Military Review

Cruel Cockroach

Cruel Cockroach

75 years ago, 10 January 1942, the Japanese army and navy launched a landing operation to seize the island of Tarakan. Under this relatively small island, 18x20 kilometers in size and its coastal zone, there is a large oil field, the seizure of which was for the Japanese one of the main goals of the initial phase of the war in the Pacific.

The cockroach, located a few kilometers off the east coast of the island of Borneo, was part of the Dutch colony of Ost-India (now Indonesia) and was defended by a garrison of 1300 colonial troops with eight field and eight anti-aircraft guns, as well as seven machine-gun armored vehicles. From the south, the coastal battery, consisting of two 120-millimeter and four 75-millimeter guns, guarded the island and another one with four 75-millimeters in the north. At the same time, from the east and west, Tarakan was defenseless, but there his shores were very swamped, which made it difficult for the landings to land.

On the afternoon of January 10, the Dutch reconnaissance seaplane Dornier-24 discovered a large enemy approaching Tarakan flotilla. Having learned about this, the commandant of the island, Colonel Simon de Waal ordered to set fire to oil fields, oil storage facilities and oil pumping stations. In the evening, when it got dark, the Japanese, not meeting resistance, began to land on the east coast. The operation involved the forces of the 2nd Special Marine Corps "Kure" and the 56th Infantry Regiment with a total number of 6600 men under the command of Major General Shizuo Sakaguchi.

Early in the morning of January 11, Japanese troops began to slowly advance through the coastal swamps and dense mangroves in the direction of a bright glow that lit the burning oil fields and the capital of the island, the town of Tarakan. On the outskirts of this town, de Waal decided to take up defenses and fight. However, the defenders of the island did not last long. The Japanese with a bayonet attack knocked them out of hastily dug trenches and threw them into the city. After that, the colonel decided that further resistance was useless and sent an envoy to the enemy with a white flag and consent to surrender.

The fact that the garrison surrendered was immediately reported on the radio of the second amphibious flotilla, which went around the southern tip of the island, in order to disembark the landing on the western shore. Having received the dispatch, the Japanese no longer feared the southern coastal battery and set off along the coast, within the reach of its guns. However, the battery either did not receive the order to surrender, or refused to carry it out, opening rapid fire at the ships sailing past. Before their teams managed to respond and get out of the shelling zone, W13 and W14 minesweepers were sunk by several successful hits, which were used as transports. At the same time, 200 of Japanese sailors and paratroopers was killed.

The rest of the ships went around the battery and landed behind it. Marines attacked the gunners from the rear and ruthlessly killed all without taking prisoners. Meanwhile, in the city of Tarakan lay weapon 870 Dutch soldiers and officers. Their fate was sad. General Skakguti, furious that the Dutch had destroyed the oil fields and, contrary to the surrender agreement, fired upon his ships, ordered to drown all the prisoners.

On the same day the order was executed. The prisoners were tied up, driven onto decks, driven a couple of kilometers from the coast and dumped into the water. The general and his subordinates did not suffer any punishment for this atrocity. Thus, the Japanese clearly demonstrated that they do not intend to wage war in accordance with international conventions and European moral norms of the twentieth century. Their moral was completely different.

The last chord of the drama drama was a raid on the island of several Dutch Martin-139 bombers. Airplanes taking off from Borneo dropped bombs on a Japanese camp, killing 18 soldiers and wounding dozens more. As a result, the total losses of the Japanese army and navy during the capture of the Cockroach amounted to 255 people, of whom only 37 died in ground battles with the defenders of the island.

1 May 1945, Australian troops launched an operation to free the Cockroach. The Japanese resisted much more stubbornly than the Dutch, therefore, despite the overwhelming superiority of the Australians in numbers and firepower, the battle for the island dragged on for six weeks. However, this is different история.

The screen saver features a postcard from the time of the war depicting how Dutch artillerymen on Tarakana heroically drown Japanese ships. And the downed aircraft was drawn in vain, since the Japanese did not lose a single aircraft during the seizure of the island.

A pre-war snapshot of one of the oil rigs on the Tarakan and a Japanese photo of a Dutch farm burnt.

Dutch colonial soldiers in the East Indies.

On the left is one of the surviving 120-millimeter-sized coastal guns with broneshit to the present day on the Cockroach. On the right is a Dutch colonial marine and an Air Force ground command soldier wearing 1941-42 outfits.

On the left - Japanese paratroopers land on one of the islands of the Dutch East Indies. On the right is the uniform of the Japanese infantry officer, sergeant and airborne paratrooper of the 1941-45 Pacific War.

American-made Dutch bomber Martin-139.

"Martin" in Borneo is preparing for a combat mission against the Japanese, 1942 year.

Dutch minesweeper "Prince Van Orange", converted from a civilian passenger ship. 10 January 1942, this ship was in the port of Tarakana. Upon learning of the approach of the Japanese squadron, he tried to leave for Australia, but was intercepted by the Japanese destroyers and sunk along with the whole team.

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  1. Semirek
    Semirek 14 January 2017 06: 37
    Thank you. Interesting hi
    1. Shurik70
      Shurik70 14 January 2017 19: 03
      I fully understand the artillerymen who prefer death in battle, it seems, they knew what the Japanese were.
      I fully understand the Japanese command - to lose 200 people and ships after they officially won - I would be angry too.
      But the commandant of the island, Colonel Simon de Waal, was a fool. It would be better if he fought to the last, would die as people, and not like rats.
      1. Akuzenka
        Akuzenka 5 May 2017 15: 33
        Yes, the heroic defense of a piece of cheese from a cat.
  2. Amurets
    Amurets 14 January 2017 06: 55
    The screen saver features a postcard from the time of the war depicting how Dutch artillerymen on Tarakana heroically drown Japanese ships. And the downed aircraft was drawn in vain, since the Japanese did not lose a single aircraft during the seizure of the island.

    Thanks to the author for an interesting story. Unfortunately, WWII in the Pacific Ocean, for us a little-known war. Something we know about Guadalcanal, something about the sinking of the aircraft carrier Sinano, but in general, we just hear fragments about that war. And the most famous of that war: so is Pearl Harbor.
    1. Cat
      Cat 14 January 2017 08: 27
      I just support with all your paws your words! Such articles on the VO are grains of mazayka, from which you add up your knowledge. The more of them, the less white spots! Thanks to everyone.
      1. V.ic
        V.ic 14 January 2017 15: 25
        Quote: Kotischa
        it's grains smears

        Are you talking about the grandfather who saved the bunnies?
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 14 January 2017 07: 44
    The Dutch relied on nature .. swamp and mangroves ..
  4. Senior manager
    Senior manager 14 January 2017 09: 32
    The Japanese mentality has not changed for centuries. Do not be seduced by their radiant smiles and bows. Strict adherence to my convictions, I mean their cruelty with prisoners. Article plus.
    1. bandabas
      bandabas 14 January 2017 11: 28
      So are the masters of the words. I wanted to give, I wanted to take it back. East however.
      1. M0xHaTka
        M0xHaTka 15 January 2017 13: 54
        Not this way.
        Life is just life. There is no sense in holding on to it. For there will be another life, and after it another, etc. And here is death ... Death is another. A true warrior MUST die for his master. MUST die beautifully. Death is the religion of the Japanese. They relate to her easily. And these Dutch people are lucky that they died easily and ugly. On a young bamboo field, everything would be different.
        1. saigon
          saigon 16 November 2017 17: 16
          However, judging by the history of Japan, it is also easy to betray the master in the order of things for the samurai.
          If we discard all the husks about the beautiful, loyal and dying for the master samurai, a striking resemblance to Europeans and China and Persians is revealed.
          Betrayal, betrayal, and Samurai will not refuse to sniff Mr., well, plus (eastern treachery) or just treachery how to look.
  5. ICT
    ICT 14 January 2017 09: 57
    that the Dutch destroyed the oil fields

    General Skakguchi,

  6. Woldemar
    Woldemar 14 January 2017 13: 48
    interesting to read such articles on World War II
  7. bbss
    bbss 14 January 2017 13: 54
    Not fighters, however ...
    1. Kostya Andreev
      Kostya Andreev 15 January 2017 12: 37
      Read that these non-fighters staged a Luftwaffe in '40
  8. Kostya Andreev
    Kostya Andreev 14 January 2017 14: 28
    I just do not understand what the moral standards of Europe? But all the conventions violated and the Japanese are not the first and not the last!
  9. Kolyan 2
    Kolyan 2 14 January 2017 17: 52
    The fact that the garrison was being surrendered was immediately reported on the radio of the second landing flotilla---However, the battery either didn’t receive an order to surrender, or refused to carry it out, firing light on ships passing by, nonsense that did not receive, the second is more true. The marines attacked the gunners from the rear and mercilessly killed everyone without taking prisoners.--- General Skakguti, furious that the Dutch destroyed the oil fields and, contrary to an agreement on surrender, fired at his ships, ordered all the prisoners to be drowned.
    Any commander (who values ​​his soldiers) will do the same. Here I think Yapi didn’t do anything beyond natural, they have in other places where they have visited crimes above the roof.
  10. nnz226
    nnz226 14 January 2017 19: 03
    A question from the cat Matroskin: "What is the use of NATO from the Dutch ?!" They fought well in the 16th -17th centuries, then they only had enough to drive the Papuans, and even then with technical and weapon superiority. Or are they hoping for the United States to defend against "aggressive Russia"? So the USA 96% of the population will not find the Netherlands (Holland) on the map! And they know it more, as a country where there are red-light districts and where marijuana is legally sold ...
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 15 January 2017 13: 27
      Holland is one of the most developed industrial countries in the world.
      One of the technology leaders in a wide variety of fields.
      Their geography - a third of the country below sea level - never allowed to organize
      effective defense, but the Dutch are trained to work with the most difficult
      military equipment, everyone knows English at a good level.
      They at NATO are a very useful element.
    2. M0xHaTka
      M0xHaTka 15 January 2017 13: 59
      The Dutch never fought well. They traded well and crafted well. What they gave to ask ... the French, British, Germans, etc. - this is the merit of mercenaries.
      But in NATO they are an important element. Ports, infrastructure, staff ... Captives, but a warrior without cartridges, zhrachki, hospital and tank will not fight much
  11. Hort
    Hort 16 January 2017 10: 22
    informative. It would also be interesting to read about the defense of the Aleutian Islands by the Americans. I heard that the fights were hot there ..
  12. 2005 Aleksey
    2005 Aleksey 16 January 2017 19: 39
    Interesting. Interesting.
  13. Warrior Hamilton
    Warrior Hamilton 29 May 2017 13: 04
    Hitler surrendered Holland in 4 days, and the island of Tarakan ........ fellow bully