Aceh - Dutch War (Perang Sabil) 1873 - 1904
[size=4]The Aceh - Dutch War[/size]
The Dutch colonial government declared war on Aceh on 26 March 1873; the apparent immediate trigger for their invasion was discussions between representatives of Aceh and the U.S. in Singapore during early 1873. An expedition under Major General Köhler was sent out in 1874, which was able to occupy most of the coastal areas. It was the intention of the Dutch to attack and take the Sultan's palace, which would also lead to the occupation of the entire country. The Sultan requested and possibly received military aid from Italy and the United Kingdom in Singapore: in any case the Aceh army was rapidly modernized, and Aceh soldiers managed to kill Köhler (a monument of this achievement has been built inside Grand Mosque of Banda Aceh). Köhler made some grave tactical errors and the reputation of the Dutch was severely harmed.
A second expedition led by General Van Swieten managed to capture the kraton (sultan's palace): the Sultan had however been warned, and had escaped capture. Intermittent guerrilla warfare continued in the region for ten years, with many victims on both sides. Around 1880 the Dutch strategy changed, and rather than continuing the war, they now concentrated on defending areas they already controlled, which were mostly limited to the capital city (modern Banda Aceh), and the harbour town of Ulee Lheue. On 13 October 1880 the colonial government declared the war as over, but continued spending heavily to maintain control over the areas it occupied.
War began again in 1883, when the British ship Nisero was stranded in Aceh, in an area where the Dutch had little influence. A local leader asked for ransom from both the Dutch and the British, and under British pressure the Dutch were forced to attempt to liberate the sailors. After a failed Dutch attempt to rescue the hostages, where the local leader Teuku Umar was asked for help but he refused, the Dutch together with the British invaded the territory. The Sultan gave up the hostages, and received a large amount in cash in exchange.
The Dutch Minister of Warfare Weitzel now again declared open war on Aceh, and warfare continued, with little success, as before. The Dutch now also tried to enlist local leaders: the aforementioned Umar was bought with cash, opium, and weapons. Umar received the title panglima prang besar (upper warlord of the government).
Umar called himself rather Teuku Djohan Pahlawan (Johan the heroic). On 1 January 1894 Umar even received Dutch aid to build an army. However, two years later Umar attacked the Dutch with his new army, rather than aiding the Dutch in subjugating inner Aceh. This is recorded in Dutch history as "Het verraad van Teukoe Oemar" (the treason of Teuku Umar).
In 1892 and 1893 Aceh remained independent, despite the Dutch efforts. Major J.B. van Heutsz, a colonial military leader, then wrote a series of articles on Aceh. He was supported by Dr Snouck Hurgronje of the University of Leiden, then the leading Dutch expert on Islam. Hurgronje managed to get the confidence of many Aceh leaders and gathered valuable intelligence for the Dutch government. His works remained an official secret for many years. In Hurgronje's analysis of Acehnese society, he minimised the role of the Sultan and argued that attention should be paid to the hereditary chiefs, the Ulee Balang, who he felt could be trusted as local administrators. However, he argued, Aceh's religious leaders, the ulema, could not be trusted or persuaded to cooperate, and must be destroyed.
This advice was followed: in 1898 Van Heutsz was proclaimed governor of Aceh, and with his lieutenant, later Dutch Prime Minister Hendrikus Colijn, would finally conquer most of Aceh. They followed Hurgronje's suggestions, finding cooperative uleebelang that would support them in the countryside. Van Heutsz charged Colonel Van Daalen with breaking remaining resistance. Van Daalen destroyed several villages, killing at least 2,900 Acehnese, among which were 1,150 women and children. Dutch losses numbered just 26, and Van Daalen was promoted.
By 1904 most of Aceh was under Dutch control, and had an indigenous government that cooperated with the colonial state. Estimated total casualties on the Aceh side range from 50,000 to 100,000 dead, and over a million wounded.
In the Netherlands at the time, van Heutsz was considered a hero, named the 'Pacificator of Aceh' and was promoted to become governor-general of the entire Dutch Indies in 1904. A still-existent statue of him was erected in central Amsterdam.
Colonial influence in the remote highland areas of Aceh was never substantial, however, and limited guerrilla resistance remained. Led mostly by the religious ulema, intermittent fighting continued until about 1910, and parts of the province were still not pacified when the Dutch Indies became independent Indonesia following the end of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia.
Daddy's little boy
Might be important to note that the VOC didn't exist anymore by this time, nor was there ever a VOC Marechaussee(from the pictures of the cutlass you posted). The Marechaussee is the Military Police force of the Armed Forces. Back then, they also had a more active combat role.
Toekoe Oemar Spel, a popular children's game in 1890s Netherlands involving 25 white figurines (Dutch soldiers) chasing one black figure (Teuku Umar)[/color]
Very nice thread. The aggression against Indonesia has gone down as a black page in Dutch history and awareness. Together with the slave trade it's one of the few pages in dutch history we're never proud of.
The statue's of van heutsz that still exist are sometimes a matter of debate. The same goes for a statue of the 16th/17th century Jan Pieterszoon Coen who also fought against Indonesians with much brutality. But this statue is quite famous, because of its inscription of Pieterszoon's Coen famous quote: "Despair not, spare your enemies not, for God is with us".
I'll download the movie and hope it's good because it looks very interesting.
Last edited by -Pieter-; 11-11-2008 at 09:15 PM.
thanks for sharing..
did any of you got more info about aceh empire before the independence?
is it true that it covers malaysia, sumatra and some borneo?
some state like Perak were use to br the vassal of the Achehnese empire.
Originally Posted by makavelli
Acheh was initially a vassal state of Sultan Marif Shah of Pedir but Sultan Ali Mughayat Shah defied his overlord. While the empire of Acheh di exist quite a while, its meteoric rise in south east asia started after the fall of Melaka in 1511.
The Portuguese capture of Melaka and their persecution of Muslims forced wealthy Arab and Gujerati merchants to move from Melaka to Acheh. This new wealth enabled Acheh to embark upon wars of aggression and conquest to obtain control of the pepper districts of Sumatra.
Militarily and economically stronger than any of her neighbours in Sumatra and the Malay peninsula, she quickly took over the mantle of the vanquished Melaka Sultanate as the leading kingdom in the Straits. She overran the pepper ports of Pasai and Pedir and secured control of the part of Minangkabau which was rich in gold.
The two export commodities of pepper and gold became important in the development of
Acheh as a commercial centre. Acheh fought the Portuguese for naval and commercial control of the Straits and fought against Johor for political leadership of the dependent states on both sides of the Straits.
(quoted: Sabri Zain)
Wow nice infos thank you for share
[*******Black][size=4]The Ottoman Military Academy in Aceh[/size]
Understandably much of the focus on the Ottoman Empire is on its clash with Western Europe. There is at least one aspect of Ottoman military power that reached out into wider Asia, the Ottoman Military Academy in Aceh on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra in what is now Indonesia. From what I understand this was the only Ottoman Military Academy established outside of the empire's confines. It was part of a broader military assistance program that was focused on blunting Portuguese expansion into Southeast Asia.
There is an excellent source on the web that outlines the genesis and growth of the Ottoman-Acehnese diplomatic relationship using Turkish sources. It noted the first diplomatic contact from the Sultan of Aceh to the Ottoman Empire as occurring in 1547 but that there were no Turkish sources to expand on it. There was some debate also as to whether it was later, 1562 but that argument is unlikely to be settled unless new evidence is discovered. In addition, the well known historian of Southeast Asia, Anthony Reid, implied that the relationship may have existed since the 1520s. Both sources agreed that it was possible that the first Ottoman military assistance to Aceh was in the late 1530s when sailors from the Ottoman Fleet that had fought at Diu in India continued down to Aceh to help the Acehnese fight the Bataks and Portuguese.
Aceh's first confirmed diplomatic approach to the Ottoman Empire was in 1566 when the Sultan of Aceh, Alaaddin Riayet Shah al-Kahhar (r 1537-71) sent a letter dated 7 January 1566 with an ambassador to the Ottoman Emperor, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. This letter referred to Ottoman cannoneers who had arrived safely in Aceh and appealed for more assistance. The death of Suleiman that year and a rebellion in Yeman delayed and then downscaled the assistance that the Ottomans eventually sent in 1568 or 1569, possibly more cannons and experts to make them locally in Aceh. It should be noted that the original plans by the Ottomans were substantial including at least 15 galleys carrying artisans skilled in ship building and siege warfare.
Aceh made good use of the cannon makers and established a local foundry, turning out some very large cannons. There were two very large cannons that still existed in Aceh into the late 1800s according to a Turkish visitor. They were only taken when the Dutch occupied Aceh and this is potentially borne out by the picture below.
The fact that the Sultan of Aceh could write a letter such as mentioned above and receive the assistance that he did showed the importance of Aceh's trade, mainly pepper, with the Ottomans and also an already existing relationship of some depth. The Ottomans no doubt felt well disposed to assisting the Acehnese as that aid would make life hard for the Portuguese. Interestingly the historian Michael Charney in his book stated that the Turks were looking for allies in the Indian Ocean to prevent the Portuguese from outflanking the Ottomans.
The Ottoman Academy
Turning now to the military academy, there was agreement amongst the sources that such an academy existed in Aceh, although there was little detail. The academy was called Askari Bayt Al-Mugaddas (Sacred Military Academy), although according to an Indonesian sourcethe name was changed to become Askar Baitul Maqdis, since that was closer to the Acehnese ****unciation. It was not clear what subjects were taught nor how long the teaching period was. At least one student was female, Kumala Hayati, who later went on to lead the Acehnese fleet against the Portuguese in Melaka (Malacca). The attacks on Melaka, although unsuccessful are attributed to the knowledge imparted by this academy, as well as the broader Islamic network that Aceh was a part of. Reid stated that at least one attack on Melaka was assisted by the forces of four Indian Muslim sultans. The dearth of information was frustrating but the fact that this academy existed demonstrated an important role for Aceh in the strategy of the Ottoman Empire.
The academy, the cannons and the planned dispatch of the Ottoman Fleet clearly showed that Aceh was part of the Ottoman's efforts to balance Portuguese expansion. The relationship did wane later and was revitalised as Aceh faced the threat of Dutch colonialism but by that stage Turkey was the sick man of Europe and the Ottoman splendors were becoming memories. Nevertheless, it was an interesting relationship that highlighted that western colonialism was just one strand of the dynamics in Southeast Asia. It may also have helped to improve the military capabilities of the Acehnese Sultanate and hence the surrounding lands just as Western colonialism began.
Sources : http://www.ari.nus.edu.sg/docs%5 ... mailhakkigoksoy.pdf