Battle of the Celebes Sea

February 3, 2009


February 15, 2009


Celebes Sea, near eastern Kalimantan [Indonesia] and southern Sulu Archipelago [Philippines]


Indonesian victory


Flag of Malaysia Malaysia

Indonesia Flag Indonesia


Flag of Malaysia Hamazal Nasib

Indonesia Flag Ade Supandi
Indonesia Flag Ibrahim Bambang


18 torpedo boats
3 vessels
1 frigate

29 torpedo boats
11 warships
2 frigates

Casualties and Losses

13 torpedo boats destroyed
2 torpedo boats captured
2 vessels destroyed
2 vessels captured
1 frigate destroyed

8 torpedo boats destroyed
2 damanged
3 warships damaged

The Battle of Celebes Sea (Indonesian: Pertempuran Laut Sulawesi, Malaysian: Pertempuran Laut Celebes) was a naval battle fought between the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Indonesian Navy in the northern and western parts of the Celebes Sea during the Borneo War

The battle was fought as a result of a Malaysian decision to attack eastern Kalimantan, and gain control from the Sulu Sea, which they had just gained control off after defeating Filipino naval forces. However, thanks to a disciplined and well-prepared Indonesian navy, as well as a battle-exhausted Malaysian navy, the Indonesians crushed and repulsed the attack.

The Indonesians hijacked a Malaysian vessel, and used it to launch a discguised-attack against Malaysian naval patrol in the Sulu Sea, thus setting the stage for the Battle of the Sulu Archipelago in which the Indonesians helped Filipino soldiers and militants alike defeat Malaysia. 

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