Pembela Tanah Air

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Pembela Tanah Air
Colours of PETA.png
Colour used by PETA battalions
Active 3 October 1943 – 15 August 1945
Country Indonesia
Allegiance Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Role Defending Indonesia from Allied Invasion
Size 66 Battalions in Java, 3 Battalions in Bali, and approx. 20,000 men in Sumatra
Nickname(s) PETA
Colors Purple, Green, Red & White                 
Part of a series on the
History of Indonesia
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PETA (Indonesian: Pembela Tanah Air – Defenders of the Homeland) or Kyōdo Bōei Giyūgun (郷土防衛義勇軍) was an Indonesian volunteer army established on 3 October 1943 in Indonesia by the occupying Japanese. The Japanese intended PETA to assist their forces in opposing a possible invasion by the Allies. The word PETA itself means map in local language. By the end of the war, there were a total of 69 battalions (daidan) in Java (around 37,000 men) and Sumatra (approximately 20,000 men). On 17 August 1945, the day after the Indonesian Declaration of Independence, the Japanese ordered the PETA daidan to surrender and hand over their weapons, which most of them did. The Indonesian Republic's newly declared President, Sukarno, supported the dissolution rather than turn the organisation into a national army as he feared allegations of collaboration had he allowed a Japanese-created militia to continue in existence.[1][2][3]

During the Indonesian National Revolution, former PETA officers and troops, such as Suharto and Sudirman, formed the core of the fledgling Indonesia armed forces.

Notable members of PETA[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Bachtiar, Harsja W. (1988), Siapa Dia?: Perwira Tinggi Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat (Who is S/He?: Senior Officers of the Indonesian Army), Penerbit Djambatan, Jakarta, ISBN 979-428-100-X
  • Sunhaussen, Ulf (1982) The Road to Power: Indonesian Military Politics 1945-1967 Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-582521-7
  • Ricklefs, M.C. (1981) A History of Modern Indonesia, c. 1300 to the present. MacMillan, ISBN 0-333-24380-3


  1. ^ Ricklefs (1981), p. 194
  2. ^ Sunhaussen (1982), pp. 2–4
  3. ^ Bachtiar(1988), p. 12