The Dutch venture into Indonesia centered on gaining profit from goods. In order to have the prosperity needed to make a profit, the Dutch needed peace and order. For this reason originally, thousands of Dutch troops were sent to Indonesia. Expansion of Dutch interests in the area caused them to invade nearby Sumatra with those troops, and on the tip of that same island, there were a people called the Acehans. This piece of land was valuable to the Dutch when the Suez Canal opened, because its ports would be an important place for merchant vessels to dock. It would be the site of some of the worst human rights violations ever to be committed. The military venture in Aceh was in the end a disaster, socially, and economically.
The first and somewhat large invasion of Aceh in April 1873, numbering 10000 men , came to an abrupt end when they were repelled from the capital and sent back to their fortified positions.
On Christmas day, 1873, an even larger invasion force was sent to subdue the nation of Aceh. This was to prove successful, and in a few months, the capital was taken, and the country placed under Dutch rule. The Dutch had planned on a quick victory like in Sumatra, and expected no resistance from Sumatra's small neighbor whose total population made up less than 1.5% of the population of Indonesia. They were to be bitterly disappointed.
A resistance movement quickly flared up. The reaction was a typical one. There was to be an increase in troops, and this must be crushed completely and violently. New orders were given, which called for no prisoners to be taken. This resulted in many deaths of innocent people. In addition, promotions were given to the officers who killed the...