Phot Phahonyothin
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Phot Phahonyothin


Phraya Pahol.jpg
Prime Minister of Siam

21 June 1933 - 13 December 1938
Ananda Mahidol
Phraya Manopakorn Nititada
Plaek Phibunsongkhram
Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives

9 August 1937 - 21 December 1937
Sara Aimmarisi
Sara Aimmarisi
Minister of Finance

1 August 1935 - 12 February 1936
Plod Vichear na Songkhla
Serm Kritsanamara
Minister of Foreign Affairs

22 September 1934 - 1 August 1935
Tom Bunnag
Srisena Sombutsiri
Minister of Defence

1 April 1934 - 22 September 1934
Phraya Prasertsongkram
Plaek Phibunsongkhram
Minister of Interior

16 December 1933 - 29 March 1934
Pruyoon Issarasak
Pridi Banomyong
Minister of Public Instruction

16 December 1933 - 29 March 1934
Chaophraya Thammasakmontri
Phra Sarasardpraphan
Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army

6 August 1932 - 1 January 1938
Prince Vudhijaya Chalermlabha
Plaek Phibunsongkhram

25 August 1944 - 29 March 1946
Phichit Kriangsakphichit
Adul Aduldechjaras
Personal details
Born(1887-03-29)29 March 1887
Bangkok, Siam
Died14 February 1947(1947-02-14) (aged 59)
Bangkok, Thailand
Political partyKhana Ratsadon
  • Phit Phahonphonphayuhasena (Div.)
  • Bunlong Phahonphonphayuhasena
Alma materRoyal Siamese Military Academy
Prussian Military Academy
Military service
Allegiance Thailand
Branch/service Royal Thai Army
Royal Thai Armed Forces
Years of service1914-1947
RankRTA OF-9 (General).svg General[1]
RTN OF-9 (Admiral).svg Admiral
RTAF OF-9 (Air Chief Marshal).svg Air Chief Marshal[2]

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.

Early life

Phot Phahonyothin in Germany, 1905

Phot was born in Phra Nakhon Province (present-day Bangkok) to a Teochew Thai Chinese father, Colonel Kim Phahonyothin (? ),[3][4] and a Thai Mon mother, Chap Phahonyothin ( ).[5]

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.

Revolutionary leader

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.


Phraya Phahon with old friend Hideki T?j? in Tokyo in 1942, as Phibun's envoy.

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.

Retirement and death

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.[]


Phraya Phahon Monument at Lampang

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.[6]


Noble titles

  • 20 April 1918: Luang Sarayuth Sorasit ()
  • 9 July 1924: Phra Sarayuth Sorasit (?)
  • 6 November 1931: Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena ()
  • 15 May 1942: Abolition of nobility
  • 15 February 1945: Title restoration. Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena ()

Thai Decorations

Foreign Decorations


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ George William Skinner (1957). Chinese Society in Thailand: An Analytical History. Cornell University Press. p. 244.
  4. ^ D. Insor (1957). Thailand: A Political, Social, and Economic Analysis. Praeger. p. 138.
  5. ^ " ? 24 .?.?". Prachatai (in Thai). 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Charuvastra, Teeranai (28 December 2019). "Statues Of 1932 Revolt Leaders to be Removed". Khaosod English. Retrieved 2019.

General references

  • Baker, Chris; Phongpaichit, Pasuk (2009). A History of Thailand (2nd, paper ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521759151.
  • Stowe, Judith A. Siam Becomes Thailand: A Story of Intrigue. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1991

External links

Media related to Phot Phahonyothin at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Phraya Manopakorn Nititada
Prime Minister of Thailand
Succeeded by
Major General Phibunsongkhram

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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