Another forgotten conflict since WW2: Borneo

Borneo (Paradata)

The Battle of Plaman Mapu on 27 April 1965 was one of the largest battles during the Indonesian- Malaysia Confrontation over the creation of the new Malaysian state. Plaman Mapu was a small base in the jungle on the border between the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Indonesia, and the battle commenced in the early hours of 27 April after Indonesian troops crossed the border and launched a surprise attack against 36 men of B Company 2 Para who found themselves fighting an estimated 400 Indonesian troops which had artillery support.

Borneo (Paradata)

Sergeant-Major Williams organised a counter attack and whilst under heavy fire led men towards a captured position and engaged around thirty Indonesian soldiers and during a second attack Williams killed several more with a GPMG during which he was blinded in one eye. When they launched a third attack Williams began receiving support from rifle fire which was followed by artillery and grenades and the Indonesian infantry retreated across the border after an intense two-hour fire fight.

From most accounts the Battle of Plaman Mapu was a turning point in the conflict. Due to heavy losses (total numbers unknow) the Indonesian Army did not launch another large cross-border attack and their defeat was a disaster for the government: within months there was revolution in Indonesia and peace was secured within a year as the conflict ground to a halt. (photo Para Date) More information can be found at Airborne Assault Para Data .

https://www.paradata.org.uk/article/battle-plaman-mapu

Author: Alan Malcher

Military historian and defence commentator

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