The battle of the Java Sea, fought in February 1942, was the first major surface engagement of the Pacific War and one of the few naval battles of the entire war fought to a decisive victory. It was the culminating point of the Japanese drive to occupy the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) and, to defend the territory, the Allies assembled a striking force comprised of Dutch, American, British and even an Australian ship, all under the command of a resolute Dutch admiral. On 27 February 1942, the Allied striking force set course to intercept the Japanese invasion force in the Java Sea. In one of the few such times during the whole of World War II a protracted surface engagement was fought unmolested by airpower. For over seven hours, the Allied force attempted to attack the Japanese invasion force, finally breaking off in the early evening. Some three hours later, the Allied force, now reduced to just four remaining cruisers and two destroyers, attempted another attack on the invasion convoy during which Japanese torpedoes scored heavily, sinking two Dutch cruisers and bringing the battle to a conclusion. Over the next two days, as the Allies attempted to flee, five more ships were sunk. From that point on, Allied naval power was eliminated from Southeast Asia. In this illustrated title, Mark Stille tells the full story of the battle of the Java Sea, explaining how and why the Japanese achieved such a resounding victory, and delving into the tremendous impact of the battle on the course of the Pacific War.
Mark Stille (Author)
Jim Laurier (Illustrator)
Country of Publication:
03 December 2019
Origins of the campaign/ Chronology/ Opposing commanders/ Opposing armies/ Orders of battle/ Opposing plans/ The campaign/ Aftermath/ The battlefields today/ Further reading/ Index
Mark E. Stille (Commander, United States Navy, retired) spent his naval career as in intelligence officer serving on the Joint Staff, the faculty of the Naval War College, and in the ship's company of two aircraft carriers. He recently retired from government service after a total of 39 years in the intelligence community and now lives in Annapolis, Maryland. He is the author of over 40 Osprey titles, focusing on the naval history of the Pacific War. Jim Laurier attended Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, from 1974 to 1978, and since graduating with Honours, he has been working professionally in the field of Fine Art and Illustration. He has been commissioned to paint for the US Air Force and has aviation paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon. He is a native of New England and lives in New Hampshire.
Reviews for Java Sea 1942: Japan's conquest of the Netherlands East Indies
Java Sea 1942 is a coherent account of these early naval battles. He includes many photographs of the ships and commanders. The book has several in action colour plates depicting the agony of Second World War naval combat. Most useful are the charts included showing the ships' movements during the battles. This adds clarity to the narrative and enables the reader to grasp what took place. Stille, a retired USN Commander is unsparing in his evaluations. - The Northern Mariner