Japanese Invaded Java

67 years ago today, the Japanese troops began its invasion of Java.

Sabtu, 28 Februari 2009, 00:05 Edwin Solahuddin

VIVAnews – Less than a day after the Allies naval force was defeated at the Battle of Java Sea, huge Japanese convoys approached the island of Java. The first convoy consisted of 56 transport ships with troops from the 16th Army Headquarters, the 2nd Division, and the 230th Infantry Regiment. The convoy left Vietnam on 18 February 1942 under the command of Lieutenant General Hitoshi Imamura.

The transport ships carrying two detachments under the commands of Major General Yumio Nasu and Colonel Kyusaku Fukushima landed on Merak on 28 February 1942 at 11.20 p.m. They were followed by another Japanese detachment under Colonel Hanshichi Sato who landed on Bantam Bay. 

At the same time, other Japanese transport ships carrying the 230th regiment led by Colonel Toshishige Shoji landed on Eretan Wetan, Subang. Meanwhile, in East Java, the Japanese troops of 48th Division managed to land on Kragan on 1 March 1942 at 00.15 p.m.

On 1 March 1942, the Japanese troops under Imamura took the city of Serang and made it their headquarters. From there, the Japanese troops were divided into three detachments.

Nasu detachment was ordered to capture Buitenzorg (now, Bogor), while Fukushima and Sato will lead the Japanese troops to Batavia (now, Jakarta) through Tangerang. After offering brief resistance, General Ter Poorten, then the Allies commander-in chief, withdrew all his troops from Batavia and Buitenzorg and concentrated his force in Bandung. As a result, the Japanese managed to take Batavia and Buitenzorg on 5 and 6 March 1942.

A day later, on 7 March 1942, the Japanese troops under Imamura have successfully arrived in Bandung. They were soon accompanied by the 230th regiment under Shoji who had previously captured the Kalijati Airport in Subang and pursued the retreating Allies force all the way to Bandung.

A day later, Major General Jacob J. Pesman, the Allies commander of Bandung, met Colonel Shoji in Lembang and surrendered to him.

Meanwhile, the Japanese invasion force of East Java triumphed with similar success. On 3 March 1942, the Tanaka and Kitamura Units managed to occupy Cepu and Bojonegoro. Soon, the Japanese troops went east and defeated the Allies along the way from Ngawi, Nganjuk, Kediri and Jombang.

On 8 March 1942, after offering fierce resistance in Porong, Sidoarjo, the Allies troops under Major General Gustav A. Ilgen withdrew to Madura. A day later, Ilgen and his troops surrendered to the Japanese.

Other Japanese units under Major Kaneuji, Colonel Yamamoto, and Lieutenant Colonel Matsumoto moved southward and managed to occupy Cilacap on 8 March 1942. Along their way to the main Dutch naval base in Indian Ocean, the Japanese managed to conquer Blora, Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Magelang, Salatiga, Ambarawa, Kebumen and Purwokerto. On 9 March 1942, the Allies troops in Central Java, under Major General Pierre A. Cox, surrendered to the Japanese.     

Since the Japanese army was victorious on all fronts and the fall of Java seemed inevitable, on 8 March 1942, General Ter Porten announced the surrender of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army in Java. A day later, the Dutch Governor, Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer accompanied by Porten and Pesman met Lieut. General Imamura at Kalijati and agreed to the capitulation of all the Allies troops. 

The fall of Java into the Japanese hands marked the end of the Allies resistance in Southeast Asia. Thus, from 1942 to mid 1945, the Dutch East Indies was under Japanese rule.

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