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31 Januari 2013


The Java Sea battle broke  on February 27, 1942 and caused the destruction and the sinking of the allies fleet together with its Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Karel Doorman.
The destruction of allies fleet, not only because of being in a hurry to leave for a battle field, but also arriving at the battle field in tiresome and exhausted condition. The combating spirit and morality of the fleet under the command of Admiral Doorman steeply dropped, besides  due to the factor of consecutive  destruction in Pearl Harbor and in Kuantan waters, it was also caused by the factor of command which was not yet well integrated.
As we have known, the ABDA (American, British, Dutch and Australian ) Joint Command was established on January 15, 1942,  However, a Joint Command having been established in a hurry and still not yet in possession of the same RoE (Rule of Engagement) and not yet mutually understood each other, not later than one and a half months afterwards it had come to a jeopardy. 

And the other important factor was tiresome. In the month of February, the Java Sea will experience the West monsoon, with the wind velocity at the average of 15-30 miles per hour, and in a particular condition the wind velocity could reach 50 miles per hour. All the fishermen and common people know that during such West monsoon there will always big waves, so that during this season they cannot go to the sea to look for fish. The sea state can reach state 5 till 7, namely the condition when sea has very big waves up to 5 – 10 meters high. It was assumed that on the dates of  February 25-26 before meeting their enemy, the fleet of Karel Doorman who had already been available at the battle field experienced a tremendous natural hindrance, so that when they had to combat the next day, the had already been exhausted.
Karel Doorman was instructed to intercept the Japanese Fleet in an open battle field, with or without using air umbrella.
Pearl Harbor: The U.S. Enters World War IIIn Japan side, the fleet under the command of Admiral Takeo Kurita consisted of 17 warships, 2 heavy cruiser ships (Nachi and Haguro), 2 light cruisers (Jintsu and Naka), and 13 destroyer ships.
Both fleets confronting each other had equal power, however the Japanese fleet got  a support from the spy planes, functioning to observe and inform the movement of the Allies’ ships. These spy planes at the same time controlled the hit of cannon shooting launched from the Japanese ships. On the other hand, the allied did not have any air umbrella, since majority of the Dutch planes by then had been ruined at the battle field in Malay.
At night on February 25, 1942, the fleet of Karel Doorman had already arrived in Java Sea and tried to find its enemy. The search was continued till the next day from morning, noon, afternoon and night, however did not find any Japanese fleet.

Karel Doorman finally decided to take back his fleet to its base in Surabaya, considering that majority of his crew had been so tired.   At 09.30 of February 27, 1942 the allies fleet had approached Surabaya. At 10.00 Karel Doorman  got an instruction from the Commander-in-Chief of  the allies Navy in Java Sea, Admiral Helfrich, asking Doorman to move Eastwards to search and attack the enemy. Doorman neglected that instruction, and continued his  course to enter the  track of Surabaya port. At 15:00 he got an instruction again from Helfrich to attack the Japanese  fleet that had already been in the East of Bawean Island. Doorman could not refuse any more, and he was compelled  to turn back the direction of his fleet to come out from the port track, without a chance to take a rest.

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