Operation Crocodile
Date1938 - 1943
Result Decisive Allied victory
United States of America, Empire of Japan Denmark, British Empire
American | Japanese Dutch
460,000 360,000
Casualties and losses
109,408 killed,
8,300 wounded
17,000 captured
100,170 killed,
3,010 wounded

Operation crocodile was the joint invasion of the Dutch East Indies


the stunning successes had conquered a large area, yet Malay was only half of the southern resource area, the Co-Prosperity Sphere of Influence, the other areas being Dutch Indies and Borneo. British Burma too offered more pickings in raw materials and from there would come tungsten, rubber and more oil. As the Japanese island hopped south during the campaign through the Indonesian Archipelago of islands, air reconnaissance and protection were vital and maintained by Japanese superior numbers from the beginning. It became impossible for Allied warships and other vessels to move without being spotted, plotted, shadowed and assaulted.

Opposing Forces


Denmark/British Empire

the Danish forces that comprized most of the defence force were relatively well equipped. the weapons used were the Madsen M.15 Carbine,the M-95 Carbine (Marechaussee)and the M-95 Rifle, and the Tankbuks M.38 AT Rifle used by the Dutch East Indies Army. however the Dutch East Indies Army had little in the way of Armour and aircraft, and this was to hamper them.

Initial fighting

1. Opening moves

Bombardment of surbaya

Surabaya in Java under Air Attack.

After the invasion of Borneo and the Celebes, at Menado paratroopers were combined with the amphibious landings, the main Japanese combined operations gained momentum due to lack of effective overall opposition. From the bases on Celebes the Japanese moved into the Moluccas, and onto the island of Timor where paratroopers were employed. From bases in the South China Sea the Japanese leapfrogged invested Singapore and took Sumatra, accompanied again by paradrops. With Bali under Japanese control Java was isolated from east and west, and each Japanese land invasion sea-transport force destined for battle had powerful cruiser and numerical well-armed destroyer escorts and supported by numerical Carrier Fleet and land-based aircraft of the Army and Navy sweeping aside piecemeal Axis sea surface forces and gaining sufficient air superiority. The Allies major foothold in the Dutch East Indies was finally destroyed on 19 February 1942 by a wild day of aerial dogfighting over Java, which cost the Allies nearly 75 fighters. Sort of the kinda day that the Luftwaffe had dreamed of during the Battle of Britain. Japanese warships had penetrated into the Indian Ocean, attacked Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Indian coastal targets and merchant shipping, even eventually having midget submarines to raid as far away as Madagascar Island, off the South African coast, and at Sydney Harbour, Australia.

2. the South-east campaign

By this time when the Dutch East Indies forces on Java had capitulated other Japanese forces had secured bases along the northern coast of New Guinea and in the Australia territory of the Bismarck Archipelago. In March 1942 the Japanese were regrouping their crack air squadrons, veterans of the China war, at Bali before sending them en route to Rabaul and the east coast of New Guinea for more planned joint operational conquests of expansion. Here in the South West Pacific during the month of March Japanese amphibious forces had landed on Bougainville, the northern most major island of the Solomon chain using Buin, a town on the south coast, as a jump off point to reach down the Slot to Guadalcanal.

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