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Thread: Thai Historical Tidbits.

  1. #1
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Thai Historical Tidbits.

    Its been suggested that this sort of stuff may be of some interest to the more general TD community , which I had posted elsewhere.
    Asian studies were non existent when I was at school , and I for one have wondered what happened to Thailand while the world was at war , or the Colonists marched across the planet.
    So here are snippets of history pertaining to both Thailand and Phuket. Feel free to add anything of a historical nature to this thread.



    With Anzac Day just passed I was looking at the Thai role in WW2.
    I came across the fact that Phuket was the scene of the last recorded Kamikaze attack in history , all off Cape Promthep. The British ship sunk by them, HMS Vestal , was also the last British ship sunk by enemy fire in WW2.

    HMS Vestal

    I can give more details of the British fleet she was part of , and lots of interesting stuff pertaining to Phuket to those interested , but on Day 3 of the fleets arrival in Phuket waters , July 26 , a single Mitsubishi Ki-50 dive bomber emerged from behind Cape Promthep , climbed high , and made a screeching dive on one HMS Ameer.
    The gunners on near every boat opened up , and just 100 metres short of its target , the bomber , which hadnt fired a shot , exploded into the sea.
    The British blew a sigh of relief, they had heard of the devastation these kamikaze attacks had wrought in the Pacific.

    But at sunset , 3 more Japanese planes emerged from Phuket , this time flying low and straight at the fleet.
    Immediately the evening sky was filled with anti aircraft fire , ack ack guns and tracers , as the British levelled their guns at the lead plane , heading straight for the British Heavy Cruiser HMS Sussex.
    Despite withering fire , the Kamikaze almost hit his target ... not 10 yards from the ship the Japanese aircraft finally blew up , and hit the water once , before ricocheting into Sussex side and dropping under the sea. But the Sussex had heavy armour plating , and the wrecked Zero simply bounced off.

    Then in fear , the men of The Sussex turned their attention to a second plane , bearing down on them with the same mad determination.

    An English crewman , Peter Connald reported this-
    "In the meantime more aircraft flew overhead, one more singled out the Sussex and
    flew straight for her, to try and crash itself into the ship. During those few seconds of
    flight approaching her victim, one plane dropping out of the smoke spotted sky. Once
    again all ack ack guns of the cruiser concentrated on this plane coming in at her. She’s
    hit, a puff of smoke, a brilliant flame, then it went out, the plane banked over, missed the
    ship and continued on making a large arc. At first its course seemed to go in the direction
    of PLUCKY. Would it dive on her? No, she’ll miss that one. On it came to a distance of
    2,000 yards to our port, it flattened out, and with our hearts in our mouths, we saw she
    was going to crash on us. With grim fanatical determination it came, all yellow and
    green, a brand new plane. Undercarriage down, and the pilot’s head just above the
    fuselage. Our guns blazed, the 4 inch let out a shattering bang. But on the plane came.
    Will she hit us? Yes, of all the ships there, we were the target, on it came, nearer and
    nearer and then BOOM!!!! "
    Then...

    "The aircraft had gone, guns were only smoking, our screen laid around us had
    blown away; all seemed quiet, but the devastation and destruction was terrible. The loss
    of life, sixteen, as near as we could reckon. The wounded, many more. The order was
    sent across by D11; “Abandon your ship – we will sink her by gun fire.” We jumped into
    the Punjab, I was second to last leaving. The Captain followed. We pushed off and left
    that smouldering hulk, that only 75 minutes before was a smart Fleet Sweeper, teeming
    with life and laughing, happy faces. The once pride of the flotilla. As we glided away slowly through the gentle swell, she seemed to look after us,
    sadly as a dog left behind by its master when he has gone to work. She was a lady, trying
    to stand up straight, trying to make her last minutes above water proud, to give us a last
    good impression of her, before she was committed to the depths of the dark blue sea. She
    had put up a good fight for her honour. She had served her country in three short years of
    life. She had done well. These were the thoughts that ran through our weary minds, this
    was how we remember her – plucky, faithful and proud. The first rounds of the
    Rotherham struck her magazines and she blew up, and went down in a boiling flaming
    mass of fuel oil. The last we saw, was a glow on the distant horizon."

    (For those wanting a more detailed report , click here...
    http://www.deep-blue-divers.de/image...l/squirrel.pdf)


    But Peter had missed the spectacle of the 3rd and last Kamikaze ever to drop from the skies... It had come level and straight , but by now the British gunners had their 'eye in' , and she had been showered with gunfire, absolutely smothered , and dropped in a ball of fire into the sea some distance out.

    But back on the Vestal , the explosion had claimed 16 lives , and many more wounded, and two more unlucky young 19 year old Englishmen were to pass away that night from their injuries.

    This is a chapter in Phukets history I knew nothing of...

  2. #2
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Next I followed a rumour I heard that the Japanese had invented the current scourge of Thai society , 'yaa baa' and that Kamikaze pilots were high on it when making their attacks. Turns out he Allied and Axis troops found use for it as well.

    I found this on Wiki -

    "One of the earliest uses of methamphetamine was during World War II, when it was used by Axis and Allied forces.[99] The company Temmler produced methamphetamine under the trademark Pervitin and so did the German and Finnish militaries. It was also dubbed "Pilot's chocolate" or "Pilot's salt".[100] It was widely distributed across rank and division, from elite forces to tank crews and aircraft personnel, with many millions of tablets being distributed throughout the war.[101] Its use by German Panzer crews also lead to it being known as "Panzerschokolade" ("Panzer chocolate" or "tankers' chocolate").[102][103] More than 35 million three-milligram doses of Pervitin and the closely related Isophan were manufactured for the German army and air force between April and July 1940.[104] From 1942 until his death in 1945, Adolf Hitler may have been given intravenous injections of methamphetamine by his personal physician Theodor Morell. It is possible that it was used to treat Hitler's speculated Parkinson's disease, or that his Parkinson-like symptoms that developed from 1940 onwards resulted from using methamphetamine.[105] In Japan, methamphetamine was sold under the registered trademark of Philopon (ヒロポン[106] hiropon[107]) by Dainippon Pharmaceuticals (present-day Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma [DSP]) for civilian and military use. As with the rest of the world at the time, the side effects of methamphetamine were not well studied, and regulation was not seen as necessary. In the 1940s and 1950s the drug was widely administered to Japanese industrial workers to increase their productivity.[108]
    Methamphetamine and amphetamine were given to Allied bomber pilots during World War II to sustain them by fighting off fatigue and enhancing focus during long flights. The experiment failed because soldiers became agitated, could not channel their aggression and showed impaired judgment.[97] Rather, dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) became the drug of choice for American bomber pilots, being used on a voluntary basis by roughly half of the U.S. Air Force pilots during the Persian Gulf War, a practice which came under some media scrutiny in 2003 after a mistaken attack on Canadian troops.[109]"

    Japan, Land Of The Rising Meth | Tofugu
    Last edited by Chob; 22nd May 2013 at 20:12.

  3. #3
    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    Awesome stuff Chob I find this stuff extremely interesting.
    .

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    That link again....

    Japan, Land Of The Rising Meth | Tofugu

    Trincomalee , on the west coast of old Ceylon , was an important fit out base for the RN , and this damaged fleet made haste back to their after the action I described above.
    Ive been to Trinco , and its a very quiet port today.

    It looms large in 'British in Phuket/Penang' history , and will be touched upon again.

    After repairs in Trincomalee , this Fleet sailed north again , to join a huge armada readying an assault on the Malay Peninsula. A forward observation team of British commandos were met on Laem Sing beach at night by Thai resistance fighters ( named Seri Thai ) while the armada loaded troops from India , Africa and Britain on the Andaman islands.
    This was about August 10 , 1945.
    But on the 6th and 9th , atomic bombs had been deployed on Japan , and on the very day of the armadas departure , Japan surrendered.
    There must have been many a soldier on these boats , who wept tears of joy at this news.

  5. #5
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    A few odd incidents happened about this time.
    A British Dakota civilian plane , struggling through a storm 2 weeks after the Japanese surrender and on its way from newly liberated Singapore to Rangoon , was forced to make an emergency landing in Phuket.
    The captain reported , "We were soon surrounded by natives , fortunately one passenger could make himself understood. The first thing we wanted to know was , 'Are there any Japanese here?' Their answer was , 'Yes, about a hundred'."

    Within minutes a Japanese army truck came racing out to the plane.
    The captain again , "...I ...tried to look stern though my knees were shaking a bit as I didnt know what their attitade was going to be.... I decided to take the offensive and asked how many men he had ....and ended up by ordering them to go back to their camp and stay there until the British Navy came for them in 2 days time - a story I made up on the spur of the moment. This they proceeded to do..."
    He also comments on the abundance of local fruits , clearly a man used to the deprivations of war rations...
    the British Navy did not arrive for another 3 weeks , BTW.

    By then , the Japanese had dumped all their heavy weapons and vehicles , according to locals , in the waters of Pak Pra , just west of the Saphan Sarasin Bridges location today.
    I couldnt find any varification , but one author claimed that 2 young Japanese soldiers , remained 'hidden in the jungles of South Thailand ' , when their armies surrendered peacefully.
    He claimed they soon joined a band of communist rebels and ended up on the Malay border , skirmishing against both British Malay anti-communist forces , and Thai government troops , until 1990 when they were in their 70s...

    OK , found something in the last entry here:

    Japanese Holdouts: Registry-
    http://www.wanpela.com/holdouts/registry.html

    Actually , a close read of the above link is for me extremely interesting.
    One of these blokes , the 'Formosan' lived alone in the jungle ALONE for 20 years , and then dies only 3 years after being repatriated to Taiwan.

    (Later Entry)
    I thought they had more success than he claims...

    Dogfights — History.com Videos
    http://www.history.com/shows/dogfigh...ntom-vs-mig-17

    Some fun....

    History.com Trivia
    Last edited by Chob; 22nd May 2013 at 20:26.

  6. #6
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabbits View Post
    Awesome stuff Chob I find this stuff extremely interesting.
    Cheers mate ..as I say , anything of a historical or archival nature about Thailand and its close neighbours is welcome here...

  7. #7
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    This map , while released by Nationalists as sort of a call to arms in recent crises , should be viewed in order to understand some of the Siam , or Thailand , that once existed , and will be referred to in future references...
    [Note: the small information boxes , are refutes by non aligned 'historians' and critics of the veracity of this clip]

    Last edited by Chob; 22nd May 2013 at 20:40.

  8. #8
    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    Quite fluid the borders for many reasons...Not finished yet maybe.
    .

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Mr. Smiley's Avatar
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    Thanks for the history pointers. Always interesting to see how past relationships can influence the present.
    Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

  10. #10
    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    And its not as quiet as we might like in some parts this was added to MW's village after the last altercation about 2 years ago.
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm-990.jpg
    .

  11. #11
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    When the British and Colonial troops arrived in Phuket , the Japanese surrendered immediately , and since they had committed no reported atrocities , they were peacefully forwarded to Singapore.
    The Chinese , who had suffered many losses and ill treatment under the war time leadership of Nationalist leader Phibun ( more on him later) , took to celebrating an Allied victory over Thailand , and , of course , this was viewed very dimly by the Thais. ( Face being what it is.)
    As far as the Thai leadership were concerned , Thailand had now won its part of the war.
    The upshot was rioting in Bangkok , culminating in troops opening fire on anti-nationalist and Chinese protesters , with 27 killed and 180 injured.

    Demonstrating the cultural insensitivity they are still accused of today , the Thais , whilst thrilled the tiresome Japanese were gone , became miffed that the Allied occupation force was 65% Indian. Their leader Phibun had capitailized on Thai sentiments of cultural superiority through the war years ( like pretty much every other nation), and had openly encouraged Thais to look down on their Asian neighbours.

    Thus the Thai Military Liason Officer to Washington was recorded as complaining to the Americans that the British were humiliating the Thais , and the Thai Army 'hated' the Indian Armies presence and this was causing "great friction...since the Thai army is very hostile to Indians ....even your American negroes would be preferable."
    Politically correct , the Thais generally are not ...

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    I was recently at the Airforce base in Prachuap Kiri Kahn where they have a display of WWII Planes (Japanese) as well as flying the Japanese flag along side the Thai flag... It made me think what role Thailand played throughout the war, my understanding was that they allowed Japan unoficialy to occupy to avoid them invading as Burma was more their agenda.
    Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

  13. #13
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Understanding the historical non-affiliation of Thailand with every other nation due to the fact that every other nation wanted to colonize or annex them or just screw them over , plus the turmoil of having 700 years of royalty overthrown and a tumultuous new system in place in the 30s , goes some way to explaining the Thai situation and its leaders duplicity at the commencement of World War 2.
    Ive resarched a bit on that which I'll post in the next few days PBB.

  14. #14
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    Chob
    This is really great, please keep going
    it is really interesting.
    Although I am pretty familiar with many parts of WW2
    I have never come across anything that has addressed the surrender of the Japanese here ro
    anything about the Kamikaze attack

  15. #15
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Supan Buri 141 [800x600].JPGSupan Buri 142 [800x600].JPGSupan Buri 140 [800x600].JPGSupan Buri 143 [800x600].JPG

    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    I was recently at the Airforce base in Prachuap Kiri Kahn where they have a display of WWII Planes (Japanese) as well as flying the Japanese flag along side the Thai flag... It made me think what role Thailand played throughout the war, my understanding was that they allowed Japan unoficialy to occupy to avoid them invading as Burma was more their agenda.
    Maybe you can give me more info on this PBB... Id like to have a look next time.
    I had to drive into a Thai Air Force base while there near PKK , and actually across an airstrip to get to the beach.
    Was that the place?

    Heres pics of the beach... as you probably know , this bay was one of the 7 points the Japanese landed in Thailand , and the one closest to Burma. It was shallow and the landings here went seamlessly.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    Great thread Chob. It is interesting to find out these little known facts about WW2

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Great stuff Chob. I am going to try to get Dad's war service record (RN) Haven't a clue how yet, but if there is anything to add from it re action in the Indian Ocean side, I'd be glad to. He only opened up to me once about it during his life and it was about the fear they all felt waiting for the Jap advance.

  18. #18
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    We used to use The Public Records Office in London a long time ago , but apparently section 3 here, or section 6 if he was an officer , is the way to go now.

    Information about requesting service records

    But if he finished service before 1970 ( I think), he should have been given his records on discharge. Do you know where they are?
    What you really need is the names of the vessels he sailed on and dates , the net will provide an instant history of where each RN boat sailed and saw action at.

    ( The Indian Ocean was considered Britains safest sea at one point. Even the Japanese sweated about sailing it , and this is partly why they chose to invade Burma by land across Thailand. Britain had ports and bases in S.A. , Kenya , Tanzania , Somalia , Aden in Yemen , Greater India , Ceylon , Mauritius , Burma , Malaya and Australia. Japan and Germany had none.)

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน RakThai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chob View Post
    Understanding the historical non-affiliation of Thailand with every other nation due to the fact that every other nation wanted to colonize or annex them or just screw them over , plus the turmoil of having 700 years of royalty overthrown and a tumultuous new system in place in the 30s , goes some way to explaining the Thai situation and its leaders duplicity at the commencement of World War 2.
    Ive resarched a bit on that which I'll post in the next few days PBB.
    The most difficult part of history, is put put what you read in the right time and political perspective..
    In this post you word it very well I think.. Thailand was reluctant to bet on any horse in this race.. But where the French, the Brittish and the Chinese had been stealing land away..
    The japanese were non colonial..

    Very interesting in a similar discussion on the role of Thailand in the second WW on another forum, is that American history writes that Thailand was occupied by the Japanese, while European history says they collaborated..
    There are loads of arguments for both point of view, but more importantly, I think, is that the writing of history (both from the Americans as the Europeans) depends on political interests served by labeling it one way or the other..

  20. #20
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chob View Post
    Supan Buri 143 [800x600].JPG



    Maybe you can give me more info on this PBB... Id like to have a look next time.
    I had to drive into a Thai Air Force base while there near PKK , and actually across an airstrip to get to the beach.
    Was that the place?

    Heres pics of the beach... as you probably know , this bay was one of the 7 points the Japanese landed in Thailand , and the one closest to Burma. It was shallow and the landings here went seamlessly.
    Yes thats the one Chob.... Ao Manow

    Last edited by PatongBeachBoy; 23rd May 2013 at 07:20.
    Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

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