- Article by Peter Kimenai
- Published on September 5th, 2012
Following the Japanese air raid of 7th December 1941 on Pearl Harbor, World War Two also spread out into the Far East. During the first few months of 1942 the Japanese made swift advances throughout the southeastern part of Asia. The allies were unable to prevent the Imperial Japanese Army, capably supported by its air and naval forces, from occupying parts of China and the colonies of Europe and the United States. By the end of February 1942 it was anticipated that Japanese troops would overrun Java within a week. Japan wanted control of Java as well as the rest of the Dutch East-Indies to sustain its war effort, badly needing the oil that was being produced in the Dutch colony. Expectation turned to grim reality when, on the night of 28th February, during the Battle of the Java Sea the Royal Dutch Navy suffered its most grievous setback with the loss of Rear Admiral Karel Doorman and the sinking of his allied fleet. The destruction of the Netherland`s major warships included Doorman`s flagship, the light cruiser Hr. Ms. De Ruyter.