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18 January 2011

On this day in history: King Naresuan killed Crown Prince Minchit Sra, 1591

Born in April 1555, Naresuan was the son of Prince Maha Thammaracha, who later became King Sanphet I of Ayutthaya (part of modern day Thailand). At that time the Burmese occupied the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and as such they took the seven year old Naresuan as hostage to ensure the fealty of his father. For the next nine years the Burmese King Bayinnaung raised Naresuan as a prince in his palace at Pegu, until Narusuan returned home in exchange for his sister Princess Suphan Thewi. Soon after his return, Naresuan became Governor of Phitsanulok at the instigation of his father, who was now King.

Three years after the death of the King Bayinnaung, Naresuan's father declared that he was no longer a vassal of the Burmese. During the ensuing war Crown Prince Naresuan led his father's forces as well as those he recruited from neighbouring regions. Rather than fight a defensive campaign he decided to take the fight to the enemy occupying Lanna, a buffer states between the two countries.

In 1590, Naresuan's father died and he became King Sanphet II. One year later the Burmese invaded and again Naresuan went on the offensive in spite of the numerical superiority of the Burmese forces. On 18th January 1591, along with his younger brother, Prince Ekatosrost, he led a small force in an attempt to lure the opposing army into a trap. The Burmese forces took the bait, chasing Naresuan's small force into an ambush at Nongsarai.

During the battle, Naresuan spotted the Burmese Crown Prince Minchit Sra, who he challenged to single combat. The two fought atop their war elephants until Naresuan killed Minchit Sra with a blow from his lance. So demoralised were the Burmese that they retreated with the body of the Prince, effectively ending the Burmese aggression against Ayutthaya.

The date of the battle is celebrated today in Thailand as Royal Thai Armed Forces Day.

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British capture of Hong Kong: 23rd August 1839

2 comments:

Stephanie Barr said...

The story sounds surprisingly similar to the story of Vlad the Impaler, once hostage to the Turks, then repeller of them.

Of course, that took place more than 100 years earlier and didn't necessarily work out that well for Vlad. And Vlad had a few rather egregious personality problems of his own.

Stepterix said...

I had not thought of that connection. Thanks for sharing.