In December 1962, nationalists in Brunei, the hugely wealthy small kingdom on the North Coast of Borneo, formed the Army of North Kalimantan (TNKU) and, demanding greater democracy, engineered a rebellion against the Sultan and seized a large number of hostages. Perceived to be an attempt by communists to destabilise the Sultanate and seize power, within twelve hours of its outbreak, British forces were despatched by ship and aircraft from Singapore to restore order, the first unit to arrive being 1/2nd Gurkhas, who entered the capital. Within the week, the 1 Queens Own Highlanders had recaptured the strategically important oilfields and occupied Seria, 42 Commando, Royal Marines attacked Limbang and 1 Green Jackets landed in west Brunei. The next six months were spent rounding up TNKU and, since there were major concerns that Indonesia could be behind the Revolt, the charismatic Major General Walter Walker, then commanding 17th Gurkha Division, was sent to Brunei to command operations. By mid-May 1963, the surviving TNKU had been captured. While rapidly suppressed, the Revolt was the catalyst for the three year Confrontation with Indonesia 1963-66.
This is very much a campaign narrative, and a detailed one at that. It strives to record the actions of all British units involved and rightly restores the narrative of actions such as that of... [read full review]Society of Friends of the National Army Museum
The author joined the intelligence corps in 1970 and over the next twenty years saw service in many countries.The Bulletin
Written by one of J Battery’s former forward observation officers, Richard Mountford, it provides a vivid picture of operations.The times
Researched in great detail.Soldier Magazine
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Limbang RebellionSeven Days in December 1962
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About Nick Van der Bijl
Nick van der Bijl served with distinction in the Intelligence Corps, particularly in the Falklands. He is now retired and working on security in the NHS.
He is the author of 6 books on 20th Century military history. He lives at Mark, Somerset.
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