A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z




Royal Thai Navy

Branch of the Royal Thai Armed Forces in charge of naval warfare. It has around 79,000 personnel, including naval aviation personnel, members of the marine corps, the coast guard (distinct from the marine police - fig.), and naval military police (fig.). The navy is well represented throughout the country, with most bases in the nation's central and southern regions, i.e. along the coastal regions. The Naval Headquarters, known in Thai as kong banchakaan kong thap reua, is in Bangkok's Thonburi District and besides being a naval base in its own right also houses departments such as the Naval Personnel Department, the Navy Welfare Department, etc. There are also has several important bases and departments in its area, oas well as along the lower parts of the Chao Phraya River (fig.), some of them located in the old forts that were built along the river's estuary (fig.) and the lower parts of the river in Bangkok and Samut Prakan at the beginning of the Rattanakosin period in order to defend the capital. Fortresses still used as a naval base today include Wichai Prasit Fort (fig.) along with the adjacent Thonburi Palace (fig.) and Chulachomklao Fortress (fig.), which houses the Chulachomklao Battle Ship Museum (fig.), as well as a Naval Armaments Museum (fig.). Also along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, though not always precisely at the river banks, are the former Royal Thai Naval Academy (fig.), the Royal Thai Navy Club (fig.), the Naval Dockyard (fig.) with its Royal Dockyard Museum (fig.), the Naval Department of Transportation's Automobile Division (fig.), and the Thai Naval Auditorium (fig.), whilst Samut Prakan also has it own Naval Museum (fig.). One of the Royal Thai Navy's foremost provincial bases is the Sattahip Naval Base in Chonburi, which is home to the HTMS Chakri Nareubet (fig.), Thailand's first and only aircraft carrier. Although some small-scale marine warfare and naval battles in a more primitive form, such as the Paknam Incident (fig.), had taken place earlier in Thailand's history, Siam established its Navy only in the beginning of the 20th century. It was founded on 20 November 1906 by King Chulachomklao, after which it was further developed and modernized by Admiral Aphakon Kiatiwong, the 28th child of King Rama V with the title Prince of Chumphon (fig.), who is revered nationwide as the Father of the Royal Thai Navy. He was also a doctor of medicine with a particular interest in herbal medicine and shrines, memorials and statutes dedicated to him can be found nationwide, especially at naval bases and around Thailand's coastline, e.g. at the Prince of Chumphon Shrine and Battle Ship Museum (fig.) in Chumphon; as part of the Koh Chang Naval Combat Memorial (fig.) in Trat; on top of a hill overlooking the Bay of Pattaya (fig.) in Chonburi; on top of Chong Krajok mountain overlooking the bay of Prachuap Khirikhan (fig.), etc. Many of the former Siamese naval flags (fig.) have doubled as national flag or were partly incoporated in it. The current ensign of the Royal Thai Navy also combines the national flag thong trai rong (fig.) with the thong chang song kreuang (fig.), a former Siamese naval and national flag of Siam used from 1898 to 1917, placing the latter in a circle in the middle of the field (fig.). The emblem of the Royal Thai Navy consists of the Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut, a chadah-like crown (fig.), placed over an anchor which has a chakra, i.e. a disc-like weapon (fig.) and symbol of the Chakri Dynasty (fig.), around its vertical shank (fig.)The wooden entrance doors at the Naval HQ in Thonburi bear the Navy's emblem in both silver and gold, i.e. silver on the doors to the left and gold on the doors to the right (fig.), akin to the ton mai ngeun ton mai thong (fig.) used to demonstrate loyalty. In Thai, the Royal Thai Navy is known as kong thap reua Thai (กองทัพเรือไทย). See also Krasuang Kalaahome, History of Thai Army Uniforms, and ranks of the Thai military, as well as POSTAGE STAMPS (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6), and TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5), and PANORAMA PICTURE.