News Articles

Chinese civil war helps consolidate Japanese claims on Mainland (II)

Coup places island nation under military rule

Tags: World War II

Continued from: Part (I)


Jan 23, 1950 Ex-KNIL-captain Westerling enters Bandung with 600 rebels, captures local Indonesian army headquarters. Remaining Dutch units of 7 December Divisie watch from sidelines while commander Engels mediates Westerling's withdrawal. Indonesian government wants Westerling arrested.
Apr 22 East Indonesia's chief-prosecutor and former minister of justice, Sumokil, disappears without a trace.
Apr 24 On Ambon, Ir. Manusama issues declaration of independence for South Moluccas.
May 19 The Indonesian army agrees to the terms of a centralized Republik Indonesia.
Jun 20 Tjililitan, the last Dutch airbase in the former Dutch East Indies, transfers to the Indonesian authorities.
Jun 25 North Korean troops cross the 38th parallel into South Korea.
Jun 27 North Koreans enter Seoul. Americans promise assistance to beleaguered South Korean government.
Jun 30 American navy begins blockade of Korea, US troops thrown into action.
Jul 04 Dutch naval unit sent to Korean coast.
Jul 14 Dutch military court tries soldiers who helped Westerling attack Bandung; sentences up to one year in jail.
Jul 17 Indonesian army lands on island of Buru in a drive to suppress rebellion in the Moluccas.
Jul 26 In a royal decree, Queen Juliana orders the Netherlands Royal East Indies Army (KNIL) disbanded after 120 years of service. In 1941, 3200 officers and 73,000 regulars served in the KNIL. The Netherlands agree to take in 12,000 Amboinese KNIL soldiers and their families while Ambon is engaged in independence war.
Aug 15 After a vote in parliament, Indonesia officially abandons federal state concept for one with a centralized administration. Djokjakarta becomes part of new Indonesia.
Aug 17 The Sobsi, the Indonesian labour movement heavily influenced by communists, declares a national mourning 'because new state is not yet free from Dutch and other foreign capitalist influence'. Sukarno warns of upcoming struggle 'to free' New Guinea (now Irian Jaya).
Sep 15 Americans under UN flag, land in Korea and establish beachhead. Allies push communists back.
Sep 16 Units of the Viet Minh rebels attack French troops in French Indochina.
Sep 26 Seoul taken by UN troops.
Sep 28 Indonesia become 60th member of UN.
Oct 01 South-Korean units cross 38th parallel, push communists back. UN-commander General MacArthur calls on North Koreans to surrender.
Oct 02 China amasses troops at border with North Korea.
Oct 03 Indonesian army attacks Ambon, in the South Moluccas. Dutch government urges a peaceful settlement.
Oct 19 Dutch police arrest six communist leaders, among them Hermans, a member of the Second Chamber, for inciting Korea-bound soldiers to desert.
Oct 21 Chinese army starts campaign against independent Tibet.
Oct 25 Sukarno becomes president of Indonesia.
Oct 26 Carrying 630 army volunteers, the Dutch ship Zuiderkruis leaves Rotterdam for Korea. UN units reach Korean border with Manchuria.
Nov 04 Indonesia says fighting on Ambon over, troops 'only combing for enemy soldiers'. Struggle continues on Ceram.
Nov 06 Chinese troops rush in to help beleaguered North Korea.
Nov 26 Communists in Korea push UN troops back.
Nov 30 After a series of UN defeats, American president Truman threatens China with an atom bomb attack.
Dec 02 The Bertha Hartogh case gets settled when the High Court of Singapore orders the 13-year old Dutch girl returned to her mother. Raised by an Malayan woman during the Japanese occupation, the girl was given to a 22-year old man in an Islamic marriage. The mother, obstructed by English officials, resorts to the court to enforce her parental rights. Both leave for the Netherlands.
Dec 04 UN conference on New Guinea starts.
Dec 16 In the wake of an attempt on Truman's life and heavy Chinese pressure on American troops in Korea, the US declares a state of emergency.


Jan 1, 1951 Chinese and North-Korean troops, over 250.000 strong, attack UN forces.
Jan 04 Seoul falls to communists again.
Jan 17 China rejects UN motion for ceasefire in Korea.
Jan 24 Cabinet Drees indirectly falls over the New Guinea question.
Feb 01 UN declares China the aggressor in Korea.
Feb 04 Railway strike in the US endangers supply of UN troops in Korea.
Feb 12 Gunfire kills Den Ouden, commander Dutch UN troops in Korea.
Feb 17 Amboinese who do not volunteer to repatriate to Java or elsewhere in the South Moluccas receive orders to leave for the Netherlands.
Mar 12 Allies drive communists from Seoul again.
Mar 17 Newly re-appointed premier, Drees, announce cabinet will take a wait-and-see attitude in the New Guinea controversy with Indonesia.
Mar 20 On Java, Indonesian troops launch attack on the Darul Islam faction.
Mar 31 American tanks again cross the 38th parallel into North Korea.
Apr 10 Dutch cabinet approves accord to settle Japanese war debt.
Apr 11 President Truman fires General MacArthur for 'unauthorized political initiatives'.
Apr 22 Aided by 600,000 Chinese, communists launch massive offensive in Korea, UN forces defend Seoul stubbornly.
May 09 Allies launch heavy air attacks near the Korean-Manchurian border, stop Chinese advances.
May 19 UN ground troops start push across the breadth of the peninsula, communists suffer heavy losses (over 100,000 men).
Jun 23 At the UN, Soviets propose ceasefire talks.
Jun 30 General Ridgway, new commander UN troops in Korea, receives permission to start ceasefire talks. Announces preparations for negotiations.
Jul 01 Chinese and North Korean commanders respond favourably to proposals.
Jul 10 In Kaesong, negotiations start.
Jul 26 Combattants in Korea reach ceasefire accord.
Jul 29 Dutch refusal to recognize Amboinese independence prompts riots between factions in Woerden's Amboinese camp.
Aug 05 At Middelburg, Dutch and Amboinese groups clash, followed by clashes elsewhere in the country.
Aug 09 Dutch UN unit receives highest American decoration, the 'Collective Unit Citation'.
Sep 08 Pact of San Francisco between WWII Allies and Japan signed by 48 countries. Soviet Union refuses to participate.
Sep 21 In personal letter, Queen Juliana writes President Truman regarding the repatriation by thousands of Dutch citizens from the Indonesia.
Oct 25 Negotiations in Korea resume.
Nov 16 In Panmunjon, combatants agree to a truce in principle.
Nov 27 Parties sign truce in Korea, agree to 4-kilometre wide demilitarized zone.

Relations with the Dutch at low tide Indonesian politics dominated by campaign for control of New Guinea

Dutch involvement in Indonesia remained strong after that country gained its independence. Politically, the countries became partners in a short-lived Union. To accommodate this new set-up, the Netherlands revised its constitution and held general elections for its parliament. Meanwhile, Indonesia's economy continued to lean heavily on investments by Dutch companies. The country's leadership was not very happy with Dutch insistence to keep New Guinea as a separate political entity. The issue was the undoing of the Dutch-Indonesian Union.


Jan 04, 1952 In The Hague, Dutch and Indonesian negotiators open discussions on the New Guinea controversy. Indonesia demands in its favour the Dutch surrender their only remaining colony in Asia. Indonesia also wants to change the Dutch-Indonesian Union and replace it with a series of bilateral, international treaties.
Feb 02 The New Guinea conference fails to reach a consensus.
Feb 19 French troops near Hanoi begin new drive to rout rebels in Vietnam.
Mar 18 Communist forces launch a vigorous attack in Korea, the first one in months.
Apr 28 The Allies relinquish their military control of Japan and of that country's territorial waters.
May 22 Indonesia's military attaché at in the Netherlands, M. Harjono, seriously injured in an attempt on his life.
Jun 23 In an effort to break stalled peace talks in Panmunjon, American bombers attack electricity plant at Yalu, on the China-Korea border.
Jul 24 After a strike of 53 days, steel worker unions in the U.S. end walk out which put 795,000 people out of work and cost the country's economy $2 billion in lost productivity.
Oct 01 The Liberal Party gains control of newly elected Japanese parliament.
Oct 08 Chinese attack breaches UN lines in Korea.
Oct 21 New Dutch policy refuses to acknowledge Indonesian claims on New Guinea, shocks Indonesia which threatens to abandon Union treaty with the Netherlands.


Mar 14, 1953 Split in Japan's Liberal Party causes fall of cabinet.
Apr 01 Dutch cabinet appoints Van Baal governor of New Guinea.
Apr 11 Combatants in Korea sign accord to exchange wounded prisoners.
Jul 03 France pledges independence to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Jul 14 Communists launch new attacks in Korea, heaviest in two years.
Jul 27 UN forces under American general Clark, sign armistice treaty with communists after South Korea agrees to adhere to deal.
Sep 22 Rebels in northern Sumatra announce Atjeh will join independent Negara Islam Indonesia.
Nov 19 American Vice President Richard Nixon visits Indo-China.


May 07, 1954 Indo-Chinese French stronghold of Dien Bien Phu falls to Vietminh rebels after a gigantic battle of nearly two months.
Jun 04 France announces independence for Vietnam but within union with France.
Jun 29 Dutch and Indonesian delegations begin talks on future of Union at The Hague.
Jul 21 Geneva conference reaches armistice for Vietnam, Vietminh rebels receive northern part of country. Cambodia and Laos remain separate entities.
Aug 10 Dutch and Indonesian negotiators agree to dissolve political union between the two countries.
Oct 21 First Indonesian soldiers infiltrate New Guinea.
Dec 07 Japanese cabinet of premier Yosyida resigns after conflict over re-armament. Successor Hatoyama appoints five ministers who were on MacArthur's black list.
Dec 10 Indonesian proposal at UN pressuring Dutch government to continue talks on New Guinea fails to get required two-third majority.


Feb 17, 1955 Controversial court case begins Jakarta against former Dutch marine corps officer Leon Jungschlager, accused of anti-government activities.
Apr 18 Twenty nine countries attend week-long, anti-colonial Afro-Asian conference at Bandung's Concordia Hall, co-hosted by Indonesia which uses opportunity to press for talks on New Guinea.
Jul 24 Indonesian premier Ali Sastroamidjojo and cabinet resign.
Sep 04 New premier Rahman of Malaya announces drive for independence from Great Britain.
Sep 29 Indonesia goes to the polls for the first time since independence in 1949. Sukarno's PNI places first.
Dec 10 Dutch and Indonesian delegations return to the table to discuss details of dissolving Union between the two countries. Conference continues in Geneva.


Jan 07, 1956 Dutch delegation postpones further talks with Indonesia which enters another round of elections.
Feb 07 Great Britain agrees to time-table for Singapore's and Malaya's independence.
Feb 12 Talks in Geneva with Indonesia at impasse over New Guinea controversy. Delegations return home.
Feb 14 Angered over the Dutch New Guinea position, Indonesia unilaterally cancels political union with the Netherlands.
Mar 03 In a diplomatic memo, Dutch foreign affairs minister Luns accuses Indonesia of abusing international law but declares willingness to continue negotiations. Premier Harahap resigns after election loss.
Mar 13 American secretary of state Dulles visits Jakarta, confirms American neutrality in New Guinea conflict.
Mar 14 Dutch Support Jungschlager'-movement gathers 40,000 signatures, petition to top 170,000 within weeks. Luns tells American government of Dutch uneasiness with Dulles' position in Jakarta.
Mar 22 Jakarta court demands death penalty against Jungschlager over trumped up charges of treason dating back to the independence conflict of 1945 - 1949.
Apr 13 Council for Jungschlager, Mrs. M. Bouman, whose lawyer husband returned to the Netherlands after threats against his life, demands his acquittal.
Apr 19 Jungschlager dies of a stroke in a Jakarta hospital.
May 05 Indonesian parliament endorses withdrawal from union with the Netherlands.
Aug 04 Indonesia refuses to honour its financial obligations with the Netherlands.
Aug 10 Dutch cabinet sends memo to Jakarta, protesting Indonesia's decision to withdraw from debt treaty (it owed f3,661 billion).
Sep 10 Council Bouman demands acquittal for Jungschlager's co-accused H. Schmidt.
Oct 15 Indonesian court pronounces a life sentence against Dutchman Schmidt for 'subversion'.
Dec 01, 1956 Indonesian Vice-President Mohammed Hatta resigns over differences with Sukarno who pursues a 'guided democracy'.
Dec 20 Colonel Simbolon disposes the local Sumatra governor Roeslan Moeljahardjo and appoints Ahmed Hussein commander. The rebellion quickly encompasses Central and Northern Sumatra.

KLM resumes flight to Jakarta Indonesian campaign to wrest control of New Guinea succeeds

In the aftermath of the Second War, colonial powers everywhere faced successful drives for independence, and nationalism. Upon gaining self-rule, the leaders of the former Dutch East Indies soon set out to increase their territory. The New Guinea-conflict received much attention and was quickly followed by an ill-fated campaign for Northern Borneo, and later by the invasion and the bloody occupation of Timor which still remains an international problem issue. These days, while the official relationship with the Netherlands might be strained at times, Dutch visitors to the archipelago usually are warmly welcomed: ties going back 350 years cannot be erased that easily by ever changing political circumstances.


Mar 02, 1957 Trouble on Sulawesi and the small Sunda islands results in mobilization with army ready for action.
Mar 14 Premier Ali Sastroamidjojo and cabinet resign. Sukarno mobilizes army.
Jun 09 Sukarno appoints National Advisory Council, takes charge personally.
Jun 23 Japanese premier Kishi ends three-day visit to the U.S. Eisenhower promises to withdraw American troops.
Jul 07 Military officer Sumual appoints himself commander of Eastern Indonesia.
Jul 15 KLM-Super Constellation Neutron crashes off New Guinea, 58 passengers and crew members perish.
Aug 31 The Malayan federation achieves independence within the British Commonwealth.
Sep 03 Indonesian high school teachers want to reintroduce the Dutch language in the educational system.
Nov 06 Australia and the Netherlands agree to cooperate on the New Guinea issue, stating that the Australian controlled protectorate and the Dutch colony form one geographical and ethnological unit.
Nov 26 For the fourth time, the UN fails to approve a motion by Indonesia, claiming on New Guinea.
Nov 29 Indonesian conference on economy supports call for nationalization of Dutch companies; communist union Sobsi spearheads movement. Bank of Indonesia president warns against campaigns since Dutch interests still control 70 percent of the country's economy.
Nov 30 Attempt on Sukarno's life claims eight.
Dec 03 Dutch premier Drees issues statement on deteriorating relations with former colony.
Dec 06 Indonesia confiscates first Dutch-owned companies. Campaign starts off repatriation of 40,000 Dutch nationals (during 1958).
Dec 21 Sukarno declares state of emergency.


Feb 15, 1958 Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, wanting greater autonomy, forms rebel government in central Sumatra. Military commander of northern Sulawesi supports move.
Feb 22 Indonesian planes bomb rebel-backed radio stations in Padang (Sumatra) and Menado (Suwalesi).
Mar 05 Indonesia announces it has nationalized 540 Dutch firms.
Mar 07 Loyal troops retake Bengkalis on Sumatra's east coast.
Mar 13 Troops land on three more Sumatran locations.
Mar 21 Indonesia lifts claim on 34 KPM ships after threat by international underwriters to refuse insurance coverage to the country's merchant marine firms. Dutch war ships patrol Indonesian waters. KPM ordered out Indonesia.
Mar 31 Van Baal resigns as governor of New Guinea.
Apr 18 Loyal Indonesian troops retake Padang.
May 01 Rebels bomb Ambon, take Morotai.
May 21 Control Morotai again shifts to Indonesian army.
Jun 16 Jakarta-backed troops land on northern Sulawesi.
Jun 30 Dutch government announces it's resolve to protect New Guinea from attacks.
Aug 06 Dutch defence minister Staf introduces legislative changes to allow the sending of conscripts abroad without them first having to volunteer for such action.
Aug 13 Indonesian court imposes death penalty on three men convicted of attempt on Sukarno's life.
Sep 26 Dutch foreign affairs minister Luns informs UN that the Netherlands' rights under international law were violated by Indonesia.
Sep 29 Dutch government returns 37 'verstekelingen' to Indonesia.
Oct 01 Parliament of the Netherlands rejects Labour supported proposal-Burger to place New Guinea under UN trusteeship.
Oct 24 Five-day conference dealing with New Guinea-issues ends in Canberra.
Dec 03 Indonesian parliament passes law allowing it to nationalize Dutch companies.


Feb 13, 1959 Indonesia announces that all Dutch-owned agricultural companies have been nationalized; Amsterdam-based world tobacco auction moves to Bremen, tea auction to Antwerp.
Mar 18 Jakarta releases Dutch national H. Schmidt from jail who served five years of his life sentence.
Apr 08 Indonesia acknowledges its obligation to financially compensate Dutch owners for nationalized companies.
Jun 08 Sounding conciliatory, Indonesia assures the world it will not use force to settle its New Guinea claims.
Jul 05 Sukarno assumes emergency powers.
Dec 18 Dutch government proposes to have the International Court at The Hague evaluate Indonesia's nationalization of Dutch companies.


Feb 26, 1960 While visiting Jakarta, Soviet premier Khrushchev declares his country's support for Indonesia's claim on New Guinea; signs huge loan agreement.
Mar 06 Sukarno fires all of Indonesia's parliamentarians for their criticism of the country's budget.
Mar 27 Sukarno appoints new parliament, made up largely from his own party.
Mar 30 Dutch government sends aircraft carrier Karel Doorman to New Guinea 'to show flag'. Indonesia labels move an act of war.
Apr 25 South Moluccans celebrate 10th anniversary of their 'republic'.
Apr 27 New Guinea's defense bolstered with Dutch ground, naval and air units. Decision prompts protests in Jakarta.
May 06 Dutch embassy in Jakarta stormed by students. Indonesian government issues apology.
Jun 14 At the UN, Indonesia lodges complaint against Dutch 'war-mongering' policies.
Aug 10 Papoea-leader Nicolaas Jouwe forms political party at Hollandia, New Guinea.
Aug 17 Indonesia cuts diplomatic relations with the Netherlands.
Sep 02 Japan requests delay of docking by war ship Karel Doorman in relation to the New Guinea conflict.
Oct 14 Malaya premier Rahman tries to mediate for solution in New Guinea conflict.
Nov 04 Unknown to Jouwe, his party requests the UN to sponsor conference between Indonesia, the Netherlands and the Papoeas.
Nov 12 In a move to install local government, Dutch Upper Chamber approves formation of New Guinea Council.
Nov 25 Rahman takes his mediation efforts to The Hague.
Dec 06 Rebuffed by Indonesia, Rahman quits efforts to broker peace in the New Guinea conflict.


Feb 25, 1961 Papoeas elect 16 to 28-member council, which aims for independence by 1970.
Apr 08 Indonesia accuses Luns of being 'source of confusion' in New Guinea conflict.
Apr 10 Luns visits president Kennedy over New Guinea issue, Americans want to help avoid armed conflict.
Jun 03 A group of businessmen, headed by Unilever's Rijkens, opposes Dutch government policies regarding New Guinea and holds talks with Indonesian leaders.
Sep 26 Luns proposes UN trusteeship of New Guinea.
Sep 27 World Bank refuses loans to Indonesia until debt claimed by the Netherlands has been settled.
Nov 18 US sends advisors and military equipment to Vietnam.
Nov 28 UN New Guinea debate ends in stalemate, the three proposals fail to gain two-thirds majority.
Dec 19 Sukarno orders his country to be ready for 'liberation' of New Guinea.
Dec 30 Australia appeals to Dutch and Indonesian governments to start negotiating and avoid armed conflict.


Jan 02, 1962 Dutch premier De Quay offers to begin negotiations with Indonesia, attaches no pre-conditions.
Jan 15 Dutch and Indonesian naval units clash off New Guinea; Dutch sink Indonesian torpedo boat.
Jan 17 UN urges combatants to cease fire.
Jan 31 Japan refuses clearance at Tokyo airport to KLM-flight ferrying Dutch soldier to New Guinea.
Feb 24 Jakarta announces a general mobilization to 'liberate' New Guinea.
Feb 25 Robert Kennedy, US attorney general, calls on the Netherlands and Indonesia to find ways to settle conflict.
Feb 27 Aerial bombing in Vietnam kills first American soldiers.
Mar 12 De Quay announces US-sponsored confidential negotiations with Indonesia, postpones re-enforcement of Dutch military presence in New Guinea.
Apr 11 Upon collapse of talks, US President John Kennedy announces support for plan-Bunker proposing an interim, two-year UN-control of New Guinea to facilitate gradual Indonesian take-over; local referendum expressing preference over political destiny to be held afterwards. Dutch government withholds comment.
Apr 14 Amsterdam site of demonstrations against a possible war over New Guinea. Demonstrators support Dutch Labour's drive for transferring control to Indonesia.
May 19 Fifth airborne landing by Indonesian infiltrators in besieged colony of New Guinea.
May 24 Dutch government agrees to re-open talks with Indonesia based on plan-Bunker.
May 29 UN secretary-general U Thant urges combatants in New Guinea to lay down weapons.
Jun 09 Elseviers Weekblad in an article claims that several socialist leaders and industrialists committed treason in the New Guinea conflict by negotiating with Indonesia. Prince Bernhard criticizes editor for publishing 'untrue' story.
Jun 22 The Philippines claim British-ruled northern Borneo.
Aug 13 Indonesian air force drops another 400 to 500 troops on New Guinea.
Aug 15 Based on plan-Bunker, Indonesia and the Netherlands sign accord over New Guinea. UN to take control on October 1.
Sep 08 Second Chamber debates and approves accord.
Oct 01 UN assumes responsibility for New Guinea, first step to normalize relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands.
Nov 24 Last Dutch troops leave New Guinea.
Nov 28 The Indonesians restore telecommunications and mail service with the Netherlands.
Dec 31 Dutch tri-colour taken down in Hollandia, New Guinea's capital, which gets name of Kotabaru, soon to become Sukarnapura and eventually Jajapura.


Feb 01, 1963 KLM resumes flights to Jakarta.
Mar 13 Indonesia and the Netherlands restore diplomatic relations.
May 01 New Guinea becomes Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, Sukarno demands independence for British Borneo.
May 10 Indonesia says referendum in Irian Jaya is not necessary.
July 09 Sukarno - now president for life - issues threat against Malaya if it pursues union with British Borneo.

The End

Demonstrators in Amsterdam support Dutch Labour Party's drive for the transfer of New Guinea to Indonesian control, April 1962. Small Papua boy totes gun of Dutch soldier in New Guinea at the height of the Dutch-Indonesian conflict. Soldiers were returning from patrolling the forests, a hide-out for Indonesian infiltrators. Indonesian negotiator Subandrio signs accord in New York with Bunker looking on.

A historic moment: the Dutch flag is being lowered, bringing Dutch colonial presence in southeast Asia to an end after some 360 years. 'Let us drive out the Dutch colonialism from West Irian (New Guinea, editor)'. The Indonesian drive was made possible with the help from surrounding countries. Volunteers from Singapore enlisted in the Indonesian army.

1) De Japanse burgerkampen by D. van Velden, Wever, Franeker, 1984.

2) Additional sources for this series are as follows: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog by L. de Jong, Kroniek van de Twintigste eeuw, Elsevier; Hitler's Japanese Confidant, General Oshima Hiroshi and Magic Intelligence, 1941-1945, by Carl Boyd, University Press of Kansas, 1993, as well as a number of articles.