Events Behind Heroes' Day In Today's History, November 10, 1945
Brigadier Wallaby's car destroyed by a grenade (Wikimedia Commons/Imperial War Museum)

JAKARTA - Every November 10, Indonesia commemorates National Heroes Day. Decided 10 November as Heroes Day based on Presidential Decree no. 316 of 1959 concerning National Days that are Not Holidays and signed by President Soekarno.

At that time, 10 November was expected to be a moment to commemorate the services of the heroes and the tragedy on 10 November 1945 in Surabaya. On November 10, 1945 there was a battle in Surabaya which was a major battle between the Indonesian army and British troops.

The Battle of Surabaya took place from October 27, 1945 to November 20, 1945. The climax of the battle was on November 10, 1945. The Battle of Surabaya was the first battle that took place post-Independence Indonesia. This battle broke out because the Dutch people raised the Red and White Blue flag which is the Dutch flag above the Yamato Hotel, Surabaya.

This angered the people of Surabaya at that time. The raising of the Dutch flag at that time was considered an insult to Indonesian sovereignty and Indonesian independence. Even though it was clear that Indonesia's independence had been proclaimed on August 17, 1945 or a few months earlier.

The youths finally changed the Dutch flag by tearing off the blue part and becoming the Indonesian flag, the Red and White Flag. Since then, clashes have been inevitable. Small clashes are getting bigger and bigger. Then every day became general attacks that almost killed many British soldiers. The attack also eventually led to the death of the leader of the British troops in East Java, Brigadier General Aubertin Mallaby.

Bung Tomo (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Until finally on November 10, 1945, the Commander of the British 5th Division Major General Eric Carden Robert Mansergh was angry. He issued an ultimatum stating that the Indonesian side must stop fighting against AFNEI and NICA. The Indonesian people were also asked to surrender all their weapons.

However, the people of Surabaya did not heed the ultimatum and saw it as an insult. Seeing the Allied soldiers who wanted to colonize Indonesia again after the Proclamation of Independence, the youth of Surabaya defended Indonesian Independence.

Allied forces then perform Ricklef or blood purification actions. They attacked the city of Surabaya both by land and sea, using various combat equipment such as tanks, planes and warships. The attack, which occurred at 6 in the morning, claimed many lives.

The people of Surabaya are not afraid of this threat. Although they do not have full weapons, Many are fighting back even from the civilians. To quote Tirto, community leaders who were not from the military, one of them was KH Hasyim Asy'ari, inflamed the people's resistance to face British atrocities. In addition, youths, traders, farmers, students, and various other groups unite their guts to defend independence.

Launching the official website of the Semarang City Government, the Surabaya battlefield was nicknamed "hell" because the losses caused were not small. Around 20,000 people of Surabaya became victims of the terrible war, most of them civilians.

In addition, there were 150,000 people forced to leave the city of Surabaya and around 1,600 British soldiers were killed, missing and injured and dozens of war equipment were damaged and destroyed. The number of fighters who died at that time was also proof of the persistence of the people of Surabaya against Sekytu. This made the British troops feel "baked" and made the city of Surabaya later remembered as a city of heroes.

At that time, the Battle of Surabaya also fostered the nationalism of the people of other regions in Indonesia. The movement in Surabaya became an "inspiration for resistance" for the youth to no longer be colonized. A year later, President Soekarno stipulates that November 10 is Heroes' Day and will be commemorated every year until now.

*Read other information about TODAY's HISTORY or read other interesting articles from Putri Ainur Islam.


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