Movements of Allied forces in 1945-46

The northern coast of New Guinea was the first part of the Netherlands East Indies to be liberated from the Japanese. On 22 April 1944 American troops under the command of General MacArthur landed near Hollandia. The liberation of Biak followed on 27 May and on 15 September the Allies landed at Morotai in the Northern Moluccas. The Australians under MacArthur's command were given an important part in the occupation of the southern part of New Guinea (the Merauke Force) and the attack on Borneo. In February 1945 MacArthur ordered the Australian First Army Corps to re-take Tarakan and Balikpapan from the Japanese. The Australians landed on the two islands on 1 May 1945 and 1 July 1945, respectively. After the Japanese surrender on 15 August 1945, the Australian forces were assigned to the duty of occupying Eastern Indonesia. This involved disarming and repatriating the Japanese forces there and maintaining order until the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration (NICA) could assume these tasks. The Australians remained in Eastern Indonesia until the spring of 1946. The units sent to the area were named after their destinations: Timor Force, Ambon Force, Menado Force, Makassar Force and the Ternate Detachment. Indian Divisions were assigned to the occupation of Sumatra and Java: Admiral Mountbatten ordered the 23rd and the 5th Indian Divisions to Java and the 26th Indian Division was sent to Sumatra.


David Horner, Blamey. De Commander-in-Chief (Sydney, 1998).
D. Clayton James, The years of Douglas MacArthur. Volume 2 1941-1945 (Boston, 1975).
Richard McMillan, The British Occupation of Indonesia 1945-1946: Britain, The Netherlands and the Indonesian Revolution (London, 2005)

Information a.o. in:

Access Number 2.22.21,
- 161, 162, 163, 165, 169, 170, 171 and 172 (Java and Sumatra)
- 602 to 606, 639 and 807 (Borneo)
- 614 and 625 (Timor)
- 615 (Ambon)
- 633 (Australian Forces in general)
- 650, 657 and 659 (New Guinea)
- 707 to 731 (Merauke Force, New Guinea)
- 732 to 784 (Makassar and Halmaheras, including Morotai)

See also:

- Indian Divisions

- Bersiap Period

- Diplomatic and Military Relations with Great Britain

- Diplomatic and Military Relations with Australia

- Diplomatic and Military Relations with the United States