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The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.

: 1848 - 1956), Tuesday 4 March 1941, page 3


an to

Fine Indies Base
(By the A.A.F.

Special Correspondent in East Indies) Netherlands

in East Indies has splendid naval base. Because of its central position and natural safety, it is essential to the naval system build must Powers the Western which their position. The system is to maintain bases In Australia and the "'PHE



completed by
this to

at Sourabaya said interview. The Netheris well aware lands East Indies, he told me, of the very special position Singapore occupies in the defensive situation, but its what matter Singapore alone, no masstrength, Is not sufficient to exercise In the south-west section tery of the seas

Philippines." A high Dutch


astonishing speed. They ore claimed torpedo be the world's first motor hull The boats built entirely of steel. surface is of stainless steel, so below the without can that they spend months to be dry-docked. having torpedo-boats, In addition to the motor a are also building in Java the Dutch of coastal patrol vessels. large number naval During my visit to the Sourabaya locally-built motor torpedo base I saw course boats already in service, others In that work of construction, and observed on of the coastal patrol vessels a number an advanced stage. had reached is a centre The Sourabaya naval base em18,000 are More than of activity. a machine shops are ployed there. The hundreds of masea of heads busy over chines bought in all parts of the world. combase is capable of refitting The pletely the largest surface craft, carrysubing out all repairs to the many and Indies, stationed in the marines engines, and marine keeping big guns, instruments in good order.





Pacific Ocean, a strategic point of view," he "From Sourabaya, and "Singapore, continued, Port Darwin, together with the bases in a ring of buttresses the Philippines, iorm backed which, by a strong fleet, mustis structure. It unassailable an make that this ring be however, necessary, by far-reaching coclosed and cemented operation in the preparation, joint equipThere ping, and defending of the bases. be an arrangement for a timely conmust centration of a strong fleet in the Pacific. this "Nothing stands in the way of exJoint preparation and co-operation cept a certain inertia, a stubborn clinging of neutrality, which to the principles already long ago proved their impotence. a century moro Singapore than "For the most Important Junction on has been the sea trade routes from Europe, Africa, East Indies and Asia to the Netherlands ties economic and Australia. The mutual the Netherlands Australia and between last East Indies have, especially In the They stronger. much few years, become Conmilitary problems. face the same cercan fining this conflict to Europe by neglecting the tainly not be achieved which Join the Malay States, the bonds Australia. East Indies, and Netherlands of the straOnly the open recognition the between tegic that must exist bonds can this in section controlling powers prevent the spread of the conflict to the cf the
Pacific. efficient "Only the joint use and the co-operation of the Allied forces and their other's to each completely free access can make bases, supplies, and equipment it possible to safeguard and actually exorthis part seas hi cise the mastery of the of the world."

have been precautions Most of air attack. against own shelters, and their the shops have have latest most important and the floors. On the their own shelters under steel reinforced concrete floors there are to observe the "bee hives" for firemen are large There fall of Incendiaries. shelters in the grounds conical-shaped Bombs glance like the apex of a mosque. of off these, thus minimising the chance a direct hit. .Old boilers from ships have been buried ground. the concrete deep beneath in make two two halves of a boiler The is, of necessity, shelters. Boiler steel very to these Concrete steps lead down tough. been comfortably shelters, and they have seats. fitted out with is control raid central air a There in the base. Many centre "somewhere" base naval the earth the feet beneath signalling system, and other switchboard, hidden. devices are is meall shelters of Ventilation electric and with controlled chanically and special precautions have hand pumps, been taken to keep out gas. Fleet The surface units of the Dutch greatly strengthened during been have cruisers, deare There recent months. and mine-layers, stroyers, many Ninety per cent, of numerous sweepers. the and major marine the mercantile fishing fleet got safely away part of the ships seized in from German Holland. sailing under British ports nre now Dutch patrol Dornier The Admiralty orders. will soon be seaplanes flying-boats and P.B.Y.5 Consolidated reinforced by many flying-boats.



Colonial Fleet
Navy the Royal Dutch recent months Indies has East in the Netherlands fleet of fast mosquito added a formidable motor torpedo boats to its already strong air arm and craft, submarine surface 1N

torpedo-boats, with depth anti-aircraft guns, fitted are They are being built locally. engines, and have with liquid-cooled aero ore claimed astonishing speed. They an motor


charge apparatus and

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