Dutch intervention in northern Bali (1848)

Balinese soldiers in the 1880s.

The Dutch intervention in Northern Bali in 1848 was the second in a long series of six Dutch military interventions on Bali island, until total control was achieved with the Dutch intervention in Bali in 1908. The Dutch used as a pretext Balinese salvage claims over shipwrecks, which were customary to the Balinese, but unacceptable under International law.[1]

The expedition arrived in 2,400 men, a third of which was composed of Europeans, the rest being Javanese and Madurese soldiers, as well as one company of Africans, probably from the Dutch colony in Ghana.[2] The force landed in Bali on 7 May 1848 in the area of Sangsit.[2]

Dutch artillery moving towards Jagaraga.

The Balinese numbered 16,000, including about 1,500 equipped with firearms under Jelantik.[2] After the Dutch landing, the Balinese withdrew to their fortified position in Jagaraga about 4 kilometers away.[2]

The Dutch attacked the Balinese in Jagaraga despite the intense tropical heat. The Balinese counter-attacked and routed the Dutch, who left 200 dead and had to reimbark on their ships.[2]

After this humiliating defeat, the Dutch would return, this time successfully, with the Dutch intervention in Bali (1849).[2]


  1. Bali & Lombok by Ryan Ver Berkmoes p.31
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 A short history of Bali: Indonesia's Hindu realm by Robert Pringle p.98
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