Full Name 81 Sultanate of Brunei
Alliance Allies - Minor Member Nation or Possession
Possessing Power United Kingdom
Entry into WW2 16 Dec 1941
Population in 1939 38,000


ww2dbaseBritain first militarily interfered with Brunei in 1846, five years after the British protectorate of the Kingdom of Sarawak was established across its borders. As the Bruneian Empire waned, a treaty was signed between Brunei and Britain in 1888 which effectively gave Britain control over Brunei's foreign affairs. In 1890, Sarawak forcibly annexed the Pandaruan region from Brunei, splitting Brunei into two parts; Britain stood by and allowed this annexation to happen. In 1929, oil was discovered in Brunei, and by 1940 oil production in Brunei was increased to six million barrels annually. The island of Borneo, which Brunei was situated upon, was invaded by the Japanese at the start of the Pacific War. On 16 Dec 1941, 10,000 men of the Kawaguchi Detachment landed at Kuala Belait in western Brunei, and by 22 Dec 1941 the entire country was occupied with relatively little effort. The only British Empire unit defending the country was the Punjab Regiment, which filled the oil wells at the Seria River with concrete before withdrawing out of the country; the Japanese would be able to resume oil production during the war, reaching a maximum production level close to the pre-war level, and the oil from Brunei made up of a large percentage of the final oil import for Japan near the end of the war. Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin signed an agreement with Japan, allowing a Japanese governor to be installed as the head of the country, with Inche Ibrahim as the Chief Administrative Officer. Under Japanese rule, British North Borneo, previously a separate British colony, was annexed into Bruneian borders. Similar to other areas in Asia and across the Pacific Ocean that fell under Japanese control, the Japanese language was introduced into local school as the first step to assimilate the population. A major airfield was constructed on the coast of the Brunei Bay, which would survive Allied bombings to later become the basis for the civilian Brunei International Airport. As the Americans slowly gained control of the seas toward the end of the war, Brunei was cut off from Japan and other parts of the Japanese Empire, leading to shortages of food, medicine, and other vital supplies, which in term led to famines. Troops of Australian 9th Division, supported by American air and naval units, invaded the island of Borneo in Jun 1945, capturing Brunei from the Japanese after heavy fighting. After the war, the British Military Administration (which was largely staffed by Australians) would remain in Brunei until Jul 1946. In 1959, a new constitution was written, declaring Brunei to be a self-governing state whose foreign affairs and defense were under the control of a British High Commissioner. Total independence was granted in 1984.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Nov 2013

Events Taken Place in Brunei
Dutch East Indies Campaign, Borneo15 Dec 1941 - 1 Apr 1942
Borneo Campaign11 Apr 1945 - 15 Aug 1945

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
24 Sep 2017 05:52:53 AM

this is really nice ,however , i was wondering what it was like BEFORE the second world war

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