Military Wiki
Dirk Reinhard Adelbert van Langen
Place of birth Magelang
Place of death Doorn
Allegiance Netherlands
Service/branch Royal Dutch East Indies Army
Years of service 1916–1950
Rank Major-general
Commands held


Royal Dutch East Indies Army

Major-general Dirk Reinhard Adelbert van Langen (Magelang, May 17, 1898 – Doorn, January 20, 1983) was member of the Chief of Staff to of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army the Territorial Commander of East-Java and commander of the T brigade during the Indonesian war of Independence of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army and in the Dutch East Indies, from 1946 to 1949, during the Indonesian National Revolution.


After attending the Royal Military Academy in Breda. In October 1918 he was promoted from cadet - ensign there to cadet sergeant. Langen. In July 1919 he was promoted to second - lieutenant and departed on September 13 to the Dutch East Indies. After arrival in the Dutch East Indies he was promoted to first lieutenant; he was placed in the sixteenth battalion in Meester Cornelis. He married on June 17, 1924 Annie Bartelds ( daughter of Colonel of the KNIL Bartelds ), with whom he had engaged in 1922. He was transferred to the garrison battalion of Palembang and Jambi in April 1927 and transferred to the first depot battalion in Bandung. On March 8, 1928, Van Langen did examination for the Higher War College in Bandung. He met the requirements and was admitted to get expert study in The Hague. As of November 1, 1928, he was seconded for a period of three years at the Higher War College. As of August 3, 1930 he was promoted to captain and was attached in September of that year to the regiment cyclists.

Later career

On September 30, 1931 he returned to Dutch East Indies and was posted at the headquarters of the general staff Department Bandung. In March 1932, he was relocated to the garrison battalion in the South and Eastern Division of Borneo and seconded to Balikpapan ( as detachment commander ) in October 1934 again returned to the Department Bandung.

He was placed in the general staff in May 1936 and made part of the committee in charge of conducting the ranking research for admission to the Royal Military Academy. As of March 30, 1940, Van Langen was promoted to major and during the Second World War he was in German captivity, Imprisoned in Julius Berg, Colditz, Tanislau and Neu Brandenburg. In late May 1945, he returned to the Netherlands.

Police Actions

After the war he returned to the Dutch East Indies as a lieutenant colonel, where he was placed on the staff of Admiral Helfrich and charged with the deploying of the Dutch troops. In February 1946 he went to Malacca and was appointed to from 1 June 1946 to territorial commander of Central Java, Yogyakarta and Surakarta.

Around this time he tried to get in contact with the Indonesian colonel Soenarto in Semarang. Van Langen wrote in a communiqué in Semarang Serbian magazine The Middle that in order to avoid unnecessary bloodshed he had to grant a demarcation line between the occupied Dutch territory and determine. Van Langen was from February 16, 1946, Commander of the T - brigade (Tiger Brigade).

The capture of Yogyakarta

After hearing the surprise attack, Indonesian military commander General Sudirman broadcast Perintah kilat (quick command) via radios. He also requested Sukarno and other leaders to evacuate from Yogya, and join his guerrilla army. After a cabinet meeting, they refused and decided to stay in Yogyakarta, and keep communicating with UN and KTN envoys. Sukarno also announced the plan of "emergency government" in Sumatra, in the event something happened to the Indonesian leadership in Yogyakarta. Meanwhile 2,600 fully armed Dutch troops (infantry and paratroopers) led by Colonel van Langen had gathered in Maguwo, ready to capture Yogyakarta. At the same day most of Yogyakarta fell into the Dutch with key targets like the air force and chief-of-staff headquarters razed by both Indonesian "scorched earth" tactics and Dutch bombing. Indonesian President Sukarno, Vice-President Mohammad Hatta, and ex prime minister Sutan Sjahrir were seized by the Dutch and subsequently exiled to Bangka. They let themselves be captured hoping it would outrage international support. However, this action was later criticized among Indonesian military circles which regarded it as an act of cowardice by the political leadership.SultanHamengkubuwono IX stayed at his palace in Yogyakarta and did not leave during the entire occupation. The Sultan himself refused to cooperate with the Dutch administration and rejected mediation attempts by the pro-Dutch Sultan of Pontianak Hamid II.

By 20 December, all remaining republican troops in Yogya had been withdrawn. All parts of Indonesia except Aceh and some cantons in Sumatra fell under Dutch control. Sudirman, who was suffering from tubercolosis led the guerrillas from his sickbed. General A.H. Nasution, military commander of Java territories declared military government in Java, initiated a new guerrilla tactic called Pertahanan Keamanan Rakyat Semesta (Nation in Arms), transforming the Javan countryside into a guerrilla front with civilian support. In July 1949, Van Langen was promoted to Major General in the Netherlands, After he returned to the Dutch East Indies he was present in the function of military commander of Yogya during the withdrawal of the Dutch troops from the Dutch East Indies, including in the southwestern part of Yogyakarta.

Career in Netherlands

Van Langen was appointed in July 1949 as Chief General Staff, succeeding and participating in the Round Table Conference in The Hague and Amsterdam. He left the Dutch East Indies together with General DC Buurman van Vreeden, after visiting Soekarno, July 1950, as last Dutch commander.

By Royal Decree of November 1952, Van Langen was appointed to Superintendent of the fire fire department being. He was also active as general counsel of the Veterans Legion Netherlands and honorary chairman of the Action Committee for the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Semarang, which in 1952 was 25 years. Van Langen obtained from August 16, 1961 honorable discharge from his position as Superintendent of the fire fire department being. He was succeeded in his post by Colonel C. ter Poorten. He settled in Doorn and died there on January 20, 1983.


By Royal Decree of August 27, 1947 he was appointed Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau with Swords. By Royal Decree of December 9, 1949, Van Langen endowed with the Bronze Lion (with the same decision also received Lieutenant Colonel Musch the Bronze Lion He was appointed by Royal Decree of July 1950 Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion


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