Republic of Indonesia
Indonesia map.gif
Continent: Asia
Capital: Jakarta
National Language: Indonesian
Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Status in OTL: Active

Flag of the Dutch East India Company, which is usually relevant in most Harry Turtledove timelines.

The Republic of Indonesia, called Dutch East Indies before the late 1940s, is a republic in Southeast Asia and Oceania, comprising 17,508 islands located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It includes about half of New Guinea (Earth's second largest island), more than half of Borneo (the fourth largest island), and all of Sumatra (the 6th largest island). The capital is Jakarta, on the island of Java, the population center of the country. Bali, a fairly small island, is nevertheless an important cultural center. With a population of around 230 million people, Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country, and has the world's largest Islamic population. Within Borneo, Indonesia has a land border with Malaysia, and within New Guinea it has a land border with Papua New Guinea.

Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II.

Most Harry Turtledove timelines are set or have a point of divergence before 1945, so Indonesia is under Dutch or Japanese rule.

Indonesia in Days of Infamy[]

The Dutch East Indies fell to the Empire of Japan during World War II when Japan invaded much of East Asia and the Pacific including the East Indies (the Netherlands had already been conquered by Nazi Germany). Representatives from the collaborationist puppet government established in the East Indies were present during a crowning ceremony in Hawaii of King Stanley Owana Laanui after Japan conquered the Islands following the Battle of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Indonesia in In the Presence of Mine Enemies[]

The Dutch East Indies were conquered by the Empire of Japan during the Second World War, and remained part of the Empire into the 21st Century.

Indonesia in Joe Steele[]

After they attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Japanese Empire invaded the Dutch East Indies.[1]

Indonesia in "Last Flight of the Swan of the East"[]

The Netherlands remained neutral when the Great War began in August 1914. They scrupulously maintained their neutrality in their overseas empire, including in the Dutch East Indies.[2] German skipper Karl von Müller of the SMS Emden discovered this on August 25, 1914. The Emden had attempted to meet up with a German collier steamer outside the airspace of the Dutch half of Timor. However, Captain Umbgrove of the Dutch leviathan Tromp sent the collier on its way a few days before because it had stayed in Dutch waters for too long; belligerents were only allowed to stay for one day in three months. Umbgrove shared this with Müller.[3]

Indonesia in "Les Mortes d'Arthur"[]

During the 2104 Olympics, an American woman defected to Indonesia during the Games, and won a silver medal under their colors.[4]

Indonesia in Southern Victory[]

During the interwar period, the Empire of Japan "persuaded" the Netherlands to hand over the Dutch East Indies to them for a large sum of compensation with an underlying threat of force.[5] The Japanese had done the same to the French Empire (which had been defeated and weakened during the Great War) by forcing them to hand over Indochina.

Indonesia in State of Jefferson[]

In the early 1980s, Indonesia was ruled by General-President Suharto, who had a reputation as a brutal dictator. However, he supported the United States during the Cold War, so American policy tended to look the other way when it came to Suharto's worst excesses.

Suharto, despite his cruelty, was fairly tolerant toward minority religions and species. One such example was the hobbits of Flores Island, who enjoyed relative tranquility under his rule.[6]

Indonesia in Supervolcano[]

Indonesia was the site of two of history's most powerful volcanic explosions: Tambora, leading to the Year Without a Summer, and Krakatoa, both in the 19th century. These cataclysms were dwarfed by previous Yellowstone Supervolcano eruptions in prehistory, throwing up seven and forty times as much ash and lava in comparison.[7] However, previous Yellowstone eruptions were not as forceful as Indonesia's Mount Toba, which obliterated itself, and nearly caused the extinction of the human species, around 70,000 BC.[8]

Indonesia in The Two Georges[]

The East Indies made up the bulk of Holland's overseas empire. It was bordered by British colonies - Malaya to the west and Australia to the east.[9]

Literary comment[]

This version is smaller than in OTL, as all of New Guinea is legally part of Australia.[10]

Indonesia in The War That Came Early[]

Japan launched an attack and an invasion upon Indonesia on 12 January 1941, concurrently with an invasion of British Malaya and attacks upon American holdings Manila and Hawaii.[11] By the end of 1941, the Dutch East Indies was falling, the Japanese having conquered a large number of the islands, from Borneo in the north to Lesser Sunda Islands in the south. Many believed it couldn't be held and would only be a matter of time before all the islands fell.

Indonesia in Worldwar[]

Indonesia was ruled by the Dutch East India Company until the Netherlands were conquered by Germany in 1940 during World War II. Japan conquered Indonesia proper, and was able to hold it when the Race invaded Earth in 1942. It remained part of Japan's empire after the Peace of Cairo.[12]


  1. Stars: The Anthology, pg. 330, tpb. This is only stated in the story, but it almost certainly took place in the novel.
  2. Leviathans: Armored Skies, pgs. 312, loc. 4489, ebook.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 312-313, loc. 4489-4505.
  4. See, e.g. Departures, pg. 285, mmp.
  5. Return Engagement, pg. 219, HC.
  6. https://www.tor.com/2020/01/08/tie-a-yellow-ribbon-harry-turtledove/
  7. Eruption, pg. 14, HC.
  8. Ibid. pg. 16.
  9. Map The Two Georges, frontispiece.
  10. Ibid.
  11. The Big Switch, pg. 398.
  12. See, Colonization map.