|Prime Minister of Siam|
21 June 1933 - 13 December 1938
|Phraya Manopakorn Nititada|
|Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives|
9 August 1937 - 21 December 1937
|Minister of Finance|
1 August 1935 - 12 February 1936
|Plod Vichear na Songkhla|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
22 September 1934 - 1 August 1935
|Minister of Defence|
1 April 1934 - 22 September 1934
|Minister of Interior|
16 December 1933 - 29 March 1934
|Minister of Public Instruction|
16 December 1933 - 29 March 1934
|Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army|
6 August 1932 - 1 January 1938
|Prince Vudhijaya Chalermlabha|
25 August 1944 - 29 March 1946
|Born||29 March 1887|
|Died||14 February 1947 (aged 59)|
|Political party||Khana Ratsadon|
|Alma mater||Royal Siamese Military Academy|
Prussian Military Academy
|Branch/service|| Royal Thai Army|
Royal Thai Armed Forces
|Years of service||1914-1947|
Air Chief Marshal
Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena (Thai: , Thai pronunciation: [p?rá.ja:.p?á.h?n.p?on.p?á.jú.hà.s?.na:]), 29 March 1887 - 14 February 1947) (short form: Phraya Phahon) born as Phot Phahonyothin (Thai: ? ), was a Thai military leader and politician. He became the second prime minister of Siam in 1933 after ousting his predecessor in a coup d'état. He retired in 1938 after serving five years as prime minister.
After attending the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, in 1903 he was sent by royal scholarship to study at the Prussian Military Academy (Preußische Hauptkadettenanstalt) in the town of Lichterfelde, near Berlin, Germany, where he was apparently a classmate of Hermann Göring and became acquainted with Hideki Tojo through sword duels. Phot was then sent to study at the Engineering College of Copenhagen in Denmark, he was however only able to complete one year as his scholarship funds had run out, he returned to Siam in 1912. In 1931 he was elevated to the title of Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena by King Prajadhipok (or Rama VII) and received the rank of colonel. In 1932 he became Commander of the Royal Siamese Army.
Phraya Phahon was an important member of a group of conspirators known as the "Four Musketeers" (4 ). They were part of the Khana Ratsadon (or 'People's Party') who carried out the revolution of 1932. After 1932 coup, three factions formed among the political and military leaders of Khana Ratsadon. These were: first, the senior military faction led by Phraya Phahon; second, the junior army and navy faction led by Luang Phibunsongkhram; and third, the civilian faction led by Pridi Phanomyong.
As the most senior Phraya Phahon was viewed as the de facto leader of the Khana Ratsadon and the revolution itself. It was Phraya Phahon who read the Declaration of the New Siamese State in the Royal Plaza that declared the end of absolute monarchy and the establishment of the constitutional Siamese state. Because of the key role he played in the revolution he was rewarded with a high position in the new government and was made a member of the new cabinet.
In March 1933 a constitutional crisis developed in Siam over the "Yellow Cover Dossier" incident, precipitated by Pridi's draft economic plan, which contained socialist elements. Because of this, Phraya Manopakorn Nititada, the prime minister, expelled him from the cabinet and suspended the constitution. This action upset many in the People's Party who supported Pridi, including Phraya Phahon. On 15 June Phraya Phahon resigned from the cabinet citing health reasons. In truth, he and a couple of military officers planned to overthrow Phraya Mano's increasingly authoritarian government. On 20 June a bloodless coup was carried out, led by Phraya Phahon. The following day, Phraya Phahon appointed himself the second prime minister of Siam. He immediately sent a report to King Prajadhipok explaining the objectives of the coup and asked for the king's support. Reluctantly the king endorsed him. Phraya Mano was exiled to Malaysia.
The next five years were a struggle to maintain power. In October 1933, a royalist revolt against Phraya Phahon's government, the Boworadet Rebellion, occurred only four months after his becoming prime minister. After weeks of fighting, government troops emerged victorious and Phraya Phahon was able to solidify his position. The cabinet was divided politically. The government was maintained only by the force of his personality. Luang Phibunsongkhram, a trusted confidant, became minister of defence under the new government and he began to acquire greater power and influence in preparation for his eventual ascension to the premiership.
The beginning of the end for Phraya Phahon's time as prime minister began in 1937 when a scandal erupted involving the sale of crown real estate to high-ranking officials at below-market prices. After a near collapse that year, the first direct elections for the People's Assembly took place on 7 November 1937. Those in Phraya Phahon's cabinet found themselves an ideological and political minority. After budget issues in 1938, the cabinet was forced to resign in September 1938 followed by elections in December which resulted in Luang Phibunsongkhram becoming the prime minister of Thailand.
After his term as prime minister, General Phraya Phahon retired from public life, though he served as Inspector-General of the Royal Thai Armed Forces during World War II. He died in February 1947 at the age of 59 of cerebral haemorrhage. It was said that when he died, despite the fact that he had held many positions in government, his family lacked the funds to pay for his funeral. Luang Phibunsongkhram, his protege and the incumbent prime minister, stepped in to defray the cost.
Phahonyothin Road, which runs from Bangkok to the border of Burma in the north, is named after Phraya Phahon. Formerly known as Prachathipatai Road, Field Marshal Plaek Phibunshongkhram renamed the road in his honour. A hospital in Kanchanaburi Province, Phahon Phon Phayuha Sena Hospital is also named in his honour.
A Royal Thai Army artillery base in Lopburi Province bore the name of General Phraya Phahon until 2019 when, at the order of the king Vajiralongkorn, it was renamed King Bhumibol base. Long-standing statues of Phraya Phahon and Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram installed at the base are to be removed and replaced by a statue of King Bhumibol.
Media related to Phot Phahonyothin at Wikimedia Commons