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The Siamese-Vietnamese wars were a series of armed conflicts between the Siamese Ayutthaya Kingdom and Rattanakosin Kingdom and the various dynasties of Vietnam mainly during the 18th and 19th centuries. The political, dynastic and military decline of the Cambodian kingdom since the 15th century had left a power vacuum in the Mekong floodplains of central Indochina. United under strong dynastic rule, Siam to the west and Vietnam to the east, both sought to become hegemon in the lowland region and the Lao mountains. The Siamese introduced - and Vietnam soon followed - the hostage system for Cambodian royals, who were relocated to their courts, actively undermining royal affairs and shaping future Cambodian policies.[1] Eventually territory was annexed by both powers, who conceived, maintained and supported their favorable Cambodian puppet kings. Actual combat mainly took place on Cambodian territory or on occupied lands. The 19th century establishment of French Indochina put an end to Vietnamese sovereignty and to Siamese policies of regional expansion. Subsequent clashes of the two countries are not caused by regional rivalry, but must be viewed in the context of the 20th century imperial policies of foreign great powers and the Cold War.[2][3][4]



By the 15th century, the Vietnamese Lê dynasty had been able to annex the modern-day provinces of Lai Châu and Điện Biên in an attempt to conquer the Lan Xang (Lao Qua) kingdom and pacify the Muang Phuan principality of Laos.[5] However, this conflict also involved and was fought on Siamese and Burmese soil. As a result Vietnamese forces under Lê Thánh Tông continued to occupy territory in northern Siam for some additional 10 years. Siam, incapable to oppose this incursion therein saw the origin for all future conflict between the two nations.[6]

List of Siamese-Vietnamese warsEdit

No. Name Results Notes
1 Siamese–Vietnamese War (1717–18)[7] Siamese victory Siamese invasion of Cambodia, seizing the capital Oudong and ransacking Ha Tien for the first time
2 Siamese–Vietnamese War (1769–73)[7] Inconclusive Siamese in control invading Cambodia and ransacking Ha Tien again, but failing to defeat the Vietnamese forces
3 Siamese–Vietnamese War (1785)[8] Vietnamese victory First Siamese invasion to Southern Vietnam
Decisive victory of the Vietnamese force
4 Cambodian rebellion (1811–12) Siamese strategic victory
Vietnamese tactical victory
First Siamese and then Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia in order to support and enthrone their vassal kings and overthrow their opponent
5 Lao rebellion (1826–28)[9] Siamese victory Vietnamese supported Anouvong to revolt against Siam but failed
6 Lê Văn Khôi revolt (1833–1835)[10] and Siamese–Vietnamese War (1831–34) Vietnamese victory Second Siamese invasion to Southern Vietnam
Siam supports the revolt. Vietnamese defensive victory, invasion of Cambodia
7 Siamese–Vietnamese War (1841–45)[3] Inconclusive Siamese and Vietnamese incursions in Cambodia
Cambodia becomes vassals of both Siam and Vietnam
8 Franco-Siamese War (1893) (Vietnam as part of French Indochina) French-Vietnamese victory French invasion of Laos
Laos becomes part of French Indochina
9 Franco-Thai War (1940–41)(Vietnam as part of French Indochina) Indecisive Thai invasion of French Indochina
Disputed territories given to Thailand by Japan
10 Thai intervention to Vietnam North Vietnamese victory Thai involvement as part of the allies
Fall of Saigon
11 Vietnamese border raids in Thailand Inconclusive Insurgency of Khmer Rouge
Undeclared war, but Vietnam achieved the goal of Khmer Rouge's destruction

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "Mak Phœun : Histoire du Cambodge de la fin du XVIe au début du XVIIIe siècle - At the time of the invasion one group of the royal family, the reigning king and two or more princes, escaped and eventually found refuge in Laos, while another group, the king's brother and his sons, were taken as hostages to Ayutthaya" (PDF). Michael Vickery’s Publications. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  2. ^ George Childs Kohn (31 October 2013). Dictionary of Wars. Taylor & Francis. pp. 646–. ISBN 978-1-135-95501-4.
  3. ^ a b Joachim Schliesinger (2 January 2017). The Chong People: A Pearic-Speaking Group of Southeastern Thailand and Their Kin in the Region. Booksmango. pp. 106–. ISBN 978-1-63323-988-3.
  4. ^ "Franco-Siamese War 1893 - Laos and Cambodia had been Siamese vassal states since Ayudhya times..." GlobalSecurity. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "THE BIGGEST WAR BETWEEN SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES VIETNAMESE Lan Xang war (1467-1480)". Nguyen The Thuan. June 5, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  6. ^ Brian A. Zottoli. "Reconceptualizing Southern Vietnamese History from the 15th to 18th Centuries: Competition along the Coasts from Guangdong to Cambodia - from page 80 ff" (PDF). University of Michigan. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Spencer Tucker. Vietnam. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 13–. ISBN 978-0-8131-2858-0.
  8. ^ "Tay Son Uprising (1771-1802) In Vietnam: Mandated By Heaven?". Research Gate. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  9. ^ David K. Wyatt (1963). "Siam and Laos, 1767-1827". Journal of Southeast Asian History. Jstor. 4 (2): 13–32. JSTOR 20067439.
  10. ^ Sheridan Gilley; Frances Margaret Young; Brian Stanley (2006). The Cambridge History of Christianity: Volume 8, World Christianities C.1815-c.1914. Cambridge University Press. pp. 517–. ISBN 978-0-521-81456-0.

Further readingEdit