Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

The Indonesian–Malaysian confrontation or Borneo confrontation (also known by its Indonesian/Malay name, Konfrontasi) was a violent conflict from 1963–66 that stemmed from Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. The creation of Malaysia was the amalgamation of the Federation of Malaya (now West Malaysia), Singapore and the crown colony/British protectorates of North Borneo and Sarawak (collectively known as British Borneo, now East Malaysia) in September 1963.[17] Important precursors to the conflict included Indonesia's policy of confrontation against Netherlands New Guinea from March–August 1962 and the Brunei Revolt in December 1962.

The confrontation was an undeclared war with most of the action occurring in the border area between Indonesia and East Malaysia on the island of Borneo (known as Kalimantan in Indonesia). The conflict was characterised by restrained and isolated ground combat, set within tactics of low-level brinkmanship. Combat was usually conducted by company- or platoon-sized operations on either side of the border. Indonesia's campaign of infiltrations into Borneo sought to exploit the ethnic and religious diversity in Sabah and Sarawak compared to that of Malaya and Singapore, with the intent of unraveling the proposed state of Malaysia.

The challenging jungle terrain of Borneo and lack of roads straddling the Malaysia/Indonesia border forced both Indonesian and Commonwealth forces to conduct long foot patrols. Both sides relied on light infantry operations and air transport, although Commonwealth forces enjoyed the advantage of better helicopter deployment and resupply to forward operating bases. Rivers were also used as a method of transport and infiltration. Although combat operations were primarily conducted by ground forces, aerial forces played a vital support role and naval forces ensured the security of the sea flanks. The British provided most of the defensive effort, although Malaysian forces steadily increased their contributions, and there were periodic contributions from Australian and New Zealand forces within the combined Far East Strategic Reserve stationed then in West Malaysia and Singapore.[18]

Initial Indonesian attacks into East Malaysia relied heavily on local volunteers trained by the Indonesian Army. With the passage of time infiltration forces became more organised with the inclusion of a larger component of Indonesian forces. To deter and disrupt Indonesia's growing campaign of infiltrations, the British responded in 1964 by launching their own covert operations into Indonesian Kalimantan under the code name Operation Claret. Coinciding with Sukarno announcing a 'year of dangerous living' and the 1964 race riots in Singapore, Indonesia launched an expanded campaign of operations into West Malaysia on 17 August 1964, albeit without military success.[19] A build-up of Indonesian forces on the Kalimantan border in December 1964 saw the UK commit significant forces from the UK-based Army Strategic Command and Australia and New Zealand deployed roulement combat forces from West Malaysia to Borneo in 1965–66. The intensity of the conflict began to subside following the events of the 30 September Movement and Suharto's rise to power. A new round of peace negotiations between Indonesia and Malaysia began in May 1966 and a final peace agreement was signed on 11 August 1966 with Indonesia formally recognising Malaysia.[20]

Background
Political situation

Before Indonesia's Confrontation of Malaysia, Sukarno had sought to develop an independent Indonesian foreign policy, focused on the acquisition of Netherlands New Guinea as a residual issue from the Indonesian National Revolution, and establishing Indonesia's credentials as a notable international power operating distinct interests from those of the West and East. Indonesia had relentlessly pursued its claim to Netherlands New Guinea during the period 1950–1962, despite facing multiple setbacks in the UN General Assembly to have its claim recognised by the international community. Indonesia was an important country in developing the Non-Aligned Movement, hosting the Bandung Conference in 1955.

Following the Indonesian crisis in 1958, which had included the Permesta rebellion in eastern Indonesia and the declaration of the PRRI, a rebel revolutionary government based in Sumatra; Indonesia had emerged as a notable and rising military power in Southeast Asia[21] With the influx of Soviet arms aid, Indonesia was able to advance its diplomatic claims to Netherlands New Guinea more forcefully. The diplomatic dispute reached its climax in 1962 when Indonesia launched a substantial campaign of airborne and seaborne infiltrations upon Netherlands New Guinea. While the infiltration forces were soundly defeated by Dutch and indigenous forces, Indonesia was able to lend credence to the threat of an Indonesian invasion of Netherlands New Guinea. The Dutch, facing mounting diplomatic pressure from the Indonesians and the Americans, who were anxious to keep Indonesia from becoming Communist aligned, yielded and agreed to a diplomatic compromise, allowing the Indonesians to gain control of the territory in exchange for pledging to hold a self-determination plebiscite (the Act of Free Choice) in the territory by 1969. Thus by the close of 1962 Indonesia had achieved a considerable diplomatic victory, which possibly emboldened its self perception as a notable regional power. It was in the context of Indonesia's recent diplomatic victory in the Netherlands New Guinea dispute, that Indonesia cast its attention to the British proposal for a unified Malaysian state.

Prior to the British Government announcing the East of Suez policy in 1968, the British Government had begun to re-evaluate in the late 1950s its force commitment in the Far East. As a part of its withdrawal from its Southeast Asian colonies, the UK moved to combine its colonies in North Borneo with the Federation of Malaya (which had become independent from Britain in 1957), and Singapore (which had become self-governing in 1959). In May 1961, the UK and Malayan governments proposed a larger federation called Malaysia, encompassing the states of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, Brunei, and Singapore. Initially, Indonesia was mildly supportive of the proposed Malaysia, although the PKI (Partai Komunis Indonesia — Indonesian Communist Party) was strongly opposed to it.[6]

In Brunei, it was unclear whether the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III would support Brunei joining the proposed Malaysian state because of the implied reduction of his political office, and Brunei's oil revenues ensured Brunei's financial viability were it to choose independence. Furthermore, a Brunei politician, Dr. AM Azahari bin Sheikh Mahmud, while supporting a unified North Borneo, also opposed a wider Malaysian federation. In 1961, he had sounded out Indonesia about possible aid in training Borneo recruits; General Abdul Nasution hinted at moral support, and Soebandrio, the Indonesian foreign minister and head of intelligence, hinted at supplying more substantial aid. Azahari was a leftist who had fought in Indonesia in their war for independence.[6] Following these meetings Indonesia began training in Kalimantan a small volunteer force, the North Kalimantan National Army (TNKU).

On 8 December 1962, the TNKU staged an insurrection—the Brunei Revolt. The insurrection was an abject failure, the poorly trained and equipped forces were unable to seize key objectives such as capturing the Sultan of Brunei, seize the Brunei oil fields, or take European hostages. Within hours of the insurrection being launched, British forces based in Singapore were being mobilised for a prompt response. The failure of the insurrection was clear within 30 hours when Gurkha troops airlifted from Singapore secured Brunei town and ensured the Sultan's safety.

The degree of Indonesian support for the TNKU remains a subject of debate. While Indonesia at the time denied direct involvement, it did sympathise with the TNKU's objectives to destabilise the proposed Malaysian state. Following the TNKU's military setback in Brunei, on 20 January 1963 Indonesian Foreign Minister Subandrio announced that Indonesia would pursue a policy of Konfrontasi with Malaysia, reversing Indonesia's previous policy of compliance with the British proposal. This was followed by the first recorded infiltration of Indonesian forces on 12 April 1963 when a police station in Tebedu, Sarawak, was attacked.[22]

People and terrain

In 1961, the island of Borneo was divided into four separate states. Kalimantan, comprising four Indonesian provinces, was located in the south of the island. In the north, separated from Kalimantan by a border some 1000 miles long, were the Sultanate of Brunei (a British protectorate) and two colonies of the United Kingdom (UK)—British North Borneo (later renamed Sabah) and Sarawak.

Borneo today; divided between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The control of the island was the main issue behind the war at the time.

The three UK territories totaled some 1.5 million people, about half of them Dayaks. Sarawak had a population of about 900,000, while Sabah's was 600,000 and Brunei's was around 80,000. Among Sarawak's non-Dayak population, 31% were Chinese, and 19% were Malay. Among non-Dayaks in Sabah, 21% were Chinese and 7% were Malay; Brunei's non-Dayak population was 28% Chinese and 54% Malay. There was a large Indonesian population in Tawau in southern Sabah and a large and economically active Chinese one in Sarawak. Despite their population size, Dayaks were spread through the country in village longhouses and were not politically organised.

Sarawak was divided into five administrative Divisions. Sabah, whose capital city was Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu) on the north coast, was divided into several Residencies; those of the Interior and Tawau were on the border.

Apart from either end, the border generally followed a ridge line throughout its length, rising to almost 2,500 metres in the Fifth Division. In the First Division, there were some roads, including a continuous road from Kuching to Brunei and around to Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah. There were no roads in the Fourth and Fifth Divisions or the Interior Residency, and in Third Division, there was only the coast road, which was some 150 miles from the border. Mapping was generally poor, as British maps of the country showed very little topographic detail. Indonesian maps were worse; veterans recall "a single black and white sheet for all of Kalimantan torn from a school text book" in 1964.[23]

Kalimantan was divided into four provinces, of which East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan face the border. The capital of the West is Pontianak on the west coast, about 100 miles (160 km) from the border, and the capital of the East is Samarinda on the south coast, some 220 miles (350 km) from the border. There were no roads in the border area other than some in the west, and no road existed linking West and East Kalimantan.

The lack, on both sides of the border, of roads and tracks suitable for vehicles meant that movement was limited to foot tracks mostly unmarked on any map, as well as water and air movement. There were many large rivers on both sides of the border, and these were the main means of movement, including hovercraft by the UK. There were also quite a few small grass airstrips suitable for light aircraft, as dropping zones for parachuted supplies, and for helicopters.

The equator lies about 100 miles south of Kuching, and most of northern Borneo receives over 3000 mm of rain each year. Borneo is naturally covered by tropical rainforest. This covers the mountainous areas cut by many rivers with very steep sided hills and hilltop ridges often only a few metres wide. The high rainfall means large rivers; these provide a main means of transport and are formidable tactical obstacles. Dense mangrove forest covering vast tidal flats intersected with numerous creeks is a feature of many coastal areas, including Brunei and either end of the border. There are cultivated areas in valleys and around villages. In the vicinity of abandoned and current settlements are areas of dense secondary regrowth.

Sarawakian opposition

The end of the Second World War had brought an end to the Brooke Dynasty rule in Sarawak. Believing it to be in the best interest of the people of Sarawak, Charles Vyner Brooke ceded the state to the British Crown.[24] Sarawak became a Crown Colony, ruled from the Colonial Office in London, which in turn dispatched a Governor for Sarawak. The predominantly Malay anti-cession movement, which rejected the British takeover of Sarawak in 1946 and had assassinated Duncan Stewart, the first British High Commissioner of Sarawak, may have been the forerunner of the subsequent anti-Malaysia movement in Sarawak, headed by Ahmad Zaidi Adruce.

According to Vernon L. Porritt and Hong-Kah Fong, Left-wing and communist cell groups had been present among Sarawak's urban Chinese communities since the 1930s and 1940s. Some of the earliest Communist groups in Sabah included the Anti-Fascist League, which later became the Races Liberation Army, and the Borneo Anti-Japanese League, which was made up of the North Borneo Anti-Japanese League and the West Borneo Anti-Japanese League. The latter was led by Wu Chan, who was deported by the Sarawak colonial government to China in 1952. Other Communist groups in Sarawak included the Overseas Chinese Youth Association, which was formed in 1946, and the Liberation League along with its youth wing, the Advanced Youth Association, which emerged during the 1950s. These organisations became the nuclei for two Communist guerilla movements: the anti-Malaysia North Kalimantan People's Army (PARAKU) and the Sarawak People's Guerrillas (PGRS). These various Communist groups were designated by various British and other Western sources as the Clandestine Communist Organisation (CCO) or the Sarawak Communist Organisation (SCO).[25]

Members of the Sarawak People's Guerilla Force (SPGF), North Kalimantan National Army (NKNA) and Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) taking photograph together marking the close relations between them during Indonesia under the rule of Sukarno.

The Sarawak Communist Organisation, was predominantly dominated by ethnic Chinese but also included Dayak supporters. However, the Sarawak Communist Organisation had little support from ethnic Malays and other indigenous Sarawak peoples. At its height, the SCO had 24,000 members.[26] During the 1940s and 1950s, Maoism had spread among Chinese vernacular schools in Sarawak. Following the Second World War, Communist influence also penetrated the labour movement and the predominantly-Chinese Sarawak United People's Party, the state's first political party which was founded in June 1959. The Sarawak Insurgency began after the Brunei Revolt in 1962 and SCO would fight alongside the Bruneian rebels and Indonesian forces during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation (1963–1966).[25][27]

The Sarawak Communist Organisation and the Bruneian rebels supported and propagated the unification of all British Borneo territories to form an independent leftist North Kalimantan state. This idea was originally proposed by A. M. Azahari, leader of the Parti Rakyat Brunei (Brunei People's Party), who had forged links with Sukarno's nationalist movement, together with Ahmad Zaidi, in Java in the 1940s. However, the Brunei People's Party was in favour of joining Malaysia on the condition it was as the unified three territories of northern Borneo with their own sultan, and hence was strong enough to resist domination by Malaya, Singapore, Malay administrators or Chinese merchants.[28]

The North Kalimantan (or Kalimantan Utara) proposal was seen as a post-decolonisation alternative by local opposition against the Malaysia plan. Local opposition throughout the Borneo territories was primarily based on economic, political, historical and cultural differences between the Borneo states and Malaya, as well as the refusal to be subjected under peninsular political domination. Both Azahari and Zaidi went into exile in Indonesia during the confrontation. While the latter returned to Sarawak and had his political status rehabilitated, Azahari remained in Indonesia until his death on 3 September 2002.

In the aftermath of the Brunei Revolt, the remnants of the TNKU reached Indonesia. Possibly fearing British reprisals (which never eventuated), many Chinese communists, possibly several thousand, also fled Sarawak. Their compatriots remaining in Sarawak were known as the CCO by the UK but called the PGRS—Pasukan Gelilya Rakyat Sarawak (Sarawak People's Guerilla Force) by Indonesia. Soebandrio met with a group of their potential leaders in Bogor, and Nasution sent three trainers from Resimen Para Komando Angkatan Darat (RPKAD) Battalion 2 to Nangabadan near the Sarawak border, where there were about 300 trainees. Some 3 months later two lieutenants were sent there.[6]

The PGRS numbered about 800, based in West Kalimantan at Batu Hitam, with a contingent of 120 from the Indonesian intelligence agency and a small cadre trained in China. The PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) was strongly in evidence and led by an ethnic Arab revolutionary, Sofyan. The PGRS ran some raids into Sarawak but spent more time developing their supporters in Sarawak. The Indonesian military did not approve of the leftist nature of the PGRS and generally avoided them.[7]

Conflict
Beginning of hostilities

Sukarno's motives for beginning the Confrontation are contested. Former Indonesian Foreign Minister Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung argued years later that Sukarno intentionally muted Indonesia's opposition to the proposed Malaysian state while Indonesia was preoccupied with advancing its claim to West New Guinea. Following Indonesia's diplomatic victory in the West New Guinea dispute, Sukarno may have been emboldened to extend Indonesia's dominance over its weaker neighbours. Conversely, Sukarno may have felt compelled by the ongoing pressure of the PKI and the general instability of Indonesian politics to divert attention towards a new foreign conflict. Sukarno argued that Malaysia was a British puppet state, a neo-colonial experiment, and that any expansion of Malaysia would increase British control over the region, with implications for Indonesia's national security. Similarly, the Philippines made a claim to eastern North Borneo, arguing that the Borneo colony had historic links with the Philippines through the Sulu archipelago.

However, while Sukarno made no direct claims to incorporate northern Borneo into Indonesian Kalimantan, he saw the formation of Malaysia as an obstacle to the Maphilindo, a non-political, irredentist union spanning Malaya, Philippines and Indonesia.[29] President of the Philippines Diosdado Macapagal initially did not oppose the concept and even initiated the Manila Accord, but while the Philippines did not engage in hostilities, Malaysia severed diplomatic ties after the former deferred recognising it as the successor state of Malaya.

In April 1963, the first recorded infiltration and attack occurred in Borneo. An infiltration force training at Nangabadan was split in two and prepared for its first operation. On 12 April 1963, one infiltration force attacked and seized the police station at Tebedu in the 1st Division of Sarawak, about 40 miles from Kuching and 2 miles from the border with Kalimantan.[30] The other group attacked the village of Gumbang, South West of Kuching, later in the month. Only about half returned.[31] Confrontation could be said to have started from a military perspective with the Tebedu attack.[32]

Prior to Indonesia's declaration of Confrontation against the proposed Malaysian state on 20 January 1963, the Cobbold Commission in 1962 had reported on the viability of a Malaysian state, finding that there was sufficient support in the Borneo colonies for the creation of a larger Malaysian state. However, due to firming Indonesian and Philippine opposition to the Malaysia proposal, a new round of negotiations was proposed to hear the Indonesian and Philippine points of opposition. To resolve the dispute the would-be member states of Malaysia met representatives of Indonesia and the Philippines in Manila for several days, starting on 30 July 1963. Just days prior to the summit, on 27 July 1963 President Sukarno had continued his inflammatory rhetoric, declaring that he was going to "crush Malaysia" (Indonesian: Ganyang Malaysia). At the Manila meeting, the Philippines and Indonesia formally agreed to accept the formation of Malaysia if a majority in North Borneo and Sarawak voted for it in a referendum organised by the United Nations. While the fact-finding mission by the UN was expected to begin on 22 August, Indonesian delaying tactics forced the mission to start on 26 August. Nevertheless, the UN expected the referendum report to be published by 14 September 1963.[33]

Prior to the Manila meeting the Malayan Government had set 31 August as the date on which Malaysia would come into existence, (coinciding with Malaya's independence day celebrations of 31 August) but during the Manila negotiations it was persuaded by the Indonesian and Philippine Governments to postpone Malaysia's inauguration until 15 September 1963 by which time a UN mission was expected to report on whether the two Borneo colonies supported the Malaysia proposal.[34] However, following the conclusion of the Manila talks, the Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman announced that the proposed Malaysian state would come into existence on 16 September 1963, apparently irrespective of the latest UN report.[35]

North Borneo and Sarawak, anticipating a pro-Malaysian UN report, declared their independence as part of Malaysia on the sixth anniversary of Merdeka Day, 31 August 1963, even before the UN report had been published.[33] On 14 September the UN report was published, once again providing general endorsement of the proposed Malaysian state. Malaysia was formally established on 16 September 1963. Indonesia immediately reacted by expelling the Malaysian Ambassador from Jakarta. Two days later, rioters organised by the PKI burned the British embassy in Jakarta. Several hundred rioters ransacked the Singapore embassy in Jakarta and the homes of Singaporean diplomats. In Malaysia, Indonesian agents were captured, and crowds attacked the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur.[36]

Ongoing campaign of infiltrations

Even as peace talks progressed and stalled, Indonesia maintained its campaign of infiltrations. On 15 August, a headman reported an incursion in the 3rd Division and follow up indicated they were about 50 strong. A series of contacts ensued as 2/6 Gurkhas deployed patrols and ambushes, and after a month, 15 had been killed and 3 captured. The Gurkhas reported that they were well trained and professionally led, but their ammunition expenditure was high and their fire discipline broke down. The prisoners reported 300 more invaders within a week and 600 in a fortnight.[37] The Battle of Long Jawai was the first major incursion for the centre of the 3rd Division, directed by an RPKAD Major Mulyono Soerjowardojo,[38] who had been sent to Nangabadan earlier in the year.[31] The proclamation of Malaysia in September 1963 meant that Malaysian Army units deployed to Borneo (now East Malaysia).[39]

The deliberate attack by Indonesian forces on Malaysian troops did not enhance Sukarno's "anti-imperialist" credentials, although the Indonesian government tried blaming the KKO as enthusiastic idealists acting independently. They also produced Azahari, who claimed that Indonesian forces were playing no part in active operations. Sukarno next launched a peace offensive and, in late January, declared he was ready for a ceasefire (despite having denied direct Indonesia involvement). Talks started in Bangkok, but border violations continued, and the talks soon failed. They resumed mid-year in Tokyo and failed within days but allowed time for a Thai mission to visit Sarawak and witness smart, well-equipped Indonesian soldiers withdrawing across the border, which they had crossed a short distance away earlier in the day.[40]

Meanwhile, the Indonesian armed forces led by Lt. General Ahmad Yani became increasingly concerned with the worsening domestic situation in Indonesia, and began to secretly contacted the Malaysian government, while managing to obstruct the confrontation to minimal level.[41] This was implemented to preserve an already exhausted army recently conducted the Operation Trikora in Western New Guinea, while also maintaining its political position in Indonesian politics, especially against the Communist Party of Indonesia, the ardent supporters of the confrontation.[42]

Expansion of the conflict to the Malaysian Peninsula
Sarawak Rangers (present-day part of Malaysian Rangers) comprising Ibans leap from a Royal Australian Air Force Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter to guard the Malay–Thai border.

Co-ordinated to coincide with Sukarno announcing a 'Year of Dangerous Living' during Indonesian Independence Day celebrations, Indonesian forces began a campaign of airborne and seaborne infiltrations of the Malaysian Peninsula on 17 August 1964. On 17 August 1964 a seaborne force of about 100, composed of airforce Pasukan Gerat Tjepat (PGT — Quick Reaction Force) paratroopers, KKO and about a dozen Malaysian communists, crossed the Malacca Straits by boat, landing at Pontian in three parties in the night.[43] Instead of being greeted as liberators, however, they were contained by various Commonwealth forces and all but four of the infiltrators were captured within a few days.[44] On 2 September, three Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft set off from Jakarta for Peninsula Malaysia, flying low to avoid detection by radar. The following night, two of the C-130 managed to reach their objective with their onboard PGT paratroopers, who jumped off and landed around Labis in Johore (about 100 miles north of Singapore). The remaining C-130 crashed into the Malacca Straits while trying to evade interception by an RAF Javelin FAW 9 launched from RAF Tengah.[43] Due to a lightning storm, the drop of 96 paratroopers was widely dispersed. This resulted in them landing close to 1/10 Gurkhas, who were joined by 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR) stationed near Malacca with 28 (Commonwealth) Brigade. Operations were commanded by 4 Malaysian Brigade, but it took a month for the security force to capture or kill 90 of the 96 parachutists, for the loss of two men killed during the action.[45][46][47]

Indonesia's expansion of the conflict to the Malaysian Peninsula sparked the Sunda Straits Crisis, involving the anticipated transit of the Sunda Strait by the British aircraft carrier HMS Victorious and two destroyer escorts. Commonwealth forces were readied for airstrikes against Indonesian infiltration staging areas in Sumatra if further Indonesian infiltrations of the Malaysian Peninsula were attempted. A tense three week standoff occurred before the crisis was peacefully resolved.[48]

By the concluding months of 1964 the conflict once again appeared to have reached stalemate, with Commonwealth forces having placed in check for the moment Indonesia's campaign of infiltrations into Borneo, and more recently, the Malaysian Peninsula. However, the fragile equilibrium looked likely to change once again in December 1964 when Commonwealth intelligence began reporting a build-up of Indonesian infiltration forces in Kalimantan opposite Kuching which suggested the possibility of an escalation in hostilities. Two additional British battalions were subsequently deployed to Borneo.[49][50] Meanwhile, due to the landings in Malaysia and Indonesia's continued troop build-up, Australia and New Zealand also agreed to begin deploying combat forces to Borneo in early 1965.[51]

Operation Claret
Queen's Own Highlanders 1st Battalion conduct a patrol to search for enemy positions in the jungle of Brunei.

Operation Claret was a long-running series of secretive cross-border raids conducted by British Commonwealth forces in Borneo from June 1964 to early 1966. These raids were undertaken by special forces—including the British Special Air Service, Australian Special Air Service Regiment, and New Zealand Special Air Service—as well as regular infantry. During the early phases of the conflict British Commonwealth and Malaysian troops had attempted only to control the border and to protect population centres from Indonesian attacks. However, by 1965 they had decided to take more aggressive action, crossing the border to obtain information and in "hot pursuit" of withdrawing Indonesian infiltrators.[32] First approved in May 1965, later they were expanded to include cross-border ambushing in July.[52]

These patrols—which were highly classified at the time—often involved small reconnaissance teams crossing the border from the Malaysian states of Sarawak or Sabah into Indonesian Kalimantan in order to detect Indonesian forces about to enter East Malaysia. Initially, penetration was limited to 3,000 yards (2,700 m), but was later extended to 6,000 yards (5,500 m), and again to 10,000 yards (9,100 m) after the Battle of Plaman Mapu in April 1965.[53][54] Conventional follow up forces of platoon and company size were then directed into position to ambush the Indonesians, either as they crossed the border or often whilst they were still in Kalimantan. Such operations were to be "deniable" and were conducted under a policy of "aggressive defence".[52] Given the sensitivity of these operations and the potential consequences if they were exposed, they were controlled at the highest level and conducted within strict parameters known as the "Golden Rules", whilst the participants were sworn to secrecy.[55]

Claret was largely successful in gaining the initiative for the British Commonwealth forces before being suspended late in the war, inflicting significant casualties on the Indonesians and keeping them on the defensive on their side of the border.[52][56] The operations were only publicly disclosed by Britain in 1974, whilst the Australian government did not officially acknowledge its involvement until 1996.[57][58]

Easing of tensions
RAF Avro Vulcan bomber lands at RAF Butterworth, Malaysia, c 1965. The presence of these strategic bombers was a considerable deterrent to the Indonesians during the Confrontation period.

On the night of 30 September 1965 an attempted coup took place in Jakarta. Six senior Indonesian military leaders were killed, while General Nasution narrowly escaped from his would be captors. In the ensuing confusion Sukarno agreed to allow Suharto to assume emergency command and control of Jakarta and the armed forces stationed there. Blame for the failed coup was attributed to the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), and in the following weeks and months a campaign of imprisonment and lynching of PKI members and sympathisers broke out across Jakarta and Indonesia. With Suharto's grip on power in Jakarta and Indonesia delicately poised, the scale and intensity of Indonesia's campaign of infiltrations into Borneo began to ease.[59] The train of events set off by the failed coup led to Suharto's gradual consolidation of power and marginalisation of Sukarno. At the same time, the anti-communist purge spread throughout Indonesia. Suharto's steady consolidation of power after 30 September events allowed him to form a new government and in March 1967 Suharto was able to form a new Cabinet that excluded Sukarno.

On 28 May 1966, at a conference in Bangkok, the Malaysian and Indonesian governments declared the conflict was over. However, it was unclear if Suharto was in full control of Indonesia (rather than Sukarno), and vigilance in Borneo could not be relaxed. With Suharto's co-operation a peace treaty was signed on 11 August and ratified two days later.[60]

An Australian soldier manning an L7 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) at a forward position.

During Suharto's rise to power Claret operations continued and, in March 1966, a Gurkha battalion was involved in some of the fiercest fighting of the campaign during two raids into Kalimantan.[61] Minor action by Indonesian forces continued in the border area, including an attempt at counter-battery fire against a 105 mm gun position in Central Brigade (reports from locals said the British return fire had turned over the Indonesian gun, thought to be 76 mm).

At the beginning of 1966, with Indonesia's political hiatus beginning to stabilise (it had stopped a major RPKAD operation to capture a British prisoner), the RPKAD linked up with PGRS to establish guerrilla forces in Sabah and Sarawak. The Sabah effort never crossed the border; however, two groups entered Sarawak in February and May and obtained support from local sympathisers. The first group, despite losses in several contacts, lasted until June and exfiltrated on hearing about the end of Konfrontasi. Survivors of the second, after a contact with Australian troops, also made it back to Indonesia.[62] However, the final Indonesian incursion was in May and June. Signs of a substantial force were found crossing into Central Brigade. This was some 80 strong, mostly volunteers, led by Lt Sombi (or Sumbi) and a team from 600 Raider Company. They moved fast towards Brunei with 1/7 Gurkhas pursuing and ambushing them; almost all were accounted for. In response to this, a final Claret operation was launched, which was an artillery ambush by 38 Light Battery.

Counter-measures
Command arrangements
Some 1,500 men from the indigenous tribes of Sabah and Sarawak were recruited by the Malaysian government as Border Scouts under the command of Richard Noone and other officers from the Senoi Praaq to counter the Indonesian infiltrations.

In early January 1963, the military forces in northern Borneo, having arrived in December 1962 in response to the Brunei Revolt, were under the command of Commander British Forces Borneo (COMBRITBOR), Major General Walter Walker, who was Director of Borneo Operations (DOBOPS) based on Labuan Island and reported directly to the Commander in Chief Far East Forces, Admiral Sir David Luce.[63] Luce was routinely replaced by Admiral Sir Varyl Begg in early 1963.[64] In the middle of 1963, Brigadier Pat Glennie, normally the Brigadier General Staff in Singapore, arrived as Deputy DOBOPS.

Politico-military authority lay with the Emergency Committees in Sarawak and North Borneo, including their Governors, who were the Commanders in Chief for their colonies. In Brunei, there was a State Advisory Council answerable to the Sultan.[65] After independence, supreme authority changed to the Malaysian National Defence Council in Kuala Lumpur with State Executive Committees in Sabah and Sarawak. Military direction was from the Malaysian National Operations Committee jointly chaired by the Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff, General Tunku Osman, and the Inspector General of Police, Sir Claude Fenner. The British Commander in Chief Far East Forces was a member. DOBOPS regularly attended its meetings.[66]

Commonwealth order of battle
Australian soldiers being ferried in a small craft, from troop transport HMAS Sydney on its arrival in North Borneo (Sabah) as part of their defence aid programme to Malaysia.

British forces in Borneo included Headquarters (HQ) 3 Commando Brigade in Kuching with responsibility for the western part of Sarawak, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions, and HQ 99 Gurkha Infantry Brigade in Brunei responsible for the East, 4th and 5th Divisions, Brunei and Sabah.[67] These HQs had deployed from Singapore in late 1962 in response to the Brunei Revolt. The ground forces were initially limited to just five UK and Gurkha infantry battalions normally based in Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong,[68] and an armoured car squadron.[69] The police also deployed a number of light infantry of Police Field Force companies.[70] However, as additional resources became available the size of the force available to Walker expanded, and by the end of 1964 British forces had grown to approximately 14,000 troops organised into three brigades (increased to four in 1965).[60] The naval effort, under DOBOPS command, was primarily provided by minesweepers used to patrol coastal waters and larger inland waterways around Wallace Bay. A guardship – a frigate or destroyer – was stationed off Tawau.[71]

Prior to Confrontation no British military units had been stationed in Sabah or Sarawak. As Confrontation developed increasing numbers of troops were required. There were three types of British Army deployment: Units stationed in the Far East for two years did a single 4-month tour (this applied to Australian and NZ); Gurkha units (all permanently stationed in the Far East) did 6 month tours, generally once every twelve months; UK based units (from Army Strategic Command) did 12 month tours including 6 weeks jungle warfare training in West Malaysia.

The initial air component based in Borneo consisted of detachments from squadrons stationed in Malaya and Singapore. These included Twin Pioneer and Single Pioneer transport aircraft, probably two or three Blackburn Beverley and Handley Page Hastings transports, and about 12 helicopters of various types. One of Walker's first "challenges" was curtailing the RAF's centralised command and control arrangements and insisting that aircraft tasking for operations in Borneo was by his HQ, not by the RAF Air Command Far East HQ in Singapore.[72] Other aircraft of many types stationed in Malaya and Singapore provided sorties as necessary, including routine transport support into Kuching and Labuan. Rotary wing support included 60 naval and air force troop-lift helicopters and another 40 smaller army variants.[60]

Captured Indonesian infiltrators near Kesang River, Terendak, Malacca on 29 October 1964 by the Royal Australian Regiment.

Patrols within Malaysia were supplied while in the field by RN Wessex and RAF Whirlwind helicopters, initially dropping supplies to the patrols from low level, and later after the patrols had cleared a landing area in the dense jungle, by landing. A test Joint Service deployment of a Westland SR.N5 hovercraft at Tawau was also trialled under Major John Simpson.

In addition to the ground and air force units, between 1963 and 1966 there were up to 80 ships from the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Malay Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.[73] Most of these were patrol craft, minesweepers, frigates and destroyers patrolling the coast-line to intercept Indonesian insurgents. One of the two Commando Carriers, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, was also committed throughout the period of Confrontation usually in their transport role for troops, helicopters and army aircraft between Singapore and Borneo.[74]

In the early stages of the conflict, Indonesian forces were under command of Lieutenant General Zulkipli in Pontianak, on the coast of West Kalimantan about 200 km (120 mi) from the border. The Indonesian irregulars, led by Indonesian officers, were thought to number about 1500, with an unknown number of regular troops and local defence irregulars. They were deployed the entire length of the border in eight operational units, mostly facing the 1st and 2nd Divisions. The units had names such as "Thunderbolts", "Night Ghosts" and "World Sweepers".[75] Yet as the conflict developed the poorly trained and equipped 'volunteers' had been replaced by regular units.[76] Indonesian forces deployed along the border in Kalimantan increased significantly towards the end of 1964, with estimates of between 15,000 and 30,000 men, up from around 2,500 men in mid-1964.[77]

Intelligence
A Murut tribesman consulting the terrain map of Sabah (North Borneo) with Royal Australian Engineers member.

A useful factor in the containment of the Indonesian forces was the use of intelligence. The Royal Signals were able to intercept the Indonesian military communications. The ciphers were decrypted by the Intelligence Corps based at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) listening stations in Singapore, one of which was RAF Chia Keng which was linked directly to the RAF Far East Air Force headquarters at RAF Changi. Intelligence from this may have been used in planning some aspects of Claret cross-border operations.

British tactics

Soon after assuming command in Borneo, General Walker issued a directive listing the ingredients for success, based on his experience in the Malayan Emergency:

  • Unified operations (army, navy and air force operating fully together)
  • Timely and accurate information (the need for continuous reconnaissance and intelligence collection)
  • Speed, mobility and flexibility
  • Security of bases
  • Domination of the jungle
  • Winning the hearts and minds of the people (this was added several months later).[78]

Walker recognised the difficulties of limited forces and a long border and, in early 1963, was reinforced with an SAS squadron from the UK, which rotated with another mid-year. When the SAS temporarily adopted 3-man instead of 4-man patrols, they could not closely monitor the border. Increasing the capability of the infantry to create a surveillance network was also considered important.

Walker raised the Border Scouts, building on Harrison's force of Kelabits, who had mobilised to help intercept the fleeing TNKU forces from the Brunei Revolt. He also utilised the experience of the Royal Marines as well as knowledge of the skill and usefulness of the Sarawak Rangers in the Malayan Emergency. This was approved by the Sarawak government in May as "auxiliary police". Walker selected Lieutenant Colonel John Cross, a Gurkha officer with immense jungle experience, for the task. A training centre was established in a remote area at Mt. Murat in the 5th Division and staffed mainly by SAS. Border Scouts were attached to infantry battalions and evolved into an intelligence gathering force by using their local knowledge and extended families.[79] In addition, the Police Special Branch, which had proved so effective during the Malayan Emergency in recruiting sources in the communist organisation, was expanded.[80]

British jungle tactics were developed and honed during the Malayan Emergency against a clever and elusive enemy. They emphasised travelling lightly, being undetectable and going for many days without resupplying. Being undetectable meant being silent (hand signals, no rattling equipment) and 'odour free'—perfumed toiletries were forbidden (they could be detected a kilometre away by good jungle fighters), and sometimes eating food cold to prevent cooking smells.

A Royal Army Medical Corps captain examines a Murut child whose parents have fled from Indonesian Borneo to Sarawak, the British have won the hearts of people in the border.

In about 1962, at the end of National Service, British infantry battalions had reorganised into three rifle companies, a support company and an HQ company with logistic responsibilities. Battalion HQ included an intelligence section. Each rifle company was composed of 3 platoons of 32 men each, equipped with light machine guns and self-loading rifles. The support company had a mortar platoon with 6 medium mortars (3-inch mortar until replaced by 81-mm mortar around the end of 1965) organised into 3 sections, enabling a section to be attached to a rifle company if required. Similarly organised was an anti-tank platoon; there was also an assault pioneer platoon. The machine gun platoon was abolished, but the impending delivery of the 7.62 mm GPMG, with sustained fire kits held by each company, was to provide a medium machine gun capability. In the meantime, the Vickers machine gun remained available. The innovation in the new organisation was the formation of the battalion reconnaissance platoon,[81] in many battalions a platoon of "chosen men". In Borneo, mortars were usually distributed to rifle companies, and some battalions operated the rest of their support company as another rifle company.

The basic activity was platoon patrolling; this continued throughout the campaign, with patrols being deployed by helicopter, roping in and out as necessary. Movement was usually single file; the leading section rotated but was organised with two lead scouts, followed by its commander and then the remainder in a fire support group. Battle drills for "contact front" (or rear), or "ambush left" (or right) were highly developed. Poor maps meant navigation was important; however, the local knowledge of the Border Scouts in Borneo compensated for the poor maps. so tracks were sometimes used unless ambush was considered possible, or there was the possibility of mines. Crossing obstacles such as rivers was also handled as a battle drill. At night, a platoon harboured in a tight position with all-round defence.

A contact while moving was always possible. However, offensive action usually took two forms: either an attack on a camp, or an ambush. The tactic for dealing with a camp was to get a party behind it then charge the front. However, ambushes were probably the most effective tactic and could be sustained for many days. They targeted tracks and, particularly in parts of Borneo, waterways. Track ambushes were close range, 10 to 20 m (11 to 22 yd), with a killing zone typically 20 to 50 m (22 to 55 yd) long, depending on the expected strength of the target. The trick was to remain undetected when the target entered the ambush area and then open fire all together at the right moment.

Fire support was limited for the first half of the campaign. A commando light battery with 105 mm Pack Howitzers had deployed to Brunei at the beginning of 1963 but returned to Singapore after a few months when the mopping-up of the Brunei Revolt ended. Despite the escalation in Indonesian attacks after the formation of Malaysia, little need was seen for fire support: the limited range of the guns (10 km (6.2 mi)), the limited availability of helicopters and the size of the country meant that having artillery in the right place at the right time was a challenge. However, a battery from one of the two regiments stationed in Malaysia returned to Borneo in early to mid-1964. These batteries rotated until the end of the confrontation. In early 1965, a complete UK-based regiment arrived. The short range and substantial weight of the 3-inch mortars meant they were of very limited use.

'> File:Sukarno konfrontasi, indonesia's undeclared war, ABC 1966.webm
1966 ABC report discussing the Indonesian political context of Konfrontasi.

Artillery had to adopt new tactics. Almost all guns deployed in single gun sections within a company or platoon base. The sections were commanded by one of the battery's junior officers, warrant officers or sergeants. Sections had about 10 men and did their own technical fire control. They were moved underslung by Wessex or Belvedere helicopters as necessary to deal with incursions or support operations. Forward observers were in short supply, but it seems that they always accompanied normal infantry Claret operations and occasionally special forces ones. However, artillery observers rarely accompanied patrols inside Sabah and Sarawak unless they were in pursuit of a known incursion and guns were in range. Observation parties were almost always led by an officer but only two or three men strong.

Communications were a problem; radios were not used within platoons, only rearwards. Ranges were invariably beyond the capability of manpack VHF radios (A41 and A42, copies of AN/PRC 9 and 10), although use of relay or rebroadcast stations helped where they were tactically possible. Patrol bases could use the World War II vintage HF No 62 Set (distinguished by having its control panel labelled in English and Russian). Until the manpack A13 arrived in 1966, the only lightweight HF set was the Australian A510, which did not provide voice, only Morse code.

British psychological operations

The role of the United Kingdom's Foreign Office and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) during the confrontation was brought to light in a series of exposés by Paul Lashmar and Oliver James in The Independent newspaper beginning in 1997, and has also been covered in journals on military and intelligence history.

The revelations included an anonymous Foreign Office source stating that the decision to unseat President Sukarno was made by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and then executed under Prime Minister Harold Wilson. According to the exposés, the UK had already become alarmed with the announcement of the "Konfrontasi" policy.[82] It has been claimed that a Central Intelligence Agency memorandum of 1962 indicated that Macmillan and US President John F. Kennedy were increasingly alarmed by the possibility of the Confrontation with Malaysia spreading, and agreed to "liquidate President Sukarno, depending on the situation and available opportunities".[83]

Anti-Indonesian infiltration into Malaysia demonstration by a group of Malay women in 1965. The banner reads "Our womenfolk are ready to defend Malaysia. Long live Tunku! Destroy Sukarno!"

To weaken the regime, the UK Foreign Office's Information Research Department (IRD) coordinated psychological operations (psyops) in concert with the British military, to spread black propaganda casting the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), Chinese Indonesians, and Sukarno in a bad light. These efforts were to duplicate the successes of the British psyop campaign in the Malayan Emergency.

These efforts were coordinated from the British High Commission in Singapore, where the BBC, Associated Press, and The New York Times filed their reports on the Crisis in Indonesia. According to Roland Challis, the BBC correspondent who was in Singapore at the time, journalists were open to manipulation by IRD due to Sukarno's stubborn refusal to allow them into the country: "In a curious way, by keeping correspondents out of the country Sukarno made them the victims of official channels, because almost the only information you could get was from the British ambassador in Jakarta."[82]

These manipulations included the BBC reporting that communists were planning to slaughter the citizens of Jakarta. The accusation was based on a forgery planted by Norman Reddaway, a propaganda expert with the IRD. He later bragged in a letter to the British ambassador in Jakarta, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, that it "went all over the world and back again", and was "put almost instantly back into Indonesia via the BBC".[84] Gilchrist himself informed the Foreign Office on 5 October 1965: "I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change."[85]

In April 2000 Denis Healey, Secretary of State for Defence at the time of the war, confirmed that the IRD was active during this time. He officially denied any role by MI6, and denied "personal knowledge" of the British arming the right-wing faction of the Army, though he did comment that if there were such a plan, he "would certainly have supported it".[86]

Although the British MI6 is strongly implicated in this scheme by the use of the Information Research Department (seen as an MI6 office), any role by MI6 itself is officially denied by the UK government, and papers relating to it have yet to be declassified by the Cabinet Office.[87]

British Special Forces
Indonesian M1 Garand rifle (possibly a B59, a modified Garand made by Beretta in Indonesia) captured by the British SAS. Imperial War Museum, London

One squadron (up to 64 men in total in its four patrol troops) from the UK-based 22 Special Air Service deployed to Borneo in early 1963 in the aftermath of the Brunei Revolt to gather information in the border area about Indonesian infiltration.[88] There was a special forces presence until the end of the campaign. Faced with a border of 971 miles, they could not be everywhere, and, at this time, 22 SAS had only three squadrons, although there was also the Special Boat Service (SBS) that had two sections based in Singapore.[89] Tactical HQ of 22 SAS deployed to Kuching in 1964 to take control of all special forces.[90][91] The special forces shortage was exacerbated by the need for them in South Arabia, in many ways a far more demanding task in challenging conditions against a cunning and aggressive opponent.

The solution was to create new units for Borneo. The first to be employed in Borneo was the Guards Independent Parachute Company, which already existed as the pathfinder force of 16th Parachute Brigade. Next, the Gurkha Independent Parachute Company was raised.[92] Sections of the Special Boat Service were also used, but it seems mostly for amphibious tasks.[93] Finally, Parachute Regiment battalions formed patrol companies (C in the 2nd and D in the 3rd).[94] The situation eased in 1965 when the Australian and New Zealand governments agreed that their forces could be used in Borneo, enabling Australian SAS and New Zealand Ranger squadrons to rotate through Borneo.[95]

Special forces activities were probably mostly covert reconnaissance and surveillance by 4 man patrols. However, some larger scale raiding missions took place, including amphibious ones by the SBS. Once Claret operations were authorised, most special forces missions were inside Kalimantan, although they conducted operations over the border before Claret from about early 1964.[96]

Aftermath
Casualties
Origin Killed Wounded
UKGurkha 1943 4483
AUS Army 16 9
NZ Army 7 7
Rest 29 38
Total 114 181

The conflict lasted nearly four years; however, following General Suharto's replacement of Sukarno, Indonesian interest in pursuing the war with Malaysia declined, and combat eased. Peace negotiations were initiated during May 1966 before a final peace agreement was ratified on 11 August 1966.[97]

Although the Indonesians had conducted a few amphibious raids and an airborne operation against Malaya, the war remained limited throughout its duration and remained largely a land conflict. For either side to have escalated to large scale air or naval attacks "would have incurred disadvantages greatly outweighing the marginal military effect that they might have produced".[60] The UK Secretary of State for Defence at the time, Denis Healey, described the campaign as "one of the most efficient uses of military forces in the history of the world".[98] British Commonwealth forces peaked at 17,000 deployed in Borneo, with another 10,000 more available in Malaya and Singapore.[60]

The withdrawal parade in Labuan from the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy at the end of the confrontation after their successful mission.

Total British Commonwealth military casualties were 114 killed and 181 wounded, most of them Gurkhas.[60] Gurkha losses were 43 killed and 83 wounded, losses among other British armed forces were 19 killed and 44 wounded. Australian casualties were 16 killed, of whom 7 were killed in action, and 9 wounded. New Zealand casualties were 7 killed and another 7 wounded or injured.[99][100] The remaining casualties were that of the Malaysian military, police, and Border Scouts. A significant number of British casualties occurred during helicopter accidents, including a Belvedere crash that killed several SAS commanders and a Foreign Office official, possibly a member of MI6. A Wessex collision also killed several men from 2nd Parachute Battalion, and a Westland Scout crash, on 16 July 1964, near Kluang airfield, killed the two crewmen from 656 Sqn AAC. Finally, in August 1966, there remained two British and two Australian soldiers missing and presumed dead, with the Australians (both from the SASR) probably drowned while crossing a swollen river.[101] The remains of a Royal Marine were recovered some 20 years later. Altogether, 36 civilians were killed, 53 wounded and 4 captured, with most being local inhabitants.[60]

Indonesian casualties were estimated at 590 killed, 222 wounded and 771 captured.[60]

Awards

A number of gallantry awards were made for actions during the campaign. No Distinguished Flying Cross or naval awards were made.

British Combatant Gallantry Awards by Regiment
Regiment Victoria Cross Military Cross Distinguished Conduct Medal Military Medal
Royal Marines 2 5
Royal Artillery 2
Scots Guards 1
Royal Leicestershire Regt 2
Staffordshire Regiment 1
Royal Northumberland Fusiliers 1
Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders 1 1
Durham Light Infantry 2
Green Jackets 4
Parachute Regiment 1 2
Special Air Service 1
2 Gurkha Rifles 10 1 10
6 Gurkha Rifles 4 5
7 Gurkha Rifles 3 6
10 Gurkha Rifles 1 10 2 6
Gurkha Regiment not identified 2 4
Royal New Zealand Artillery 1
Royal Australian Regiment 4 3
Legacy
Memorials
A soldier statue in Tawau Confrontation Memorial marking the victory during the battle in Kalabakan, Tawau, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
A memorial in Ansip Ferry, Keningau, Malaysian Borneo, to the Royal Australian Engineers who served in Sabah by constructing a 123.2-kilometre road between Keningau and Sapulut from 1964 to 1966. 
A memorial in Kundasang, Malaysian Borneo to the Commonwealth forces who served in Sabah, especially the Australians together with British, Malaysians and New Zealanders. 
Monument to the victims of the "Konfrontasi" in Singapore 
See also
References

Notes

  1. "Commonwealth Backing for Malaysia". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 November 1964. p. 2. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  2. Robert Bothwell; Jean Daudelin (17 March 2009). Canada Among Nations, 2008: 100 Years of Canadian Foreign Policy. McGill-Queen's Press – MQUP. pp. 284–. ISBN 978-0-7735-7588-2.
  3. "Lull in Confrontation?". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 March 1964. p. 2. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  4. "1945-1963 - The Creation Of Malaysia".
  5. "No Gains for Indonesia". The Age. 8 January 1965. p. 2. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  6. Conboy 2003, pp. 93–95.
  7. Conboy 2003, p. 156.
  8. "Indonesia, China "Co-ordinate" Views". The Sydney Morning Herald. 23 August 1965. p. 1. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  9. A. Dahana (2002). "China Role's in Indonesia's "Crush Malaysia" Campaign". Universitas Indonesia. Archived from the original on 19 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  10. John W. Garver (1 December 2015). China's Quest: The History of the Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China. Oxford University Press. pp. 219–. ISBN 978-0-19-026106-1.
  11. "LESSON 4 THE FORMATION OF MALAYSIA".
  12. "The formation of Malaysia".
  13. "Indonesia and the U.S.S.R". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 May 1965. p. 2. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  14. Kurt London (1974). The Soviet Impact on World Politics. Ardent Media. pp. 153–. ISBN 978-0-8015-6978-4.
  15. Mohd. Noor Mat Yazid (2013). "Malaysia-Indonesia Relations Before and After 1965: Impact on Bilateral and Regional Stability" (PDF). Programme of International Relations, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  16. Andretta Schellinger (12 February 2016). Aircraft Nose Art: American, French and British Imagery and Its Influences from World War I through the Vietnam War. McFarland. pp. 152–. ISBN 978-0-7864-9771-3.
  17. Mackie 1974, pp. 36–37 & 174.
  18. Dennis & Grey 1996, p. 25.
  19. Edwards 1992, p. 306.
  20. Dennis & Grey 1996, p. 318.
  21. Cain 1997, p. 67.
  22. Easter 2004, p. 46.
  23. Conboy 2003, p. 102.
  24. Reece 1993, p. 72.
  25. Fong 2005, pp. 183–192.
  26. Corbett 1986, p. 124.
  27. Kheng 2009, pp. 132–152.
  28. Pocock 1973, p. 129.
  29. Pocock 1973, p. 113.
  30. Pocock 1973, p. 153.
  31. Conboy 2003, p. 95.
  32. Dennis et al. 2008, p. 152.
  33. Tun Hanif Omar. Merdeka and Malaysia Day. The Star. 8 April 2007.
  34. Edwards 1992, p. 260.
  35. Mackie 1974, pp. 174–175.
  36. Pocock 1973, p. 173.
  37. Pocock 1973, p. 170.
  38. van der Bijl 2007, pp. 80–85.
  39. Majid 2007, p. 154.
  40. Pocock 1973, pp. 179–181, 188.
  41. Weinstein, Franklin B. (2007). Indonesian Foreign Policy and the Dilemma of Dependence: From Sukarno to Soeharto. Equinox Publishing. ISBN 9789793780566.
  42. Crouch, Harold (2007). The Army and Politics in Indonesia. Equinox Publishing. ISBN 9789793780504.
  43. Conboy 2003, p. 161.
  44. James & Sheil-Small 1971, p. 146.
  45. van der Bijl 2007, pp. 135–138.
  46. James & Sheil-Small 1971, pp. 148–150.
  47. Pugsley 2003, pp. 206–213.
  48. Edwards 1992, p. 319.
  49. Gregorian 1991, p. 55.
  50. Jones 2002, p. 272.
  51. van der Bijl 2007, p. 165.
  52. Pugsley 2003, p. 255.
  53. Smith 1999, p. 41.
  54. Dennis & Grey 1996, pp. 232–233.
  55. Horner 2002, pp. 83–84.
  56. Dennis & Grey 1996, p. 307.
  57. Forbes, Mark (23 March 2005). "Truth still a casualty of our secret war". The Age. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  58. Coates 2006, p. 333.
  59. Pocock 1973, p. 215.
  60. Carver 1986, p. 806.
  61. Pocock 1973, pp. 213–214.
  62. Conboy 2003, pp. 158–161.
  63. Dennis & Grey 1996, pp. 239–240.
  64. James & Sheil-Small 1971, p. 60.
  65. Mockaitis 1995, p. 29.
  66. van der Bijl 2007, p. 75.
  67. van der Bijl 2007, p. 39.
  68. Gregorian 1991, p. 49.
  69. van der Bijl 2007, p. 34.
  70. French 2011, p. 17.
  71. Grey 1998, pp. 57–58.
  72. Pocock 1973, pp. 159–160.
  73. Grey 1998, p. 55.
  74. Polmar 2008, p. 192.
  75. Pocock 1973, p. 168.
  76. Dennis & Grey 1996, p. 204.
  77. Mackie 1974, p. 215.
  78. Pimlott 1984, p. 95.
  79. Pocock 1973, pp. 165–166.
  80. Pimlott 1984, p. 97.
  81. Infantry Training Volume IV Tactics, The Infantry Battalion in Battle, 1963
  82. Lashmar, Paul; Oliver, James (1 December 1998). "How we destroyed Sukarno". The Independent. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  83. Blum 2003, p. 195.
  84. Easter 2004, p. 168.
  85. Pilger 2003, pp. 33–34.
  86. Lashmar, Paul; Oliver, James (16 April 2000). "How we lied to put a killer in power". The Independent. Archived from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  87. The Independent. 6 December 2000.
  88. Dickens 2003, pp. 39–55.
  89. Parker 2005, pp. 154–155.
  90. Dickens 2003, p. 153.
  91. Pugsley 2003, p. 263.
  92. Dickens 2003, p. 72.
  93. Parker 2005, pp. 153–169.
  94. van der Bijl 2007, pp. 174 & 224.
  95. Pugsley 2003, pp. 256 & 263.
  96. Pocock 1973, pp. 187 & 196.
  97. Goldsworthy 2001, p. 342.
  98. Pimlott 1984, p. 99.
  99. van der Bijl 2007, p. 241. Note incorrect Australian casualty figures cited as 22 killed (including 7 killed in action).
  100. For Australian casualty figures see: "Australians at war: casualties as a result of service with Australian units". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  101. "Unit Information—2nd Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment, Confrontation". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
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  • Pugsley, Christopher (2003). From Emergency to Confrontation: The New Zealand Armed Forces in Malaya and Borneo 1949–66. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195584530.
  • Reece, R.H.W. (1993). The Name of Brooke: The End of White Rajah Rule in Sarawak. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-580474-4.
  • Smith, Neil (1999). Nothing Short of War: With the Australian Army in Borneo 1962–66. Brighton: Mostly Unsung Military History. ISBN 978-1-876179-07-6.
  • Tan Ming, Jean (2011). Singapore's Role in Indonesia's Confrontation of Malaysia and the Impact of Confrontation on Singapore-Indonesia Relations (PhD thesis). National University of Singapore.
  • van der Bijl, Nick (2007). Confrontation, The War with Indonesia 1962–1966. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military Press. ISBN 978-1-84415-595-8.
Further reading
  • General Assembly 15th Session – The Trusteeship System and Non-Self-Governing Territories (pages:509–510)
  • General Assembly 18th Session – the Question of Malaysia (pages:41–44)
  • Anonymous. 1964. Gelora Konfrontasi Mengganjang Malaysia. Djakarta: Departemen Penerangan. (Contains Joint Statements of the Manila Agreements, Indonesian presidential decrees and all transcripts of Sukarno's public speeches from July 1963 to May 1964 pertaining the Konfrontasi)
  • Doohan, J.T. (2004). Mud Sweat & Tears: An account of 24 Construction Squadron Royal Australian Engineer's Borneo Tour of Duty 1965. Brisbane: John Doohan. ISBN 0-646-43718-6.
  • Easter, David (February 2005). "'Keep the Indonesian Pot Boiling': Western Covert Intervention in Indonesia, October 1965 – March 1966". Cold War History. 5 (1): 55–73. ISSN 1468-2745.
  • Fowler, Will (2006). Britain's Secret War: The Indonesian Confrontation 1962–66. Men-at-Arms. Oxford: Osprey. ISBN 9781846030482.
  • Harrison, Ralph; Heron, John (2007). Jungle Conflict: The Durham Light Infantry in Borneo 1965–66. Sunderland: Business Education Publishers. ISBN 978-1-901888-55-3.
  • Horner, David (1995). The Gunners: A History of Australian Artillery. St Leonards: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86373-917-7.
  • Jackson, Robert (2011) [1991]. The Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation: The Commonwealth's Wars 1948–1966. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword. ISBN 9781848845558.
  • "No. 43959". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 April 1966. p. 4947.
  • Paul, James; Spirit, Martin (2008). "Britains Small Wars – Plaman Mapu". Britains-SmallWars.com. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  • Porritt, V.L. (2004). The Rise and Fall of Communism in Sarawak 1940–1990. Victoria: Monash Asia Institute. ISBN 978-1-876924-27-0.
  • Poulgrain, G. (1998). The Genesis of Konfrontasi: Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia 1945–1965. London: C. Hurst & Co. ISBN 978-1-85065-510-7.
  • Rees, Simon. "The Gurkha battle in Borneo". Historical Eye.com. Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  • Smith, E. (1985). Counter-Insurgency Operations. 1, Malaya and Borneo. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 9780711014626.
  • Jackie Sam; Philip Khoo; Cheong Yip Seng; Abul Fazil; Roderick Pestana; Gabriel Lee (11 March 1965). "Terror Bomb kills 2 Girls at Bank" (reprint). The Straits Times. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  • Subritzky, J. (2000). Confronting Sukarno: British, American, Australian and New Zealand Diplomacy in the Malaysian-Indonesian Confrontation, 1961–1965. London: Palgrave. ISBN 978-0-312-22784-5.
  • Tuck, C. (2004). "Borneo 1963–66: Counter-insurgency Operations and War Termination". Small Wars and Insurgencies. 15 (3): 89–111. ISSN 1743-9558.
External links
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Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

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Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

The Indonesian–Malaysian confrontation or Borneo confrontation (also known by its Indonesian/Malay name, Konfrontasi) was a violent conflict from 1963–66 that stemmed from Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. The creation of Malaysia was the amalgamation of the Federation of Malaya (now West Malaysia), Singapore and the crown colony/British protectorates of North Borneo and Sarawak (collectively known as British Borneo, now East Malaysia) in September 1963.[17] Important precursors to the conflict included Indonesia's policy of confrontation against Netherlands New Guinea from March–August 1962 and the Brunei Revolt in December 1962. The confrontation was an undeclared war with most of the action occurring in the border area between Indonesia and East Malaysia on the island of Borneo (known as Kalimantan in Indonesia). The conflict was characterised by restrained and isolated ground combat, set within tactics of low-level brinkmanship. Combat was usually conducted by company- or platoon-sized ...more...

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Military history of Australia during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

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Military history of Australia during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

An Australian soldier manning the MAG58 machine gun while on guard duty in Borneo during 1965 The Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation (Indonesian: Konfrontasi) was fought from 1962 to 1966 between the British Commonwealth and Indonesia. Indonesia, under President Sukarno, sought to prevent the creation of the new Federation of Malaysia that emerged in 1963, whilst the British Commonwealth sought to safeguard the security of the new state. The war remained a limited one however, and was fought primarily on the island of Borneo, although a number of Indonesian seaborne and airborne incursions into the Malay Peninsula did occur.[1] As part of Australia's continuing military commitment to the security of Malaysia, Australian army, naval and air force units were based there with the Far East Strategic Reserve, mainly in the 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade Group.[1] The Australian Government was initially reluctant to become involved in the conflict, and Australian forces did not see combat until 1964. Australia ...more...

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Order of battle during Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

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Order of battle during Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

This is an order of battle listing the British and Commonwealth forces involved in the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation (1962–66). Commonwealth order of battle The following units served in North Borneo, Sarawak or Brunei between 24 December 1962 and 11 August 1966, the eligible dates for the 1962 General Service Medal with clasp BORNEO. Those marked * were based in UK. The conditions for the BORNEO clasp were 30 days service ashore in Brunei, Sabah or Sarawak or afloat in coastal waters or one operational flying sortie in support of operations ashore. In addition the MALAY PENINSULA clasp was awarded for 30 days service ashore in the Malay Peninsula or Singapore or afloat in their waters or carrying out 30 air patrols over the land area between 17 August 1964 and 11 August 1966. In addition to the units listed below, between 1963 and 1966 there were up to 80 ships from the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Malay Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy. Most of these were patrol craft, minesweepers, frigate ...more...

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Combat operations in 1964 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

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Combat operations in 1964 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

British forces landed from a Westland Wessex helicopter during an operation in Borneo, August 1964. The Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation began in early 1963 following Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. Initial Indonesian attacks into East Malaysia relied heavily on local volunteers trained by the Indonesian Army. With the passage of time infiltration forces became more organised with the inclusion of a larger component of Indonesian forces. To deter and disrupt Indonesia's growing campaign of infiltrations, the British responded in 1964 by launching their own covert operations into Indonesian Kalimantan under the code name Operation Claret. Coinciding with Sukarno announcing a 'year of dangerous living' and the 1964 race riots in Singapore, Indonesia launched an expanded campaign of operations into West Malaysia on 17 August 1964, albeit without military success.[1] A build-up of Indonesian forces on the Kalimantan border in December 1964 then saw the UK commit significant forces from the U ...more...

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Combat operations in 1963 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

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Combat operations in 1963 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

Troops from the 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Highlanders, conduct a patrol to search for enemies position in the jungle of Brunei, September 1963. In April 1963, the first recorded infiltration and attack occurred in Borneo as part of the wider Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. An infiltration force training at Nangabadan was split in two and prepared for its first operation. On 12 April 1963, one infiltration force attacked and seized the police station at Tebedu in the 1st Division of Sarawak, about 40 miles (64 km) from Kuching and 2 miles (3.2 km) from the border with Kalimantan.[1] The other group attacked the village of Gumbang, South West of Kuching, later in the month. Only about half returned.[2] Confrontation could be said to have started from a military perspective with the Tebedu attack.[3] For the next five months, the Chinese guerrillas undertook further raids,[2] typically attacks on longhouses. In June, an operation by about 15 was dealt with. In this period, it was a platoon commander's war ...more...

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Indonesia–Malaysia relations

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Indonesia–Malaysia relations

Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia in Johor Bahru Indonesia–Malaysia relations are foreign bilateral relations between Indonesia and Malaysia, and it is one of the most important bilateral relationships in Southeast Asia.[1] Indonesia and Malaysia are two neighbouring nations that share similarities in many aspects.[2] Both Malaysia and Indonesia have many common characteristic traits, these include common frames of reference in history, culture and religion. Although both countries are separate and independent states, there are also deeply embedded similarities.[3] Their national languages; Indonesian language and Malaysian language are closely related and mutually intelligible, both being standardised registers of Malay. The majority of the population of both nations were of Austronesian ancestry. Both nations are Muslim majority countries, the founding members of ASEAN and APEC, and also members of the Non-aligned Movement, Developing 8 Countries and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. De ...more...

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Combat operations in 1965 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

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Combat operations in 1965 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

RAF Avro Vulcan bomber lands at RAF Butterworth, Malaysia, c 1965. The presence of these strategic bombers were a considerable deterrence to the Indonesians during the Confrontation period. The Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation began in early 1963 following Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. In December 1964, a build-up of Indonesian forces on the Kalimantan border saw the British government commit significant forces from the UK-based Army Strategic Command and Australia and New Zealand deployed roulement combat forces from West Malaysia to Borneo in 1965–66. Opposing forces British Commonwealth forces Arrival of UK-based units In January 1965, the first UK-based units (aside from air defence and special forces) arrived and after six weeks of jungle training, deployed on operations. The 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders arrived first and became the thirteenth battalion in Borneo, with 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment as the fourteenth and last. The two additional battalions allowed DOBOPS t ...more...

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Action of 13 December 1964

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Action of 13 December 1964

The Action of 13 December 1964 was a minor naval action between the Australian minesweeper HMAS Teal and two Indonesian vessels on 13 December 1964 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. HMAS Teal was engaged by Indonesian vessels in the Singapore Strait. Return fire from the Australian ship killed three, whilst four other Indonesians were subsequently captured.[1] Action HMAS Teal whilst conducting patrols of the Singapore Strait intercepted two Indonesian sampans off Borneo at night. Upon interception of the unlit sampans, Teal was fired upon with automatic weapons from the sampans. The sampans turned towards Indonesian waters, however one sampan was overpowered and surrendered to Teal following further small arms engagements that killed three Indonesian crew members. Aftermath Lieutenant Keith Murray was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, for his coolness and judgment during the action. The Distinguished Service Cross was the only award for gallant or distinguished service made to the Royal ...more...

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Claret (disambiguation)

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Claret (disambiguation)

Claret may refer to: Claret, an English name for red Bordeaux wine Claret (surname) The Claret School, a private Catholic all-boys school. Operation Claret, a series of raids during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. The Claret Jug, a golf trophy. Claret Ash, a variety of tree. Australian & British slang for blood, such as from a sports injury A player or supporter of Burnley F.C., nicknamed the Clarets due to the dominant colour of their team shirts. Claret is also the name of several communes in France: Claret, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Claret, Hérault ...more...



Confrontation

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Confrontation

Look up confrontation or confrontment in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Confrontation may refer to: The 1963-66 Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, also known as the Konfrontasi Confrontation (journal), an American literary magazine founded in 1968 A confrontation in Confrontation analysis Confrontation, a portion of the visual field test Music Confrontation (Bob Marley & The Wailers album), a 1983 roots reggae album by Bob Marley & the Wailers Confrontation (Soilent Green album), a 2005 album from the band Soilent Green Confrontation (Face to Face album), a 1985 album by the band Face to Face Television "Confrontation" (Death Note episode), an episode of Death Note "Confrontation" (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Tabletop wargaming Confrontation (Rackham), a game by Rackham Confrontation (Games Workshop), the forerunner to the Necromunda and Inquisitor games Video games SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confr ...more...



Singapore in Malaysia

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Singapore in Malaysia

Lee Kuan Yew and Tunku Abdul Rahman Singapore was one of the 14 states of Malaysia from 1963 to 1965. Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963 as a new political entity from the merger of the Federation of Malaya with former British colonies of North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. This marked the end of a 144-year period of British rule in Singapore, beginning with the founding of modern Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. The union, however, was unstable due to distrust and ideological differences between leaders of the State of Singapore and the federal government of Malaysia. Such issues resulted in frequent disagreements relating to economics, finance and politics. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which was the political party in power in the federal government, saw the participation of the Singapore-based People's Action Party (PAP) in the Malaysian general election of 1964 as a threat to its Malay-based political system. There were also major racial riots that year involving the ...more...

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Roi Wilson

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Roi Wilson

Captain Roi Edgerton "Tug" Wilson, CBE, DFC (1 June 1921 – 17 March 2009) was a Royal Navy officer and Master of the Royal Caledonian Schools. Early life He was educated at Old Swinford Hospital, Stourbridge then worked in an engineering company before volunteering for the Royal Navy. References Telegraph obituary of Captain Roi Wilson ...more...

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Military history of New Zealand in Malaysia

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Military history of New Zealand in Malaysia

The New Zealand armed forces saw action in Malaysia throughout the 1950s and 1960s, first as part of the British Commonwealth response to the Malayan Emergency, and then in defence of Malaysia in the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Malayan Emergency 1948–1960 The Malayan Emergency was declared by the British government on 18 June 1948 after guerillas of the Malayan Races Liberation Army, the militant arm of the Malayan Communist Party killed three British rubber planters.[1] New Zealand's first contribution came in 1949, when C-47 Dakotas of RNZAF No. 41 Squadron were attached to the Royal Air Force's Far East Air Force. The Dakotas were used to drop supplies to British and Malay forces engaging the MRLA, and one aircraft was stationed permanently in Kuala Lumpur to carry out this role, away from No. 41 Squadron's usual station in Hong Kong. By the time the New Zealand planes were withdrawn in December 1951, they had carried out 211 sorties, dropping 284,000 kilograms of supplies.[2] From 1949 there were ...more...

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Indonesian Army

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Indonesian Army

The Indonesian Army (Indonesian: Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat, TNI–AD), the land component of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, has an estimated strength of 300,000 active personnel.[1] The history of the Indonesian Army has its roots in 1945 when the Tentara Keamanan Rakyat (TKR) "Civil Security Forces" first emerged as a paramilitary and police corps.[2] Since the nation's independence movement, the Indonesian Army has been involved in multifaceted operations ranging from the incorporation of Western New Guinea, the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, to the annexation of East Timor, as well as internal counter-insurgency operations in Aceh, Maluku, and Papua. The army's operations have not been without controversy; it has been periodically associated with human rights violations, particularly in West Papua, East Timor and Aceh.[3][4] The Indonesia Army is composed of a headquarters, 15 military region commands, a strategic reserve command KOSTRAD, a special forces command Kopassus, and var ...more...

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Timeline of the British Army 1900–99

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Timeline of the British Army 1900–99

The Time line of the British Army 1900–1999 lists the conflicts and wars the British Army were involved in. Boxer Rebellion ended 1901 Anglo-Aro War 1901–1902 Second Boer War ended 1902 World War I 1914–1918 Easter Rising 1916 Third Anglo Marri War 1917 Third Afghan War 1919 Irish War of Independence 1919–1921 World War II 1939–1945 Normandy landings 1944 Greek civil war 1946-47 Malayan Emergency 1948–1960 Korean War 1950–1953 Mau Mau Uprising 1952–1960 Cypriot Independence 1955–1959 Suez Crisis 1956–1957 Brunei Revolt 1962–1966 Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation 1962-1966 Dhofar Rebellion 1962–1975 Aden Emergency 1963–1967 The Troubles 1968–1998 Operation Banner 1969–2007 Falklands War 1982 Gulf War 1990–1991 Yugoslav wars 1991–2001 Bosnian War 1992–1995 Kosovo War 1998–1999 See also Timeline of the British Army Timeline of the British Army 1700–99 Timeline of the British Army 1800–99 Timeline of the British Army since 2000 ...more...

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Malaysian Armed Forces

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Malaysian Armed Forces

The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF, Malay: Angkatan Tentera Malaysia-ATM; Jawi:اڠكتن تنترا مليسيا), the military of Malaysia, consists of three branches, namely the Malaysian Army, the Royal Malaysian Navy, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Since 19 December 2016, General Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor is the Chief of Malaysian Armed Forces. Background Malaysia's armed forces were created from the unification of military forces which arose during the first half of the 20th century when Malaya and Singapore were the subjects of British colonial rule before Malaya achieved independence in 1957. The primary objective of the armed forces in Malaysia is to defend the country's sovereignty and protect it from any and all types of threats.[7] It is responsible for assisting civilian authorities to overcome all international threats, preserve public order, assist in natural disasters and participate in national development programs. It is also sustaining and upgrading its capabilities in the international sp ...more...

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Brunei revolt

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Brunei revolt

The Brunei revolt (Malay: Pemberontakan Brunei) was a December 1962 insurrection in the British protectorate of Brunei by opponents of its monarchy and its proposed inclusion in the Federation of Malaysia. The insurgents were members of the TNKU (North Kalimantan National Army), a militia supplied by Indonesia and linked to the leftwing Brunei People's Party (BPP), which favoured a North Borneo Federation. The TNKU began co-ordinated attacks on the oil town of Seria (targeting the Royal Dutch Shell oil installations), on police stations, and on government facilities around the protectorate. The revolt began to break down within hours, having failed to achieve key objectives such as the capture of Brunei town and Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III.[1] The revolt influenced the Sultan's 1963 decision not to join Malaysia. It is seen as one of the first stages of the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Background The northern part of the island of Borneo was composed of three British territories: the colonies of Sar ...more...

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Pingat Jasa Malaysia

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Pingat Jasa Malaysia

The Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) (English: Malaysian Service Medal) is a medal given by the King and Government of Malaysia. Established 3 March 2004, the medal recognizes service by members of the Malaysian Armed Forces during the Malayan Emergency, Second Malayan Emergency, and the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. The medal was also offered for award to members of the Commonwealth forces from Australia, Fiji, India, Nepal, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom who served in Malaysia during the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. The award is in recognition of "distinguished chivalry, gallantry, sacrifice, or loyalty" in contributing to the freedom of independence of Malaysia. The medal can be conferred and accepted posthumously by next of kin. Appearance The obverse of the medal bears the Coat of arms of Malaysia with the inscription JASA MALAYSIA beneath it. The reverse shows a map of Malaysia and the initials P.J.M underneath. The medal is suspended by two crossed palas palm fronds ...more...

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Sebatik Island

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Sebatik Island

Sebatik Island (Indonesian/Malay: Pulau Sebatik) is an island off the eastern coast of Borneo, partly within Indonesia and partly within Malaysia. It is one of the 92 officially listed outlying islands of Indonesia. 2008 Indonesian stamp featuring Sebatik Island Sebatik has an area of approximately 452.2 square kilometres (174.6 sq mi).[1][2] The minimum distance between Sebatik Island and the mainland of Borneo is about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi).[4] Sebatik Island lies between Tawau Bay (Teluk Tawau) to the north and Sibuku Bay (Teluk Sibuku) to the south. The town of Tawau lies in Sabah just to the north. The island is bisected at roughly 4° 10' north by the Indonesia–Malaysia border - the northern part belongs to Sabah, Malaysia (Sebatik Malaysia) while the southern part belongs to North Kalimantan (previously East Kalimantan), Indonesia (Sebatik Indonesia). Sebatik Malaysia has a population estimated to be approximately 25,000; there are approximately 80,000 people in Sebatik Indonesia.[3] The demarcat ...more...

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Landing at Pontian

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Landing at Pontian

The Landing at Pontian (17 August 1964) was an amphibious landing made by a small body of Indonesian troops in the Pontian District of southwestern Malaysia. The landing took place during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, an undeclared war fought between Malaysia and Indonesia during the early 1960s over the creation of a Malaysian Federation encompassing parts of northern Borneo, areas that Indonesia sought to increase her own power in Southeast Asia. On 17 August 1964, Indonesian President Sukarno announced a 'Year of Dangerous Living' as a part of his country's Independence Day celebrations. To reinforce his point, Sukarno had ordered that a force of Indonesian troops and exiled Malaysian-Chinese land in mainland Malaysia to kick off a campaign of such invasions to create guerrilla bases in enemy territory and stir up Communist sympathizers. The effort was a failure, as targeted Malaysians proved unreceptive to Indonesian efforts and the invaders were swiftly rounded up by Anglo-Malaysian security for ...more...

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Battle of Plaman Mapu

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Battle of Plaman Mapu

The Battle of Plaman Mapu (27 April 1965) was one of the largest battles of the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, a protracted undeclared war between Indonesia and a British-led Commonwealth of Nations over the creation of a new Malaysian state. The battle occurred as a result of an Indonesian effort to storm a British hilltop base at Plaman Mapu, on the border between the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Indonesia. In the early hours of 27 April 1965, a crack battalion of Indonesian soldiers launched a surprise attack on 'B' Company, 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in their base at Plaman Mapu. The British garrison was outnumbered by at least five to one, but it managed to repel the Indonesian assault after an intense two hour firefight. Acting commanding officer Sergeant-Major John Williams received a Distinguished Conduct Medal for his role in the action. Relief units soon arrived by helicopter, but the battle had concluded by this point. The battle was the last attempt by Indonesian forces to laun ...more...

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MacDonald House bombing

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MacDonald House bombing

The MacDonald House bombing occurred on 10 March 1965, at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building (now known as MacDonald House) along Orchard Road of Singapore, which was then part of Malaysia. The time bomb was planted by a duo of Indonesian saboteurs, during the period of Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation (also known as Konfrontasi). The explosion killed three people and injured at least 33 others.[1] Background MacDonald House in 2018 During the Indonesian Konfrontasi where Indonesia openly opposed the formation of Malaysia, Indonesian saboteurs mounted a campaign of terror in Singapore. There were a total of 37 bombings from 1963 to 1966 carried out by the Indonesian saboteurs. They were trained to attack military installations and public utilities. However, when the saboteurs failed in their attempts to attack these installations that were heavily guarded, they set off bombs indiscriminately to create panic and disrupt life on the island. By 1964, bomb explosions became frequent. To help the pol ...more...

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Landing at Kesang River

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Landing at Kesang River

The Landing at Kesang River (29 October 1964) was an amphibious landing conducted by a small force of Indonesian volunteers near the Kesang River, on the border between the Malaysian states of Malacca and Johore on the southwestern part of the Malay Peninsula. The landing took place during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, an undeclared war fought between Malaysia and Indonesia during the early 1960s over the creation of a Malaysian Federation encompassing parts of northern Borneo, areas that Indonesia sought control in her bid to increase her power and influence in Southeast Asia. The landing was part of an extended campaign of similar incursions into Malaysian territory in the fall and winter of 1964 launched by Indonesian President Sukarno to add gravitas to his 17 August speech announcing a 'Year of Dangerous Living,' as well as to establish a base for a potential Communist rebellion. A first landing was launched that night in the Pontian District of Johore, but was quickly halted by Commonwealth sec ...more...

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Far East Air Force (Royal Air Force)

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Far East Air Force (Royal Air Force)

The former Royal Air Force Far East Air Force, more simply known as RAF Far East Air Force, was the Command organisation that controlled all Royal Air Force assets in the east of Asia (Far East). It was originally formed as Air Command, South East Asia in 1943 during the Second World War. In 1946, this was renamed RAF Air Command Far East, and finally Far East Air Force in June 1949. The command was disbanded on 31 October 1971. Early history The first organisation dedicated to this task was formed in Singapore in 1930 as Royal Air Force Singapore. This was upgraded to Headquarters Air Force Far East Command in 1933. During the Second World War, when Malaya, Singapore, Burma and Hong Kong were overrun by the Japanese, the command retreated to India, there receiving the name Air Headquarters Bengal. The true ancestor of the postwar Far East Air Force was formed in November 1943, under Lord Louis Mountbatten the supreme Allied commander South East Asia Command (SEAC). It was called Air Command, South East A ...more...

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Malaysia

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Malaysia

Malaysia ( ( listen) mə-LAY-zee-ə, -zhə; Malay: ) is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand in the north and maritime borders with Singapore in the south, Vietnam in the northeast, and Indonesia in the west. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms which, from th ...more...

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HMAS Hawk (M 1139)

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HMAS Hawk (M 1139)

HMAS Hawk (M 1139) (formerly HMS Somerlyton) was a Ton-class minesweeper operated by the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The minesweeper was built for the Royal Navy as HMS Gamston, but renamed HMS Somerlyton before entering service. She was sold to Australia in 1961, and commissioned as HMAS Hawk in 1962. The ship operated through the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, and was decommissioned in 1972. Construction The minesweeper was laid down for the Royal Navy by Richards Ironworks at Lowestoft, England. She was launched on 1 July 1954 as HMS Gamston, but was renamed HMS Somerlyton before entering service. Operational history United Kingdom Australia The ship was purchased by Australia in 1961 and commissioned into the RAN as HMAS Hawk on 18 July 1962. Hawk was one of several Australian warships deployed to Malaysia to protect the nation during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation. She became the second Australian minesweeper to see action during the Confrontation on 13 March 1966, when ...more...

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Tengah Air Base

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Tengah Air Base

Tengah Air Base (IATA: TGA, ICAO: WSAT) is a military airbase of the Republic of Singapore Air Force located in the Western Water Catchment, in the western part of Singapore. The station is the most important airfield of the RSAF as it houses the majority of the RSAF's fixed-wing frontline squadrons, home to all of RSAF's Airborne early warning and control (AEWC) assets, most of the F-16C/D Fighting Falcons and a large number of UAVs. The airfield goes by the motto of "Always Vigilant", which is supported by its main motif, a chess board Black Knight piece symbolising the aircraft's operational readiness in Tengah. The sword represents war's heraldic sword of destruction, while the state is depicted by the castle. Prior to Singapore's independence, it was a flying Royal Air Force station known as RAF Tengah. History RAF Tengah RAF Tengah Station Badge RAF Tengah was opened in 1939. Tengah airfield was the target of carpet bombing when 17 Japanese Navy bombers conducted the first air raid on Singapore, ...more...

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Indonesian National Armed Forces

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Indonesian National Armed Forces

The Indonesian National Armed Forces (Indonesian: Tentara Nasional Indonesia, TNI; literally "Indonesian National Military") are the military forces of the Republic of Indonesia. It consists of the Army (TNI-AD), Navy (TNI-AL), and Air Force (TNI-AU). The President of Indonesia is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. In 2016, it comprises approximately 395,500[4] military personnel including the Indonesian Marine Corps (Korps Marinir), which is the branch of the Navy. The Indonesian Armed Forces was formed during the Indonesian National Revolution, when it undertook a guerrilla war along with informal militia. As a result of this, and the need to maintain internal security, the Armed forces including the Army, Navy, and Air Force has been organised along territorial lines, aimed at defeating internal enemies of the state and potential external invaders.[5] Under the 1945 Constitution, all citizens are legally entitled and obliged to defend the nation. Conscription is provided for by law, yet the Forc ...more...

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Tony Hunter-Choat

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Tony Hunter-Choat

Anthony "Tony" Hunter-Choat OBE, FRSA (12 January 1936 – 12 April 2012) was a British soldier who served in the French Foreign Legion, the British Army, including in the Special Air Service, and as the commander of the Sultan of Oman's special forces. Early life and education Hunter-Choat was born in Purley, London, the son of Frederick, who worked in insurance, and Iris, a schoolteacher. The family later moved to Ascot. He attended Dulwich College and Kingston College of Art, where he trained as an architect. In his youth, he developed a taste for travel and languages, hitchhiking around Europe in his holidays.[1] Military career French Foreign Legion After deciding a career in architecture was not for him, Hunter-Choat travelled to Paris in March 1957 to join the French Foreign Legion. He was pursued by his mother, but by the time she caught up with him, he had already signed up. He was sent for basic training in Algeria, which at the time was experiencing the Algerian War. Hunter-Choat volunteered for ...more...

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John Swinton of Kimmerghame

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John Swinton of Kimmerghame

Major General Sir John Swinton of Kimmerghame, KCVO, OBE, DL (born 21 April 1925) is a retired senior British Army officer who served as Major-General commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District from 1976 until his retirement in 1979. Family and military background Swinton is the son of Brigadier Alan Henry Campbell Swinton of Kimmerghame, MC (born 15 March 1896)[1][2][3][4][5] and wife, Mariora Beatrice Evelyn Rochfort Alers-Hankey (born 1900). His paternal grandfather was Scottish politician and officer-of-arms George Swinton. The Swinton family is an ancient Anglo-Scots family that can trace its lineage to the High Middle Ages.[5] Military career Swinton was commissioned into the Scots Guards on 24 March 1944,[6] and was twice wounded towards the end of the Second World War.[7] He was promoted to lieutenant on 8 November 1947.[8] He served in Malaya during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation and was mentioned in despatches.[9] Swinton was promoted to captain on 21 ...more...

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Battle of Bau

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Battle of Bau

The Battle of Bau, or the Battle of Gunong Tepoi, was an engagement that occurred on 21 November 1965 in the border area of Sarawak in Borneo between British and Indonesian forces. It was part of the wider Indonesian–Malaysian confrontation, that consisted of a series of small-scale engagements involving Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and which took place over the course of 1962–66. The engagement involved an attack by a 16-man advance squad of British Army Gurkhas on a company-sized Indonesian position. The Gurkhas were then supported by the 104 men in the rest of the company which resulted in the last Indonesians withdrawing after having virtually been destroyed. The Gurkha company, having suffered relatively light casualties but coming under increasing pressure from another Indonesian company nearby, retired from the position. As a result of the action, one Gurkha—Lance Corporal Rambahadur Limbu—received the Victoria Cross. Prelude After relieving the 3rd Battalion, R ...more...

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Christopher Morgan (Royal Navy officer)

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Christopher Morgan (Royal Navy officer)

Vice Admiral Sir (Charles) Christopher Morgan KBE (born 11 March 1939) is a former Royal Navy officer who became Naval Secretary. Naval career Educated at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Morgan joined the Royal Navy in 1959 and was involved in the First Cod War with Iceland in 1960.[1] He also saw action during the Kuwait crisis in 1961, the Brunei Revolt in 1962 and the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation in 1962.[1] He was given command of the frigate HMS Eskimo in 1976 and, having been promoted to Captain, he joined the Operational Requirements Division at the Ministry of Defence in 1981 and was given command of the destroyer HMS Southampton in 1986.[1] He became Naval Secretary in 1990 and Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland in 1992 before retiring in 1996.[1] In retirement he was appointed Director-General of the UK Chamber of Shipping.[2] References Debrett's People of Today Sir Christopher will rely on diplomacy to bolster shipping industry Birmingham Post, 18 April ...more...

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Landing at Labis

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Landing at Labis

The Landing at Labis was an airborne landing by Indonesian paratroopers on 2 September 1964 near Labis, Johore, Malaysia during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Transported in three Indonesian Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft, which had set off from Jakarta, only two aircraft managed to reach the target drop zone, the third aircraft crashed into the Straits of Malacca while trying to evade interception by a No. 64 Squadron RAF Javelin FAW.9 launched from RAF Tengah, Singapore.[1] Tropical storms dispersed the parachute drop around Labis, about 100 miles (160 km) north of Singapore with 98 paratroopers being inserted. The landing zone was close to the camp of the 1/10th Gurkha Rifles(1st Battalion, 10th GR, who were later joined in mopping-up operations by the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR) who were stationed near Malacca with the 28th Commonwealth Brigade. Under the overall command of 4th Malaysian Infantry Brigade, operations to round up the 98 paratroopers took about a ...more...

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History of Malaysia

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History of Malaysia

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country located on a strategic sea-lane that exposes it to global trade and foreign culture. An early western account of the area is seen in Ptolemy's book Geographia, which mentions a "Golden Khersonese," now identified as the Malay Peninsula.[1] Hinduism and Buddhism from India dominated early regional history, reaching their peak during the reign of the Sumatra-based Srivijaya civilisation, whose influence extended through Sumatra, Java, the Malay Peninsula and much of Borneo from the 7th to the 13th centuries. Although Muslims had passed through the Malay Peninsula as early as the 10th century, it was not until the 14th century that Islam first firmly established itself. The adoption of Islam in the 14th century saw the rise of a number of sultanates, the most prominent of which was the Sultanate of Malacca. Islam had a profound influence on the Malay people, but has also been influenced by them. The Portuguese were the first European colonial powers to establish themselves ...more...

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Prime Minister of Malaysia

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Prime Minister of Malaysia

The Prime Minister of Malaysia (Malay: Perdana Menteri Malaysia) is the head of government and the highest political office in Malaysia. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints Prime Minister as a Member of Parliament (MP) who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs. The Prime Minister chairs the Cabinet of Malaysia, the de facto executive branch of government. After the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya, became Prime Minister of Malaysia. From independence until the 2018 general election, the Prime Minister had always been from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party of Barisan Nasional (previously Alliance). Following a general election, Mahathir Mohamad took office on 10 May 2018, as the first Prime Minister of the opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan (PH). Mahathir is the first Prime Minister not to represent the Alliance/Barisan Nasional coalition. He is also the first Malaysian P ...more...

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Battle of Kindau

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Battle of Kindau

The Battle of Kindau (15 June 1965) took place during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Involving Australian and Indonesian troops, the battle was the third in a series of successful ambushes between May and July 1965 launched by the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). The ambushes were part of the wider Operation Claret which involved cross-border operations by British-Commonwealth units from bases in Sarawak, penetrating up to 10,000 yards (9,100 m) into Indonesian territory with the aim of disrupting the movement and resupply of Indonesian forces and to keep them off balance. On 15 June 1965—three days after C Company, 3 RAR had its successful ambush at Sungei Koemba—a platoon from A Company successfully ambushed another large Indonesian force before withdrawing under the cover of artillery fire. The ambush resulted in heavy Indonesian casualties, while two Australians were wounded in the engagement. Unlike previous encounters the battle did not remain ...more...

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Battle of Sungei Koemba

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Battle of Sungei Koemba

The Battle of Sungei Koemba (27 May – 12 June 1965) took place during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Involving Australian and Indonesian troops, the battle consisted of a series of ambushes launched by the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), along the Sungei Koemba river in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). The ambushes were part of the wider Operation Claret which involved cross-border operations by British-Commonwealth units from bases in Sarawak, penetrating up to 10,000 yards (9,100 m) into Indonesian territory with the aim of disrupting the movement and resupply of Indonesian forces and to keep them off balance. The first ambush was conducted by two platoons from B Company on 27 May 1965 and resulted in significant Indonesian casualties, for no loss to the Australians. The second ambush was conducted a fortnight later and was set a little further downstream from the last one, this time by a platoon from C Company, occurring on 12 June 1965 and again resulting in heavy Indonesian casua ...more...

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Battle of Long Jawai

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Battle of Long Jawai

The Battle of Long Jawai was one of the earliest battles of the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. A large Indonesian contingent crossed the border and attacked the outpost at Long Jawai, about fifty miles into Borneo. A small mixed military and paramilitary force was defeated by the Indonesians but British Gurkha reinforcements were put into the jungle between the area and Indonesian Borneo. In a number of ambushes some of the withdrawing Indonesian force were killed. Background On 25 September 1963, Captain John Burlingson arrived at the village of Long Jawai, population of 500, and began setting up defences. His forces consisted of four Gurkhas led by Corporal Tejbahadur Gurung, two Police Field Force officers, and 21 local (paramilitary) Malaysian Border Scouts. However, an Indonesian reaconaissance party had been hiding in one of the village longhouses, and was soon reinforced by a full scale raiding party. The Gurkhas and Malaysians were oblivious to the danger. The Indonesians had moved into this area ...more...

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Greater Indonesia

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Greater Indonesia

Map of Greater Indonesia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, and East Timor Greater Indonesia, or in Indonesian and Malaysian, Indonesia Raya or Melayu Raya, was a political concept that sought to bring the so-called Malay race, only part of which were the actual Malays, together by uniting the British territories of Malaya and Borneo with the Dutch East Indies.[1] It was espoused by students and graduates of Sultan Idris Training College for Malay Teachers in the late 1920s, and individuals from Sumatra and Java including Muhammad Yamin and Sukarno in the 1950s.[1] Indonesia Raya ("Greater Indonesia") is also the name of the Indonesian national anthem. Development of idea in colonial era The Pan-Malay union was based on understandings on similarities in race, shared language, religion and culture among ethnic groups in Maritime Southeast Asia. The ancient concept of Alam Melayu or Nusantara advocates an historical awareness that the territory of British Malaya, British Borneo and the Dutc ...more...

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Malaysia Agreement

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Malaysia Agreement

The Malaysia Agreement or the Agreement relating to Malaysia between United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore was the agreement which combined North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore with the existing states of the Federation of Malaya,[2] the resulting union being named Malaysia.[3][4] Singapore later ceased to be a part of Malaysia, becoming an independent state on 9 August 1965.[5] Background The Malayan Union was established by the British Malaya and comprised the Federated Malay States of Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang; the Unfederated Malay States of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor; and the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca. It came into being in 1946, through a series of agreements between the United Kingdom and Malayan Union.[6] The Malayan Union was superseded by the Federation of Malaya on 1 February 1948, and achieved independence within the Commonwealth of Nations on 31 August 1957.[4] After the end ...more...

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Humphrey Mews

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Humphrey Mews

Colonel Humphrey Mews (1941–1990) was Deputy Private Secretary to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales 1986–1988. Mews joined the Royal Artillery after Sandhurst. After Sandhurst, he was posted as a 2nd Lieutenant to 22 (Gibraltar 1779–83) Battery, Royal Artillery as officer in charge of "B" Troop Radar Section, taking over from 2/Lt Grant Paton of Largs. In 1963 he was posted to Malaya as part of 2 Troop RA, an independent locating troop, equipped with the new Green Archer mortar locating radars. The OC of this unit was Captain Shallcross who retired after a short period in Malaysia. Humphrey Mews was promoted to Captain and became OC 2 Troop RA. He saw active service in Borneo in 1965 when 2 radar sections from 2 Troop were deployed in Sarawak on the border with Indonesia during the armed confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia. The unit returned to the UK in 1966. In 1969-1971 he was Troop Captain of the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, and from 1978–1980 was Commanding Officer of the 1st Regi ...more...

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HMAS Curlew

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HMAS Curlew

HMAS Curlew (M 1121) was a Ton-class minesweeper operated by the Royal Navy (as HMS Chediston) from 1953 to 1961, and the Royal Australian Navy from 1962 to 1991. During her Australian service, the ship operated off Malaysia during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation during the mid-1960s, then was modified for use as a minehunter. Delays in bringing a replacement class into service kept Curlew operational until 1990, and she was sold into civilian service in 1991. Construction The minesweeper was built by the Montrose Shipyard in Scotland, launched on 6 October 1953, and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 28 September 1954 as HMS Chediston.[1] Operational history Royal Navy Between August 1955 and October 1957, the ship was attached to Tay Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.[1] After October 1957, the ship was placed in storage.[1] Royal Australian Navy The ship was one of six sold to the Royal Australian Navy for A£5.5 million in 1961.[2] Chediston was modified for tropical conditions, and ...more...

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Sembawang Air Base

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Sembawang Air Base

Sembawang Air Base (ICAO: WSAG) is a military airbase of the Republic of Singapore Air Force located at Sembawang, in the northern part of Singapore. The base motto is "Dare and Will". RAF Sembawang Before Singapore's independence from the United Kingdom, it was a Royal Air Force station known as RAF Sembawang as well as being the Royal Naval Air Station – HMS Simbang – to the carrier pilots of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (attached to the Eastern Fleet based in Singapore) who used it for rest and refit whenever an aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy berthed at the nearby HMNB Singapore for refuel and repairs, which also housed the largest Royal Navy dockyard east of Suez up to the time of UK forces withdrawal from Singapore. After the Japanese capture of Singapore during World War II, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service took over the two RAF stations of Sembawang and Seletar. Singapore was split into north-south spheres of control, and the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force took over RAF Tengah. It was no ...more...

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HMAS Ibis (M 1183)

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HMAS Ibis (M 1183)

HMAS Ibis (M 1183) was a Ton-class minesweeper built by the Montrose Shipyard, launched on 18 November 1955, and commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Singleton. The ship was purchased by Australia in 1961, and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS Ibis on 7 September 1962. During the mid-1960s, Ibis was one of several ships operating in support of the Malaysian government during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation. This service was later recognised with the battle honour "Malaysia 1964–66".[1][2] Ibis was decommissioned on 4 May 1984. References "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. ...more...

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Transition to the New Order

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Transition to the New Order

Indonesia's transition to the "New Order" in the mid-1960s, ousted the country's first president, Sukarno, after 22 years in the position. One of the most tumultuous periods in the country's modern history, it was the commencement of Suharto's 31-year presidency. Described as the great dhalang ("puppet master"), Sukarno drew power from balancing the opposing and increasingly antagonistic forces of the army and Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). By 1965, the PKI extensively penetrated all levels of government and gained influence at the expense of the army.[1] On 30 September 1965, six of the military's most senior officers were killed in an action (generally labelled an "attempted coup") by the so-called 30 September Movement, a group from within the armed forces. Within a few hours, Major General Suharto mobilised forces under his command and took control of Jakarta. Anti-communists, initially following the army's lead, went on a violent purge of communists throughout the country, killing an estimated half ...more...

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David Mostyn

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David Mostyn

General Sir Joseph David Frederick Mostyn KCB, CBE (28 November 1928 – 20 January 2007) was a British soldier and one-time Adjutant-General to the Forces. Military career Educated at Downside School[1] and at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, David Mostyn was commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1949.[2] He was mentioned in despatches for helping to suppress the Brunei Revolt in 1962 whilst serving with the 1st Green Jackets (43rd and 52nd).[3] In 1969 he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets and was deployed to BAOR and Northern Ireland.[1] In 1972 he went on to command the 8th Infantry Brigade.[1] In 1980 he became Commandant of the British Sector in Berlin[1] and in 1983 he was appointed Military Secretary.[1] He went on to be Adjutant General in 1986[4] retiring from the British Army in 1989.[5] He was made an ADC General to the Queen in 1987.[6] He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1962,[7] prom ...more...

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Sunda Straits Crisis

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Sunda Straits Crisis

The Sunda Straits Crisis was a two-week confrontation between the United Kingdom and Indonesia over the passage of the Illustrious-class aircraft carrier HMS Victorious through the Sunda Strait, a major waterway separating the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, occurring between August and September 1964. The incident was part of the larger Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, an armed conflict between Indonesia and Malaysia (with the military support of Britain) over the formation of the latter as an independent state. On 27 August 1964, the British aircraft carrier HMS Victorious and her two destroyer escorts sailed through the Sunda Strait, an international waterway claimed by Indonesia, en route to Australia. Upset by the casual warning the British had given of the ships' impending passage through the Strait (a telephone call made two days before), the lack of mention of the carrier in the warning, and wary of the possibility that the British were attempting to provoke them into a violent response, the ...more...

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Indonesian Navy

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Indonesian Navy

The Indonesian Navy (Indonesian: Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut, TNI-AL) was founded on 10 September 1945. Its role is to patrol Indonesia's lengthy coastline, to enforce and patrol the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Indonesia, to protect Indonesia's maritime strategic interests, to protect the islands surrounding Indonesia, and to defend against seaborne threats. The Indonesian Navy is headed by a Chief of Staff of the Navy (Kepala Staf Angkatan Laut – Kasal). The Indonesian Navy is strengthen by three major fleets known as "Armada" which are Komando Armada I (1st Fleet Command) located in Jakarta, Komando Armada II (2nd Fleet Command) located in Surabaya, Komando Armada III (3rd Fleet Command) located in Sorong, and one Military Sealift Command (Komando Lintas Laut Militer). The Navy also heads the Marine Corps. All commissioned ships of the TNI-AL have the prefix KRI, standing for Kapal Republik Indonesia (Republic of Indonesia Ship). Mission According to Law No.34/20 ...more...

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Royal Australian Air Force

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Royal Australian Air Force

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), formed March 1921, is the aerial warfare branch of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It operates the majority of the ADF's fixed wing aircraft, although both the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy also operate aircraft in various roles.[2][3] It directly continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC), formed on 22 October 1912.[4] The RAAF provides support across a spectrum of operations such as air superiority, precision strikes, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air mobility, and humanitarian support. The RAAF took part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts. During the early years of the Second World War a number of RAAF bomber, fighter, reconnaissance and other squadrons served in Britain, and with the Desert Air Force located in North Africa and the Mediterranean. From 1942, a large number of RAAF units were formed in Australia, and fought in South West Pacific Area. Thousands of Australians also served with other Commonw ...more...

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Peter Hunt (British Army officer)

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Peter Hunt (British Army officer)

General Sir Peter Mervyn Hunt, GCB, DSO, OBE, DL (11 March 1916 – 2 October 1988) was Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1973 to 1976. He served in the Second World War and commanded British Forces deployed in response to the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Later in his career he provided advice to the British Government at a time of continuing tension associated with the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Army career Wellington College, where Hunt was educated Son of H. V. Hunt and educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst,[1] Hunt was commissioned into the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders on 30 January 1936.[2] Hunt saw action during the Second World War and was promoted to captain on 30 January 1944.[3] Later that year he was given the temporary rank of lieutenant colonel and appointed Commanding Officer of the Seaforth Highlanders,[1] leading them in North West Europe and receiving the Distinguished Service Order on 10 May 1945.[4 ...more...

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