From: Eastern US
I think I will have the to look at the Thai units also.
I suspect the Thai Army Leadership may have became more effective over during the war. Anyone have any ideas on them.
It's hard to tell. There's not much about Thai military leadership on English-language websites. On the one hand, in a series of small-unit actions, the Thai Army drove French-led Indochinese forces from the west bank of the Mekong in Laos in the January, 1941 border war. In the only battle of any size, a division-sized Thai force blunted a Vichy attack near Sisyphon, in Cambodia. The Thai Air Force won particularly good reviews.
On the other hand, the Thai Army was very political. The Army overthrew the civilian government in a 1932 coup, and later forced the King into exile. Prime Minister / Field Marshal Phibun Songkhram led a fractured government of mutually-suspicious military factions, frustrated civilian democrats, and military and civilian conservativers plotting the return of the King. It is to be expected that the senior Army commanders were chosen primarily out of loyalty to Phibun.
Thai forces did not do much fighting in World War II. The government declared war against the Allies on January 25, 1942. On May 10th the Thais invaded the Shan States (in AE, the roadless patch of jungle in Burma between Chaing Mai and the Chinese border. Lieutenant General Jarun Rattanakuln Seriroengrit commanded three infantry divisions and a cavalry division against one Chinese division (the 93rd). After some skirmishing, the 93rd abandoned Kentung, the largest town in the area. The Thais occupied it on May 27th. By one account, General Pin Choonhavan led the infantry into the town.
That 17-day campaign was the only significant fighting that the Thai Army did during World War II. In 1943 the Thai government signed an armistice (with the 93rd Chinese Division commander!) that ended the fighting.
From a distance, the campaign does not appear well-managed. The cavalry division was broken up when many of the malnourished horses died. Alarmed by the death toll among his troops from malaria and dengue fever, Phibun visited Kentung in early 1943 and ordered 10 tons of quinine and "a hundred ox-carts of bananas" and other supplies sent there.
< Message edited by Blackhorse -- 3/17/2012 7:55:40 PM >
WitP-AE -- US LCU & AI Stuff
Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?