Japan: 2nd and 4th Destroyer Flotillas and 5th Cruiser Squadron. Outcome: A Japanese naval victory that enabled the invasion of Java. Unable to locate the Japanese, they returned to base on 27 February but immediately received fresh intelligence and set out again to intercept.
They made contact that afternoon and began to engage the Japanese escorts. The Exeter was hit and, its engines damaged, immediately lost speed.
The surviving Allied destroyers counter-attacked until the Japanese withdrew and were lost from sight. Doorman continued the chase.
By The two Dutch cruisers De Ruyter and Java were hit by torpedoes and blew up simultaneously with a huge loss of life. Defeated, on 28 February the Allied ships left for the safety of Australia.
En route, the damaged Perth and Houston discovered a second Japanese landing and opened fire, inflicting great damage until they were intercepted and sunk. The Japanese started their invasion of Java the same day.
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Even though the Allied and Japanese forces were evenly matched in theory, the Japanese only lost one destroyer compared to the overwhelming losses on the part of the Allies. Somwli Japanese success was largely due to their superior firepower, notably the Long Lance torpedoes, and the fact that communication between the Allied ships was poor or non-existent.
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