|1556 - WAR WITH LOVEK
|Text by Tricky Vandenberg - June 2012
|Chronicles of Ayutthaya
Around mid-year 917 CS (1555 AD), Prince Satha, the younger brother of King Ang Chan (r.1516-1566), helped by the Dai Viet attacked and
conquered Lovek, the Khmer capital, vassal to the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
King Chakkraphat (r. 1548-1569) ordered the Cambodian Prince Suthan, governor of Sawankhalok and eldest son of the King Ang Chan, to
lead an Ayutthayan army to recapture Lovek. In 1556, Prince Suthan and the King’s representative Phraya Montri, left with an army of 30,000
men under command of Phraya Rammalak. (1) Logistics was in the hands of Phra Maha Thep. Phraya Yao was, as four year earlier, the
commander of the naval forces. Due to weather circumstances, the naval force could not catch up with the land forces.
Phraya Rammalak’s vanguard penetrated the enemy forces in the middle of the night in the Pursat Plains. The Vietnamese army and the Khmer
army of Prince Sattha were prepared and resisted heavily. The vanguard was routed and in a withdrawing maneuver, collided with the main army.
In the chaos Prince Suthan was killed on the neck of his elephant. The Ayutthayan army lost many soldiers, horses and elephants. Slain, it returned
to the capital of Ayutthaya. 
|Chronicles of Cambodia
Following the Chronicles of Cambodia the Siamese attack under the command of the 55-year old prince Chau-Phnhéa-Ong (Chao Phraya Ong)
occurred in 1534. The chronicles speak of a land army of 80,000 men and a naval army of 5,000. The Cambodian kalahom (defense minister)
was sent to the Gulf of Siam to take care of the Ayutthayan fleet. The Siamese fleet commander Phraya Racha Wangsan (2) was beaten and
withdrew to Ayutthaya. The King of Lovek commanded himself the land army. In the initial engagement Prince Ong was killed on his elephant by
an arrow and many chiefs next to him. The Ayutthayan army finally dispersed and withdrew.
After the campaign, the King of Lovek arranged the funerary honors for Prince Ong and constructed a victory pagoda near a banyan tree, where
he made his prayers prior the battle. All the gold and silver found on the Siamese commanders was used to make Buddha images for the temple.
The latter received the name of Pou Mean Bon (Pagoda of the all mighty banyan). The site still exists southwest of Pursat (Phouthisat) in Bakan
|(Engravure of the City of Lovek)