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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

February 28th, 1942 - The Battle for Java

Conflict: World War II

Combatants: Anglo-Dutch vs. Japanese

Location: Java

Outcome: Japanese victory


On February 28th of 1942, after air and sea bombardment, the Japanese began the invasion of Java. Three separate landings were made on the strategic island. A division and regimental group were landed at Kragen and faced very little opposition by the Anglo-Dutch and Javanese defenders. Another regiment landed at Ereta-Wean and drove inland toward the Kalidjati airfield. But the largest Japanese force landed northwest of Batavia. The converging Japanese unit threatened to envelope the allied forces in Batavia and the city was evacuated on March 5th. A failed attempt to retake the Kalidjati airfield shortly thereafter convinced the Allied commanders that the situation was hopeless. The Anglo-Dutch defenders surrendered to the commanding Japanese general, Hitoshi Imamura, on March 8th, 1942.


Japanese forces on Java in 1942 by an unknown photographer

Points of Interest:

  • The Japanese would complete their conquest of the East Indies with the invasion of Sumatra four days after the surrender of Java (March 12th).

  • General Hitoshi Imamura, the commander of the Java invasion, would later be convicted of war crimes and spend nine years in prison.


Lt. General Hitoshi Imamura by an unknown photographer

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Sources:


Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).


Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.


Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.


Gailey, Harry A.. (1995). The War in the Pacific. Novato, CA: Presidio Press.

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