Bandung Lautan Api

The Monument
Bandung Lautan Api (Bandung as Sea of Fire) is a fire that occurred in the city of Bandung, on March 24, 1946. Within seven hours, about 200,000 residents of Bandung burn their homes, leaving the city to the mountains in the south of Bandung. This is done to prevent the Allies and the Dutch NICA soldiers using Bandung as a strategic military headquarters in the War of Independence of Indonesia.

British troops as part of the Brigade MacDonald arrived in Bandung on October 12, 1945. They demanded all firearms in the hands of the society except for the Army of The Republic of Indonesia (Tentara Republik Indonesia /TRI, now called TNI) and the police left. Dutch people newly released from prison camp began to interfere the security, and the armed clash between the two sides is unavoidable. On the night of 24 November 1945, TKR and the people's militia launched attacks on British troops positions in the north, including the Hotel Homan and Hotel Preanger which they use as a headquarters. Three days after, MacDonald delivered an ultimatum to the Governor of West Java to be vacated the North Bandung including from the armed forces. The ultimatum encourage TRI to leave Bandung but they do the operation call "Bumi Hangus". The fighters of the Republic of Indonesia are not willing to hand off Bandung and used by British and the NICA.

Bandung deliberately burned by TRI and local people with the intention that the British can not use Bandung as a strategic military headquarters. Everywhere are black smoke billowing high into the air, and all the power supply are not function. The British Army began to attack so fierce fighting occurred. The greatest battle in the Village name Dayeuh Kolot, in South Bandung, where there are a large ammunition depot belonging to British. In this battle Mohammad Toha and Ramdan, two of militiamen of Barisan Rakyat Indonesia called for a mission to destroy the ammunition depot. Muhammad Toha has succeeded blew up the warehouse by using dynamite. The large warehouse then exploded, but sadly both militias caught fire in it. Since then, the South Bandung has been empty of inhabitants and TRI but the fire still burned soared and Bandung becoming a sea of fire.

The strategy to fire Bandung is considered because the power of TRI and people's militia is not comparable to the British forces and NICA. After the incident, TRI helped by people's militia to fight a guerrilla from outside Bandung. This incident also inspired the famous song “Halo, Halo Bandung”. A few years later, the song officially written as a memory of the fighters emotions felt at the time when they were waiting to come back to their beloved city that has become a sea of fire.

There are also 45M highly monument build in Tegallega Park, in the center of Bandung to remember the events of Bandung as Sea of Fire, led by Muhammad Toha. Every March 23, many people visit the monument to commemorate the heroic event that occurred back then