Republic of Thailand

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Republic of Thailand
Flag of the Republic
Ruling Party Khana Ratsadon
Head of StatePresident Plaek Phibunsongkhram
Head of GovernmentWichit
Sphere Co-Prosperity Sphere
Foreign Alignment Independent Member
of the Co-Prosperity Sphere
Credit Rating Good
Market Type Corporatism

The Republic of Thailand, commonly known as just Thailand, is a country in South-East Asia. It is an independent member of the Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere, a rarity unlike its other Indochinese neighbours.

The country is bordered to the north by Yunnan, to the south by the Military Governorate of Shonan-Marai, to the north-west by the Union of Burma; and the east by the Kingdom of Kampuchea and the Kingdom of Laos.

An original Axis member during World War II, Thailand saw great territorial gains in the peace deals, mainly in the Malay Peninsula, where it regained the control of the Northern Malay states of Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu that was lost in the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909.

History (World War II)[edit | edit source]

In the early hours of June 24th, 1932, the course of a small, rather insignificant Southeast Asian nation would change forever. Siam, once a feudal, absolutist relic of the past with an illusion of independence under the mercy of the British ever since the mid-1800s, had just overthrown its absolute monarchy.

Under his leadership, Plaek Phibunsongkhram modeled his government and reforms explicitly based on Mussolini's reform through modernization and westernization of Thai life through fashion, film, and eating utensils; but the most effort was expended on creating a national state, respected amongst its peers.

At the start of the Pacific War, the Japanese Empire pressured the Thai government to allow the passage of Japanese troops to invade British-held Malaya and Burma.

Despite this pressure, Thailand officially adopted a neutral position during World War II until the five hour-long Japanese invasion of Thailand on 8 December 1941, which led to an armistice and military alliance treaty between Thailand and the Japanese Empire in mid-December 1941. After the invasion and the untimely bombing of Bangkok by Allied Bombers, Thailand capitulated further to Japanese demands.

The Thai government under Phibun also considered it profitable to co-operate with the Japanese, since Thailand saw Japan as an ally against Western imperialism and retaking their lost lands in Indochina.

Taking advantage of the miraculous fascist victories in Europe, and buoyed by Japanese promises, Phibun and his general staff launched several campaigns into surrounding French and British territory in Indochina and Malaya, while the Japanese were still largely tied down on the Burmese and Chinese fronts.

Internal Conflict[edit | edit source]

Meanwhile, the Thai government had split into two factions: the Phibun regime and the Free Thai Movement, a pro-Allied resistance movement that was supported by government officials allied to the regent Pridi Banomyong.

The movement was active from 1942, resisting the Phibun regime and the Japanese. The partisans provided espionage services to the Allies, performed some sabotage activities that damaged Phibun's image, however it had failed to make any headway. Despite their failure, the existence of this organisation proved a thorn in Phibun's side to acquring absolute authority.

A Backstab and the Economic Stagnation[edit | edit source]

By the late 1940s, the war had ended. Despite managing to remove the Monarchy, his last obstacle to absolute authority, Phibun had to compromise with those who reluctantly helped him with Pridi Banomyong’s Clique in governmental affairs, whilst the military broke into factions loyal to Kat Katsongkhram, Sarit Thanarat and Phin Choonhavan.

Furthermore, Plaek's dreams of dominion over the entire Indochinese region were dashed when the Japanese quickly moved to occupy any remaining Allied colonial holdings following the end of the war. Instead of her own dominion, Thailand received small provinces near the border with Cambodia and the former Malay states lost in the Anglo-Siamese Treaty.

To add insult to injury, at the end of the decade, as a result of the monsoon season, severe flooding of the Chao Phraya river resulted in almost a million dead and the nation's infrastructure in tatters. Seizing the chaos as an opportunity, the Japanese Zaibatsus pounced and aggressively secured extremely favorable trade deals in the devastated nation. This mauled Bangkok’s industry and threw Thailand into chaos as it became a resource-based economy virtually overnight.

As a result, Phibun’s influence grew smaller as the Pridi-dominated cabinet began pushing towards parliamentarization and de-participation of the Khana Ratsadon. Despite this, Phibun would find an opening to regain control in 1949 with the beginning of Operation Issara, a major military invasion of Laos and Cambodia to “pacify the communist threat” and for Thailand to finally exert control of it’s lost land once more.

However, this was also crushed after Japanese intervention, resulting in desperate negotiations and public discontent, with the last nail in the coffin being Sarit Thanarat’s Coup of 1957, reducing Phibun into nothing but a mere figurehead.

Despite Sarit’s eccentric personality, his drunken rampage would eventually save Phibun’s legacy. As a result of his drunken ramapge, the state apparatus took the opportunity to remove Sarit from his post, restoring the status quo and the previous balance of power by 1960. However, at the cost of the military now having a clear dominance over civilian institutions.

This leaves the Republic of Thailand in 1962, not one of glorious liberation, but a nation ravaged by decades of war, natural disasters, political chaos and infighting.

The old marshal's health reflects the nations state, as Phibun's health begins to falter. This means that a successor must be found soon, a topic that not even Phibun seems to care about, wishing instead that he could escape the capital and spend the last of his days in peace, yet unfortunately for the Marshal, his own creation wouldn’t be so kind to him…