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Jakarta Post

Commemorating the Battle of Surabaya and modern heroes too

  • Darmawan Prasodjo

Durham, North Carolina   /   Thu, November 10 2011   /  01:45 pm

Sixty-six years ago, British forces landed in Surabaya as part of the Allies acceptance of Japan’s surrender and to recover prisoners of war. However, included within this British force was a Dutch military contingent with a covert mission to regain colonial rule over Indonesia. The Battle of Surabaya followed and is one of the most important in Indonesian history.

The renowned Bung Tomo led the battle and gave a fiery, emotional radio address that propelled thousands of Indonesians, both civilians and soldiers, to action.

Charged with the spirit of freedom, 30,000 Indonesian soldiers and more than 100,000 civilian volunteers marched into battle. They were humble, ordinary Indonesians who faced an overwhelming challenge, but rose gallantly against the impending tyranny.

While Indonesia suffered heavy losses in that battle, it showcased the courage of its people ...