If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

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AnchorSteam
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Re: If Siam had resisted; December 1941

Post by AnchorSteam » 23 Feb 2021 18:02

Terry Duncan wrote:
23 Feb 2021 09:43
AnchorSteam wrote:
23 Feb 2021 03:48
maltesefalcon wrote:
22 Feb 2021 22:35
I'm curious why the OP title used the term Siam? AFAIK the country was known as Thailand at the time of the Pacific War.

(Just like no one would refer to my own country as British North America today.)
You know, you are right about that!

The signature of King Mongkut (r. 1851–1868) reads SPPM (Somdet Phra Poramenthra Maha) Mongkut Rex Siamensium (Mongkut King of the Siamese), giving the name Siam official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to "Thailand".[20] Thailand was renamed Siam from 1946 to 1948, after which it again reverted to "Thailand".

All this time, I had been thinking that the change that was made in 1948 was the only one.

Good job, but I don't know if I can change the title now.
Did you want the title to be changed?
Yes, please, and thanks for the help!

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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Feb 2021 13:26

As a nearly completely irrelevant aside, at my school the senior boys would teach the Siamese national anthem to the junior boys syllable by syllable. Luckily it apparently had the same tune as the British National Anthem:

Senior boy, "Oh".

Junior boy, "Oh".

Senior boy, "Wa".

Junior boy, "Wa"

Senior boy, "Ta".

Junior boy, "Ta".

Senior boy, "Na".

Junior boy, "Na".

Senior boy, "Siam".

Junior boy, "Siam".

Senior boy, "Now sing it to the tune of God Save the Queen".

Unsuspecting Junior boy sings, "Oh, Wa ta na Siam".

Sid.

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AnchorSteam
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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by AnchorSteam » 04 Mar 2021 18:44

I have no idea what the point of that could be.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Mar 2021 23:17

Hi Anchorstream,

Obviously "nearly completely irrelevant asides" don't carry quite as far as "WAY out there"!

Don't worry, you haven't missed anything of importance.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Mar 2021 05:34

That was a pleasant diversion. The version I witnessed as a child, required the innocente' to repeat the phrase "I was born on a Pirate Ship" without moving the lips. Try it, I double dog dare ya.

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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by AnchorSteam » 05 Mar 2021 05:35

Oh, okay, no problem.

Something other than irrelevant is a lively little account of actual Thai resistance to the invasion.

https://web.archive.org/web/20091027105 ... chuap.html

The rate of exchange is very encouraging for the Thai, but the failure to hold a critical objective is not.

And then there is this item;
With hopes of relief fading away, the Wing Commander ordered that all officers should save a bullet each for themselves, and that those who wish to could and should attempt to break out and head for the forests. The rest, including the wounded, were to fall back on Mount Laum Mwuak.
Word of how the Japanese were about prisoners must have reached them already, perhaps from China, but that is still a fairly hard-core thing to order in a war that had only gone on for one day!

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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by Sid Guttridge » 13 Mar 2021 19:40

Hi Anchorstream,

That used to be a very interesting site but, regretably, most of it seems to be down at present. I would particularly recommend the "Shan States Campaign 1942-45" if it comes back up.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Mar 2021 14:46

Hi Anchorstream,

I have found the following discussion on Thai and Japanese casualties:

Thai and Japanese casualties on 8 December 1941 The number of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians from both sides varies greatly between sources. Colonel Andô count ed 45 dead and wounded Japanese soldiers in Pattani (Andô, 1956). The History of the 42nd Infantry Regiment counts 23 deaths in and around Pattani (42 IR, 1988, p. 796), of whom, 22 names are enlisted (42 IR, 1988 pp. 798–865, in the list of 2,471 dead soldiers and officers between 1937 and 1945). Reynolds cites Tamura, the Japanese military attaché at Bangkok, who counted 250 Japanese casual ties and 150 Thai casualties (Reynolds, 1994, p. 98, n. 70).

The Thai casualties in and around Pattani were estimated by Japanese at the time at ‘around 500’ (dead and wounded, by Kanayama, 1983, p. 51), while a Thai delegation reported 49 deaths with names (soldiers, policemen, civilians, and members of ‘Yuwachon Thahan’). This overestimation corresponds with that of the Thai: some popular literature suggests even 300 Japanese deaths within a few hours (e.g., web page ’The Japanese Invasion of Pattani’). Among battlefield casualties, the number of enemies dead or wounded can be overestimated, and during the war, both sides attempted to exaggerate enemy losses and to minimise their own casualties. However, the Thai maintain those exaggerations even 70 years after the war. On 8 December 2013, a ceremony was held at Inkayut Air Base, near Pattani, commemorating the victims. A Thai army officer I spoke with mentioned the 200 Japanese soldiers killed at Pattani.

The Japanese count of their casualties at the battle at Pattani seems to be exact. The History of the 42nd Infantry Regiment lists 2,471 dead during WWII (1937–45), including 23 in Pattani, 22 of whom are identified by name and home town.

The total death count does not ap pear arbitrarily minimised, as one infantry regiment usually had 8,000 soldiers, and the 42nd IR lost very few after the siege of Singapore in February 1942. Each of Japan’s 47 prefectural offices has a list of fallen soldiers from the prefecture. The editors of the History of the 42nd IR investigated the list at the Yamaguchi Prefectural Office 40 years after the war and found 22 of the 23 dead at Pattani. The remaining one seems to have been recruited from another prefecture (42 IR, 1988, p. 796f).
The situation appears to be the same at other battlefields. In the last scene of the film the Young Soldiers (Euthana, 2000), it is superimposed that during the battle on 8 December 1941, casualties were ‘Japanese side 200, Thai side 10, Yuwachon Thahan 0’. There were 12 Japanese casualties in Chumphon, according to research by Japanese veterans (Hidden Battles, 1977, p. 17).

The same is the case at Prachuap Khiri Khan. A website ‘The Japanese Invasion of Prachuap Khiri Khan’ recounts:

‘The Thais suffered 38 dead and 27 wounded. Japanese sources state that they suffered a total of 115 dead. 51 of the men killed, including two company commanders, belonged to the 143rd Infantry Regiment’s 2nd Battalion. Estimates of Japanese losses by the Thais were put at 217 dead and over 300 wounded, although exact details are not known.’

The ‘Japanese source’ stating ‘115 dead’ is unknown. According to the Japanese official history of the war, the landing force at Prachuap Khiri Khan had 1,007 soldiers, including auxiliary, non-infantry soldiers (Malay Campaign, 1966, p. 234). The more than 500 casualties at Prachuap Khiri Khan should be impossible. Japanese veterans count 86 dead in the two-day battle (Hidden Battles,1977, p.35).

A Japanese translation of ‘Japanese Invaded Nakon’ by Saad Khamasunthorn counts 39 dead from the Thai side (Saad, 1981, p. 164).The author, the commander of Juwachon Thahan, heard the locals say that the casual ties from the Japanese side seemed to be four times those from the Thai side, or more than 150 (Saad, 1981, p. 166), while Japanese veterans identify 7 dead with their names from the battle of Nakon (Hidden Battles, 1977, p. 24).

How should this enormous discrepancy be interpreted? So long as the war goes on, the statistics may be hidden or manipulated for propaganda or in order to hide information. As mentioned earlier, the Thai-Japanese battles on the first day of the war were hidden in Japan. Nevertheless, as the Japanese veterans visited the places of war and edited the history of their regiments 40 to 50 years after the war, they had no reason to hide or minimise the number of fallen comrades. The soldiers who landed at Chumphon, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Surat Thani, and Nakhon sri Thammarat be longed to the 143rd Infantry Regiment, which lost most of its soldiers in Burma in 1944–45. As the veteran soldiers edited a history of the regiment, they identified the names of more than 4,280 fallen soldiers (143 IR, 1982, pp. 677–762). It is hard to imagine that they would fabricate history only for 8 December 1941 by dramatically reducing the number of casualties from 150 to 7 at Nakon, 500 to 86 at Prachuap Khiri Khan, 200 to12 at Chumphon, and 200 to 23 in Pattani.


Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by AnchorSteam » 14 Mar 2021 20:26

Sid Guttridge wrote:
13 Mar 2021 19:40
Hi Anchorstream,

That used to be a very interesting site but, regretably, most of it seems to be down at present. I would particularly recommend the "Shan States Campaign 1942-45" if it comes back up.

Cheers,

Sid.
Yes, what are they doing there? Either its an editing process or they might have been hit with some sort of ransomware.

The casualty figures do seem to be all over the place, as is so often the case, but I don't even know why the Japanese would want to obfuscate the true figures in this case.
Force of habit?
If I had been there, I'd try to make it look as if the Thai had a better kill-ratio than anyone else at the time.
1) it would salve their pride at a very difficult time for them.
2) it could lead the Allied powers to dread further encounters with the Thai, at least a little, and the Axis powers were all about the psy-ops.

Even if they were a captive ally, even more so than Finland, Thailand did become the closest thing Japan had to a friendly nation in the whole of Asia. So, due to the fact that they didn't resist, should Thailand be regarded as an Axis power?

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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Mar 2021 21:31

Hi Anchorstream,

Given that Thailand occupied the Shan States in Burma and part of northern Malaya, considering it Axis was certainly an option at the time. On the other hand they did not come into conflict with British troops in either, and the only casualties they inflicted were on Vichy France and Japan. Clearly political decisions were made on this in London.

I don't think the casualty figures are all over the place. Each side's estimates of the other's losses are going to be less informed than their estimates of their own.

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: If Thailand had resisted; December 1941

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Mar 2021 13:34

Hi Anchortsyeam,

You post, "It would probably be a mistake to discount the fighting ability of Siamese flyers, one of them was the first pilot to shoot down a B-29, after all."

I can't find any evidence of this. Where do you get it from?

Cheers,

Sid.

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