The Jakarta Post
Two of the newly recovered World War II bridge pontoons are being lifted onto a truck on Nov. 7. (JP/Asip Hasani)
The recent discovery of boat-shaped artifacts assumed to be part of a pontoon bridge left by the Dutch East Indies colonial government in the Bengawan Solo River in Lamongan, East Java, are reminders of how Allied forces were initially defeated in the Southeast Asian theater during World War II. The sunken pontoons had been found by sand miners in Mertani village, Lamongan regency, East Java in early October after a prolonged dry season led to an unusual drop of water levels in the river. Archaeologists said the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command, which was attempting to prevent the southward advance of Japanese forces, probably ordered the sinking of the pontoon bridge shortly after the Japanese began their invasion of Java in early 1942. The three boat-shaped pontoons pulled from the longest river on Java would have served to support the bridge's platfor...
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