Dutch Military Actions

The First and Second Military Actions - that is how the Dutch refer to the two large-scale military campaigns carried out by the Dutch Army and the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) during the decolonisation conflict with the Republic of Indonesia. The First Military Action (Operation Product) began on the night of 20-21 July 1947 and ended on 4 August. The objective of the operation was to capture economically important areas to reduce the financial burden on the Dutch treasury. The Dutch suspended operations after the UN Security Council called for a cease-fire, but the First Military Action had been a military and economic success.
The Second Military Action (Operation Crow) began on the night of 18-19 December 1948. The aim was to neutralise the political and military leadership of the Republic and occupy the most important administrative centres in Java and Sumatra, including the Republican capital Yokyakarta. In Java Operation Crow ended on 31 December 1948, in Sumatra on 5 January 1949. After initial successes, such as the occupation of Yokyakarta and the capture of President Sukarno, the Second Military Action resulted in complete political, diplomatic and military failure for the Netherlands. The Security Council condemned the military campaign, the Netherlands had become diplomatically isolated and the military effectiveness of the Republic remained unbroken.


J.A.A. van Doorn en W.J. Hendrix, Het Nederlands-Indonesisch conflict. Ontsporing van geweld (Amsterdam, 1985).
G. Teitler en P.M.H. Groen (red.), De politionele acties (Amsterdam, 1987).
P.M.H. Groen, Marsroutes en dwaalsporen. Het Nederlands-militair strategisch beleid in Indonesië 1945-1950 (Den Haag, 1991).

Information a.o. in:

Access Number 2.13.132,
- inv.no 1083, 1084, 1085 and 1086 (East Java)
- inv.no. 1095 (Mid Java)
- inv.no. 1102, 1103, 1104, 1112, 1115, 1117, 1119 and 1120 (West Java)
- inv.no. 1127 (Mid Sumatra)
- inv.no. 1131 (North Sumatra)
- inv.no. 1138 (South Sumatra)

See also:

- Negotiations between the Netherlands and Indonesia
- The Republic of Indonesia
- Diplomatic and Military Relations with Australia
- Diplomatic and Military Relations with the United States