HNLMS Java (1921)

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For other ships with the same name, see HNLMS Java.
Java cruiser SLV H91.325 284.jpg
Java before reconstruction
History
Netherlands
Name: Java
Builder: Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde in Flushing
Laid down: 31 May 1916
Launched: 6 August 1921
Commissioned: 1 May 1925
Fate: Sunk on 27 February 1942
General characteristics
Type: Java-class cruiser
Displacement:
  • 6670 tons standard
  • 8087 tons full load
Length: 155.3 m (509 ft 6 in)
Beam: 16 m (52 ft 6 in)
Draught: 6.22 m (20 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 73,000 shp (54,000 kW), three shafts
Speed: 31 knots
Range: 4,340 nmi (8,040 km; 4,990 mi) at 11 or 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 526
Armament:
Armour:
  • 7.5 cm (3.0 in) belt
  • 2,5 to 5 cm (2.0 in) deck
  • 12.5 cm (4.9 in) conning tower
  • 10 cm (3.9 in) shields
Aircraft carried: 2 Fokker C.XI-W floatplanes

HNLMS Java (Dutch: Hr.Ms. Java) was a Java-class cruiser of the Royal Netherlands Navy. She was sunk during the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February 1942.

Service history[edit]

The ship was built by the Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde in Flushing and laid down on 31 May 1916. The ship was launched on 6 August 1921, and commissioned on 1 May 1925.[1][2][3]

Later that year on 14 October Java left the Netherlands for a journey to the Dutch East Indies. She arrived in Tanjung Priok on 7 December that year.[3]

On 29 July 1929 Java, the destroyers De Ruyter and Evertsen, and the submarines K II and K VII left Surabaya and steamed to Tanjung Priok. There the ships waited for the royal yacht Maha Chakri of the King of Siam and the destroyer Phra Ruang. After this the ships, without the submarines, visited Bangka, Belitung, Riau, Lingga Islands, Belawan and Deli. On 28 August that year they returned to Tanjung Priok.

On 31 August that year she participated in a fleet review at Tanjung Priok. The review was held in honor of the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands who was born that day. Other ships that participated in the review where the destroyers De Ruyter and Evertsen.[4]

On 23 August 1936 Java, her sister ship Sumatra and the destroyers Van Galen, Witte de With and Piet Hein were present at the fleet days held at Surabaya. Later that year on 13 November she and her sister and the destroyers Evertsen, Witte de With and Piet Hein made a fleet visit to Singapore. Before the visit they had practised in the South China Sea.[5]

While returning to the Netherlands she was sent to Gibraltar where she performed convoy duties during the Spanish Civil War in the Strait of Gibraltar from 1 April to 5 May 1937.[6]

After seven months of refit in the Netherlands she left for the Dutch East Indies on 4 May 1938. Along the way she performed convoy duties in the Strait of Gibraltar from 10 to 13 May and on 25 June that year she arrived in Tanjung Priok. On 13 October that year she collided with Piet Hein in the Sunda Strait. Java had to be repaired at Surabaya.[7]

World War II[edit]

HNLMS Java in 1939, after her reconstruction

As the war with Japan began in December 1941, Java performed convoy duties in conjunction with British forces. On 15 February 1942, the force which Java was a part of was attacked by "Kate" bombers from the carrier Ryūjō although no damage was sustained.

On 19 February, the ABDA naval forces sailed to Bali to attempt to disrupt Japanese landings there, and the Java took part in the Battle of Badung Strait. In this action, fire was exchanged with the Japanese but the Java took no damage. The Japanese successfully captured Bali while severely damaging the Dutch cruiser Tromp and a Dutch destroyer, and sinking the Piet Hein.

On 27 February 1942 Java took part in the Battle of the Java Sea. During the battle she was struck by a Long Lance torpedo fired from the Japanese cruiser Nachi. The torpedo caused an ammunition stack to explode and this caused a fire on the AA deck. The stern broke off at the long room which caused flooding in the aft engine room. As the ship took on a heavy list to port, the flooding caused the electrical equipment to shut down. The crew abandoned ship and the Java sank about fifteen minutes after being struck by the torpedo. 512 of her crew lost their lives in the sinking.

Her wreck was discovered by a diving expedition on 1 December 2002 at a depth of 69 metres (226 ft).[8]

On 15 November 2016 the Dutch Ministry of Defence reported the dissappearance of the wreck of Java, along with the wrecks of the De Ruyter and parts of the Kortenaer. The Royal Netherlands navy announced that they will launch an investigation, suspecting illegal salvage.[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Maritieme kalender 1916". Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Maritieme kalender 1921". Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Maritieme kalender 1925". Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Maritieme kalender 1929". Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Maritieme kalender 1936". Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Maritieme kalender 1936". Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Maritieme kalender 1938". Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Visser, Jan. "History of the cruiser Java". Royal Netherlands Navy Warships of World War II. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Mystery as wrecks of three Dutch WWII ships vanish from Java seabed The Guardian, 16 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse oorlogswrakken lijken van bodem Javazee verdwenen". NU (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016-11-15. 

Coordinates: 6°00′01″S 112°05′00″E / 6.00028°S 112.08333°E / -6.00028; 112.08333