Following on from their immediate successes against the Americans at Pearl Harbour the Japanese pushed forwards into the European Dutch Colonies (Borneo, Sumatra, Java) with the simple expansionist objectives of driving all before them and obtaining the valued raw materials they so desperately needed.
In February 1942 the combined local forces of the Americans, British, Dutch and Australian (ABDA) had gathered in sufficient force to attempt to check the Japanese advance. This became known as the Battle of the Java Sea.
It is of interest to me as although the ABDA fleet was outnumbered the Japanese were quite reckless in their advance as to give a fleeting "best-bad" opportunity (one that pans out slightly better in a wargame than the historical reality). Also of historical interest the most senior admiral and hence in charge of this multi-national force was in fact Dutch, Rear Admiral Karel Doorman.
The Dutch contingent is seem below (Navwar 1/3000 kit):
- Cruiser (Flag): De Ruyter (leading)
- Cruiser: Java (rear)
- Destroyer: Kortenaer (top)
- Destroyer: Witte De With (bottom)
Next the British (RN) Forces