Friday, September 28, 2012

Dutch military aggression II

Operation Kraai ("Operation Crow") was the code name for a Dutch military offensive against the newly formed Republic of Indonesia in December 1948 - January 1949. During this attack, the Dutch managed to capture the Indonesian Republic's temporary capital, Yogyakarta, and seized Indonesian leaders such as Republican President Sukarno.
Referred to by the Dutch as the second of two "Politionele acties" ("Police Actions"), it is known in Indonesia as Agresi Militer Belanda II ("Dutch military aggression II").

Background

The second Politionele Actie was aimed at forcing the Republic to cooperate with the Dutch government in the implementation of the federalist policy as stipulated in the Linggadjati Agreement. The purpose was to organize the new Indonesia as a federal state that would remain closely associated with the Netherlands.[7] The Indonesians had breached the armistice signed following Operation Product.The Renville Agreement, as the armistice was called, stipulated the withdrawal of Indonesian forces from Dutch-occupied territory in exchange for ending the Dutch naval blockade, and this was indeed put into effect. After some time, however, the Indonesian military, secretly, returned and began guerrilla operations against the Dutch.[8]
By September 1948, the Dutch military command had succeeded in decoding the Republic's encyrpted secret code, gaining crucial intelligence on Indonesian military and diplomatic strategies and plans. This allowed General Simon Hendrik Spoor to counteract Republic actions on the battlefield and diplomatic stage. The Dutch were so confident of this advantage that they held a press conference in Jakarta three days prior to the actual attack.[9] The Dutch also timed their attack to coordinate with plans by the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to dispatch a private plane to fly Sukarno and Hatta to Bukittinggi in West Sumatra where they would head an emergency government. A Republican delegation led by Sukarno would then be flown to New York via New Delhi to advocate the Republic's cause in the United Nations General Assembly. Throughout the Indonesian National Revolution, newly independent India had been sympathetic to the Republic cause which they viewed as a struggle against Western imperialism.[9]
On 18 December, radio broadcasts in Jakarta reported that the Dutch High Commissioner Dr. Beel was going to give an important speech the next day. This news did not reach Yogyakarta because the Dutch had cut the communication line. Meanwhile General Spoor gave an instruction to begin a full-scale surprise attack against the republic. The operation was codenamed Operation Kraai (Kraai = Dutch: crow).[6] He timed the attack prior to coincide with Republic military exercises on 19 December, giving Dutch movements some temporary camouflage and enabling them to take the enemy by surprise. The attack was also launched without the prior knowledge of the UN Committee of Good Offices.