Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Razadarit takes Myanaung from Ava,
Ava counterattacks (c. 1390)
(Warfare in the Razadarit era, c. 1385-1421)

In 1390 [752BE] Razadarit mobilized troops, weapons, and boats from the now subject domains of Bassein, Myaungmya, and Khepaung to attack Myanaung [Kudut] a fortified town south of Prome controlled by Ava (San Lwin 74). After Myanaung had been taken, its defences were strengthened against Ava with a wooden stockade and a garrison of troops.

The king of Ava considered Myanaung part of his domains, so when he learned of Razadarit’s attack and occupation of the town, that the town had been garrisoned by Razadarit, he mustered land and naval forces and traveled downriver to assert his control.

When he encountered the strong Mon naval forces at Myanaung, he quickly moved to the cover of his land forces. The river forces were attacked by archers and some of the boats were captured, some were set fire to, while others abandoned (SL 75). Ava’s land forces, strong with cavalry and elephantry and now commanded by the king himself, were not attacked.

After the initial success of Razadarit’s forces against Ava, a rather curious truce is reached between the two sides. There is a negotiated settlement in the form of a gift exchange which on the surface allowed both sides to maintain face, but through which, in actuality, Razadarit’s commanders gain the upper hand. The steps in the settlement run as follows:

1. Razadarit’s side returns the booty taken in their naval victory.

2. They send a letter to the king of Ava which declares that:

a. If Razadarit’s commanders had known that the king of Ava
accompanied this fleet they would not have attacked.

b. If their king Razadarit learns that his commanders attacked the king of Ava in this fashion, Razadarit will be angry.

c. They wish for the king of Ava to have Myanaung and want no conflict (SL 76-77).

Through the cunning of this negotiation ploy, the Mon side obtains Myanaung and Ava goes back home.