A stranded Dutch warship evaded the enemy by disguising itself as an island, 1942

In February 1942, in the middle of World War II, the Japanese fleet completely wrecked a combined Dutch-American-Australian-British fleet in the Battle of the Java Sea. Due to this defeat, the entire Netherlands East Indies was captured by the Japanese.

There were only four Dutch battleships left in the Dutch East Indies and seeing that there was no way they would be able to take down the Japanese fleet on their own, they decided to try to escape to Australia.

There was only one problem: the seas were full of Japanese warships and the skies were full of Japanese planes. The prospect of sailing to safety from a hostile ocean of 1,000 miles did not look good.

Sure enough, all except one of the ships were sunk within days. HNLMS Abraham Krijansen was the last Dutch battleship to be docked after the Japanese had scuttled the rest of the Dutch fleet.

The slow-moving minesweeper could only rise to 15 knots and had very few guns, boasting only one 3-inch gun and two Oerlikon 20 mm cannons – making it a sitting duck for Japanese bombers. Who used to roam above. However, HNLMS Abraham Krijansen successfully escaped to Australia as the captain came up with a crazy plan. He disguised the entire ship as a small island.

Although the Abraham Crijnsen was a relatively small ship, it was still a large object—about 55 meters (180 ft) long and 7 meters (25 ft) wide. So the crew used foliage from island vegetation and gray paint to make the ship's hull look like a rock.

Now, a camouflaged ship in deep distress is better than a fully exposed ship. But there was still a problem for the Japanese to see a mysterious shaking island and wonder what would happen if they fired at it.

Because of this, the crew figured out the best means of convincing the Axis powers that they were an island, had to be an island in fact: not to move during daylight at all. Moving only at night, the ship was able to mingle with thousands of other smaller islands around Indonesia, and the Japanese did not notice the island moving.

Krigensen managed to escape the destroyer undetected by Japanese aircraft and sinking other Dutch warships, survive the eight-day voyage to Australia and reunite with Allied forces.

During his operational service under the flag of the Australian Navy, Abraham Krijansen detected a submarine while escorting a convoy to Sydney via Bass Strait on 26 January 1943. Together with the Australian HMAS Bundaberg, she deeply charged the submarine.

No wreckage of the submarine was found or confirmed dead, but the former minesweeper suffered some damage due to hasty depth charges; Several fittings and pipes were damaged, and all of her centerlines had to be replaced during a week-long docking.

Following this incident, the ship was finally returned to Royal Netherlands Naval Service on 5 May 1943, even though she spent the rest of the war in Australian waters.

It was not used until 1945, when the ship left Sydney for Darwin, carrying an oil lighter and a Dutch K9 submarine that was out of action. In an unfortunate incident, the tow cable broke, and the submarine washed ashore at Seal Rocks, New South Wales.

Abraham Krijansen ended his WWII career the same way the ship had started it - as a minesweeper who had to clear mines in Kupang Harbor before a RAN force arrived to accept the Japanese surrender of Timor. was responsible for.

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