Timor, March 1942.
The Japanese have landed and defeated the Dutch and Australian garrisons.
All seems to be over. Or is it?
Deep in the Timor jungle, a relatively small band of Australian and Dutch troops refuse to give up the fight. They decide to start a guerrilla campaign, aimed at killing as many Japanese as possible. For nearly a year, from March 1942 until February 1943, the commandos of 2/2nd Independent Company, with Dutch troops added to their ranks, fought a numerically superior enemy and tied down large numbers of Japanese troops; troops that were urgently needed elsewhere…
“You alone do not surrender to us!”
A line from a threatening message to the men of Sparrow Force sent in August 1942 by the commander of the Japanese 48th Division, Lieutenant General Yuichi Tsuchihashi. Unwittingly he voiced his frustration, his troops being tied down by small bands of ‘irregular’ combatants…
When Winston Churchill learned about this he re-phrased it and announced
“They alone did not surrender!”
A brief history about the “Sparrow Force” and the guerrilla operations on Timor has been added to ‘Military Background’
The Australian War Office made a short film about “The men of Timor” and it’s well worth watching. Here is the link.