Battle of Sunda Strait
The Battle of Sunda Strait was a naval battle which occurred during World War II. On the night of February 28 – March 1, 1942, the United States cruiser USS Houston and the Australian cruiser HMAS Perth faced a major Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) task force. After a fierce battle of several hours duration, both Allied ships were sunk. Five Japanese ships were sunk by friendly fire, of which two were refloated.
Japan demanded the delivery of raw materials, most importantly OIL from Sumatra. The Dutch administration complied; yet in March 1942 the Japanese invaded, occupying most of the archipelago (southern New Guinea escaped Japanese occupation). The Dutch residents, in total 170,000, were INTERNED, a Japanese military administration established; the Japanese partitioned the archipelago in three zones, Sumatra, the Central and the Eastern Islands; many Indonesians found employment in the new administration. Dutch was replaced, as language of administration, education and jurisdiction, by Bahasa Indonesia and Japanese.