KNIL facts for kids
|Royal Netherlands East Indies Army
Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army coat of arms
|Established||14 September 1814|
|Disbanded||26 July 1950 (1951 Colonial Reserve disbanded)|
|Headquarters||Bandung, Dutch East Indies|
The KNIL was formed by royal decree on 14 september 1814. It was not part of the Royal Netherlands Army, but a separate military arm specifically formed for service in the Netherlands East Indies. Its establishment coincided with the Dutch drive to expand colonial rule from the 17th century area of control to the far larger territories.
Indonesia was a Dutch colony from 1800 to 1949. It was then called Nederlandsch Indië (Dutch East Indies). The KNIL taskforce was sent there to maintain order. The KNIL was involved in many campaigns against indigenous groups in the area including the Padri War (1821–1845), the Java War (1825–1830), crushing the final resistance of Bali inhabitants to colonial rule in 1849, and the prolonged Aceh War (1873–1904).
When Indonesia declared itself independent in 1945 the Dutch fought a war to keep the colony. This war was won by the Indonesians. The Dutch government accepted Indonesia's independence in 1949, and the KNIL ceased to exist. At the time of disbandment the KNIL numbered 65,000, of whom 26,000 were incorporated into the new Indonesian Army. The remainder were either demobilised or transferred to the Netherlands Army.
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