Indonesian Confrontation, 1962-1966

Date from 01 January 1962
Date to 31 December 1966
Collection type Conflict
Scope note Between 1962 and 1966 Indonesia and Malaysia fought a small, undeclared war which came to involve troops from Australia and Britain. The actual war began when Indonesia launched a series of cross-border raids into Malaysian territory in early 1963. The Australian units fought as part of a larger British and Commonwealth force under overall British command. Australia's commitment to operations against Indonesia in Borneo and West Malaysia fell within the context of its membership in the Far East Strategic Reserve. Continuing negotiations between Indonesia and Malaysia ended the conflict, and the two sides signed a peace treaty in Bangkok in August 1966. Twenty-three Australians were killed during Confrontation, seven of them on operations, and eight were wounded. Because of the sensitivity of the cross-border operations, which remained secret at the time, Confrontation received very little coverage in the Australian press. Altogether, in the period 1964-1966, two infantry battalions, two squadrons of the Special Air Service Regiment, troops of the Royal Australian Signals, an artillery detachment and five squadrons of the Royal Australian Engineers were involved in Borneo. Ships of the Royal Australian Navy served in the surrounding waters and several Royal Australian Air Force squadrons were also involved during Confrontation.