5 Battles in Post-Independence Indonesia

5 Battles in Post-Independence Indonesia – The implementation of the Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Indonesia was not the end of the struggle of the Indonesian people against the colonialists. Even though it has proclaimed itself as an independent and sovereign country, there are many tests that must be faced by the Indonesian state.

This is because Indonesia proclaimed its independence when it was in a vacuum of power after Japan admitted defeat to its allies. Because of this recognition of defeat, the allied forces will take over the territory that was formerly a Japanese colony, including Indonesia.

This is the reason why Indonesia’s security and defense conditions were not completely stable in the early post-independence days. Various battles to maintain independence took place in various regions. Of the various wars that took place, here are 5 of the most memorable battles for independence in history.

1. Battle Terrain Area

The Battle of Mefan Area was the first conflict that occurred after the proclamation of independence on August 17, 1945. The Battle of Medan Area was an event of resistance by the Indonesian people against the emergence of the Allies which took place in Medan, North Sumatra.

On October 9, 1945, under the leadership of TED Kelly. The landing of the allied troops from England was followed by allied forces and NICA which had been prepared to take over the Indonesian government. The arrival of the allied troops and NICA provoked various incidents, one of which occurred at the hotel located on Jalan Bali, Medan City, North Sumatra on October 13, 1945.

At that time, an occupant stole and trampled on the red and white badge worn by Indonesian youths. This angered the Indonesian youth. On October 13, 1945, the youth ranks along with TKR fought against the Allies and NICA in an attempt to seize and take over government buildings from Japanese hands.

The Allies issued an ultimatum to the Indonesian people to hand over all weapons to the Allies. This ultimatum was never heeded until December 1, 1945, the Allies put up a lot of boards that read ” Fixed Boundaries Medan Area ” (the official boundaries of the Medan area) in various suburbs of Medan. The Allied action was seen as a challenge to the youths.

On December 10, 1945, the Allies together with NICA launched a massive attack on the city of Medan. This attack caused a lot of damage as well as heavy casualties on both sides. In April 1946, the Allies together with NICA succeeded in taking control of Medan City. For a time, the center of the struggle of the Medan people moved to the Siantar area, besides that the resistance of the youth paramilitary was moved outside the city of Medan. The resistance against the allies became increasingly fierce, especially on August 10, 1946 in the City of Tebing Tinggi.

Then, a meeting was held between the Commanders of the troops fighting in the Medan Area and decided to form a command called the People’s Troops Regiment Command in order to strengthen resistance to the Allies and NICA in Medan City. After the meeting of the commandos, on August 19, 1946 in Kabanjahe there was an Indonesian Youth Front (BPI) which changed its name to the Tanah Karo branch of the People’s Troops Regiment Command.

In this People’s Troop Front, all potential youth leadership along with the lines of their struggle are embraced and integrated into the Indonesian Youth Front, including members of other ex-organizations that still exist.

  1. From Gyugun or Heiho such as Djamin Ginting, Bomb Ginting, and Nelang Sembiring.
  2. From Talapeta, namely Payung Bangun, Gandil Bangun, Meriam Ginting, and Tampe Malem Sinulingga.
  3. From NV Mas Persada: Karo-karo Newspaper.
  4. From Pusera Medan: Congratulations Ginting, Rakutta Sembiring and Sebayang.
  5. From other youth potentials such as: Tama Ginting, Matang Sitepu.

In the process, the People’s Laskar Command later changed to the Tanah Karo People’s Security Agency (BKR) which is the official Indonesian government army, where Djamin Ginting who was a former Gyugun platoon commander was appointed as the Teras Troop Commander. In general, those who became members of the BKR were former members of Gyugun or Heiho as well as other groups that had been formed by the Japanese.

See also  What is a Student Regiment? Definition and Brief History

To continue the struggle, in August 1946 the Medan Area People’s Army Regiment Command was formed. This regimental command continuously carried out attacks on the Allies in the Medan area. In almost all parts of Sumatra there was resistance between the people against the Japanese, the Allies and the Dutch. The battle took place in other areas as well, including Berastagi, Bukit Tinggi, Padang, and also Aceh.

2. Battle of 10 November 1945 in Surabaya

Allied troops in the Allied Forces Netherland East Indies (AFNEI) together with the Dutch army (NICA) came to Surabaya on October 25 1945 under the command of a British general, AWS Mallaby.

The arrival of the soldiers was aimed at freeing allied prisoners held in Indonesia, occupying important places such as the Internatio Building and Tanjung Perak Air Base, and distributing pamphlets containing appeals for the Indonesian people to surrender their weapons to the Allies.

This of course sparked the anger of the Surabaya youths . As an independent society, they ignored the pamphlets and were reluctant to surrender their weapons. Bung Tomo’s impassioned speech calling on all the people of Surabaya to defend Indonesia’s sovereignty was echoed over the radio.

The Surabaya youths became even more eager to expel the allied forces. They resisted and caused an armed battle which eventually killed Brigadier General AWS Mallaby near the red bridge.

The death of Brigadier General AWS Mallaby made the allies furious. They warned the people of Surabaya to surrender no later than November 10, 1945 if they did not want to be destroyed. However. this is completely ignored.

The climax, on November 10, 1945, allied forces attacked the city of Surabaya. Approximately 16,000 Surabaya fighters died in comparison to about 2,000 allied soldiers who died. To commemorate the fighting spirit of Surabaya youths in defending Indonesia’s independence, November 10th is finally commemorated as National Hero’s Day.

3. Battle of Ambarawa

The Battle of Ambarawa in Central Java Province involved the Indonesian People’s Security Army (TKR) with British troops. This battle lasted for about three weeks, starting on 20 November 1945 to 15 December 1945.

British troops landed in Central Java with the aim of rescuing prisoners and internees held by Japanese troops. Disputes arose due to the unpleasant attitude of the Dutch people when they were handling the prisoners.

Finally there was a clash between the allied forces and TKR. The Indonesian fighters blockaded a number of roads and fired at the British troops, and responded with machine guns and mortars. Commander Sudirman immediately took over command of the troops in the Ambarawa battle.

The battle for Ambarawa was fierce. The allied forces really seriously wanted to finish off the troops of the Republic of Indonesia. They brought in several fighter planes and the British cruiser HMS Sussex, and also fired their artillery cannon into the Ungaran mountain area. No matter how serious the Ambarawa war was, up to 75 people who at that time were former prisoners of war had to fight against TKR.

However, entering mid-December, the position of British troops was getting squeezed in the battle. In addition, they also have a duty to protect the captives who have been released. The British troops finally decided to surrender and withdrew from Ambarawa.

4. Bandung Ocean of Fire

The Bandung Sea of ​​Fire incident was a major fire incident that occurred in the city of Bandung, West Java province on March 23, 1946. Within approximately seven hours, around 200,000 Bandung residents burned their homes and left the city for the mountains in the south of Bandung. This was done in order to prevent the Allied troops along with the Dutch NICA troops from making the city of Bandung a strategic military headquarters in the war effort to undermine Indonesian independence.

British troops led by the MacDonald Brigade arrived in Bandung on October 12, 1945. At first, their relationship with the government of the Republic of Indonesia was not good. They demanded that all the firearms in the hands of the people, except for the People’s Security Army (TKR), be handed over to the allies. Besides that, the Dutch people who had just been released from the prison camp began to take various actions that disturbed the security of the surroundings. As a result, armed clashes between British troops and TKR could not be avoided.

See also  difference between check and savings account

At night, November 21, 1945, TKR, assisted by combat agencies, launched an attack on the place that was used as the headquarters by the British army in the north, including the Preanger Hotel and the Homann Hotel. Three days later, the leader of the British troops, MacDonald, delivered an ultimatum to the Governor of West Java to vacate North Bandung from Indonesian residents including armed troops.

Colonel Abdoel Haris Nasoetion, who at that time served as Commander of the TRI Division III, announced the results of the deliberations and ordered an immediate evacuation outside the city of Bandung. On the same day, a large group of Bandung residents flowed long to leave the city of Bandung and that same night the burning of the city took place.

The city of Bandung was deliberately burned by TRI and the local people with the intention that the Allies could not use Bandung as a strategic military base. British troops were angry and began to attack, resulting in a fierce battle. The biggest battle took place in the village of Dayeuhkolot, namely the area south of Bandung, where there was a large ammunition depot owned by the Allied Forces.

In this battle, two members of the BRI (Barisan Rakjat Indonesia) militia, namely Muhammad Toha and Muhammad Ramdan, went on a mission to destroy the ammunition depot. Muhammad Toha managed to blow up the warehouse using dynamite. The large warehouse exploded and burned along with the two militias inside.

Bandung city administration staff initially planned to stay in the city, but for the sake of safety, at 21.00 WIB, they joined the group that evacuated the city of Bandung. Since then, around 00.00 WIB, South Bandung was empty of residents and TRI. Even so, the fire still soared burning the city, so that Bandung seemed to become a sea of ​​​​fire.

The total burning of the city of Bandung was considered the right strategy in the Indonesian War of Independence because at that time, the strength of the TRI together with the people’s militias was not comparable to the strength of the Allies and NICA which were in large numbers. After the incident, TRI together with the people’s militia carried out guerrilla resistance outside Bandung.

5. Puputan Margarana

One of the most memorable battles to defend independence was the Puputan Margarana war in Bali on November 20, 1946. This battle was led by Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai.

After the Proclamation of Independence, I Gusti Ngurah Rai received the task of forming the People’s Security Army (TKR) in his area to block aggression from the Dutch who wanted to return to control Bali. He also formed an army called the Ciung Wanara troop.

In the Linggajati agreement on 10 November 1946, the Dutch only recognized Sumatra, Java and Madura as the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. Meanwhile, the Netherlands wanted to make Bali into the territory of the State of East Indonesia (NIT). I Gusti Ngurah Rai was persuaded by the Dutch troops to join. However, his love for the Republic of Indonesia made him reluctant.

I Gusti Ngurah Rai ordered Ciung Wanara’s troops to seize all the weapons owned by the NICA police who were currently occupying Tabanan City. The attitude of Ngurah Rai made the Dutch furious and wanted revenge.

When Ciung Wanara’s troops and their leader were on a long march to Mount Agung, they were attacked by Dutch troops. In a state of urgency, Ngurah Rai issued the order Puputan or an all-out battle that expended all his strength. In the view of the Balinese warriors, it is better to fight as a knight than to surrender and fall into the hands of the enemy.

Book Recommendations & Related Articles

Also read:

  1. History of the Battle of Surabaya (10 November 1945)
  2. Background of the Battle of Surabaya 10 November 1945
  3. History of Bandung Sea of ​​Fire: Events, Figures, and 10 Points of Stylization
  4. Chronology and Causes of the 2nd World War
  5. History of World War 2: Causes, Countries Involved, and Impacts for Indonesia