10 Jul 2012

Operation Product

Pictures have emerged from executions by Dutch military in the then Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).

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Operation Product, (1947/1948) was the first of two major Dutch military offensives against the Republic of Indonesia during the Indonesian National Revolution. It took place following Dutch assertions that Indonesia cooperated insufficiently in the implementation of the Linggadjati Agreement, which had been ratified on March 25, 1947 by the lower chamber of the Dutch parliament. This police action was also influenced by a Dutch perception that the Republic had failed to curb the influence of Indonesian Chinese, Indonesian Indians and the rising Indonesian Communist Party.

Operation Product, directed by General Simon Spoor, was intended to occupy economically important areas of West and East Java, leaving Yogyakarta, seat of the Republican government, alone because of the high costs that the fighting was expected to incur. On July 21, the Dutch deployed three divisions in Java and three brigades on the less-densely populated Sumatra. The operation resulted in the occupation of large parts of Java and Sumatra, with the Republican army (TNI) offering only weak resistance.