A Short History of Indonesia During World War II (1940—1945)

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The major campaigns in Indonesia (WWII).

Indo—Chinese Relations:— Before the Japanese Empire was to invade Indonesia, Dutch rule was gravely oppressive for the indigenous population, with the country additionally having already been indirectly affected by Japan's invasion of China (1937—1938), with bilateral trade deteriorating; representing a dramatic economic loss between the two nations.[1] The Dutch had controlled native Indonesians for between 300—350[2] years before Japan arrived to challenge this hegemony; and subsequently liberate Indonesia for their own purposes.[3] After Japan had surrendered in 1945 however (having had two nuclear bombs exploded onto their civilian populations in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which lead to the deaths of 190,000—230,000 people; with Kokura avoiding getting bombed owed to bad weather[4] by the United States,[5]) the Dutch, who fought on the side of the Allies, violently tried to reclaim back Indonesian territories, in a war that would last from August 17th, 1945 to December 27th, 1949.[6] Thus in total there were three major events for the control of Indonesian resources; the Japanese Invasion of Indonesia, the Occupation and finally the Indonesian national revolution. The hatred of the Dutch was so strong that the Japanese had even been welcomed by the Indonesians, who saw Japan as the foremost Asian power that was able to realistically challenge any European empire; the Japanese-Russo War (1905) had testified to this fact;[7] although the Japanese presence would similarly be devastating, as was normal in territories Japan conquered.

Japanese—Dutch War:— The Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies on December 8th, 1941 and won it from the Europeans on March 9th, 1942. The Japanese only suffered 671[3] deaths to 2,838.[3] The occupation subsequently lasted from March 9th, 1942 to August 15th, 1945[1] and lead to the deaths of a staggering 4,000,000[8] Indonesians (about the same number as total Japanese dead, which numbered 3,000,000 by WWII's end).[9] A further 2,000,000—4,000,000 Indonesians were drafted into the Japanese army, including sex slaves.[10][n. 1] Dutch women were also taken as sexual slaves.[11] In addition, around 300,000[8] Indonesians died out of the 4,000,000 that were forcefully drafted into the Romusha (forced labour) service.[12] The Dutch themselves were treated by the Japanese very harshly; around 150,000[13]—170,000[14] (perhaps up to 180,000 including Chinese;[15] figures vary[8]) Dutch civilians and soldiers were imprisoned in interment camps, where 65,000 of them were directly Dutch soldiers, 25,000 were Allied troops and 80,000 were civilians (comprising of 60,000 women and children with the rest being men).[13] By the end of their terms 40% of male civilians had died (8,000), 20% of soldiers (18,000), 13% of the women and 10% of the children (6,900).[14] Thus the total number of deaths were approximately 30,000[9]—32,900.[14] When the Dutch colonialists were eventually freed by the Allies, their sense of entitlement grew, and soon they went back to being hostile to the native Indonesians, particularly to those who had allied themselves to the Japanese.[14]

Japanese documents for Dutch prisoners.[16]
The Dutch rule of Indonesia was barbaric and sentiments ran high.

Indo—Dutch War:— The new war with the Dutch was huge, and lasted for four years (1945—1949); and by the end approximately 350,000 Indonesian troops had served at their peak, battling up to 100,000 Dutch soldiers excluding their allies (further complicated by the fact that the Muslims began infighting amongst themselves, having allied themselves to one of three factions; the Muslim cause, the communist cause and nationalist cause).[17] At it's end 45,000—100,000 Indonesian soldiers had perished, although the true figure is unknown.[18] Though the Indonesians outnumbered the Allies (in one instance around 6,000 British troops were up against 100,000 Indonesian natives), the natives themselves were poorly equipped, this being in direct contrast to the professionally well armed and battle trained Europeans.[14] The entire saga of Indonesian independence would not have occurred without the Japanese invasion of Dutch Indonesia; the harsh treatment by the Japanese, coupled with the rise in arms and training provided to them paradoxically, proved central in shaking the foundations of Dutch rule that had lead to lethargy amongst the native Indonesians.[19] However, if the Japanese had not lost the war to the Allies Indonesian indepedence is said to have certainly been impossible had the Japanase dream of a united Asia lead by itself came true.[19] Indonesian troops were also made to fight for the Dutch (they were recruited or forced fight for them), but proudly deserted and turned on their foreign European invaders leading to the Indonesian Revolution.[19]

The major campaigns in Indonesia (WWII).

Indo—Chinese Relations:— Before the Japanese Empire was to invade Indonesia, Dutch rule was gravely oppressive for the indigenous population, with the country additionally having already been indirectly affected by Japan's invasion of China (1937—1938), with bilateral trade deteriorating; representing a dramatic economic loss between the two nations.[1] The Dutch had controlled native Indonesians for between 300—350[2] years before Japan arrived to challenge this hegemony; and subsequently liberate Indonesia for their own purposes.[3] After Japan had surrendered in 1945 however (having had two nuclear bombs exploded onto their civilian populations in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which lead to the deaths of 190,000—230,000 people; with Kokura avoiding getting bombed owed to bad weather[4] by the United States,[5]) the Dutch, who fought on the side of the Allies, violently tried to reclaim back Indonesian territories, in a war that would last from August 17th, 1945 to December 27th, 1949.[6] Thus in total there were three major events for the control of Indonesian resources; the Japanese Invasion of Indonesia, the Occupation and finally the Indonesian national revolution. The hatred of the Dutch was so strong that the Japanese had even been welcomed by the Indonesians, who saw Japan as the foremost Asian power that was able to realistically challenge any European empire; the Japanese-Russo War (1905) had testified to this fact;[7] although the Japanese presence would similarly be devastating, as was normal in territories Japan conquered.

Japanese documents for Dutch prisoners.[16]

Japanese—Dutch War:— The Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies on December 8th, 1941 and won it from the Europeans on March 9th, 1942. The Japanese only suffered 671[3] deaths to 2,838.[3] The occupation subsequently lasted from March 9th, 1942 to August 15th, 1945[1] and lead to the deaths of a staggering 4,000,000[8] Indonesians (about the same number as total Japanese dead, which numbered 3,000,000 by WWII's end).[9] A further 2,000,000—4,000,000 Indonesians were drafted into the Japanese army, including sex slaves.[10][n. 2] Dutch women were also taken as sexual slaves.[11] In addition, around 300,000[8] Indonesians died out of the 4,000,000 that were forcefully drafted into the Romusha (forced labour) service.[12] The Dutch themselves were treated by the Japanese very harshly; around 150,000[13]—170,000[14] (perhaps up to 180,000 including Chinese;[15] figures vary[8]) Dutch civilians and soldiers were imprisoned in interment camps, where 65,000 of them were directly Dutch soldiers, 25,000 were Allied troops and 80,000 were civilians (comprising of 60,000 women and children with the rest being men).[13] By the end of their terms 40% of male civilians had died (8,000), 20% of soldiers (18,000), 13% of the women and 10% of the children (6,900).[14] Thus the total number of deaths were approximately 30,000[9]—32,900.[14] When the Dutch colonialists were eventually freed by the Allies, their sense of entitlement grew, and soon they went back to being hostile to the native Indonesians, particularly to those who had allied themselves to the Japanese.[14]

The Dutch rule of Indonesia was barbaric and sentiments ran high.

Indo—Dutch War:— The new war with the Dutch was huge, and lasted for four years (1945—1949); and by the end approximately 350,000 Indonesian troops had served at their peak, battling up to 100,000 Dutch soldiers excluding their allies (further complicated by the fact that the Muslims began infighting amongst themselves, having allied themselves to one of three factions; the Muslim cause, the communist cause and nationalist cause).[17] At it's end 45,000—100,000 Indonesian soldiers had perished, although the true figure is unknown.[18] Though the Indonesians outnumbered the Allies (in one instance around 6,000 British troops were up against 100,000 Indonesian natives), the natives themselves were poorly equipped, this being in direct contrast to the professionally well armed and battle trained Europeans.[14] The entire saga of Indonesian independence would not have occurred without the Japanese invasion of Dutch Indonesia; the harsh treatment by the Japanese, coupled with the rise in arms and training provided to them paradoxically, proved central in shaking the foundations of Dutch rule that had lead to lethargy amongst the native Indonesians.[19] However, if the Japanese had not lost the war to the Allies Indonesian indepedence is said to have certainly been impossible had the Japanase dream of a united Asia lead by itself came true.[19] Indonesian troops were also made to fight for the Dutch (they were recruited or forced fight for them), but proudly deserted and turned on their foreign European invaders leading to the Indonesian Revolution.[19]

Sources

Footnotes

  1. ^ Nippon Television, a Japanese television channel, would later make a landmark historical documentary on Indonesia's "comfort women" in 1996, which provoked much Japanese anger.
    1. Philip A. Seaton (12 March 2007). Japan's Contested War Memories: The 'Memory Rifts' in Historical Consciousness of World War II. Routledge. pp. 107. ISBN 978-1-134-15005-2.
  2. ^ Nippon Television, a Japanese television channel, would later make a landmark historical documentary on Indonesia's "comfort women" in 1996, which provoked much Japanese anger.
    1. Philip A. Seaton (12 March 2007). Japan's Contested War Memories: The 'Memory Rifts' in Historical Consciousness of World War II. Routledge. pp. 107. ISBN 978-1-134-15005-2.

References

  1. ^ a b c d Stewart Lone (January 2007). Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Asia: From the Taiping Rebellion to the Vietnam War. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-313-33684-3.
  2. ^ a b James Ciment (20 March 2015). Encyclopedia of Conflicts Since World War II. Routledge. pp. 603. ISBN 978-1-317-47186-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Francis Pike (2 July 2015). Hirohito's War: The Pacific War, 1941-1945. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 309. ISBN 978-1-4725-9670-3.
  4. ^ a b Eamon Doherty (20 October 2008). A New Look at Nagasaki, 1946. AuthorHouse. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-4389-2850-0.
  5. ^ a b James C. Bradford (1 December 2004). International Encyclopedia of Military History. Routledge. pp. 654. ISBN 978-1-135-95034-7.
  6. ^ a b Steven A. Leibo (1 August 2015). East and Southeast Asia 2015-2016. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-4758-1875-8.
  7. ^ a b Florence Lamoureux (2003). Indonesia: A Global Studies Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-57607-913-3.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Several; James Lewis. World War II. Kreactiva Editorial. GGKEY:ZQ47W92SCR6.
  9. ^ a b c d Eiji Takemae (2003). Allied Occupation of Japan. A&C Black. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8264-1521-9.
  10. ^ a b Philip A. Seaton (12 March 2007). Japan's Contested War Memories: The 'Memory Rifts' in Historical Consciousness of World War II. Routledge. pp. 107. ISBN 978-1-134-15005-2.
  11. ^ a b Philip Brasor (July 4th, 2015). Filmmaker wants Japan to remember the ‘comfort women’. Japan Times. Retrieved July 10th, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Paul H. Kratoska (18 December 2014). Asian Labor in the Wartime Japanese Empire: Unknown Histories: Unknown Histories. Taylor & Francis. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-317-47641-2.
  13. ^ a b c d Merle Calvin Ricklefs (2001). A History of Modern Indonesia Since C. 1200. Stanford University Press. p. 247. ISBN 978-0-8047-4480-5.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j James Ciment (20 March 2015). Encyclopedia of Conflicts Since World War II. Routledge. pp. 600-601. ISBN 978-1-317-47186-8.
  15. ^ a b Adrian Vickers (29 March 2013). A History of Modern Indonesia. Cambridge University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-107-01947-8.
  16. ^ a b Johan (J.E.H.) Rijkee (11 June 2005). My Experiences in Japanese Concentration Camps on Java, Indonesia. BBC. Retrieved July 10th, 2015.
  17. ^ a b James Ciment (20 March 2015). Encyclopedia of Conflicts Since World War II. Routledge. pp. 602. ISBN 978-1-317-47186-8.
  18. ^ a b Adrian Vickers (29 March 2013). A History of Modern Indonesia. Cambridge University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-107-01947-8.
  19. ^ a b c d e f M.C. Ricklefs (11 September 2008). A History of Modern Indonesia Since C. 1200. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-137-05201-8.

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