Sunday, 12 March 2017

Siam increasing navy considerable according to the Dutch magazine Marineblad dated 1938 no. 5

An item referred to the Proceedings dated June 1938 reporting that Siam continued with strengthening her navy. There were 2-2.00 ton coastal defence ships built to be armed with 4-20,3cm/8” guns.(1) Earlier asked naval experts several times for 2.000 ton ships armed with 4-15cm/5.9” and a 20 miles speed. There were 2-1.400 ton destroyers with 4-14,8cm guns, 4-53,3cm torpedo tubes and a speed of 17 miles planned. At that moment was the Phra Ruang dating from 1917 her sole large destroyer. She measured 900 tons, was armed with 3-10,5cm guns, 1-7,5cm anti aircraft gun, 4-53cm torpedo tubes and a speed of 31 miles. Further were there 2 destroyers of 380 ton and 27 miles dating from the First World War, 9-380 ton destroyers armed with 1-7,5cm gun and 2-45cm torpedo tubes and 9-318 ships with a 3 times larger armament. There were more small warships available like the Amthong (the former Maha Chahri) of 2.400 ton and a speed of 15 miles and 2-580 ton gunboats of 580 ton and 1-700 ton armed with 2-21cm guns. There were 5-130 patrol vessels under construction and 8 torpedo motorboats with a speed of 40 miles and armed with 2 torpedo tubes. There were 4-325 ton new submarines with a surfaced speed of 19 miles and an armament of 5-53cm torpedoes of which 2 were built in Japan. The 2 new 480 ton minesweepers were built in Italy. In just 2 years grew the navy from just 14 to 48 warships. There were 2 small cruisers of coastal defence ships, 9 destroyers, 4 submarines, 2 large escort vessels, 2 gunboats, 5 patrol vessels and 8 motor torpedo boats available.

1. The Thonburi and Sri Ayudhya built by Kawasaki Company, Kobe, Japan between 1936-1938.