Sunday, August 17, 2008

Confused with history

Still with the spirit of independence day, and the fact that I'm home alone and got nothing to do, I was thinking about some heroic stories from Indonesia's independence day history.

One, the only one indeed, that came in mind was the Battle of Aru Sea. It is the one whose diorama I still remember after my visit to the Satria Mandala museum, thanks to Mas Aroengbinang.

It's truly heroic. One of three Indonesia's warships (MTB, motor torpedo boat,-type) decided to let itself to be a target so that the other two could run away from two Dutch destroyers' attack. The ship, KRI Macan Tutul, eventually got hit and sank.

Googling for more information about the incident, however, led me to some variations from the story I learned back in the elementary school. The version in Wikipedia seems to be the most updated one.

It says, the decision was for all ships to return and sail away. KRI Macan Tutul, unfortunately, got a problem and kept making right turn. (Another version is going straight to the two destroyers.)

Holy moly! What's happened? What has really happened?


Well, the heroes are still heroes. They fought for their country, and they deserved to become heroes. Not only the high-ranked officers. But all who contributed - physically, mentally, or with any other means.

But hell, why histories are tweaked? Were they genuine mistakes? Were they versions of the writers (being subjective)?

If a-century-ago histories are not that accurate, what about those from thousands years ago?

Yes, like today's religions.

I guess the truth is out there... we just want to believe...

Other interesting websites that discuss Indonesia's history are Anusapati (check an entry on heroism) and Beni's Overseas Think Tank for Indonesia.