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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL)

The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger; KNIL) was the military force maintained by the Netherlands in its colony of the Netherlands East Indies (also known as the Dutch East Indies), in areas that are now part of Indonesia. The KNIL's air arm was the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force. Elements of the Royal Netherlands Navy were also stationed in the Netherlands East Indies. Dutch forces in the Netherlands East Indies were severely weakened by the defeat and occupation of the Netherlands itself, by Nazi Germany, in 1940. The KNIL was cut off from external Dutch assistance, except by Royal Netherlands Navy units. The KNIL, hastily and inadequately, attempted to transform into a modern military force able to protect the Dutch East Indies from foreign invasion. During the Dutch East Indies campaign of 1941–42, most of the KNIL and other Allied forces were quickly defeated by Japanese forces. Most European soldiers, which in practice included all able bodied Indo-European males, were interned by the Japanese as POWs. 25% of the POWs did not survive their internment. (These toy soldiers are made by Durso in 30s/40s).

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