SBS Ruin the Indonesian Border Terrorists’ Naked Breakfast Party

I’ve been flicking through SBS: The Inside Story of the Special Boat Service again and wanted to share this story that I read. I enjoyed it.

So the SBS are attached to the Gurkhas, although it wasn’t working well. They both have the same ideas in that stealth was the order of the day and then smash the enemy to pieces, a tactic used since the SBS were created.

SBS: The Inside Story of the Special Boat Service

The SBS recce missions had proved vital throughout Malaya and Borneo in the early 60’s and they probably prevented a full-scale war from developing.

I’m enjoying reading about these battles which were before my time, and thought that this little one was worth sharing.

This happened around the Indonesian border when the SBS were present there. The Indonesian Border Terrorists (IBT) were often discovered to have camps not far away. The SBS received information of a camp located on the Indonesian coast just across the border from Milano.

The SBS had to recce the camp and see if it was still in use by the IBT. Then the Gurkhas would attack the camp if it was.

An assault boat was used to tow SBS recce canoes — often used successfully — to around a mile or so from the landing spot. This was within easy paddling distance of the camp. They wanted the safety of a fast craft not too far away in case they needed to get out quick.

They also had a coastal minesweeper off in the area to monitor radar for enemy vessels. The SBS arrived at their landing point around 200 to 300 metres away from the camp. They stashed the canoes at the back of beach like always and waited for daylight.

The jungle here was so thick that a daylight recce was needed. Add to that the threat of booby traps and they had to be very careful when moving. The plan was that if they were discovered they would leave the canoes where they were and make their way on foot back to safety.

Men of the 2/9th Gurkha Rifles training in the Malayan jungle, October 1941, Malaya.

Inset from the coast they came upon the camp after a while. It was in a jungle clearing but it was empty. Looks like they had missed them (unlike this mission) but there were signs of the IBT conducting training that would lead to a water-borne incursion at some point so at least they had some intelligence.

Not long after this the Gurkhas discovered another camp. It was also being used by the guerrillas but the Gurkhas were massively outnumbered. It was dawn and the Indonesians had a spit-roasted pig on the go, having a breakfast feast. Life of luxury eh?

Going Ahead With the Attack

The Gurkhas decided to attack anyway, despite being outnumbered. They made their approach and fired a 3.5-inch rocket across the river that hit the breakfast party right in its face and exploded. Men were thrown in all directions and the hut they were using turned in to a ball of flames like it was taking part in a magic show.

Breakfast was over. As the Gurkhas moved their two assault teams in they were met with panicking, naked enemy troops running around. I know we like to chill out but eating breakfast naked when you’re at war isn’t the most genius of ideas I would have to say.

The remaining enemies were dealt with and they assaulted the base with covering fire from the support group. There were no live enemy remaining, with blood everywhere and bodies scattered around the camp.

The SBS recce missions had proved vital throughout Malaya and Borneo in the early 60’s and they probably prevented a full-scale war from developing.