Makassar (119.427E 5.127S) was founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century, and seized by the Dutch in 1667.  It has an excellent deepwater harbor and exports coffee, copra, spices, and rattan.  In 1941, it was the principal Dutch naval base guarding the Makassar Strait and the capital of Celebes.  It in turn was guarded by just two small coastal guns, an airstrip, and a battalion of militia (about 1200 men). There was a relatively well-developed road network in the immediate vicinity.

Battle of Makassar Strait. On 3-4 February 1942, an Allied task force of four cruisers and seven destroyers attempted to intercept a Japanese convoy in Makassar Strait. The Allied force was spotted by Japanese land-based aircraft, which on 4 February severely damaged Marblehead and moderately damaged Houston, forcing the Allied force to turn back.

The Dutch garrison at Makassar decided that they could not hold the town, and they prepared to fall back to Enrekang, 110 miles (180 km) north, to conduct a guerrilla campaign. About 400 natives were recruited. On 9 February 1942 Combined Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force landed some 8000 troops, who took the town against light resistance from the Dutch rearguard. Within a month the native troops had deserted and some 300 Dutch were taken prisoner.

The Japanese subsequently established a camp for Dutch prisoners of war at Makassar. The camp disciplinary officer, a petty officer named Yoshida, was a sadist who engaged in frequent beatings and other abuse of the prisoners. Prisoners were forced to climb trees full of fire ants and were beaten unconscious for the least infraction. On 14 March 1945 Yoshida ordered all prisoners from the camp hospital to parade at the camp gate, where they were soaked by torrential rain. A number of prisoners subsequently died of exposure.

Climate Information:

Elevation 6' 

Temperatures: Jan 84/74, Apr 86/74, Jul 86/70, Oct 87/72, record 95/58

Rainfall: Jan 25/27.0, Apr 10/5.9, Jul 4/1.4, Oct 5/1.7 == 112.2" per annum


Cooper (1945-10; accessed 2016-10-12)

Pearce and Smith (1990)

Rottman (2002)

Russell (1958)
"The capture of Makassar, February 1942" (accessed 2009-5-27)


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