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Sarit Thanarat

Given NameSarit
Born16 Jun 1908
Died8 Dec 1963


ww2dbaseSarit Thanarat was born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1908 and grew up in his mother's home town northeastern Thailand; the latter led to him considering himself as of the Isan ethnicity. He was educated at a monastery school, and upon graduation he followed his father's footsteps into a military career, starting with the Royal Thai Military Academy in 1919. He completed his military studies in 1928 and was commissioned a second lieutenant. When the war began in Southeast Asia, he led a Royal Thai Army battalion across the border into Burma, fighting alongside of Japanese allies. He spent the remainder of the war leading occupation troops in the Shan State in eastern Burma. After WW2, he was made the commander of 1st Infantry Regiment of the Guards Division, based in Bangkok. At the rank of colonel, he lpayed a leading role in the 1947 coup d'├ętat during which the military, led by Field Marshal Luang Pibunsongkram, overthrew Prime Minister Thawal Thamrong Navaswadhi's government. In 1954, he was made the commander of the Royal thai Army. As Pibunsongkram's government became increasing corrupt, Thanarat threw a coup of his own in Sep 1957, gaining power. An acute health problem, however, led to his brief depature from Thai politics, undergoing medical treatment in the United States. After returning to Thailand, he overthrew fellow co-conspirator of the 1957 coup Thanom Kittikachorn (who would remain loyal to Thanarat and served at his side) in Oct 1958 and established himself as the Prime Minister. Believing that democracy had failed in Thailand, he ruled with absolute power, backed by martial law. For the next five years, he secured funding from the United States and the World Bank which greatly developed Thailand's economy, but at the same time he suppressed all political opposition, the press, and other freedoms previously granted in the early 1950s. He passed away suddenly in 1963 from liver failure. The King of Thailand ordered 21 days of official mourning, with his body lying in state for 100 days. His reputation suffered greatly after this death as truths of his previously hidden wealth and his many mistresses surfaced.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Aug 2014

Sarit Thanarat Timeline

16 Jun 1908 Sarit Thanarat was born in Bangkok, Thailand.
19 Oct 1958 Sarit Thanarat informed his generals his plans for a revolution.
20 Oct 1958 Sarit Thanarat declared himself the Prime Minister of Thailand and imposed martial law.
8 Dec 1963 Sarit Thanarat passed away in Bangkok, Thailand while in office as the Prime Minister of Thailand.
17 Mar 1964 The body of Sarit Thanarat was cremated at a ceremony which was attended by the King and Queen of Thailand.

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» Invasion of Burma

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