On the night of 28 February, the main Japanese force landed on western Java, while a secondary landing took place at Eretan Wetan in central Java. Colonel Shoji’s Battle Group of 3,000 men landed unopposed. His forces captured the nearby Kalidjati Air Base the next morning, sending shockwaves through the Allied command. As Shoji’s isolated force was outnumbered and highly dependent on air support, Japanese fighters and ground attack aircraft were immediately transferred to Kalidjati. Emboldened, Shoji attacked towards Bandoeng, meeting Dutch troops at the Tjiater Pass on 5 March. The defense barely held on the first day, forcing the Japanese into a flanking move through difficult terrain towards the Tolhek crossroads just south of the Pass. After another day of relentless aerial assault on Dutch (KNIL) forces, the Japanese infantry launched their attack at this key road junction at 1700.
Attacker: Japanese (Shoji Detachment, 230th Regiment, 38th Division)
Defender: Dutch (Reserve Officers Training Corps, 2nd Company, II Infantry Regiment,2nd Mountain Artillery Battalion)