Royal Netherlands East Indies Army 1936–42
Until 1945, Indonesia was a Dutch colony known as the Netherlands East Indies. In 1930, the area had over 60 million inhabitants and was a major exporter to Japan, providing some 13 per cent of its oil needs – second only after the United States. Following Germany's occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940, Japan decided to expand its influence in the Netherlands East Indies.
Defending the colony was the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL). This force, designed primarily for colonial policing, underwent a series of cutbacks in the interwar years before adopting a modernisation programme in 1936, which focused on building up a strike air force, introducing tanks and increasing the firepower of the infantry and artillery.
Fully illustrated with period photographs and full-colour artwork, this book examines the dress, insignia, equipment, organization and combat performance of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army as it faced the all-conquering Japanese forces in World War II.
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ABDACOM Afdeling Air Defence airfields Ambon ammunition armoured car Army artillery badge Balikpapan Bandung Barisan belt Borneo branch colour breast pockets British bronze buttons cavalry Cilacap cockade collar patch combat command crew December Djakarta driver Dutch equipment European February field battalion flap garrison gasmask Glenn Martin gold braid Gold yellow grey‑green helmet Home Guard Indonesian infantry regiments January Japanese landings Java khaki klewang KNIL KNIL’s KTOMM Bronbeek LMG gunner M11 pistol M37 field uniform M95 carbine machine gun Madura Manado Marechaussee military ML‑KNIL mobilization naval NCOs Netherlands East Indies numbers outer regions Palembang personnel Plate pouch rank insignia rifle company Royal Netherlands Navy Rural Guard sergeant sergeant‑major service cap shirt shoulder straps silver stars sleeve South Sumatra squadrons stripe sub‑lieutenants Sulawesi Sumatra Surabaya Tanjung Priok Tarakan Town Guard troops trucks tunic units volunteer warrant officers wartime weapons wears wore worn Y‑straps