Aug
2011

Malahayati, the First Female Admiral in The World

Courtesy of Adekrawie

Friday, August 5, 2011
Yusuf Abdac – reviewbagus

Admiral Malahayati is the world’s first female admiral. When the Portuguese try to occupy Aceh, many of men fall in battle. Caused the number of widows in Aceh increased sharply. Seeing this reality, Malahayati have a unique idea to form an widows army named Inong Balee troops. Malahayati herself was a widow since her husband died while fighting the Portuguese. The troops then build the twin fortresses on the coastline of Aceh Besar with the name Inong Balee Fortress better known today as Indrapatra Fortress.

Admiral Malahayati and her troops, led on the front line facing the naval invasion of the Portuguese and Dutch who wanted to control the path of Malacca Strait. Malahayati greatness in leading his troops, makes her military career moved fast to the highest position in the Kingdom of Aceh Navy.

Although Malahayati have the beauty above average, but in solving problems, She tend to be cruel. Under the leadership of Malahayati, Kingdom of Aceh’s naval fleet was transformed into a great power with hundreds of warships.

Cornelius de Houtman was the first Dutch arrived in Indonesia. But when his second visit on 1599, Cornelius tried to shake up the power of Aceh. Cornelius is known as a firm and cruel leader. But above the sky there is another the sky, behind her pretty and charming face, Admiral Malahayati prove that Cornelius’s cruelty is not comparable to the atrocities she had.

Cornelius war fleet shattered. Lots of his men arrested. And Admiral Malahayati kindly give Cornelius de Houtman sweetest smile before she kill Cornelius with her own hand on September 11, 1599. Similliar with the Dutch fleet, the Portuguese fleet is also falling apart at the hands of Admiral Malahayati.

Malahayati reputation as Aceh Kingdom gatekeeper makd the British who want to open trade doors choosed to take the path of peace. Letter from Queen Elizabeth I, brought by James Lancaster to Sultan of Aceh eventually pave the way for Britain to go to Java and open a trading post at Bantam. The success he made was knighted Lancaster after his return to England.

Malahayati now only a name. Name of roads, ports, hospitals, colleges and also KRI Malahayati, frigate warship witn M-38 Exocet missile, Fatahillah class. Although her beautiful face in painting hanging on the wall of submarine museum, Surabaya, Indonesia, but still not many people in Indonesia who paint Malahayati in their memory and also their hearts.

Admiral Malahayati, you’re still a great lady, even though your glory now just become a lost and unappreciated memory.

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