The Siliwangi Division was a unit of the Indonesian Army based in Bandung, West Java Province . It bore the name of Siliwangi , the legendary ruler of the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran .


Five days after the proclamation of independence of Indonesia (August 17, 1945), the government of the young republic, foreseeing a return of the Dutch in their former colony (occupied by the Japanese since 1942), creates a “body of security of the people “( Badan Keamanan Rakyat ). The name of this body is then changed to “People’s Security Army” ( Tentara Keamanan Rakyat ).

Socialist prime minister Sjahrir , who had led the underground resistance during the Japanese occupation , had declared the need to dismiss positions of responsibility, including military, individuals who had collaborated with the occupier. He and Defense Minister Amir Sjarifuddin , another leader of the anti-Japanese resistance, decided to create an elite unit whose officers would not have been trained by the Japanese but by the Dutch before the war. This is the Siliwangi 1 division . Siliwangi to intervene against coup attempt against Sjahrir government in June 1946 in Yogyakarta, where the Indonesian government settled in January, the Dutch having reinvested Jakarta .

In January 1948, the young republic of Indonesia signed with the Netherlands, which wants to recover its former colony, the Renville agreement . At the end of this agreement, the three Indonesian divisions of the west of the island of Java , including Siliwangi, must evacuate West Java for the benefit of the Dutch. They are unified in one, with its headquartersin Tasikmalaya east of Bandung , the capital of the province of West Java . This division begins a retreat towards Central Java.

When in December 1948, the Dutch troops, violating the agreement, launched an attack on Yogyakarta, which they call “Operation Kraai”, Siliwangi operates a new retreat in the other direction, settling in West Java. From this familiar terrain, the unit conducts guerrilla operations .

Siliwangi will also participate in the suppression of two insurrections, that of Darul Islam , a separatist movement fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state in Indonesia, and, under the command of Abdul Haris Nasution , that of the Madiun affair involving the Indonesian Communist Party .

After the formal recognition of Indonesia by the Netherlands in 1949, divisions of the Indonesian army will either be demobilized, or transformed into “commandments of military region” or Komando Daerah Militer (“Kodam”). Siliwangi becomes Kodam III / Siliwangi.

Until 1960, the commanders of Siliwangi had the rank of colonel or lieutenant-colonel . Since then, they carry the rank of major general (equivalent of ” general of division “).

During the 30 September 1965 movement in Indonesia , a certain major general Soeharto will take the lead of Siliwangi units to suppress the movement.


The Kodam III / Siliwangi cover the following units:

  • The 15 th brigade of infantry “Kujang II”, based Cimahi (west Bandung) and consisting of three battalions : battalion 300, 310 and 312;
  • Infantry Battalion 301 (based at Sumedang ), 303 ( Garut ), 315 ( Bogor ) and 320 ( Serang );
  • A cavalry battalion ;
  • An engineering battalion ;
  • Two battalions of anti-aircraft defense ;
  • Two battalions of field artillery .


  1. ↑ George McTurnan Kahin , Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia , Cornell University Press , Ithaca , 1970 p.  184