Karel Doorman

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Karel Doorman in 1930

Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman (April 23 1889 - February 28 1942) was a Dutch admiral (Dutch: schout-bij-nacht) during World War II.

In 1942 he was made commander of the combined American, British, Dutch and Australian fleet in the Dutch East Indies.

In February 1942, he led his fleet against a much stronger Japanese fleet in the Java Sea. This battle became a disaster for the Allies. Doorman became a hero in the Netherlands, partly of his last words to the fleet: "Ik val aan, volg mij!" (I am attacking, follow me).

Karel Doorman died when his ship De Ruyter (named after the famous Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter) was hit by a torpedo and sank. There was enough time to escape, but Doorman rather went under with his ship, according to old tradition.