Biography of General Soedirman, the Great General of the TNI

Biography of General Soedirman – Sinaumed’s, you must be familiar with this one figure, namely General Soedirman, one of the heroes of the national revolution who played an important role for the Indonesian nation.

It is not surprising that many of General Soedirman’s biographies perpetuate his services for Indonesia. The story of General Soedirman’s struggle is indeed very inspiring to know.

General Soedirman is a figure respected by his troops in Indonesian history as a hero of the National Revolution. He had a very big role during the revolution to win Indonesian independence from the Dutch colonial. General Soedirman later became the first commander-in-chief as well as the first RI General with the youngest age, namely 31 years.

Behind his courage, General Soedirman has a calm personality in solving problems to find solutions that are solutive, persistent, and very firm in upholding principles.

That is why he is known as a tough and tireless warrior. There are many other things that can be learned from General Soedirman, Sinaumed’s can get to know him through the following biography of General Soedirman:

Biography of General Soedirman

General Soedirman’s real name is Raden Soedirman who was born on January 24, 1916 in Purbalingga, Central Java Province.

General Soedirman’s parents were Mr. Karsid Kartawiraji, a sugar factory worker in Kalibagor, Banyumas and Mrs. Siyem who was a descendant of the Rembang Wedana. He has one brother namely Muhammad Samingan. His wife is Alifah and with him he has 7 children.

General Soedirman was not lived by his parents, he was raised by his uncle named Raden Cokrosunaryo who was a sub-district head in Rembang Purbalingga so he could live a more decent and established life. At that time Raden Cokrosunaryo did not have children so he adopted General Soedirman as his son. Together with his uncle, since childhood, the General did get a proper education.

At the age of 7 years, he attended Hollandsch Inlandsche School (HIS) which then continued to Taman Siswa when he was 8 years old. Then he was transferred again to the Wirotomo School because Taman Siswa was considered by the Dutch to be an illegal institution the following year.

Young Soedirman was known as a child who was obedient in worship, diligent in studying, and diligent in understanding Islam from Raden Muhammad. He later earned the nickname Hajj because of his religious knowledge and often lectured in front of Muslims at that time.

After his uncle died, General was devastated by the departure of his adoptive parents. He also had to experience very poor economic problems. Luckily, he was still allowed to go to school in Wirotomo without paying.

Thanks to his intelligence he survived and continued to hone his skills. General Soedirman finally started co-founding Islamic organizations when he was still a teenager, namely Hizbul Wathan, which belongs to the Muhammadiyah Organization. Because of his dedication from an early age, in the end, General Soedirman was entrusted with leading the organization at the Cilacap branch.

General Soedirman’s leadership spirit had emerged since he was young, so that the people respected and respected the General. He also continued his studies at Kweekschool (a special school for teacher candidates) although in the end it was not completed due to financial problems. General Soedirman returned to Cilacap and taught Muhammadiyah elementary school teachers there.

His personal teacher named Muhammad Kholil was the one who appointed the general to become a teacher at the Hollandsch Inlandsche School (HIS).

It was also in Cilacap that the General met his beloved, Alifah the wife who is the daughter of a wealthy batik entrepreneur, namely Raden Sosro Atmojo.

During the Dutch era, General Soedirman was not known as a fighter. According to Hatta, the general was known by the people as a teacher. Sinaumed’s can also learn the life story of General Soedirman through Soedirman’s book which contains the history of life, struggles, and love.

Organizations Followed by General Soedirman

General Soedirman’s biography shows the role of the General besides being a teacher, he was active in organizing Muhammadiyah youth. During the Japanese occupation in 1942, his teaching activities were restricted by the Japanese and the school where he taught was made into a Japanese military post.

General Soedirman managed to negotiate with the Japanese government so that he could still teach native children there, even with makeshift and limited learning equipment. During the Japanese colonial period it also worsened the economy and welfare of the Indonesian people at that time.

Due to his active involvement, the General was finally appointed as chairman of the Japanese Residency Council in 1944. Since then, General Soedirman began to be active in the military world and joined PETA, where he later went to study military education in Bogor. After graduating from this military education, General Soedirman became the Kroya battalion.

His activity in the military brought General Soedirman to meet Soekarno and Hatta and was assigned to oversee the process of surrendering Japanese troops in Banyumas, to be precise after he established the local division of the Indonesian People’s Security Agency at that time.

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Since that incident, General Soedirman’s troops were made the V division by Oerip Soemohardjo, who was the interim commander at the time. While General Soedirman became commander in chief for division V or the Banyumas area with the rank of Colonel right after the formation of the People’s Security Army (TKR) or BKR.

After that, at the TKR Conference on November 2, 1945, the General was elected as the Commander of the TKR or the first Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia.

Although he had not been officially appointed as commander in chief, General Soedirman was quick to order his troops to attack the British and Dutch troops in Ambarawa. Because of his actions, the people became stronger in supporting the general’s cause.

It was his great role that led Soedirman to be given the rank of General who was appointed by President Soekarno on December 18, 1945 which Sinaumed’s can also read through the book General Soedirman: An Example of a Modest Leader.

General Soedirman’s Military Career

A smart leader in negotiating is the right name for General Soedirman. Before being ordered by the Japanese, General Soedirman had already been entrusted by the Dutch government to provide military training for native soldiers.

During the Japanese colonial period, the General was then entrusted with leading an organization formed by the Japanese called Syu Sangi Kai to maintain the security of the Indonesian people from allied attacks. These organizations include Defenders of the Homeland (PETA).

Becoming a member of PETA was the beginning of the story of General Soedirman in his involvement in the military struggle and the formation of the Indonesian army. The General then attended training in Bogor as Batch II.

Because of his qualified potential in the military training, General Soedirman was eventually appointed commander assigned to the Kroya Banyumas Battalion, Central Java Province, with complete weapons and equipment.

Thanks to his responsibilities, General Soedirman became chairman of the People’s Security Agency (BKR) and Lieutenant Colonel Commander of the Regiment I Division I of the People’s Security Army (TKR) for the Banyumas Residency.

On November 12, 1945, General Soedirman was appointed General of the Supreme Commander of the TKR and Commander of the TKR on December 18, 1945. His military career continued brilliantly until he earned the rank of General Commander in Chief of the Indonesian People’s Army (TRI) on May 25, 1946 until he became General Commander of the National Armed Forces Indonesian first. The greatness of the General was recognized by the Indonesian people at that time.

When Amir Syarifudin became Minister of Defence, he sidelined General Soedirman, who demoted him to Commander of Mobile Battles under the Minister of Defence.

Then after the Second Dutch Military Aggression, General Soedirman showed a letter of objection regarding the ceasefire agreement to the President. As a result of the letter, the General had to be relieved of duty from the APRI Commander-in-Chief and dismissed as a member of the army.

Because the President and Vice President strongly objected to the General’s decision, in the end, General Soedirman gave up his intention to leave the Indonesian military. Find the full story through General Soedirman’s book below.

The following is a brief summary of General Soedirman’s military career:

  • PETA Batch II in Bogor
  • Daidanco Kroya, Banyumas, Central Java Province
  • Chairman of the People’s Security Agency for the Residency of Banyumas, Central Java Province
  • Lieutenant Colonel Commander Regiment I Division I People’s Security Army (TKR)
  • Colonel Commander of Division V TKR Banyumas, Central Java Province
  • General Commander-in-Chief of TKR on November 12, 1945
  • General Commander of the TRI on May 25, 1946
  • General Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces


General Soedirman’s struggle for Indonesia

Studying the biography of General Soedirman is incomplete if it does not discuss his struggle for the Indonesian nation. This general was a witness to various diplomatic efforts that Indonesia failed to make against the Dutch government at that time, which always wanted to colonize.

The first diplomatic failure was the Linggajati Agreement, which General Soedirman participated in drafting. Apart from that, the failure of the Renville Agreement had to make Indonesia return the territory it had taken during the First Dutch Military Aggression to the Netherlands and required General Soedirman to withdraw his 35,000 troops.

The Roem Royen negotiations also involved the role of General Soedirman because they were related to the military and the attempted domestic rebellion in 1948 from the G30S PKI incident in Madiun.

Of all the agreements with the Netherlands, General Soedirman continued to urge Soekarno to continue the guerrilla war because he did not trust the Dutch to really fulfill his promise.

But at that time Soekarno refused and made the General very hard hit and made him fall ill. General Soedirman suffered from Tuberculosis (TB) because he was infected while fighting in November 1948 which caused his right lung to be deflated.

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Oerip’s death in 1948 also worsened the General’s condition. He had wanted to resign from the Indonesian military but was rejected by Soekarno because it could cause instability in the country’s struggle at that time.

After General Soedirman left the hospital on December 19, 1948, the Dutch actually launched their 2nd Military Aggression. The serious illness he suffered apparently did not prevent the General from continuing to fight against the Dutch.

General Soedirman finally went to the South with a small group and his personal doctor to carry out a guerrilla war for seven months in deplorable conditions, namely on stretchers with makeshift and limited medical equipment.

Their troops were found by the Dutch, but they managed to escape to Sobo near Mount Lawu from the Dutch. General Soedirman led the military in Java, including continuing to command the March 1, 1949 General Offensive in Yogyakarta against the Dutch led by Lieutenant Colonel Suharto.

His increasingly severe condition forced him to withdraw from the battlefield against the Dutch directly in the field. His tenacity against the Dutch was greatly admired by his troops and gave them great motivation to continue fighting the Dutch. Sinaumed’s can also read the full story about the character Soedirman through Soedirman’s book A Panglima, A Martyr.

Death of General Soedirman

General Soedirman’s illness got worse after he forced himself to continue the guerrilla fight against the Dutch. Apparently, his deteriorating condition did not make General Soedirman give up trying to recover.

The General continues to diligently control the Panti Rapih Hospital in Yogyakarta to fight against his illness. When he was being treated at the Pakem Sanatorium in December 1949,

General Soedirman received happy news because the Netherlands finally recognized Indonesian sovereignty through the United Republic of Indonesia on December 27, 1949. The general was finally transferred to Magelang to receive more intensive treatment.

However, the General’s treatment efforts were unsuccessful, exactly 1 month after Indonesian sovereignty became independent from the Netherlands, General Soedirman died of an illness he had suffered on January 29, 1950.

There was a convoy of troops with four tanks and 80 Indonesian military motorized vehicles accompanying General Soedirman’s funeral at the Semaki Heroes Cemetery, Yogyakarta. The departure of General Soedirman was crowned as the departure of the Hero of the Defender of Independence.

The Indonesian people were also devastated and lost a great hero. Thousands of people even gathered along 2 kilometers to watch the general’s funeral procession.

The Indonesian people also raised the red and white flag at half mast to honor General Soedirman’s departure on the day of his death. The traces of his struggle later became the esprit de corps for the Indonesian army, namely his very brave guerrilla tactics.

The 100-kilometer guerrilla war route that was once carried out by General Soedirman became a military training zone for Indonesian cadets who had not graduated from their military academy. The story of General Soedirman’s eternal struggle for the Indonesian nation, so that his name has been used as the names of many streets, buildings, universities and museums.

The General was later designated as a National Hero of Indonesia since December 10, 1964 by President Soekarno. In 1997 General Soedirman was awarded the Posthumous Great General title by Suharto, where the title has only been owned by three people in Indonesia until now.

So, that’s the short story of General Soedirman’s biography that Sinaumed’s needs to know, which can also be found in Sudirman’s book, The Soldier from Banyumas.

Is Sinaumed’s increasingly admiring the Great General of the TNI? Exactly, imitating the positive values ​​of the nation’s heroes is a wise way for the nation’s generation to appreciate the nation’s history.

His struggle deserves to be appreciated and is something that inspires the next generation of the nation to continue to protect the nation for which they have fought. That is why we, as the next generation of the Indonesian nation, must recognize the nation’s heroes so that we are not neglectful of our own nation.

The nation’s heroes gave many lessons and motivation to move forward and become better individuals as citizens.

sinaumedia can visit sinaumedia’s book collection at to get references about General Soedirman. These books at sinaumedia can give Sinaumed’s a clear picture of the struggle and what General Soedirman has done.

So Sinaumed’s friends will gain broader knowledge about the history of the Indonesian nation, especially from the point of view of the struggle of General Soedirman. Happy learning #Friends Without Limits.

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