- Hobbs, D.A., MBE, Commander, RN
- WWII operations
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 2000 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Whatever its shortcomings, Operation Meridian was extremely successful. Production at Pladjoe was considerably reduced and that at Soengei Gerong stopped completely until the end of March. The combined production of both refineries was restored to no more than 35% of their previous potential by the end of May and full production was never restored by the Japanese before their surrender. Japan was, in any case, desperately short of oil and the effect of the attack on the Palembang Refineries on the war was incalculable. Taken with the earlier attack on Pangkalan Brandan, in the north of Sumatra, they were probably the British Pacific Fleet’s greatest contribution to Allied victory.
At the same time Operation Meridian demonstrated to the Americans in no uncertain terms that the Royal Navy was capable of operating a carrier task force that could engage and defeat Japanese shore based air forces. Any lingering doubts about the BPF’s value fighting alongside the US Pacific Fleet were dispelled. Notwithstanding the problems encountered with the replenishment at sea, Force 63 had operated successfully over a period at sea that had not been common since the days of sail and shown that the ‘ad hoc’ arrangement of supply ships could be made to work.