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What did Helfrich know and when did he know it? EDITED

November 8 2010 at 3:29 PM
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John Waller  (no login)

Response to Dutch Perception Of Admiral Helfrich


Battle of the Java Sea. This was a defeat for the ABDA organisation, although there is strong evidence that more damage occurred to the Jap fleet than they would admit. The crucial thing was the Japs could absorb the losses; the ABDA could not.

The battle terminated with only Perth and Houston left, and Doorman dead.

Waller of Perth took charge, and after a feint to the SW made for Tanjong Priok, to find things in chaos there. Helfrich wanted Waller to continue the fight, but Waller refused, a decision subsequently vindicated by the Australian Parliament.

Helfrich was mad as hell and withheld fuel and vital information. He knew that the Japanese Invasion Fleet was about to land their army in Bantam Bay. There had been two separate sightings of this fleet, but both reports "slipped through the cracks" in Batavia.

Helfrich ordered, via Collins, that Perth and Houston should sail to Tjilitjap via Sunda Strait. What Collins really knew I don't know. Collins later amended this to sail for Fremantle.

The two ships sailed on the evening of 28 February 1942 and encountered the massive Jap fleet off St. Nicholas Point to begin the Battle of Sunda Strait. Both ships were lost, both captains were killed, and a minority of the crews made it back home.

This message has been edited by nuyt on Nov 13, 2010 7:43 PM

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  • Re: What did Helfrich know and when did he know it? - Felix on Nov 12, 2010, 6:33 AM
  • Accusations - nuyt on Nov 12, 2010, 1:58 PM
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