Some 6,800 .32 Cal. Colt Model M's were ordered by the Dutch government between 1940 and 1942. This Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless was shipped to the Royal Netherlands, Indies Commission in New York, New York on November 5th, 1941 in a 200 gun shipment. These pistols were ordered to aid in the effort for the Netherlands, Britain and the United States to defend the colony from the invading Japanese forces.
The Netherlands East Indies (Dutch East Indies) was a Dutch colony consisting of what is now Indonesia. Japan's World War II occupation dismantled much of the Dutch colonial state and economy. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Indonesian nationalists continued to fight for sovereignty until it was formally recognized in 1949.