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Online Museum with OAC (Part 16): Wild Tiger Corps

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2022-08-18 15:13:00

Online Museum with OAC (Part 16): Wild Tiger Corps

          The Wild Tiger Corps was a national paramilitary corps founded in Thailand in 1911 by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). Inspired by the British Volunteer Force, the unit was intended to maintain civil order.

        The Wild Tiger Corps was founded on 1 May 1911 by King Vajiravudh. The corps was meant to be a nationwide paramilitary corps, answerable only to the monarch. At first a ceremonial guard, it became a military force of 4,000 within its first year. Filled with commoners, the king would often mess with them and socialize with them openly. The corps eventually rivalled the army in strength and the civil service in influence. The king even went so far as appointing some to high ranks in the army and nobility.

          While the king socialized with members of the corps, the regular army and aristocrats were deeply dissatisfied. Army officers were not permitted to join the organization.[2]:148 They saw these new appointments and the corps as a threat to the honour of the army. Combined with the king's spending on new palaces and attention on dramatic productions, the kingdom was deeply in debt and was in danger of financial collapse. This dissatisfaction partially led to the Palace Revolt of 1912.

          The unit drew its Thai name from the Sua Pa Maew Mong scout corps founded by King Naresuan around 1600. The Wild Tiger Corps also included a junior division known as Luk Sua ("Tiger Cubs") based on the Boy Scout movement.

          The origins of the beverage company Osotspa date to 1900, when a pharmaceutical product called Kilane was developed by the Pae family in response to a dysentery outbreak within the corps. The epidemic was cleared in days and Mrs. Pae was awarded the "Wild Tiger Corps" pin. The movement was quietly disbanded after the death of King Vajiravudh in 1925.

Thep Boontanondha, King Vajiravudh and the Making his Military Image. Retrieved on 29 April 2021, from https://www.academia.edu/4160335/King_Vajiravudh_and_the_Making_his_Military_Image