In this contribution, the authors want to offer a first response to the observation that research about the use of heavy weapons in the Dutch-Indonesian War yet shows major lacunae. In order to put the Dutch deployment of this ‘indirect fire’, primarily by artillery and fighter planes, into context, the authors first examine how other military forces used heavy arms in the same period as part of regular and irregular wars. In the case of Indonesia, they analyse the use of what is also termed ‘technical violence’ in the Dutch debate and they take a closer look at the ‘Wonosari incident’. They conclude that the Dutch militaries used technical violence in similar ways as other military forces, and they question the common assumption that indirect weapons led to more casualties among non-combatants than direct violence did.
Publication available in open access (article in Dutch)