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Hussars of Boreel

Time period: 1948-1949



Realisation project:

B. v. Waveren, Sitefilms ©


Timeframe: 1948-1949
Location: Indonesia
Number of interviews: 7


Thematic collection: Erfgoed van de Oorlog



Interviews can be see via:


Much has been published about the decolonisation of the Dutch East Indies and the struggle for Indonesian independence. However, an underexposed aspect of this history is the experience of Dutch conscripts in the Republic of Indonesia immediately after the transfer of sovereignty. To gain a better understanding of their lives in the tropics and to learn more about their experiences, interviews were held with former conscripts of the 43rd Independent Reconnaissance Squadron. The interviewees were around 20 years old at the time, held various positions during their service and came from different social backgrounds.


In the interviews, the former conscripts tell what they experienced in the period after the transfer of sovereignty. The emphasis of the interviews is on how they viewed their military service. They also discuss the change in their mission: from fighting the Indonesian independence movement to carrying out the transfer of arms after recognition of Indonesian independence. How did they experience this transition and how did they carry out their new task? Other questions that will be discussed: What was the life of the average conscript like during that period? What did the sergeant, the infantryman, the driver, the gunner, the ‘medic’, the cook experience? 

Nederlandse militairen van de V-brigade trekken de stad binnen. Solo, Midden-Java, 21 DECEMBER 1948. (T.SCHILLING, DLC, NA). Verzetsmuseum