East Indies operations

1915 - 1917

Australian naval vessels were heavily committed to operations in the waters of the East Indies (around current-day Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines) between 1915 and 1917. Both the Dutch East Indies and the American-administered Philippines (until April 1917) were neutral territory where German vessels could, and did, seek sanctuary. It was also believed that German agents were using neutral territory as a base from which to encourage, and then supply, revolts in British territory, principally India. In order to curtail the movement of German vessels, agents and arms, patrols were mounted throughout the East Indies and suspicious vessels stopped and boarded.