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Java War
Nicolaas Pieneman - The Submission of Prince Dipo Negoro to General De Kock.jpg
The Submission of Prince Dipo Negoro to General de Kock, by Nicolaas Pieneman

Dutch victory

Flag of the Netherlands.svg The Netherlands
Pro-Netherlands Javanese
Rebellion forces of Prince Diponegoro
Commanders and leaders
General De Kock Prince Diponegoro
50,000[citation needed] 100,000[citation needed]
Casualties and losses
15,000 (including 7,000 European soldiers)[2] 200,000 (including tens of thousands of civilians)[2][3][4][5]

The Java War or Diponegoro War was fought in Java between 1825 and 1830. It started as a rebellion led by Prince Diponegoro. The proximate cause was the Dutch decision to build a road across a piece of his property that contained his parents' tomb. Among other causes was a sense of betrayal by the Dutch felt by members of the Javanese aristocratic families, as they were no longer able to rent land at high prices. Also, the succession of the throne in Yogyakarta was disputed: Diponegoro was the oldest son, but as his mother was not the queen, he did not have any right to succeed his father.

The troops of Prince Diponegoro were very successful in the beginning, controlling the middle of Java and besieging Yogyakarta. Furthermore the Javanese population was supportive of Prince Diponegoro's cause, whereas the Dutch colonial authorities were initially very indecisive. However, as the Java war prolonged, Prince Diponegoro had difficulties in maintaining the numbers of his troops.

The Dutch colonial army, however, was able to fill its ranks with troops from Sulawesi, and later on from the Netherlands. The Dutch commander, General de Kock, was able to end the siege of Yogyakarta on 25 September 1825.

Prince Diponegoro started a fierce guerrilla war and it was not until 1827 that the Dutch army gained the upper hand.

It is estimated that 200,000[6] died over the course of the conflict, 8,000 being Dutch.[6] The rebellion finally ended in 1830, after Prince Diponegoro was tricked into entering Dutch custody near Magelang, believing he was there for negotiations for a possible cease-fire. He was captured through treachery and deported to Manado and then to Makassar, where he died in 1855.[1]

Because of the large number of European soldiers who perished in the war, the Dutch government decided to recruit African soldiers in Gold Coast, the so-called "Belanda Hitam" ("Black Dutch").


  1. 1.0 1.1 Toby Alice Volkman: Sulawesi: island crossroads of Indonesia, Passport Books, 1990, ISBN 0844299065, page 73.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jaap de Moor: Imperialism and War: Essays on Colonial Wars in Asia and Africa, BRILL, 1989, ISBN 9004088342, page 52.
  3. Eric Oey: Java, Volume 3, Tuttle Publishing, 2000, ISBN 9625932445, page 146
  4. Renate Loose, Stefan Loose, Werner Mlyneck: Travel Handbuch Bali& Lombok, CQ Press, 2010, ISBN 0872894347, page 61.
  5. Dan La Botz: Made in Indonesia: Indonesian Workers Since Suharto, South End Press, 2001, ISBN 0896086429, page 69.
  6. 6.0 6.1 M.C. RicKlefs: A History of modern Indonesia since 1300, p. 117.


  • Carey, P.B.R. Babad Dipanagara: an account of the outbreak of the Java War (1825–30): the Surakarta court version of the Babad Dipanagara Kuala Lumpur: Printed for the Council of the M.B.R.A.S. by Art Printing Works, 1981. Monograph (Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Malaysian Branch); no. 9.
  • MC Ricklefs, A History of modern Indonesia since 1300, 2nd ed, 1993, pp. 116–17.
  • Sagimun M. D. Pangeran Dipanegara: pahlawan nasional [Jakarta]: Proyek Biografi Pahlawan Nasional, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1976. (In Indonesian)

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