The Dutch Naval Air Force Against Japan

The Defense of the Netherlands East Indies, 1941–1942


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SKU: 9780786423651 Categories: , , , Tag:

About the Book

December 7, 1941, opened up a new theater of war in the Pacific and a new threat for what was then the Netherlands East Indies. The Dutch, with their Naval Air Force or Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (MLD), made a significant—and often overlooked—contribution to the Allied effort. With their 175 aircraft, the MLD in Southeast Asia outnumbered American and British naval air reconnaissance forces combined. Three months of intense fighting left the Dutch bereft of thousands of naval personnel and over 80 percent of their aircraft.
This work details the actions of MLD during the Japanese invasion of the Netherlands East Indies. Beginning with a look at the origins of the MLD, it provides an overview of the force, including an analysis of its aircraft, equipment, personnel and training. Operations of the United States Navy and Royal Air Force seaplane units are included in order to provide a thorough history of the campaign. Final chapters cover the MLD’s ill-fated attempts at evacuation of the island battleground and offer an overall review of the MLD’s performance. Appendices contain such information as Allied and Japanese aircraft specifications, squadron tables of organization, and MLD bases and operational areas. The result is by far the most comprehensive English-language account of the Allied naval air war in the Netherlands East Indies.

About the Author(s)

Tom Womack is the director of public relations for a leading global provider of community management services and has written more than 50 magazine articles. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Womack
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 217
Bibliographic Info: 44 photos, maps, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2365-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0098-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Abbreviations      ix
Preface      1

1. The MLD: Equipment and Doctrine      3
2. Cold War Clashes: The Build-Up to War      22
3. December, Part I: The MLD Goes to War      43
4. December, Part II: The USN Evacuates the Philippines      59
5. January, Part I: The Japanese Move South      74
6. January, Part II: The Dutch Go on the Defensive      85
7. February, Part I: The Air Assault on Java      97
8. February, Part II: The Dutch Crumble      114
9. March: “This Is the End of a Courageous Fight, Admiral”      129
10. The MLD: A New Hope      147

Appendix 1: MLD Squadrons in the Netherlands East Indies      153
Appendix 2: MLD Dornier Do. 24K Flying Boats in the Netherlands East Indies      157
Appendix 3: MLD PBY-5 Catalina Flying Boats in the Netherlands East Indies      159
Appendix 4: MLD Reserve Seaplanes in the Netherlands East Indies      162
Appendix 5: Specifications for MLD Planes in the Netherlands East Indies      164
Appendix 6: Specifications for Japanese Planes Operating in the Netherlands East Indies      168
Appendix 7: Marine Seaplane Tenders      174
Appendix 8: MLD Bases in the Netherlands East Indies      177

Chart 1: Breakdown of MLD Losses by Month      179
Chart 2: Breakdown of Do. 24 and PBY Losses by Month      180
Chart 3: MLD Losses by Cause      181

Notes      183
Bibliography      201
Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended reading…excellent”—Stone & Stone Second World War Books; “very well written…run, don’t walk to your nearest mail box to post your check to the publisher. You won’t be disappointed”—Small Airforces Observer; “Womack gives now for the first time in the English language an extensive and detailed account of this battle…excellent”—Let Let Let Warplanes.