This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Battle of Borneo|
|Part of the Pacific Theatre of World War II|
Japanese paratroopers of the 2nd Yokosuka Naval Landing Force under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Genzo Watanabe (standing on top in the left) inside a transport ship heading to Borneo prior to their invasion in December 1941.
|Commanders and leaders|
| 4,500 infantry|
2 heavy cruisers
1 light cruiser
1 submarine chaser
1 seaplane tender
| 1,000 Sarawak Force|
1,000 British Punjab Regiment
Unknown bomber strength
3 flying boats
|Casualties and losses|
| 567+ casualties|
2 destroyers sunk
1 minesweeper sunk
1 collier sunk
2 transports sunk
1 transport beached
1 transport damaged
| 2,300 casualties|
1 flying boat destroyed
1 submarine sunk
The Battle of Borneo was a successful campaign by Japanese Imperial forces for control of Borneo island and concentrated mainly on the subjugation of the Raj of Sarawak, Brunei, North Borneo, and the western part of Kalimantan that was part of the Dutch East Indies. The Japanese main unit for this mission was the 35th Infantry Brigade led by Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi.
The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.
Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java, west of Sulawesi, and east of Sumatra.
The Raj of Sarawak, also State of Sarawak, was an independent state, and later a British protectorate, located in the northwestern part of the island of Borneo. It was established as an independent state from a series of land concessions acquired by an Englishman, James Brooke, from the Sultanate of Brunei. Sarawak received recognition as an independent state from the United States in 1850, and from the United Kingdom in 1864.
In 1941, Borneo was divided between the Dutch East Indies and British protectorates (North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei) and crown colonies (Labuan).
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony consisting of what is now Indonesia. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Dutch government in 1800.
A protectorate, in its inception adopted by modern international law, is a dependent territory that has been granted local autonomy and some independence while still retaining the suzerainty of a greater sovereign state. In exchange for this, the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly, depending on the real nature of their relationship. Therefore, a protectorate remains an autonomous part of a sovereign state. They are different from colonies as they have local rulers and people ruling over the territory and experience rare cases of immigration of settlers from the country it has suzerainty of. However, a state which remains under the protection of another state but still retains independence is known as a protected state and is different from protectorates.
Crown colony, dependent territory or royal colony were dependent territories under the administration of United Kingdom overseas territories that were controlled by the British Government. As such they are examples of dependencies that are under colonial rule. Crown colonies were renamed "British Dependent Territories" in 1981 with the exception of Hong Kong, which remained a Crown colony. Since 2002, Crown colonies have been known officially as British Overseas Territories.
The so-called "White Rajahs", the Brooke family, had ruled Sarawak, on the northwest of Borneo, for almost a century, first as Rajahs under the Sultanate of Brunei (a by then tiny but once powerful state entirely enclosed within the borders of Sarawak), and from 1888 as a protectorate of the British Empire. The northeast of the island comprised North Borneo, since 1882 another British protectorate under the British North Borneo Company. Offshore lay the small British crown colony of Labuan.
The White Rajahs were a dynastic monarchy of the British Brooke family, who founded and ruled the Raj of Sarawak, located on the north west coast of the island of Borneo, from 1841 to 1946. The first ruler was an Englishman James Brooke. As a reward for helping the Sultanate of Brunei fight piracy and insurgency among the indigenous peoples, he was granted the province of Kuching which was known as Sarawak Asal in 1841 and received independent kingdom status.
Raja, is a title for a monarch equivalent to king or princely ruler in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
The rest of the island—collectively known as Kalimantan—was under Dutch control. The Netherlands were invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940. However, Free Dutch forces—mainly the Royal Netherlands Navy and the 85,000-strong[ citation needed ] Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL, including a small air service)—fought on, spread throughout the Dutch East Indies, and by December 1941 under an embryonic and somewhat chaotic joint allied command which became the short-lived American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM).
Kalimantan is the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo. It comprises 73% of the island's area. The non-Indonesian parts of Borneo are Brunei and East Malaysia. In Indonesia, "Kalimantan" refers to the whole island of Borneo. In 2019, the Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced a move of Indonesia's capital, possibly to Kalimantan.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) is the naval force of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its origins date back to the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648), the war of independence from the House of Habsburg who ruled over the Habsburg Netherlands.
The Tripartite Pact—between the three Axis Powers of Germany, Japan and Italy—guaranteed mutual support, and this paid off for Japan in July 1941 when French weakness in the wake of the fall of France to Germany allowed Japan to occupy French Indo-China (now modern Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia). This blocked a supply route for the Kuomintang, against whom Japan had been fighting, since 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War. It also gave Imperial Japan a seaboard facing Sarawak and North Borneo across the China Sea. Japan turned its eyes from the war in China and towards strategic targets in the Pacific and the Dutch East Indies. In December that year, Japan struck out against US possessions in Hawaii and the Philippines, declaring war on the US and finally precipitating Germany's official declaration of war on America according to the Pact.
The Tripartite Pact, also known as the Berlin Pact, was an agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan signed in Berlin on 27 September 1940 by, respectively, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance that was eventually joined by Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, as well as by the German client state of Slovakia. Yugoslavia's accession provoked a coup d'état in Belgrade two days later, and Germany, Italy and Hungary responded by invading Yugoslavia and partitioning the country. The resulting Italo-German client state known as the Independent State of Croatia joined the pact on 15 June 1941.
Vichy France is the common name of the French State headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain during World War II. Evacuated from Paris to Vichy in the unoccupied "Free Zone" in the southern part of metropolitan France which included French Algeria, it remained responsible for the civil administration of France as well as the French colonial empire.
The Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries during the Second World War. France had previously invaded Germany in 1939. In the six weeks from 10 May 1940, German forces defeated Allied forces by mobile operations and conquered France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, bringing land operations on the Western Front to an end until the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944. Italy entered the war on 10 June 1940 and invaded France over the Alps.
With its rich petroleum exploitation capacity, for instance at Tarakan, Balikpapan and Banjarmasin, Borneo was a prime target for Japan, and a very poorly guarded one. Chronically short of natural resources, Japan needed an assured supply of fuel in order to flex its muscles and achieve its long-term goal of becoming the major power in the Pacific region. Borneo also stood on the main sea routes between Java, Sumatra, Malaya and Celebes. Control of these routes were vital to securing the territory.
Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.
The Battle of Tarakan took place on January 11–12, 1942, beginning a day after the Empire of Japan declared war on the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although Tarakan was only a small marshy island off northeastern Borneo in the Netherlands East Indies, the island's 700 oil wells, oil refinery, and airfield made it a crucial objective for Japan in the Pacific War.
This article concerns the naval and land battles of Balikpapan in 1942. For information on the 1945 landings by Australian forces in the same area, see Second Battle of Balikpapan.
The main objectives were the oilfields at Miri in Sarawak region and Seria in Brunei. The oil was refined at Lutong near Miri. Despite rich oil supplies, the Sarawak region had no air or sea forces to defend it. Only in late 1940 did Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham order the 2nd Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment, a heavy 152 mm (6 in) gun battery from the Hong Kong-Singapore Royal Artillery, and a detachment of 35th Fortress Company (Royal Engineers) to be positioned at Kuching. They numbered about 1,050 men. In addition, the Brooke White Rajah government also organised the Sarawak Rangers. This force consisted of 1,515 men who were primarily Iban and Dayak tribesmen. Altogether these forces were commanded by British Lieutenant Colonel C.M. Lane and was known as "SARFOR" (Sarawak Force).
After having heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor, on 8 December 1941, the Brooke government instructed that the oilfields at Miri and Seria and refinery at Lutong be quickly demolished.
The Dutch forces had an important airfield near the border of British(Sarawak) called "Singkawang II", which was defended by about 750 Dutch troops. On 25 November five Brewster 339 Buffalo fighter planes arrived for local defence followed in the beginning of December by Martin B-10 bombers.
The Dutch Naval Aviation Group GVT-1 with three Dornier Do 24K flying boats was located in Pontianak along with a KNIL garrison, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Dominicus Mars, numbering approximately 500 men.
Dutch forces in West Borneo consisted of the following units:
The main Japanese force—led by Major General Kiyotake Kawaguchi—consisted of units from Canton, southern China:
On 13 December 1941, the Japanese invasion convoy left Cam Ranh Bay in French Indochina, with an escort of the cruiser Yura (Rear-Admiral Shintaro Hashimoto) with the destroyers of the 12th Destroyer Division, Murakumo, Shinonome, Shirakumo and Usugumo, submarine-chaser Ch 7 and the seaplane tender Kamikawa Maru Ten transport ships carried the Japanese 35th Infantry Brigade HQ under the command of Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi. The Support Force—commanded by Rear-Admiral Takeo Kurita—consisted of the cruisers Kumano and Suzuya and the destroyers Fubuki and Sagiri.
The Japanese forces intended to capture Miri and Seria, while the rest would capture Kuching and nearby airfields. The convoy proceeded without being detected and, at dawn on 16 December 1941, two landing units secured Miri and Seria with only very little resistance from British forces. A few hours later, Lutong was captured as well.
Dutch Martin B-10 bombers made attacks on Japanese shipping from their base 'Singkawang II' at Miri on 17 December, but their attempt failed. The three Dornier Do 24Ks followed up with their own attack, but one was shot down, possibly by a floatplane from Kamikawa Maru. kg bomb hits on Shinonome, causing a massive explosion, while a near miss ruptured its hull plating. The destroyer's stern broke off and the ship sank within minutes. The last flying boat dropped its bombs on a freighter, but missed. The B-10 bombers made attacks at Miri 18 and 19 December, but retired to Sumatra on 23 December since Singkawang II airfield was discovered by the Japanese, who began attacking it the same day.The remaining two had the benefit of cloud cover, and were never seen by the Japanese. One flying boat scored two 200
On 22 December a Japanese convoy left Miri for Kuching, but was spotted by Dutch flying boat X-35, which radioed a warning to HNLMS K XIV, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Carel A. J. van Groeneveld. At 20:40 on 23 December K XIV infiltrated the convoy and began its attack. The army transports Hiyoshi Maru and Katori Maru were sunk with the loss of hundreds of troops. Hokkai Maru was beached to prevent it from sinking, and an additional transport was less seriously damaged.The rest of the troops were able to land. Although 2nd Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment, resisted the attack, they were soon outnumbered and retreated up the river. By the afternoon, Kuching was in Japanese hands.
On the night of 23–24 December HNLMS K XVI torpedoed the Japanese destroyer Sagiri 30 Miles north of Kuching, becoming the first Allied submarine in the Pacific to sink a warship. K XVI was lost with all hands during the day by a torpedo from Japanese submarine I66.
On 24 and 28 December B-10 bombers from a different unit flew missions against Kuching from Singapore, Sembawang. On 26 December, B-10s operating out of Samarinda sank a Japanese minesweeper and a collier.
Meanwhile, on 31 December 1941, the force under Lieutenant Colonel Watanabe moved northward to occupy Brunei, Labuan Island, and Jesselton (now called Kota Kinabalu). On 18 January 1942, using small fishing boats, the Japanese landed at Sandakan, the seat of government of British North Borneo. The North Borneo Armed Constabulary, with only 650 men, hardly provided any resistance to slow down the Japanese invasion. On the morning of 19 January, Governor Charles Robert Smith surrendered British North Borneo and was interned with other staff.
At about 16:40 on 25 December, Japanese troops successfully captured Kuching airfield. The Punjab regiment retreated through the jungle to the Singkawang area. After Singkawang was secured as well on 29 December, the rest of the British and Dutch troops retreated further into the jungle southward trying to reach Sampit and Pangkalanbun, where a Dutch airfield at Kotawaringin was located. South and central Kalimantan were taken by the Japanese Navy following attacks from east and west. The town of Pontianak was finally occupied by the Imperial Japanese forces on 29 January 1942. After ten weeks in the jungle-covered mountains, Allied troops surrendered on 1 April 1942.
Sarawak is a state of Malaysia. The largest among the 13 states, with an area almost equal to that of Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak is located in northwest Borneo Island, and is bordered by the Malaysian state of Sabah to the northeast, Kalimantan to the south, and Brunei in the north. The capital city, Kuching, is the largest city in Sarawak, the economic centre of the state, and the seat of the Sarawak state government. Other cities and towns in Sarawak include Miri, Sibu, and Bintulu. As of the 2015 census, the population of Sarawak was 2,636,000. Sarawak has an equatorial climate with tropical rainforests and abundant animal and plant species. It has several prominent cave systems at Gunung Mulu National Park. Rajang River is the longest river in Malaysia; Bakun Dam, one of the largest dams in Southeast Asia, is located on one of its tributaries, the Balui River. Mount Murud is the highest point in Sarawak.
Miri is a coastal city in northeastern Sarawak, Malaysia, located near the border of Brunei, on the island of Borneo. The city covers an area of 997.43 square kilometres (385.11 sq mi), located 798 kilometres (496 mi) northeast of Kuching and 329 kilometres (204 mi) southwest of Kota Kinabalu. Miri is the second largest city in Sarawak, with a population of 358,020 as of 2016. The city is also the capital of Miri District of the Miri Division.
The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army was the military force maintained by the Netherlands in its colony of the Netherlands East Indies, in areas that are now part of Indonesia. The KNIL's air arm was the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force. Elements of the Royal Netherlands Navy were also stationed in the Netherlands East Indies.
The Brunei revolt was a December 1962 insurrection in the British protectorate of Brunei by opponents of its monarchy and its proposed inclusion in the Federation of Malaysia. The insurgents were members of the TNKU, a militia supplied by Indonesia and linked to the leftwing Brunei People's Party (BPP), which favoured a North Borneo Federation. The TNKU began co-ordinated attacks on the oil town of Seria, on police stations, and on government facilities around the protectorate. The revolt began to break down within hours, having failed to achieve key objectives such as the capture of Brunei town and Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III. The revolt influenced the Sultan's 1963 decision not to join Malaysia. It is seen as one of the first stages of the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.
Kinu (鬼怒) was the fifth of the six ships completed Nagara-class light cruiser in the Imperial Japanese Navy, named after the Kinu River in Tochigi prefecture Japan. She was active in World War II in various campaigns in Malaya, the Dutch East Indies and New Guinea before being sunk by United States Navy carrier-based aircraft in the Philippines in 1944.
British Borneo comprised the four northern parts of the island of Borneo, which are now the country of Brunei, two Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, and the Malaysian territory of Labuan. During the British colonial rule before World War II, Sarawak was known as the Raj of Sarawak (1841–1946), Sabah was known as North Borneo (1881–1946), and Labuan was known as the Crown Colony of Labuan (1848–1946). Between World War II and their independence from Britain, Sarawak became the Crown Colony of Sarawak (1946–1963) whereas Sabah and Labuan combined to form the Crown Colony of North Borneo (1946–1963). The Kingdom of Brunei (1888/1906-1984) was a protectorate of the United Kingdom since the 1888/1906 Protectorate Agreement, and was known as British Protectorate State of Brunei.
Kiyotake Kawaguchi was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.
The Dutch East Indies Campaign of 1941–1942 was the conquest of the Dutch East Indies by forces from the Empire of Japan in the early days of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Forces from the Allies attempted unsuccessfully to defend the islands. The East Indies were targeted by the Japanese for their rich oil resources which would become a vital asset during the war. The campaign and subsequent three and a half year Japanese occupation was also a major factor in the end of Dutch colonial rule in the region.
The Kawaguchi Detachment was an Imperial Japanese Army formation that existed during World War II. Under the command of Major General Kiyotake Kawaguchi, the detachment consisted of the 35th Infantry Brigade and the 124th Infantry Regiment. The detachment operated independently of its parent 18th Division and saw action in several campaigns, including fighting on Borneo, the Philippines and Guadalcanal.
The Battle of Palembang was a battle of the Pacific theatre of World War II. It occurred near Palembang, on Sumatra, on 13–15 February 1942. The Royal Dutch Shell oil refineries at nearby Pladju were the major objectives for the Empire of Japan in the Pacific War, because of an oil embargo imposed on Japan by the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. With the area's abundant fuel supply and airfield, Palembang offered significant potential as a military base to both the Allies and the Japanese.
The Battle of Manado was a battle of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. It occurred at Manado on the Minahasa peninsula on the northern part of the island of Celebes, from 11–13 January 1942 as an attempt to open a passage to attack Australia through the eastern part of Dutch East Indies.
Borneo Airways is the name of two former airlines. The first, Borneo Airways Limited, was based in British Borneo and was active in the 1950s and until 1965. Borneo Airways was in operation during 1997–1999 in Brunei.
The Diocese of Kuching is a diocese of the Anglican Church of the Province of South East Asia that covers Sarawak and Brunei. Founded in 1962, the see was originally established as the Bishopric of Sarawak linked to the Diocese of Labuan in 1855. The current bishop is the Most Rev'd Danald Jute, 14th Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Kuching and Brunei, who was consecrated on 13 August 2017. His seat is at St. Thomas' Cathedral, Kuching.
History of Sarawak can be traced as far as 40,000 years ago paleolithic period where the earliest evidence of human settlements is found in the Niah caves. A series of Chinese ceramics dated from 8th to 13th century AD was uncovered at the archeological site of Santubong. The coastal regions of Sarawak came under the influence of the Bruneian Empire in the 16th century. In 1839, James Brooke, a British explorer, first arrived in Sarawak. Sarawak was later governed by the Brooke family between 1841 and 1946. During World War II, it was occupied by the Japanese for three years. After the war, the last White Rajah, Charles Vyner Brooke, ceded Sarawak to Britain, and in 1946 it became a British Crown Colony. On 22 July 1963, Sarawak was granted self-government by the British. Following this, it became one of the founding members of the Federation of Malaysia, established on 16 September 1963. However, the federation was opposed by Indonesia, and this led to the three-year Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. From 1960 to 1990, Sarawak experienced a communist insurgency.
The Invasion of Sumatra was the assault by Imperial Japanese forces on the Dutch East Indies that took place from 14 February to 28 March 1942. The invasion was part of the Pacific War in South-East Asia during World War II and led to the capture of the island. The invasion of Sumatra was planned to occur prior to the invasion of Java to destroy the west flank of the allies and to give access to Java.
Philip Crosland was "one of the last of a group of British journalists to make a career working in the Indian national press."
Before the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific, the island of Borneo was divided into five territories. Four of the territories were in the north and under British control – Sarawak, Brunei, Labuan, an island, and British North Borneo; while the remainder, and bulk, of the island, was under the jurisdiction of the Dutch East Indies.