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In Buddha's CompanyThai Soldiers in the Vietnam War$
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Richard A. Ruth

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834197

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834197.001.0001

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Sawadi, Vietnam

Sawadi, Vietnam

Making the Queen’s Cobras

(p.21) 1 Sawadi, Vietnam
In Buddha's Company

Richard A. Ruth

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the creation of the Queen's Cobra Regiment, a special combat regiment Thailand would be sending to South Vietnam. In making the Queen's Cobra Regiment, Thailand's government and military leaders sought to construct a formidable military unit and a potent national symbol. They chose not to throw together existing army units to make a patchwork regiment, even though doing so would have been a less costly and simpler logistical exercise. Instead they chose to build a special unit from scratch. This meant that they had to recruit, retrain, and deploy the unit in a relatively short time. The finished regiment would serve its military purpose when it was deployed to South Vietnam, but, more importantly, in the meantime the process of its creation would give the Thai government numerous opportunities to promote its policy for fighting homegrown communists and to rally wary or indifferent citizens behind the policy.

Keywords:   Thai volunteers, South Vietnam, Royal Thai Army, military policy, defense policy, communists

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