Palembang is the capital of South Sumatra, a province of Indonesia. The city dates back to the 7th century and has always been known for its strong shipping and maritime links. These drew the attention of the Dutch traders and the region became part of the Dutch East Indies in 1825.
During World War II, Palembang was a strategic target of the Japanese, because of its shipping connections and its oil refineries. The Japanese took control of the refineries and held them until the end of the War. Indonesian nationalism grew after the war. On 8 October 1945, locals raised the Indonesian flag in a gesture of Palembang’s independence from the Dutch. Seemingly not in a hurry, the Dutch waited until 1 January 1947 to lay siege of Palembang, leading to the Battle of Five Days and Nights which saw the republicans ousted from the city. The Battle was part of a wider fight for independence, eventually won by Indonesia in 1949.