The recruitment of Indonesian soldiers for the Dutch Colonial Army, c. 1700–1950
in Guardians of empire
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The Dutch East India Company had looked for political and commercial allies among the peoples of Asia, in order to develop its empire and to make it prosper. This chapter examines the process by which the Dutch elite recruited military allies. It then analyses how the ethnic composition of the army changed over the course of time, both under the influence of changing recruitment policies and practices. The chapter also briefly examines the contribution of Indonesian soldiers to the actual fighting, and assesses the impact of their military role in the conquest of Indonesia. During the post-war Indonesian Revolution, attempts were made to recruit Indonesian soldiers from both the old recruiting grounds and hitherto unexploited areas. The chapter discusses three categories of late nineteenth-century recruits: the Javanese, the Ambonese and the Timorese.

Guardians of empire

The armed forces of the colonial powers c. 1700–1964

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