It took four years of war before the Netherlands acknowledged the independence of Indonesia.Part of the Dutch Navy was next stationed in Netherlands New Guinea until that, too, was turned over to the Indonesian government in 1962.After the war, the relations between the Netherlands and its colonies changed dramatically.
During the relentless Japanese offensive of February through April 1942 in the Dutch East Indies, the Dutch navy in Asia was virtually annihilated, and it sustained losses of a total of 20 ships (including two of its three light cruisers) and 2,500 sailors killed—as much as the Americans at Pearl Harbor.
The Dutch navy had suffered from years of underfunding and came ill-prepared to face an enemy with more and heavier ships with better weapons, including the Long Lance-torpedo, with which the cruiser Haguro sank the light cruiser HNLMS De Ruyter.
Both British and American forces believed that the Dutch admiral in charge of the joint-Allied force was being far too aggressive.
Later in the war, a few Dutch submarines scored some remarkable hits, including one on a Kriegsmarine U-boat in the Mediterranean Sea.
The main naval base is located at Den Helder, North Holland.