Royal Netherlands East Indies Army

Photograph of KNIL infantry on drill

Mann (1999). Fair use may apply.

The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger or KNIL) was organized in 1830 and by 1941 had 35,000 regular troops, of whom 28,000 were native Indonesians. These were well-trained but not well-equipped. They were supplemented by a much large reserve (Reservekorps and Landstorm) and militia (Stadswacht) that were relatively poorly trained. The latter were all-Dutch, but in June 1941 a native militia began to be raised.

Dutch order of battle, 7 December 1941:

Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (ter Poorten; at Bandung)      

Vk.A.1 (at Tjikembar)

12 P-36 Hawk

Vk.A.2 (at Djokjakarta)

11 P-36 Hawk

I. Division (Schilling; at Lembang) 1 and 2 Regiments. Though the strongest of the Dutch divisions on Java, it was still understrength.

Vk.A.3 (at Kalidjati)

12 FK-51

II. Division (Cox; at Semarang) Little more than a reinforced brigade

4 Regiment

Zuid Regiment (at Tjilatjap)
Really just a reinforced battalion

Vk.A.4 (at Kalidjati)

12 FK-51

III. Division (Ilgen; at Malang) Little more than a reinforced brigade

6 Regiment

Surabaya Garrison Regiment

Vk.A.5 (at Kalidjati)

    12 FK-51
Detachmant Madoera (at Djombang) About three battalions of natives prepared to fight as guerrillas.

Bali Detachment (at Den Pasar)

North Sumatra Territorial Command

Medan Battalion

Pematang Siantar Battalion

Sibolga Battalion

Middle Sumatra Territorial Command

Fort de Kock Battalion

Padang Battalion

South Sumatra Territorial Command

Palembang Battalion

Djami Battalion

West Borneo Battalion (at Pontianac) 750 militia

VI Garrison Battalion (Balikpapan) 1100 troops

VII Garrison Battalion (Tarakan)
1300 troops

Samarinda Battalion 500 troops

Celebes Defense Force

Menado Battalion 1500 men, 25% regulars

Kendari Battalion 400 men

Makassar Battalion 1200 men

Timor Garrison Battalion (Kupang)
600 militia

Molukken Brigade (at Ambon) 2600 men

Teleokbetuang Battalion


Bradley et al. (1992)

Morton (1953)

Prados (1995)

Rottman (2002)

Willmott (1982)

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