Conference was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, organized by Egypt, Indonesia, Burma, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, and Pakistan. ... The Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation was an intermittent war over the future of the island of Borneo, between British-backed Malaysia and Indonesia in 1962-1966. ... The New Order (Indonesian: Orde Baru) is the term coined by former Indonesian President Suharto to characterize his regime as he came to power in 1966. ... The overthrow of Sukarno and the violence that followed it was a conflict in Indonesia from 1965 to 1966 between forces loyal to then-President Sukarno and the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) and forces loyal to a right-wing military faction led by General Abdul Haris Nasution and Maj. ... Act of Free Choice (Indonesian: Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat [PEPERA]) was the title of a 1969 referendum in the former Dutch territory of Western New Guinea, to determine whether the territory would become part of Indonesia or maintain independence. ... The Reformation (in bahasa Indonesia Reformasi) is the name commonly used for the present era in the history of Indonesia. ... The Indonesian 1998 Revolution is the term given to a series of protests and political manoeuverings that brought about the end of the rule of the three-decade long New Order government of the autocratic President Suharto of Indonesia. ... Indonesia was seriously affected by the earthquake and tsunami created by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake on 26 December 2004, swamping the northern and western coastal areas of Sumatra, and the smaller outlying islands off Sumatra. ...

Contents

Aftermath of World War Two

After the collapse of Japan at the end of World War II, Indonesian nationalists under Sukarno took the opportunity to declare independence from Dutch colonial rule. With the assistance of indigenous army units created by the Japanese, an independent Republic of Indonesia with Sukarno as its president was proclaimed on August 17, 1945. Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... Sukarno (June 6, 1901 – June 21, 1970) was the first President of Indonesia. ...


The Netherlands, only recently freed from German occupation itself, refused to accept the independence proclamation but initially lacked the means to respond, allowing Republican forces to establish de facto control over parts of the huge archipelago, particularly in Java and Sumatra[citation needed]. On the other hand, in the less densely populated outer islands, no effective control was established by either party, leading at times to chaotic conditions.[citation needed] De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... Java (Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia, and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. ... Sumatra (also spelled Sumatara and Sumatera) is the sixth largest island of the world (approximately 470,000 km²) and is the third largest island of Indonesia after Borneo (of which Kalimantan belongs to Indonesia) and New Guinea. ...


Battle in Surabaya

In a prelude to the Battle of Surabaya, on September 19, 1945, a group of Dutch citizens raised the Dutch flag outside the Hotel Yamato (formerly Hotel Orange) in Surabaya. This provoked Nationalist Indonesian militia who overran the Japanese guards and tore down the Dutch flag, replacing it with the Indonesian flag. The leader of the Dutch group, Mr Pluegman, was killed by the militia.[citation needed] Flag ratio: 2:3 The national flag of Indonesia which is known as Sang Merah Putih in Indonesian is based on the flag of the Majapahit empire, back in the 13th century. ...


On October 25, 1945, the United Kingdom sent in 6000 lightly armed British-India troops from 49th Indian Infantry Brigade, 23rd Division, led by Brigadier General A.W.S. Mallaby to take over Surabaya from the Japanese and soon found itself in conflict with the Republic Indonesia (RI) troops and militia.


British forces brought in a small Dutch military contingent which it termed the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration (NICA). The British became worried about the increasing boldness and apparent strength of the nationalists, who attacked demoralized Japanese garrisons across the archipelago with crude weapons like bamboo spears in order to seize their arms. The main goals of British troops in Surabaya were seizing weapons from Japanese and Indonesian troops/militia, taking care of former prisoner of war (POW), and sending the remaining Japanese troops back to Japan. The Japanese troops surrendered their weapons, but more than 20000 Indonesian troops and several thousands militia refused to hand over their weapons.


On October 26, 1945, Brigadier General, A.W.S Mallaby reached an agreement with Mr Suryo, the Republic of Indonesia's governor of East Java that British will not ask Indonesian troops/militia to hand over their weapons. Unfortunately there is a misunderstanding between British troops HQ in Jakarta (led by Lieutenant General Sir Philip Christison) and British troops HQ in Surabaya.


On October 27, 1945, a British plane from Jakarta dropped leaflet in Surabaya that all Indonesian troops and militia should surrender their weapons. The leader of Indonesian troops and militia got angry and on October 28, 1945, they attacked British troops in Surabaya. More than 200 ill-prepared British troops were killed by the surprise attack. To avoid defeat, Brig. Gen. Mallaby ask Major General Douglas Cyril Hawthorn (the commander of British 23rd division) and Ir. Soekarno, the president of RI to come to Surabaya and clear up the misunderstanding. On October 29, 1945, Ir. Sukarno, Hatta (the vice president of RI), and Amir Syarifuddin Harahap (the minister of information of RI) come to Surabaya for a negotiation with Maj. Gen. Hawthorn and Brig. Gen. Mallaby. On the noon of October 30, 1945, a new agreement was reached and the trapped British troops will be evacuated from Surabaya to Jakarta. Maj. Gen Hawthorn and RI leaders left Surabaya and went back to Jakarta.


Brigadier General Mallaby spread the news about the new agreement to his troops around Surabaya. When his car approached the British troops post on Internatio building near Jembatan merah, his car was surrounded by Indonesian militia that had surrounded the building. Fearing that their commander will be attacked by the militia, the British troops on the Internatio building led by Major Venu K. Gopal fired to the air to disperse the Indonesian militia. The militia fired back at the British troops. Captain R.C. Smith throw grenade at the militia, but the grenade missed its target and unfortunately fell on the Brigadier Mallaby's car. The car exploded, caught fire and Mallaby and his driver were killed.


Lt. Gen. Sir Philip Christison got angry when he heard that Brig. Gen. Mallaby was killed in Surabaya. The initial report blamed Indonesian militia for the death of Brig. Gen. Mallaby. Lt. Gen. Sir Philip Christison sent additional 24,000 fully armed Indian 5th Division troops led by Major General E. C. Mansergh, with 21 M4 Sherman tanks, 2 cruisers and 3 destroyers to conquer Surabaya. On November 9, 1945, British issued an ultimatum for Indonesian troops and militia to surrender all their weapons. On November 10, 1945, British troops began to bomb Surabaya from air and sea. The fierce battle in Surabaya went on for 10 days. On November 10, 1945, two British planes were shotdown by Indonesia troops. One of the passengers, Brigadier General Robert Guy Loder-Symonds was badly injured and passed away on the following day. On November 20, 1945, British troops managed to conquer Surabaya with more than 1,000 casualties. More than 20,000 Indonesian troops, militia and residence of Surabaya were killed during the battle. Most of Surabaya were destroyed during the battle.


The battle for Surabaya was the bloodiest single engagement by British troops in the war and demonstrated the determination of the rag-tag nationalist forces. It also made the British reluctant to be sucked into a war it did not need, considering how outstretched their resources in southeast Asia were during the period after the Japanese surrender. On November 1946, the last British troops left Indonesia. The "10 November Hero" statue in Surabaya commemorated this epic battle. 10 November is declared as "Hero Day" in Indonesia.


Bandung Sea of Fire

During the Dutch Politionele acties - two military operations to reestablish colonial rule - an ultimatum was given for the Indonesian combatants in Bandung to leave. In response, the southern part of Bandung was deliberately burned down in an act of defiance as they left on March 24th 1946; an event which came to be known as Bandung Lautan Api (Bandung Sea of Fire)[1]. A heroic song "Halo-halo Bandung" was sang along by these hundreds of patriots. The politionele acties (Dutch: police actions) were the two military operations that the Netherlands undertook on Java and Sumatra against the Republic of Indonesia to reestablish colonial rule after World War Two. ... Bandung is also the name of a Malaysian drink. ...


During the evacuation process on March 1946, Mohammad Toha, a member of Indonesian militia smuggled several sticks of dynamite to a large scale ammunition dump guarded by Japanese and Dutch troops, near the Dutch military Headquarters in Dayeuh Kolot. After overpowering the guards, he put the dynamite in several warehouses full of ammunition. He detonated the dynamite killing himself and several Dutch, Japanese troops in the area. [citation needed] The explosion created a small lake ("situ") in Dayeuh Kolot. The main street in the area is called "Mohammad Toha Street".


Dutch reaction

As a consequence, the Dutch were asked to take back control, and the number of NICA forces soon increased dramatically. Initially the Netherlands negotiated with the Republic and came to an agreement at Linggajati, in which the 'United States of Indonesia' were proclaimed, a semi-autonomous federal state keeping as its head the Queen of the Netherlands. The Linggadjati Agreement was a political accord concluded on November 15, 1946 by the Dutch administration and the unilaterally declared Republic of Indonesia. ...


Both sides increasingly accused each other of violating the agreement, and as consequence the hawkish forces soon won out on both sides. A major point of concern for the Dutch side was the fate of members of the Dutch minority in Indonesia, most of whom had been held under deplorable conditions in concentration camps by the Japanese. The Indonesians were accused of not cooperating in liberating these prisoners. A concentration camp is a large detention centre created for political opponents, aliens, specific ethnic or religious groups, civilians of a critical war-zone, or other groups of people, often during a war. ...


Massacre in Makassar

From December 11, 1946 to February 21, 1947, DST (Dutch Special Troops) led by Captain Westerling attack and massacred pro Indonesian militia and its supporters in Makassar, South Sulawesi. Several thousands civilian are killled by the special troops without any trial. Raymond Pierre Paul Westerling (August 31, 1919 - November 26, 1987), nicknamed the Turk, was a Dutch commander. ...


Police actions and guerilla war

The Netherlands government then mounted a large military force to regain what it believed was rightfully its territory. The two major military campaigns that followed were declared as mere 'police actions' to downplay the extent of the operations. There were atrocities and violations of human rights in many forms by both sides in the conflict. Some 6,000 Dutch and 150,000 Indonesians are estimated to have been killed. The politionele acties (Dutch: police actions) were the two military operations that the Netherlands undertook on Java and Sumatra against the Republic of Indonesia to reestablish colonial rule after World War Two. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ...


Madiun Affair

On September 18, 1948, members of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and Indonesian Socialist Party (PSI) led by Muso declared Indonesian Soviet Republic in Madiun. This rebellion against RI was quashed by Indonesian troops. RM Suryo, the governor of East Java, several police officers and religious leaders were killed by the rebels.


RI Government in Exile

Based on previous "Police Actions" by Dutch troops, the strategy council ("Dewan Siasat") of RI had prepared an emergency plan to create "government in exile" in Sumatra or overseas. Mr Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, the minister of prosperity went to Bukittinggi, West Sumatra as a preparation for this emergency plan.


On December 19, 1948, fully armed Dutch troops and paratrooper started an invasion called "2nd Police Actions". The city of Jogyakarta and Surakarta were conquered by Dutch troops.


The president, the vice president and all but 6 of RI ministers were captured by Dutch troops. The leaders were exiled into the island of Bangka.


In Jogyakarta, Surakarta, and surrounding areas, Indonesian forces refused to surrender and continued to wage a major guerrilla war under the leadership of Indonesian military chief of staff, General Sudirman who had escaped the Dutch onslaught. General Sudirman General Sudirman (January 24, 1916 - January 29, 1950; also spelled Soedirman) was the military commander of Republican Indonesian forces during Indonesias fight for independence from the Dutch in the 1940s. ...


Before being captured by the Dutch, the RI president had send a telegraph message to Mr. Sjafruddin Prawiranegara in Bukittinggi giving him a mandate to create "RI government in exile".


A similar telegraph was sent to Mr. Maramis, Indonesian Minister of Finance in Srilanka. Unfortunately Mr Sjafruddin Prawiranegara failed to received the message on December 1948. He finally received the message in 1949.


Based on the emergency plan, after the Dutch invasion, on December 22, 1948, Mr. Sjafruddin Prawiranegara established "RI government in exile" (PDRI) in Bukittinggi, Sumatra.


PDRI was forced to move from place to place in West Sumatra, because Dutch troops try to capture its leaders and destroy PDRI. In 1949, PDRI government had contacted the leaders Indonesian forces in Java and the 4 RI government ministers in Java who had escaped from Dutch troops.


Based on Roem-Royen peace agreement on July 13, 1949, Dutch troops will be pulled out from RI regions and the RI leaders will be freed. PDRI is no longer needed, therefore Mr. Sjafruddin Prawiranegara disbanded PDRI and returned the mandate back to the President of RI.


General Attacks

After the 2nd "Police Actions" (December 19, 1948), Dutch claimed that RI was destroyed and no longer exist.


To disprove this Dutch statement, Gen. Soedirman and Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX plan to attack and conquer Jogyakarta for several hours as a proof that RI still exist. General Sudirman General Sudirman (January 24, 1916 - January 29, 1950; also spelled Soedirman) was the military commander of Indonesian forces during the countrys fight for independence from the Dutch in the 1940s. ...


On the early morning of March 11, 1949, large number of Indonesian troops and militia led by Lt. Col. Suharto attack Dutch troops in Jogyakarta. They managed to throw out the Dutch troops from the city and control the city for 6 hours. To re-conquer the city, Dutch troops brought reinforcements (tanks) from Ambarawa and Semarang in the afternoon. This Indonesian scale attack is called Serangan Oemoem (general attack). Haji Mohammad Soeharto (born June 8, 1921), more commonly referred to as simply Soeharto (Suharto in the English-speaking world), is a former Indonesian military and political leader. ...


Similar attack against Dutch troops in Surakarta was led by Lt. Col. Slamet Riyadi on August 7, 1949.


Transfer of Sovereignity

The continuing existence of Republican resistance following the second 'Police action', paired with active diplomacy, soon thereafter led to the end of colonial rule. Journalistic opinion in much of the rest of the world, notably in the United States of America, began to disfavor the Dutch. The Netherlands government was forced back into negotiations, and after the Round Table conference in The Hague, the Dutch finally transfer of the Sovereignity of Dutch East Indies to Indonesia, as a federal state, on December 27, 1949. December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (362nd in leap years). ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ...


In the following decades, a diplomatic row between the governments of Indonesia and the Netherlands persisted, over the officially recognized date of Indonesian independence. Indonesians commemorate as the anniversary of the August 17, 1945 day of Sukarno's proclamation as their official independence day holiday. The Netherlands, having taken in a number of loyalist exiles who (for various reasons) viewed Sukarno's government as illegitimate, would only recognize the date of the final withdraw of Dutch forces from Indonesia on December 27, 1949. This changed in 2005 when the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bernard Bot, made several well-publicized goodwill gestures: officially accepting Indonesian independence as beginning on August 17, 1945; expressing a regret for all that suffering caused by the fighting during the war; and attending 60th anniversary commemoration of Sukarno's independence proclamation, as a part of the first Dutch delegation to do so. The Indonesian Declaration of Independence was officially proclaimed at 10. ... August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1945 (MCMVL) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (362nd in leap years). ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... A minister for foreign affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the governmental foreign policy of a sovereign nation. ... Dr. Bernard Bot, born November 21, 1937 is the current Minister of Foreign affairs of The Netherlands. ... August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1945 (MCMVL) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ...


References

  • http://countrystudies.us/indonesia/16.htm
  • "Speech by Minister Bot On the 60th anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia’s independence declaration" - Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' apology statement to the Indonesian government and people, dated August 16, 2005.
  • J.G.A. Parrot, "Who killed Brigadier Mallaby"; Cornell University; "Indonesia Magazine", July 1976, pg. 91.
  • (Indonesian) History of Surabaya.

 
 

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