Hein ter Poorten
|Hein ter Poorten|
Hein ter Poorten
|Born||21 November 1887
|Died||15 January 1968 (aged 80)
|Commands held||Dutch East Indies campaign|
Hein ter Poorten (21 November 1887, Buitenzorg – 15 January 1968, The Hague), was the commander of the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (Royal Netherlands Indies Army; KNIL) in World War II. Ter Poorten was also Allied land forces commander in the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, during early 1942.
Hein ter Poorten was born in Buitenzorg (now Bogor), Java, which was at the time part of the Netherlands East Indies. After having been sworn in as an artillery officer in 1911, he helped to found the army air force, and in 1919 began a course at the Hogere Krijgsschool staff college in the Netherlands.
World War II
He steadily rose up the ranks upon his return to the East Indies, and by July 1939 was the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (Royal Netherlands Indies Army; KNIL) Chief of the General Staff. Lieutenant General Gerardus Johannes Berenschot's death in a flying accident in October 1941 saw Ter Poorten, by now also a lieutenant general, promoted to Commander in Chief of the KNIL.
Ter Poorten was regarded by his contemporaries in the army as a skilled commander with a firm understanding of military affairs in the East Indies, and thus was able to get on well with his subordinates and fellow officers; his relations with the civilian administration were less successful.
In January 1942, following the outbreak of war with Japan, Ter Poorten was appointed commander of land forces in the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, a short-lived unified command of all Allied forces in South East Asia.
By March, Ter Poorten became the de facto head of all Allied forces on Java, following rapid Japanese advances and the break-up of ABDACOM. It was left to him to unconditionally surrender the island to the Japanese on 8 March 1942. He spent the rest of the war in various prisoner of war camps, and in 1945 returned to the Netherlands.
- Klemen, L (1999-2000). "Lieutenant-General Hein Ter Poorten". Dutch East Indies Campaign website.