I read a Wikipedia article about military history of Thailand and it left me a taste of anti-Thai bias.

It is known that Thailand in 1940 (after the fall of Paris and establishment of Vichy government) assaulted nearby French colonial possessions in an attempt to restore own sovereignty.

This event described in Wikipedia as a "war of aggression". Yet it is difficult for me to see it as an aggression rather than an anti-colonial war, especially given that Thailand was returning the previously-lost territories. The assault on France is described as an attack on an Allied country, but it seems to me very much doubtful as Vichy France can be equally well considered a part of the Axis.

Furthermore, Wikipedia discribes the Thai government of Plaek Phibunsongkhram who was in office at the time as "fascist" which claim also looks quite doubtful (for example I never saw a definitely pro-Axis government of Japan being called "fascist"). The Thai government at the time kept good relations with the Great Britain and other allied powers.

Later, in 1941 Thailand was invaded by Japan in an attack, coordinated with the attack on Perl Harbor. Although the resistance of Thai army was minimal (even though there were some points of fierce fighting), this definitely puts Thailand in the set of countries attacked by the Axis.

After the invasion Thailand surrendered and joined the Axis as a puppet state (with Japanese occupation continuing).

Yet there was quite successful and numerous underground resistance movement. Wikipedia says that this resistance movement is the only reason for rehabilitation of Thailand. I am still curious why Thailand being a conquered country needs "rehabilitation" at all?

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    Raise issues in the wikipedia talk page if you still think there is a problem with the page (a taste of anti-Thai bias say) after this has been answered.
    – Nathan
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:26
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    Looks like you're right, the wiki paragraph there does sound rather biased. Note also this: "The war ended indecisively. Disputed territories in French Indochina ceded to Thailand.". Sounds to me more like the Thai won actually. Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 21:10
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    @RI Swamp Yankee the US never dealt with Thailand as an enemy country whether it is due to Free Thai or not. Three countries raised objections agains Thailand joining the UN after the war, for different reasons: France (who understandably demanded the return of the land), the USSR (who demanded abolishing the anti-Communist legislation, a reason not directly connected with WWII) and Great Britain which indeed considered that Thailand was at war with them. The position of Britain is the less understandable of them all.
    – Anixx
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 18:37
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    How do you mean? They declared war on Britain, and gave material and military aid to British enemies while seizing British property (sawmills, mostly). This is all covered, with references, in the wiki articles referenced. (Questions on the legitimacy of colonial empire aside.) Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 18:46
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    I thought thailand was never colonized?
    – user4951
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 9:19

2 Answers 2


The Thais had a puppet government that followed the will of the Japanese (such as declaring war on the Allies). That made them nominally, at least, an Axis power. Also, Thailand allowed its territory to be used by the Japanese as a springboard for their invasions of Burma (Myanmar) and the East Indies (modern Indonesia).

Even so, Thailand contributed few troops or other supplies to Japan during World War II. Thus, their "participation" on the Axis side was treated (and viewed) as "symbolic." The role of "Free" (dissident) Thais in resisting the Japanese somewhat mitigated the stigma that was attached to the official Thai government for its actions during the war.


The fascist government of Thailand was pressured into declaring war on the Allies by the Japanese, who strong-armed their way into Thailand to build military bases and roads. The Thai government went along, hoping that this would appease the Japanese, who would leave after the war. (You'd think they would have heard of Manchuko or Korea...)

Here is the Wiki article on the Japanese Occupation of Thailand that explains it.

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    Was not Thailand already occupied by the Japanese at the time? That is the government was a puppet one (possibly like in Denmark, China etc).
    – Anixx
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 19:26
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    What are the grounds to call it "fascist"?
    – Anixx
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 18:05
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    many countries were dictatorships at the time. For example, I never heard even of Finland being callar "fascist". Similarly, Japan and Kuomintang China.
    – Anixx
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 18:43
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    @ Anixx - Finland remained a democracy throughout the interwar and WWII period. That's probably why it wasn't called "Fascist." The KMT definitely was Fascist: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Shirts_Society Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 18:35
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    @Anixx Interesting that you think Finland became a military dictatorship the same year the USSR invaded. Reminds me of the Soviets naming the Berlin wall the Anti-Fascist Defence Rampart. Are you understanding the conflict and that era through Stalinist histiography? Because that's the only interpretation which fits your argument? "During Joseph Stalin's rule, Soviet propaganda painted Finland's leadership as a "vicious and reactionary Fascist clique"."
    – user17846
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 9:31

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