Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mano-a-Mano

Four hundred and twenty-one years ago today, on January 18th 1591, King Somdet Phra Naresuan Maharat of Ayutthaya defeated Crown-Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in a one-on-one elephant battle. Legend has it that Naresuan narrowly avoided death at the hands of his childhood rival before fatally slashing Minchit.

Naresuan’s hat bearing the mark of Minchit’s near fatal strike is still on display as a national treasure of Thailand. The anniversary of the battle is celebrated as Royal Thai Armed Forces Day.

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