In the current era, the vocabulary "soldier" and "student" rarely come together in one complete word, because usually someone can only become a soldier after completing their primary and secondary education as a student. However, this was not the case in the era of Indonesia’s War of Independence. At that time, the words "Student Army" were actually synonymous with the heroic role played by high school and middle school students in the armed struggle to defend independence in the period 1945-1949.
Based on the dynamics of events that have occurred since the Proclamation of Independence on 17 August 1945, followed by escalation which culminated in the outbreak of fighting on 10 November 1945 in Surabaya, the resilience and fighting spirit of the young Republic was tested for the first time in a Baptism of Fire. In the midst of the vicious fighting that raged in Surabaya, a group of armed students consolidated themselves into the Student Army of the Republic of Indonesia (TRIP) East Java Command.
This book immortalizes the journey of the TRIP troops' struggle. Starting from Surabaya, mid-October 1945, to TRIP's rear-guard role in protecting the retreat of Republican troops from Surabaya to defensive positions centered in Malang throughout 1946, and their subsequent withdrawal from Malang after the First Dutch Military Aggression on 21 July 1947. The struggle then continued to the interior of the slopes of Mount Kelud and Arjosari to the Tapal Kuda area and the southern coast of East Java around Banyuwangi, until the recognition of Indonesia’s sovereignty on 27 December 1949.
Everything was done by walking and walking and walking, crossing hundreds of kilometers of paths in the wilderness full of thorns and venomous animals, muddy village roads, and the hot asphalt of burning roads, often barefoot with no foot gear let alone combat shoes, with weapons slung faithfully on his shoulder. In several stages, this journey even involved having to pull and push field artillery piece while repelling air attacks, moving silently as a guerrilla unit, attacking and disappearing, spreading frustration and striking fear on the part of the colonial troops!
It is not surprising that Field Marshall of the TNI (Ret.) Dr. AH. Nasution wrote in his memoir entitled "Fulfilling the Call of Duty (Edition 5 Around the Indonesian War of Independence)", as follows:
"...of the many incidents of patriotism and heroism that have been officially reported, the most prominent is the heroic feats demonstrated by the members of the TRIP units...".
This book is about them, from them, by them, for the Indonesian nation.