Portal:Indonesia/Selected biography/11

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Sudirman.jpg

General Sudirman (1916–50) was the military commander of Indonesian forces during the country's fight for independence from the Dutch in the 1940s. Born in Rembang, Central Java, he studied at the Dutch Native School in Purwokerto, and then at a Muhammadiyah teacher training college in Surakarta. He worked as a teacher at the Muhammadiyah school in Cilacap. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia during World War II, Sudirman trained to become a battalion commander in PETA, the "homeland defense" army promoted by the Japanese. On 12 November 1945 he was elected Commander-in-chief of the Army, a position he held until his death. During much of the next five years he was sick with tuberculosis, but led several guerrilla actions against the Dutch. He led the resistance to the Dutch attack on Yogyakarta, then the Republic of Indonesia's headquarters, in December 1948. (Read more...)