The Bandung Lautan Api incident – Every country has its own history, like Indonesia.
One of the historical events in Indonesia is the Bandung Lautan Api incident. At that
time, the condition of the city of Bandung was quite turbulent and burning occurred in many places.
However, not everyone knows what the Bandung Sea of Fire incident is. In this article, we
will learn together about the Bandung Sea of Fire event and its background. So, see the
reviews in this article until they run out, Sinaumed’s.
Description of the Bandung Sea of Fire Event
Before we discuss the struggle of Bandung Lautan Api, it’s better if we discuss the description of the city
of Bandung, West Java. Bandung is the capital city of the province of West Java, Indonesia and
is the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. In terms of density, this
city is the second most densely populated city in Indonesia after Jakarta with a density of
The city of flowers is another name for this city, because in ancient times this city was considered very
beautiful with the many trees and flowers that grew there. In addition, Bandung was formerly
known as “Paris Van Java” because of its beauty.
In fact, the city of Bandung is also known as a shopping city with malls and factory outlets that are
widely spread in this city, and currently the city of Bandung is also gradually becoming a culinary tourism
city. In 2007, the consumption of several international NGOs made the city of Bandung the
pilot project of the most creative city in East Asia. Currently, the city of
Bandung is one of the main destinations for tourism and education.
Back again, to the Bandung Lautan Api incident which occurred on March 23, 1946. One of the important
points in the history of Indonesian independence was marked by the emptying and burning of Bandung by the
people and the army so that it would not be used as the headquarters of the allied forces and NICA (Dutch).
The scorched-earth action in Bandung was seen as the most ideal tactic in the current situation
because the strength of the Republic of Indonesia’s troops was not comparable to that of the allies and
Bandung Lautan Api became one of the most heroic events in the history of defending Indonesia’s independence and
is immortalized in various forms of artwork, such as songs or films.
Background and Causes of the Bandung
Lautan Api Event
Djoened Poesponegoro and friends in National History of Indonesia VI (2008) explain that the Bandung Sea of
Fire incident began with the arrival of the Allied/British troops on October 12, 1945. Not only that, the
arrival time of the allied troops was also only a matter of days from the formation of the TKR.
People’s Security Army (TKR)
Previously, Indonesia was uniting the revolutionary struggle of youth through the People’s Security Agency (BKR)
since August 22, 1945. The People’s Security Agency then changed its name to TKR as of October 5, 1945. The
People’s Security Army (TKR) was the name of the first armed forces established by the government Indonesia.
TKR was founded on October 5, 1945, a few weeks after the proclamation of Indonesian independence.
TKR was formed from several military ranks including the Dutch East Indies Colonial Army (KNIL),
Voluntary Defenders of the Homeland Army (PETA). The formation of TKR aims to overcome a
situation that is starting to become unsafe, because allied troops are returning to Indonesia.
On October 5, 1945, the government issued a decree containing the establishment of a national army.
Moh. Hatta then summoned a former KNIL officer, Urip Sumoharjo to organize the army.
October 6, 1946, the government appointed Supriyadi, a leader of PETA, an organization made in
Japan in Blitar, to become the Minister of People’s Security.
The Central Indonesian National Committee (KNIP) on 9 October 1945 called for TKR mobilization, namely for
all Indonesian youths to register as TKR members, whether or not they had received military training.
TKR’s highest headquarters was originally set in Purwokerto, but after receiving various
suggestions and strategic considerations from Urip, the highest headquarters was moved to Yogyakarta.
Currently, the headquarters has become the Dharma Wanita Wiratama Museum.
After TKR was formed on October 5, 1945, followed by the formation of TKR Laut which was ratified on
November 15, 1945. The TKR Laut headquarters is also in Yogyakarta. To create uniformity in the
TKR organization, negotiations were held between the TKR Laut leaders, namely Mas Pardi, Nazir, Sumarno.
RE Martadinata and R Suardi.
The negotiations were carried out together with Urip Sumoharjo as TKR’s Chief of General Staff.
The results obtained from these negotiations were that it was decided to form a Sea TKR division
- Division I West Java headquarters in Cirebon
- Division II Central Java headquarters in Purworejo
- Division III East Java at headquarters in Surabaya
TKR ON THE FLIGHT
On October 5, 1945, Decree Number 6 was issued which required TKR to be responsible for all security on
land, sea and air. Therefore, responsibility and authority over all air bases is under TKR’s
On December 12, 1945, TKR’s highest headquarters declared the establishment of an aviation section as part
of the General Headquarters. The TKR leaders for aviation were Soerjadi Soerjadarma as chairman
and Martokoesoemo as Deputy Head of TKR.
Based on Government Decree
No. 4/SD in 1946, the name TKR was officially changed to the Indonesian Republican Army (TRI).
TRI was inaugurated on January 26, 1946. This change of name was based on the many fighting
soldiers and armed forces formed by the Indonesian people in their respective regions.
For this reason, the Government of Indonesia wants to emphasize that the only military organization in the
Republic of Indonesia is TRI . However, TRI also did not last long, on
June 3, 1947, President Soekarno again changed the name of TRI to the Indonesian National Armed Forces
(TNI). TNI itself is the result of the amalgamation of various paramilitary troops and
armed forces of the TRI.
PETA stands for Defenders of the Homeland. Peta is a voluntary paramilitary unit formed by the
Japanese during the Dai Nippon colonial period in Indonesia, on October 3, 1943 to be exact. The history of
Peta is inseparable from the needs of the Japanese military in World War II.
PETA members are Indonesian youths and were formed with the aim of defending the homeland from the threat
of the allies in the Greater East Asia War which was part of World War II which was being faced by Japan.
Later, the soldiers who graduated from Peta became one of the main pillars for the formation of the
People’s Security Army (TKR) after Indonesia’s independence.
TKR is the forerunner of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI). Bombarding the United
States military base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 8, 1941 made Japan in control of areas in Asia, one
of which was Indonesia which at that time was part of World War II which Japan was facing.
Later, the soldiers who graduated from PETA became one of the main pillars of the formation of the
People’s Security Army (TKR) after Indonesia’s independence.
TKR was the forerunner of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI), which at that time was occupied by
the Dutch. On January 11, 1942, Japanese troops landed in Indonesian territory.
Precisely in Tarakan, North Borneo near the Malaysian border. In no time, the
Netherlands had to hand over the occupation of Indonesia to Japan. Officially, the transfer of
power between Japan and the Netherlands was based on the Kalijati Agreement which was held in Subang, West
Suhartono in the History of the National Movement: 1908-1945 (2001), states that the
negotiations in Kalijati on March 8, 1942 agreed that the Dutch armed forces surrendered unconditionally
to the Japanese. The reason for the formation of PETA at that time, Japan was still facing
allied forces in World War II. Therefore, his occupation in Indonesia was used to meet the
needs of war.
One of them is the use of Indonesian youths as additional Japanese troops in World War II.
Quoted from ABRI Leadership in a Historical Perspective (1997) by Suyatno Kartodirdjo, the mobility
of the population by the Japanese government accelerated the process of absorption and knowledge of Japan’s
Basically, there are different reasons regarding the formation of PETA from the two parties.
Indonesia has always yearned for military training as a provision to fight colonialism and pursue
the ideals of independence. Meanwhile, Japan formed the Map because it needed additional troops
trained in the military field as an anticipatory measure to face allies if they attacked Indonesian
Ahmad Mansur Suryanegara in Fire History Volume II (2006) wrote that the desire to
form PETA from the Indonesian side was then strengthened by a letter from Gatot Mangkoepradja to
Gunseikan, the highest leader of the Japanese military government based in Jakarta. Gatot
Mangkoepradja was one of the founding figures of the Indonesian National Party (PNI) on 4 July 1927 in
Together with Sukarno and a number of other figures, he was arrested by Dutch East Indies officials in
Yogyakarta, then thrown into prison in Bandung, which culminated in the ” Indonesia Sues ”
moment in 1929. In his letter, Gatot Mangkoepradja requested that Japan form a line of
Indonesian youths to defend the homeland from Allied threats in the Greater East Asia War. “…the
Indonesian people not only stayed behind and strengthened the rear, but also joined the battlefield,
participated in fighting and undermining British, American and allied power,” he wrote quoted from the
Gatot Mangkoepradja Letter presented before Padoeka Jang, Moelja Gunseikan at Jakarta (1943).
Nugroho Notosusanto in the Peta Army during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia
(1979) stated that the initiative to form additional troops consisting of local people had to come from
an Indonesian leader. PETA’s tasks and objectives are quoted from Nezia Anisa’s article
entitled “What is a Map” (2016) which was published on the
University of Malahayati’s website. The purpose of creating a map can be viewed from two sides.
Viewed from the Japanese side, the establishment of PETA was a Japanese effort to attract sympathy so that
the Indonesian people would provide assistance in the Greater East Asia War. Based on the
background of its formation, Peta’s task was to assist Japanese troops in the Greater East Asia War.
In addition, the task of the PETA troop, as its name implies, is to defend Indonesia’s homeland
from Western threats. The formation of PETA for Indonesia is an effort to raise the fighting
spirit of Indonesian youths so that young people are trained in the military field.
The existence of PETA is also an initial form of preparing military forces if at any time Indonesia becomes
independent. Therefore, PETA was also involved by the nation’s leaders at that time to prepare
for independence. PETA figures, such as Gatot Mangkoepradja, Soekarno, Mohammad Hatta, Ki Ageng
Suryomentaram, Ki Hajar Dewantara, KH. Mas Mansoer and other figures played a role in the
formation and development of PETA before the independence of the Republic of Indonesia.
Later, PETA emerged from figures who played a major role in the struggle to defend Indonesia’s independence
and laid the foundation for the formation of the Indonesian armed forces, or what later became the TNI.
Indonesian military figures who are PETA graduates include: Soedirman, Suharto, Ahmad Yani,
Supriyadi, Basuki Rahmat, Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, Umar Wirahadikusumah, Soemitro, Poniman, Latief Hendraningrat,
Kemal Idris, Suparjo Rustam, GPh djatikoesoemo and others.
Army Assistant (Heiho) and former youth ranks (Seinendan). A few weeks after the Proclamation
of Indonesian Independence, Allied troops belonging to AFNEI (Allied Forces Netherlands East Indies) came to
Indonesia after winning World War II against Japan.
Mohammad Ully Purwasatriya in his research entitled “The Role of Sukanda Bratamanggala and Sewaka in North
Bandung in Defending Independence in 1945-1948 (2014), said that initially their arrival was only to free Allied
soldiers from Japanese custody.
However, it turned out that the Dutch or NICA were piggybacking on the allied forces and wanted to control
Indonesia again. Turmoiled resistance from soldiers and the people of Indonesia for the
presence of the Netherlands.
The Bandung Sea of Fire incident
The allied forces began to launch propaganda. The Indonesian people were warned to lay down
their weapons and hand them over to the allies. The Indonesian side did not heed the ultimatum.
The Indonesian military responded by attacking allied bases in northern Bandung, including the
Homan Hotel and the Preanger Hotel which were the allied headquarters, on the night of November 24,
On November 27, 1945, Colonel MacDonald as the allied warlord once again delivered an ultimatum to the
Governor of West Java, Mr. Datuk Djamin, that the people and soldiers immediately vacate the North Bandung
area. Warning valid until November 29, 1945 at 12.00 must be complied with. If
not, then the allies will act tough.
The second ultimatum was not taken into account at all. Several battles took place in North
Bandung. Allied posts in Bandung became the target of the raid. On March 17, 1946
the Supreme Commander of AFNEI in Jakarta, Lieutenant General Montagu Stopford warned Sutan Syahrir as Prime
Minister of the Republic of Indonesia that the Indonesian military should immediately leave South Bandung to
a radius of 11 kilometers from the city center. Only the civilian government, police and
civilians are allowed to stay. Following up on the ultimatum, on March 24, 1946 at
The Republic of Indonesia Army (TRO) under the command of Colonel AH Nasution decided to burn Bandung to
the ground. People began to be evacuated. Most of it goes south of the railroad in
a southerly direction for 11 kilometers. The wave of refugees grew bigger after sunset.
Scorched Bandung to the ground began. Residents who want to leave the house burn it
first. The TRI troops have even bigger plans.
TRI planned to burn the total on March 24, 1945 at 24.00, but this plan did not go smoothly because at
20.00 the first dynamite exploded in the Inside Restaurant Building. Because it didn’t go
according to plan, the TRI troops continued their action by blowing up buildings and burning people’s houses
in North Bandung. That night, Bandung caught fire and the event became known as “Bandung Sea of
Figures in the Bandung sea of fire incident from Indonesia, namely: Mohammad Endang Karmas, Moeljono,
Datuk Djamin, Soetan Sjahrir, Colonel AH Nasution. Meanwhile, the figures in the Bandung sea of
fire incident were from the Netherlands, namely: MacDonald Brigade, Lieutenant General Montagu
Bandung, which is currently a beautiful place, cannot be separated from its past history.
Sinaumed’s can find out more about Bandung by reading books available at
sinaumedia.com . Thus the discussion about the
Bandung Lautan Api incident , I hope all the discussion above can be useful for
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