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Suspicions indeed

December 17 2010 at 6:15 AM
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Arnout Van A.  (no login)
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Response to Sell-out fears by the Americans


The fact the ABDA's were allies did not make them friends.

The Dutch had lots of apprehension towards the Brits and vice versa. They were their traditional enemies. Likewise, British perceptions about the Dutch even today are not all that flattering. I should know as I lived there for two decades.

As a result of the British aggression in South Africa in the beginning of the century, the general opinion in Holland and the NEI was predominantly anti-british.

The US anti-colonial perception certainly did not inspire friendly relations neither. The Dutch Colonials were in those days very conservative and patriotic. They certainly did not take kindly any critism that way.

Besides, the US fleet and airforce was just recently pulferized. All US forces that did show up those first few weeks were a few destroyers that had missed their rendevouz with the Lend-Lease change-over or the wrecking yard. Also Tokyo Rose was harrassing the airwaves daily, a point not to be discounted.

Anti-Dutch feelings from the Australians were also labour and anti-colonialism inspired. Hardly surprising, there. The surprise was really that the Australians really had territorial ambitions in the NEI, and those intentions were not very well conceiled neither.

I think the ABDA experiment was much like a jam session of tone deaf, not entirely ungifted, left-handed, heavy metalists having to play Mozart, on right-handed fog horns.

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