New Guinea campaign
The New Guinea campaign of the Pacific War lasted from January 1942 until the end of the war in August 1945. During the initial phase in early 1942, the Empire of Japan invaded the Australian-administered territories of the New Guinea Mandate and Papua and overran western New Guinea, a part of the Netherlands East Indies. During the second phase, lasting from late 1942 until the Japanese surrender, the Allies—consisting of Australian and US forces—cleared the Japanese first from Papua the Mandate and from the Dutch colony; the campaign resulted in heavy losses for the Empire of Japan. As in most Pacific War campaigns and starvation claimed more Japanese lives than enemy action. Most Japanese troops never came into contact with Allied forces, were instead cut off and subjected to an effective blockade by the US Navy. Garrisons were besieged and denied shipments of food and medical supplies, as a result, some claim that 97% of Japanese deaths in this campaign were from non-combat causes. According to John Laffin, the campaign "was arguably the most arduous fought by any Allied troops during World War II".
The struggle for New Guinea began with the capture by the Japanese of the city of Rabaul at the northeastern tip of New Britain Island in January 1942. Rabaul overlooks Simpson Harbor, a considerable natural anchorage, was ideal for the construction of airfields. Over the next year, the Japanese built up the area into naval base; the Japanese 8th Area Army, under General Hitoshi Imamura at Rabaul, was responsible for both the New Guinea and Solomon Islands campaigns. The Japanese 18th Army, under Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi, was responsible for Japanese operations on mainland New Guinea; the colonial capital of Port Moresby on the south coast of Papua was the strategic key for the Japanese in this area of operations. Capturing it would both neutralize the Allies' principal forward base and serve as a springboard for a possible invasion of Australia. For the same reasons, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander Allied Forces South West Pacific Area was determined to hold it. MacArthur was further determined to conquer all of New Guinea in his progress toward the eventual recapture of the Philippines.
General Headquarters Southwest Pacific Area Operational Instruction No.7 of 25 May 1942, issued by Commander-Allied-Forces, General Douglas MacArthur, placed all Australian and US Army, Air Force and Navy Forces in the Port Moresby Area under the control of New Guinea Force. Due north of Port Moresby, on the northeast coast of Papua, are the Huon Peninsula; the Japanese entered Lae and Salamaua, two locations on Huon Gulf, unopposed in early March 1942. MacArthur would have liked to deny this area to the Japanese, but he had neither sufficient air nor naval forces to undertake a counterlanding; the Japanese at Rabaul and other bases on New Britain would have overwhelmed any such effort. The only Allied response was a bombing raid of Lae and Salamaua by aircraft flying over the Owen Stanley Range from the carriers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown, leading the Japanese to reinforce these sites. Operation Mo was the designation given by the Japanese to their initial plan to take possession of Port Moresby.
Their operation plan decreed a five-pronged attack: one task force to establish a seaplane base at Tulagi in the lower Solomons, one to establish a seaplane base in the Louisiade Archipelago off the eastern tip of New Guinea, one of transports to land troops near Port Moresby, one with a light carrier to cover the landing, one with two fleet carriers to sink the Allied forces sent in response. In the resulting 4–8 May 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea, the Allies suffered higher losses in ships, but achieved a crucial strategic victory by turning the Japanese landing force back, thereby removing the threat to Port Moresby, at least for the time being. After this failure, the Japanese decided on a longer term, two-pronged assault for their next attempt on Port Moresby. Forward positions would first be established at Milne Bay, located in the forked eastern end of the Papuan peninsula, at Buna, a village on the northeast coast of Papua about halfway between Huon Gulf and Milne Bay. Simultaneous operations from these two locations, one amphibious and one overland, would converge on the target city.
Buna was taken as the Allies had no military presence there. The Japanese occupied the village with an initial force of 1,500 on 21 July and by 22 August had 11,430 men under arms at Buna. Began the grueling Kokoda Track campaign, a brutal experience for both the Japanese and Australian troops involved. On 17 September, the Japanese had reached the village of Ioribaiwa, just 30 kilometres from the Allied airdrome at Port Moresby; the Australians began their counterdrive on 26 September." "...the Japanese retreat down the Kokoda Trail had turned into a rout. Thousands perished from disease, thus was the overland threat to Port Moresby permanently removed. Since Port Moresby was the only port supporting operations in Papua, its defence was critical to the campaign; the air defences consisted of P-40 fighters. RAAF radar could not provide sufficient w
Japanese invasion of French Indochina
The Japanese invasion of French Indochina was a short undeclared military confrontation between the Empire of Japan and the French State in northern French Indochina. Fighting lasted from 22 to 26 September 1940, simultaneous with the Battle of South Guangxi in the Sino-Japanese War; the main objective of the Japanese was to prevent the Republic of China from importing arms and fuel through French Indochina along the Kunming–Hai Phong Railway, from the Indochinese port of Haiphong, through the capital of Hanoi to the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan. Although an agreement had been reached between the French and Japanese governments prior to the outbreak of fighting, authorities were unable to control events on the ground for several days before the troops stood down. Per the prior agreement, Japan was allowed to occupy Tonkin in northern Indochina and blockade China. In early 1940, troops of the Imperial Japanese Army moved to seize southern Guangxi and Longzhou County, where the eastern branch of the Kunming–Hai Phong Railway reached the border at the Friendship Pass in Pingxiang.
They tried to move west to cut the rail line to Kunming. The railway from Indochina was the Chinese government's last secure overland link to the outside world. In May 1940, Germany invaded France. On 22 June, France signed an armistice with Germany. On 10 July, the French parliament voted full powers to Marshal Philippe Pétain abrogating the Third Republic. Although the northern half of metropolitan France came under German military occupation, the French colonies remained under the direct rule of the French Government which had evacuated Paris to Vichy. On 19 June, Japan took advantage of the defeat of France and the impending armistice to present the Governor-General of Indochina, Georges Catroux, with a request, in fact an ultimatum, demanding the closure of all supply routes to China and the admission of a 40-man Japanese inspection team under General Issaku Nishihara; the Americans became aware of the true nature of the Japanese "request" through intelligence intercepts, since the Japanese had informed their German allies.
Catroux responded by warning the Japanese that their unspecified "other measures" would be a breach of sovereignty. He was reluctant to acquiesce to the Japanese, but with his intelligence reporting that Japanese army and navy units were moving into threatening positions, the French government was not prepared for a protracted defense of the colony. Therefore, Catroux complied with the Japanese ultimatum on 20 June. Before the end of June the last train carrying munitions crossed the border bound for Kunming. Following this humiliation, Catroux was replaced as governor-general by Admiral Jean Decoux. On 22 June, while Catroux was still in his post, the Japanese issued a second demand: naval basing rights at Guangzhouwan and the total closure of the Chinese border by 7 July. Issaku Nishihara, to lead the "inspection team", the true purpose of, unknown to the Japanese, arrived in Hanoi on 29 June. On 3 July, he issued a third demand: air bases and the right to transit combat troops through Indochina.
These new demands were referred to the government in France. The incoming governor, who arrived in Indochina in July, urged the government to reject the demands. Although he believed that Indo-China could not defend itself against a Japanese invasion, Decoux believed it was strong enough to dissuade Japan from invading. At Vichy, General Jules-Antoine Bührer, chief of the Colonial General Staff, counselled resistance; the still neutral United States had been contracted to provide aircraft, there were 4,000 Tirailleurs sénégalais in Djibouti that could be shipped to Indo-China in case of need. In Indo-China, Decoux had under his command 32,000 regulars, plus 17,000 auxiliaries, although they were all ill-equipped. On 30 August 1940, the Japanese foreign minister, Yōsuke Matsuoka, approved a draft proposal submitted by his French colleague, Paul Baudouin, whereby Japanese forces could be stationed in and transit through Indo-China only for the duration of the Sino-Japanese War. Both governments "instructed their military representatives in Indo-China to work out the details they would have been better advised to stick to Tokyo–French channels a bit longer".
Negotiations between the supreme commander of Indo-Chinese troops, Maurice Martin, General Nishihara began at Hanoi on 3 September. During negotiations, the government in France asked the German government to intervene to moderate its ally's demands; the Germans did not do anything. Decoux and Martin, acting on their own, looked for help from the American and British consuls in Hanoi, consulted with the Chinese government on joint defence against a Japanese attack on Indo-China. On 6 September, an infantry battalion of the Japanese Twenty-Second Army based in Nanning violated the Indo-Chinese border near the French fort at Đồng Đăng; the Twenty-Second Army was a part of the Japanese Southern China Area Army, whose officers, remembering the Mukden incident of 1931, were trying to force their superiors to adopt a more aggressive policy. Following the Đồng Đăng incident, Decoux cut off negotiations. On 18 September, Nishihara sent him an ultimatum, warning that Japanese troops would enter Indo-China regardless of any French agreement at 2200 hours on 22 September.
This prompted Decoux to demand a reduction in the number of Japanese troops that would be stationed in Indo-China. The Japanese Army General Staff, with the support of the Japanese Southern China Area Army, was demanding 25,000 troops in Indochina. Nishihara, with the support of the Imperial General Headquarters, got that number reduced to 6,000 on 21 September. Seven and a half hours before the ex
Battle of Badung Strait
The Battle of Badung Strait was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the night of 19/20 February 1942 in Badung Strait between the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command and the Imperial Japanese Navy. In the engagement, the four Japanese destroyers defeated an Allied force that outnumbered and outgunned them, escorting two transports to safety and sinking the Dutch destroyer Piet Hein; the battle demonstrated the Japanese Navy's considerable superiority over the Allies in night fighting which lasted until the Battle of Cape St. George. A battalion of the 48th Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army landed on Bali on 18 February 1942. Dutch Admiral Karel Doorman's naval forces were scattered around Indonesia, but the invasion of Bali could not be ignored — it would give the Japanese an airbase within range of the ABDA naval base at Surabaya — so he sent in all available ships; the short notice gave no time to concentrate his ships. The first Allied vessels to engage were HMS Truant.
Both attacked the Japanese convoy on 18 February, but did no damage and were driven off by depth charges from Japanese destroyers. That day, 20 planes of the United States Army Air Forces attacked the convoy but succeeded only in damaging the transport Sagami Maru; the Japanese were aware that their invasion convoy was to be attacked again, so they retreated north as soon as possible. The cruiser Nagara and the destroyers Wakaba and Nenohi were well away and took no part in the action; the last ships to leave were the two modes of transport, each escorted by two destroyers. Sasago Maru was escorted by Ōshio; the first Allied group—consisting of the cruisers HNLMS De Ruyter and Java and the destroyers USS John D. Ford, HNLMS Piet Hein—sighted the Japanese in Badung Strait at about 22:00 and opened fire at 22:25 on 19 February. No damage was done in this exchange of fire, the two Dutch cruisers continued through the strait to the northeast, to give the destroyers a free hand to engage with torpedoes.
Piet Hein and John D. Ford came into range. At 22:40, a Long Lance torpedo from Asashio hit Piet Hein. Asashio and Oshio exchanged gunfire with Pope and John D. Ford, forcing the two American destroyers to retire to the southeast instead of following the cruisers to the northeast. In the darkness and Oshio mistook each other for enemy ships and fired on each other for several minutes, without any damage. About three hours the second group of ABDA ships—the cruiser HNLMS Tromp and the destroyers USS John D. Edwards, Parrott and Stewart—reached Badung Strait. At 01:36, Stewart and Parrott launched torpedoes but did no damage. Oshio and Asashio sortied again and there was another exchange of gunfire. Tromp was hit by eleven 5 in shells from Asashio damaging her and hit both Japanese destroyers, killing four men on Asashio and seven on Oshio. Tromp had to return to Australia for repairs. Arashio and Michishio had been ordered by Admiral Kubo to turn back, at about 02:20 they joined the battle. Michishio was hit by shells from Pillsbury, John D. Edwards and Tromp, killing 13 of her crew and wounding 83.
She had to be towed after the battle. Both groups of ships turned away, the engagement was over; the third ABDA group—seven torpedo boats—arrived in Badung Strait at about 06:00 but did not encounter any Japanese ships. The battle was a significant victory for the Japanese. Lieutenant Commander Gorō Yoshii of Asashio and Commander Kiyoshi Kikkawa of Oshio had shown great bravery and skill, they had driven off a much larger Allied force, sunk the destroyer Piet Hein and damaged the cruiser Tromp, had sustained little damage themselves, had protected their transport ships. Bali's garrison of 600 Indonesian militia offered no resistance to the Japanese, its airfield was captured intact; the Japanese continued their conquest of the Dutch East Indies with the capture of Timor from 20–23 February. The ABDA forces engaged at Badung Strait were decisively defeated in the Battle of the Java Sea on 1 March 1942, in which the Dutch cruisers Java and De Ruyter were sunk and Admiral Doorman was killed. Tromp evaded this fate, for she was withdrawn to Australia to repair damage suffered at Badung Strait.
The destroyer Stewart was repaired in Soerabaia, where she was next captured by the Japanese and put to their service as the patrol vessel P-102. L, Klemen. "Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941–1942". Order of battle O'Hara, Battle of Badung Strait Ramires, Felipe C; the fall of Bali and the naval battle of the Badoeng Strait 18 – 20 February 1942 Womack, Tom Fire in the Night: The loss of Bali and Timor Womack, Battle of Badoeng Strait: World War II Naval Duel off Bali
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, east of Sumatra; the island is politically divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, Indonesia to the south. 73% of the island is Indonesian territory. In the north, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak make up about 26% of the island. Additionally, the Malaysian federal territory of Labuan is situated on a small island just off the coast of Borneo; the sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo's land area. A little more than half of the island is in the Northern Hemisphere including Brunei and the Malaysian portion, while the Indonesian portion spans both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Borneo is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world; the island is known by many names. Internationally it is known as Borneo, after Brunei, derived from European contact with the kingdom in the 16th century during the Age of Exploration.
The name Brunei derives from the Sanskrit word váruṇa, meaning either "water" or Varuna, the Vedic god of rain. Indonesian natives called it Kalimantan, derived from the Sanskrit word Kalamanthana, meaning "burning weather island". In earlier times, the island was known by other names. In 977, Chinese records began to use the term Bo-ni to refer to Borneo. In 1225, it was mentioned by the Chinese official Chau Ju-Kua; the Javanese manuscript Nagarakretagama, written by Majapahit court poet Mpu Prapanca in 1365, mentioned the island as Nusa Tanjungnagara, which means the island of the Tanjungpura Kingdom. Borneo is surrounded by the South China Sea to the north and northwest, the Sulu Sea to the northeast, the Celebes Sea and the Makassar Strait to the east, the Java Sea and Karimata Strait to the south. To the west of Borneo are the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. To the south and east are islands of Indonesia: Java and Sulawesi, respectively. To the northeast are the Philippine Islands. With an area of 743,330 square kilometres, it is the third-largest island in the world, is the largest island of Asia.
Its highest point is Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, with an elevation of 4,095 m. Before sea levels rose at the end of the last Ice Age, Borneo was part of the mainland of Asia, with Java and Sumatra, the upland regions of a peninsula that extended east from present day Indochina; the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand now submerge the former low-lying areas of the peninsula. Deeper waters separating Borneo from neighbouring Sulawesi prevented a land connection to that island, creating the divide known as Wallace's Line between Asian and Australia-New Guinea biological regions; the largest river system is the Kapuas in West Kalimantan, with a length of 1,000 km. Other major rivers include the Mahakam in East Kalimantan, the Barito in South Kalimantan, Rajang in Sarawak and Kinabatangan in Sabah. Borneo has significant cave systems. In Sarawak, the Clearwater Cave has one of the world's longest underground rivers while Deer Cave is home to over three million bats, with guano accumulated to over 100 metres deep.
The Gomantong Caves in Sabah has been dubbed as the "Cockroach Cave" due to the presence of millions of cockroaches inside the cave. The Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak and Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat Karst in East Kalimantan which a karst areas contains thousands of smaller caves; the Borneo rainforest is estimated to be around 140 million years old, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the world. It is the centre of the evolution and distribution of many endemic species of plants and animals, the rainforest is one of the few remaining natural habitats for the endangered Bornean orangutan, it is an important refuge for many endemic forest species, including the Borneo elephant, the eastern Sumatran rhinoceros, the Bornean clouded leopard, the hose's palm civet and the dayak fruit bat. Peat swamp forests occupy the entire coastline of Borneo; the soil of the peat swamp are comparatively infertile, while it is known to be the home of various bird species such as the hook-billed bulbul, helmeted hornbill and rhinoceros hornbill.
There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds in Borneo. There are about 440 freshwater fish species in Borneo; the Borneo river shark is known only from the Kinabatangan River. In 2010, the World Wide Fund for Nature stated that 123 species have been discovered in Borneo since the "Heart of Borneo" agreement was signed in 2007; the WWF has classified the island into seven distinct ecoregions. Most are lowland regions: Borneo lowland rain forests cover most of the island, with an area of 427,500 square kilometres; the Borneo montane rain forests lie in the central highlands of the island, above the 1,000 metres elevation. The Tropical and subtropical grasslands and shrublands on South Kalimantan; the highest elevations of Mount Kinabalu are home to the Kinabalu mountain alpine meadow, an alpine shrubland notable for its numerous endemic species, including many orchids. The island had extensive rainforest cover, but the area w
Axis naval activity in Australian waters
Although Australia was remote from the main battlefronts, there was considerable Axis naval activity in Australian waters during the Second World War. A total of 54 German and Japanese warships and submarines entered Australian waters between 1940 and 1945 and attacked ships and other targets. Among the best-known attacks are the sinking of HMAS Sydney by a German raider in November 1941, the bombing of Darwin by Japanese naval aircraft in February 1942, the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour in May 1942. In addition, many Allied merchant ships were damaged or sunk off the Australian coast by submarines and mines. Japanese submarines shelled several Australian ports and submarine-based aircraft flew over several Australian capital cities; the Axis threat to Australia developed and until 1942 was limited to sporadic attacks by German armed merchantmen. The level of Axis naval activity peaked in the first half of 1942 when Japanese submarines conducted anti-shipping patrols off Australia's coast, Japanese naval aviation attacked several towns in northern Australia.
The Japanese submarine offensive against Australia was renewed in the first half of 1943 but was broken off as the Allies pushed the Japanese onto the defensive. Few Axis naval vessels operated in Australian waters in 1944 and 1945, those that did had only a limited impact. Due to the episodic nature of the Axis attacks and the small number of ships and submarines committed and Japan were not successful in disrupting Australian shipping. While the Allies were forced to deploy substantial assets to defend shipping in Australian waters, this did not have a significant impact on the Australian war effort or American-led operations in the South West Pacific Area; the definition of "Australian waters" used throughout this article is, broadly speaking, the area, designated the Australia Station prior to the outbreak of war. This vast area consisted of the waters around Australia and eastern New Guinea, stretching south to Antarctica. From east to west, it stretched from 170° east in the Pacific Ocean to 80° east in the Indian Ocean, from north to south it stretched from the Equator to the Antarctic.
While the eastern half of New Guinea was an Australian colonial possession during the Second World War and fell within the Australia Station, the Japanese operations in these waters formed part of the New Guinea and Solomon Islands Campaigns and were not directed at Australia. The defence of the Australia Station was the Royal Australian Navy's main concern throughout the war. While RAN ships served outside Australian waters, escort vessels and minesweepers were available to protect shipping in the Australia Station at all times; these escorts were supported by a small number of larger warships, such as cruisers and armed merchant cruisers, for protection against surface raiders. While important military shipping movements were escorted from the start of the war, convoys were not instituted in Australian waters until June 1942; the Australian naval authorities did, close ports to shipping at various times following real or suspected sightings of enemy warships or mines prior to June 1942. The Royal Australian Air Force was responsible for the protection of shipping within the Australia Station.
Throughout the war, RAAF aircraft escorted convoys and conducted reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols from bases around Australia. The main types of aircraft used for maritime patrol were Avro Ansons, Bristol Beauforts, Consolidated PBY Catalinas and Lockheed Hudsons. Following the outbreak of the Pacific War, RAAF fighter squadrons were stationed to protect key Australian ports and escorted shipping in areas where air attack was feared; the Allied naval forces assigned to the Australia Station were increased following Japan's entry into the war and the beginning of the United States military build-up in Australia. These naval forces were supported by a large increase in the RAAF's maritime patrol force and the arrival of United States Navy patrol aircraft. Following the initial Japanese submarine attacks, a convoy system was instituted between Australian ports, by the end of the war the RAAF and RAN had escorted over 1,100 convoys along the Australian coastline; as the battlefront moved to the north and attacks in Australian waters became less frequent, the number of ships and aircraft assigned to shipping protection duties within the Australia Station was reduced.
In addition to the air and naval forces assigned to protect shipping in Australian waters, fixed defences were constructed to protect the major Australian ports. The Australian Army was responsible for developing and manning coastal defences to protect ports from attacks by enemy surface raiders; these defences consisted of a number of fixed guns defended by anti-aircraft guns and infantry. The Army's coastal defences were expanded as the threat to Australia increased between 1940 and 1942, reached their peak strength in 1944; the Royal Australian Navy was responsible for developing and manning harbour defences in Australia's main ports. These defences consisted of fixed anti-submarine booms and mines supported by small patrol craft, were greatly expanded as the threat to Australia increased; the RAN laid defensive minefields in Australian waters from August 1941. While the naval and air forces available for the protection of shipping in Australian waters were never adequate to defeat a heavy or coordinated attack, they proved sufficient to mount defensive patrols against the sporadic and cautious attacks mounted by the Axis navies during the war.
While German surface raiders operated in the western Indian Ocean in 1939 and early 1940, they did not enter Australian waters until the s
Dutch East Indies
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. During the 19th century, the Dutch possessions and hegemony were expanded, reaching their greatest territorial extent in the early 20th century; this colony was one of the most valuable European colonies under the Dutch Empire's rule, contributed to Dutch global prominence in spice and cash crop trade in the 19th to early 20th century. The colonial social order was based on rigid racial and social structures with a Dutch elite living separate from but linked to their native subjects; the term Indonesia came into use for the geographical location after 1880. In the early 20th century, local intellectuals began developing the concept of Indonesia as a nation state, set the stage for an independence movement. Japan's World War II occupation dismantled much of economy. Following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, Indonesian nationalists declared independence which they fought to secure during the subsequent Indonesian National Revolution.
The Netherlands formally recognized Indonesian sovereignty at the 1949 Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference with the exception of the Netherlands New Guinea, ceded to Indonesia 14 years in 1963 under the provisions of the New York Agreement. The word Indies comes from Latin: Indus; the original name Dutch Indies was translated by the English as the Dutch East Indies, to keep it distinct from the Dutch West Indies. The name Dutch Indies is recorded in the Dutch East India Company's documents of the early 1620s. Scholars writing in English use the terms Indië, the Dutch East Indies, the Netherlands Indies, colonial Indonesia interchangeably. Centuries before Europeans arrived, the Indonesian archipelago supported various states, including commercially oriented coastal trading states and inland agrarian states; the first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese in 1512. Following disruption of Dutch access to spices in Europe, the first Dutch expedition set sail for the East Indies in 1595 to access spices directly from Asia.
When it made a 400% profit on its return, other Dutch expeditions soon followed. Recognising the potential of the East Indies trade, the Dutch government amalgamated the competing companies into the United East India Company; the VOC was granted a charter to wage war, build fortresses, make treaties across Asia. A capital was established in Batavia. To their original monopolies on nutmeg, peppers and cinnamon, the company and colonial administrations introduced non-indigenous cash crops like coffee, cacao, rubber and opium, safeguarded their commercial interests by taking over surrounding territory. Smuggling, the ongoing expense of war and mismanagement led to bankruptcy by the end of the 18th century; the company was formally dissolved in 1800 and its colonial possessions in the Indonesian archipelago were nationalized under the Dutch Republic as the Dutch East Indies. From the arrival of the first Dutch ships in the late 16th century, to the declaration of independence in 1945, Dutch control over the Indonesian archipelago was always tenuous.
Although Java was dominated by the Dutch, many areas remained independent throughout much of this time, including Aceh, Bali and Borneo. There were numerous wars and disturbances across the archipelago as various indigenous groups resisted efforts to establish a Dutch hegemony, which weakened Dutch control and tied up its military forces. Piracy remained a problem until the mid-19th century. In the early 20th century, imperial dominance was extended across what was to become the territory of modern-day Indonesia. In 1806, with the Netherlands under Imperial French domination, Emperor Napoleon I appointed his brother Louis Bonaparte to the Dutch throne, which led to the 1808 appointment of Marshal Herman Willem Daendels as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. In 1811 Daendels was replaced by Governor-General Jan Willem Janssens, but shortly after his arrival British forces occupied several Dutch East Indies ports including Java, Thomas Stamford Raffles became Lieutenant Governor. Following Napoleon's defeat at the 1815 Battle of Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna, independent Dutch control was restored in 1816.
Under the 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty, the Dutch secured British settlements such as Bengkulu in Sumatra, in exchange for ceding control of their possessions in the Malay Peninsula and Dutch India. The resulting borders between former British and Dutch possessions remain today between modern Malaysia and Indonesia. Since the establishment of the VOC in the 17th century, the expansion of Dutch territory had been a business matter. Graaf van den Bosch's Governor-generalship confirmed profitability as the foundation of official policy, restricting its attention to Java and Bangka. However, from about 1840, Dutch national expansionism saw them wage a series of wars to enlarge and consolidate their possessions in the outer islands. Motivations included: the protection of areas held.
Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia, taking place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The battle is significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which the opposing ships neither sighted nor fired directly upon one another. In an attempt to strengthen their defensive position in the South Pacific, the Japanese decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby and Tulagi; the plan to accomplish this was called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet. These included a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion forces, it was under the overall command of Japanese Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue. The U. S. learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence, sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-U. S. Cruiser force to oppose the offensive.
These were under the overall command of U. S. Admiral Frank J. Fletcher. On 3–4 May, Japanese forces invaded and occupied Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were sunk or damaged in surprise attacks by aircraft from the U. S. fleet carrier Yorktown. Now aware of the presence of U. S. carriers in the area, the Japanese fleet carriers advanced towards the Coral Sea with the intention of locating and destroying the Allied naval forces. On the evening of 6 May, the direction chosen for air searches by the opposing commanders brought the two carrier forces to within 70 nmi of each other, unbeknownst to both sides. Beginning on 7 May, the carrier forces from the two sides engaged in airstrikes over two consecutive days. On the first day, both forces mistakenly believed they were attacking their opponent's fleet carriers, but were attacking other units, with the U. S. sinking the Japanese light carrier Shōhō while the Japanese sank a U. S. destroyer and damaged a fleet oiler. The next day, the fleet carriers found and engaged each other, with the Japanese fleet carrier Shōkaku damaged, the U.
S. fleet carrier Lexington critically damaged, Yorktown damaged. With both sides having suffered heavy losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two forces disengaged and retired from the battle area; because of the loss of carrier air cover, Inoue recalled the Port Moresby invasion fleet, intending to try again later. Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to be a strategic victory for the Allies for several reasons; the battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. More the Japanese fleet carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku—the former damaged and the latter with a depleted aircraft complement—were unable to participate in the Battle of Midway the following month, while Yorktown did participate, ensuring a rough parity in aircraft between the two adversaries and contributing to the U. S. victory in that battle. The severe losses in carriers at Midway prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby from the ocean and helped prompt their ill-fated land offensive over the Kokoda Track.
Two months the Allies took advantage of Japan's resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign. On December 8, 1941, Japan declared war on the US and the British Empire, after Japanese forces attacked Malaya and Hong Kong as well as the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. In launching this war, Japanese leaders sought to neutralize the U. S. fleet, seize territory rich in natural resources, obtain strategic military bases to defend their far-flung empire. In the words of the Imperial Japanese Navy Combined Fleet's "Secret Order Number One", dated 1 November 1941, the goals of the initial Japanese campaigns in the impending war were to " British and American strength from the Netherlands Indies and the Philippines, to establish a policy of autonomous self-sufficiency and economic independence." To support these goals, during the first few months of 1942, besides Malaya, Japanese forces attacked and took control of the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Wake Island, New Britain, the Gilbert Islands and Guam, inflicting heavy losses on opposing Allied land and air forces.
Japan planned to use these conquered territories to establish a perimeter defense for its empire from which it expected to employ attritional tactics to defeat or exhaust any Allied counterattacks. Shortly after the war began, Japan's Naval General Staff recommended an invasion of Northern Australia to prevent Australia from being used as a base to threaten Japan's perimeter defences in the South Pacific; the Imperial Japanese Army rejected the recommendation, stating that it did not have the forces or shipping capacity available to conduct such an operation. At the same time, Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue, commander of the IJN's Fourth Fleet which consisted of most of the naval units in the South Pacific area, advocated the occupation of Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands and Port Moresby in New Guinea, which would put Northern Australia within range of Japanese land-based aircraft. Inoue believed the capture and control of these locations would provide greater security and defensive depth for the major Japanese base at Ra