The fate of the Dutch East Indies – a prize rich in natural resources and one of the prime objectives of the Japanese expansion – had been decided by the naval clashes off the coast of Java. After a pre-dawn landing on 1 March, elements of the Shoji Detachment overran Soebang and attacked the Kaldjati airfield. By 1230, the 100 Allied troops defending the installation had been wiped out and the Japanese set about organizing defensive positions in anticipation of the arrival of the fighters of the 3rd Air Brigade. But the Allied Command realized the importance of such an airfield on the front lines. Near mid-morning the next day, elements of an Indonesian infantry regiment supported by British light tanks attacked Soebang with plans to press on to the airfield.