‘Zoeken, aangrijpen en vernietigen!’ : De theorie, praktijk en prijs van het Nederlandse militaire optreden in Indonesië 1945-1949

This study analyses the Dutch military’s tactical conduct in Indonesia during the decolonization war of 1945-1949. Its principal questions are how the Dutch armed forces understood and shaped their tactical military conduct in Indonesia, and to what extent this can help explain the extremely violent nature of the war.The Dutch armed forces interpreted the conflict within the conceptual framework of past colonial wars, of the restoration of authority by military means, and of regular warfare. While the Dutch military did learn some lessons during the conflict, radical new insights were not developed, for various reasons.


From beginning to end, Dutch military conduct in Indonesia was characterised by harsh repressive action, the absolute prioritisation of military solutions, mistrust of the Indonesian civilian population and the disregard of the risk of civilian casualties and collateral damage. This modus operandi found backing in both the existing and new tactical regulations and the army’s organizational culture. The army’s forceful and harsh mode of conduct during the war was therefore not simply the result of situational force majeure or the political developments; it was also born from the way in which the Dutch armed forces understood the conflict.

C.H.C. Harinck | 2021
Leiden : Leiden University
Onder embargo tot 2023-11-16
dekolonisatie, Nederlands-Indie, oorlog