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Seventieth of Battle of the Java Sea commemorated

Defeat opened way to the NEI

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - The battle of the Java Sea was recently commemorated at a ceremony in The Hague. On February 27, 1942 more than 1,000 Dutch and 1,200 Allied sailors lost their lives in an attempt to stop a Japanese invasion fleet headed for the then Netherlands East Indies (NEI), present-day Indonesia.

The fleet, which included Dutch, Australian, British and U.S. warships, was under the command of Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Doorman.

After the battle, the Japanese faced no serious opposition in their push to occupy the Dutch East Indies and other jurisdictions in the region.

Prince Willem-Alexander attended the commemoration on behalf of his mother Queen Beatrix. She was in Austria, where her son Prince Johan Friso lay in a coma after sustaining serious injuries in an avalanche. (Since then, the prince was transferred to a London hospital.)