Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram
Dates in Office
Term I: Assembly
IX: December 16, 1938 - March 6,
Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram (Plaek Khittasanga) was born in Nonthaburi Province, on July 14, 1897 (07:10), son of Mr. Keed and Mrs. Sam-ang Khittasanga. He later married Than Phuying La-iad Khittasanga (Pankrawee).
He received his formal education at Wat Kemapirataram (Defense Patronage) School and Army Cadet Academy. After the graduation, at the age of 19, he was given the rank of Second Lieutenant and worked for the Army Area VII, Phitsanulok Province. After the time, he continued his study at Command and General Staff College and was granted the scholarship to further military study at Command and General Staff College in France.
On June 24, 1932, Major Luang Phibhulsongkram joined the Public Committee and was given high military responsibility.
In 1934, he attained the rank of Colonel and the title of Commander of the Thai Army.
Colonel Luang Phibunsongkhram was appointed Prime Minister on December 16, 1938, by unanimous vote of the Parliament. During the terms, he was promoted to Major General and finally, on July 28, 1941, to Field Marshal.
Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram had always been active in nationalism and national security, as seen from some of his many accomplishments, e.g., changing the country's name from Siam to Thailand, reclaiming much of the Thai Indochina Land from France, abolishing outdated Thai culture, and establishing specialized universities, eg, Mahidol University, Kasetsart University and Silpakorn University.
On December 8, 1941, Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram signed a bilateral military and economic treaties with Japan, alllowing the Japanese troops to march through Thailand. This action had secured him a place in Thai prison for several months, after the World War II had come to an end.
Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram had taken office as Prime Minister for 8 terms, until September 16, 1957, when Field Marshal Sarit Dhanarajata, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, staged a Coup d'Etat. He was exiled first to Cambodia, for 2 months, United States of America, India, before he finally set up in Japan. He passed away on June 11, 1964, of cardiac attack, at the age of 67.