Monday, 27 February 2017

The disastrous battle of the ABDA-squadron against the Japanese fleet in the Java Sea on 27 February 1942

Hr. Ms. De Ruyter

Hr. Ms. Java

Hr.Ms. Kortenaer

British HMS Exeter

Leander-class to which the Australian HMAS Perth belonged

American USS Houston

Today the Netherland commemorates the battle of the Allied ABDA-command squadron commanded by the Dutch rear admiral Karel Doorman against the Japanese fleet 75 years ago in the Java Sea.

Dutch rear admiral Karel Doorman

The battle on 27 February was disastrous for the allied squadron. The Royal Netherlands Navy lost her two cruisers Hr. Ms. De Ruyter and Java and the destroyer Kortenaer and the Royal British Navy her destroyers HMS Jupiter and Electra. In the two days following were the British cruiser HMS Exeter and destroyers HMS Encounter, the American cruiser USS Houston and the destroyer USS Pope and the Australian cruiser HMAS Perth destroyed. More as 2.300 men were killed, 915 were Dutch. The result was that the Dutch East Indies with the rich oil fields fell in Japanese hands. For the Royal Netherlands Navy the loss was in several ways disastrous  Except for the enormous tragic loss of lives of experienced sailors, hardly irreplaceable for a relative small navy, remained almost nothing of her fleet in the Far East. The flotilla leader or light cruiser Hr,Ms. Tromp being her largest unit.

Hendrik Stofberg, segeant engineer died on board of Hr. Ms. Java
photo Gemeentearchief Vlissingen