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War of a Different Kind

OSS and Free Thai Operations in World War II

Bob Bergin

"The situation in Siam was different from any that had ever confronted OSS in an enemy-occupied country. Instead of a resistance movement, such as was encountered in European countries, there existed in Siam what might best be described as a patriotic governmental conspiracy against the Japanese in which most of the key figures of the state were involved. The regent himself, the minister and chief of police, the minister of interior, the minister of foreign affairs, senior officers of the armed service, and many other ranking officials belonged to it.”

—Kermit Roosevelt

The US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) established a base in Bangkok in early 1945. At least 7,000 of the 60,000 Japanese troops who occupied the country were based in Bangkok, many within a few hundred meters of the OSS base. The base was established after more than a year of frustrating attempts to infiltrate Free Thai officers into Bangkok from China and from Ceylon. Success came when OSS-trained Free Thai officers made contact with the Thai underground that had formed inside the country—a fact unknown to the allies until April 1943.

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Posted: Feb 24, 2012 11:56 AM
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2012 11:56 AM