- Country Profile
country profile Location Southeast Asia, center of the Indochina peninsula Capital Bangkok Population 65,068,149 (June 2007) Area 514,000㎢ (2.3 times the size of the Korean peninsula) Race composition Thai (81%), Overseas Chinese (13%) Religion Buddhism (95%), Muslim (4.5%) Form of government Constitutional monarchy system Language Thai Currency Baht Independence Day N/A Date of diplomatic relationship established Oct. 1, 1958 Military attache establishment Nov. 1960 in Thai, Apr. 1964 in Korea
- Key Roles
Thailand was the first to assist Korea among Asian countries. On June 30, 1950, five days after the war broke out, they demonstrated their will to support the UN resolution by sending 4 tons of rice. The UN Secretary General praised Thailand for their support, saying that “we extend our gratitude for the Thai government’s support for the UN resolution and its decision to send food to Korea.”
Traditionally, Thailand used to hold the policy of neutrality. However, their decision to participate in the war provided an exemplary challenge to the Soviet propaganda which publicized that “only Western imperialists wound dispatch troops to Korea.” Their decision also clearly demonstrated the fact that “the united efforts of the UN to stop North Korea’s aggressions were made to secure the blessings of freedom for mankind.”
When the dispatch of troops to Korea got delayed, Thailand came to a conclusion that the Thai military forces would send a battalion-size unit of 1,000 soldiers. Besides this battalion unit, Thailand also sent 2 frigates, and the C-47 transport aircraft belonging to Royal Thailand Air Force for the support of naval and air operations.
The bravery of the Thai battalion unit was explicitly demonstrated in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. In this battle, the Chinese forces attacked the hill three times, but Thai soldiers successfully defended the hill till the end with hand-to-hand fighting and counter strikes. With this battle, the Thai soldiers came to have a nickname, “Little Tiger.”
Participation History Unit Participation Period Note Army
Nov. 1950 to Jun. 1972
C-47 Jun. 18, 1951 to Nov. 6, 1964
Prasae Nov. 7, 1950 to Jan. 7, 1951 Bangpakong Nov. 7, 1950 to Feb. 16, 1952 Prasae II Dec. 29, 1951 to Jan. 21, 1955 Tachin Dec. 29, 1951 to Jan. 21, 1955
Sichang Nov. 7, 1950 to Jul. 15, 1951
피해 현황 Total KIA WIA MIA POW 1,273 129 1,139 5 -
- Key Battles
Yeoncheon Area Defense (1951. 7. 31~ 9. 7)
Thai soldiers on a tank supported
The Thai Battalion was attached to the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division and defended the Yuldong area, north of Yeoncheon, from Jul. 31 to Sep. 7, 1951. During this period, the Battalion operated the outpost in front of the main defense line and performed a reconnaissance mission on the enemy's outpost. While patrolling on Aug. 18, they found 2 company size Chinese Communist Army and successfully launched a surprise attack on them. The Battalion became a reserve unit on Sep. 7.
Battle of Pork Chop Hill (Hill 234, 20km Northwest of Yeoncheon; 1952. 11. 1~11)
This was the battle in which the Thai Battalion after being attached to the U.S. 2nd Division fought against 2 enemy regiments under the command of the Chinese Communist Army 113th Division while defending the main defense line, northwest of Yeoncheon. After destroying the defense facilities in the Pork Chop Hill with an attack at night on Nov. 1, Nov, 7 and Jan. 10, 1952, the Chinese Communist Army sent company or battalion size troops and attacked Hill 234 three times. The Thai Battalion stopped the Chinese Communist Army Attack Unit's advance using fire power support from the Regiment and Division, and defended this outpost by defeating the Chinese Communist Army with hand to hand combat. The Thai Battalion caused the Chinese Communist Army heavy loss while only incurring minimal loss in this battle. The Thai Battalion received a nickname 'little tiger' for its bravery in this battle and gave the U.N. Forces confidence that they could defeat the Chinese Communist Army.
Battle of Kimhwa Hill 351 (10km Northwest of Kimhwa; 1953. 7. 14~27)
Thai spotter observing the enemy position
This was the battle in which the Thai Battalion fought against enemy units (46th, 47th) under the command of the Chinese Communist 16th Army Corps at Hill 351 located in the mid-point between Pyonggang and Kimhwa. The Thai Battalion as a member of the U.S. 2nd Division was dispatched to Hill 351, an outpost of the Division, on Jul. 13, 1953, and it defeated the Chinese Communist Army's several attacks from Jul. 14 to Jul. 27 with close-range combat using fire power support from the Division. They defended the position until Jul. 27 when the cease-fire agreement was signed. As a result of this battle, Hill 351, a key point on the Pyonggang - Kimhwa line, was included in the south side after the cease-fire agreement.
After the cease-fire agreement, the Thai Navy was withdrawn in Jan. 1955 and the Air Force in Nov. 1964. The Ground Troops were withdrawn in 1954 while leaving 1 company, and the remaining Company left on Jun. 1972.