Battle of Tarakan

February 12, 1968


February 19, 1968


Tarakan, North Kalimantan, Indonesia


Indonesian victory


Flag of Malaysia Malaysia

Flag of Indonesia Indonesia


Flag of Malaysia Razak Bintang

Flag of Indonesia Marpuah Sharif
Flag of Indonesia Issam Rouhani
Flag of Indonesia Anasal Omar


4 paratrooper brigades

Army: 1,331
5 armored brigades

Casualties and Losses

132 killed
203 captured

831 police men killed
1,031 injured
100 soldiers killed
210 soldiers injured

The Battle of Tarakan (Indonesian: Pertempuran Tarakan) was a week-long battle between Indonesian and Malaysian forces in the town of Tarakan, located in North Kalimantan, Indonesia during the Borneo War. The Malaysian invasion of Tarakan was planned as part of their attempted invasion of the Celebes Sea, in order to choke the Indonesian army as Malaysian vessels carry troops for a land-invasion from the east.

The Malaysian forces began by sending airstrikes and attacks around the city, to distract the Indonesians into guarding the areas around Tarakan. The Malaysian attacks pounded pockets of Indonesian forces around the city, causing them to retreat to Tarakan, completing the Malaysian encirclement, which essentially backfired on the Malaysians later on.

Malaysian airborne brigades landed in the city on February 12, 2008, attacking Indonesian police forces and any other armed personnel in the city. For the first day of battle, the Malaysians engaged in armed conflict against the Indonesian National Guard and the Tarakan Armed Rifle Guard. It isn't until Indonesian helicopters and reinforcements arrived, to engage in house-to-house searches for Malaysian troops - eventually meeting them in street fights and house to house fighting.

The battle lasted for one week, with the Indonesians emerging victorious as a result of the Indonesian Navy's success against Malaysia's invading naval forces.