Monday, January 14, 2008

10. King Mingaung of Ava marches south on Salat

When king Mingaung heard that King Rajadharit had returned to Pegu, he set off for Salat in the south with prince Minyethihathu and Thado each commanding a column (tat). Thado was accompanied by his deputy (sit-ke) Tu-yin-kyaw. The two columns together consisted of 50 war elephants, 500 horse, and 10,000 troops. At that time Salat was held by Rajadhirat's minister Byat Za with 7,000 men, 5 war elephants, and 30 horse.

At this time King Razadarit was residing in Kyat Zana where he built a pavilion with tiered roofs and held a hair washing ceremony. The ceremony was held on the 5th day of the waxing moon in the month of Tabaung.

The march to Dala began. Razadarit's main force had Deinmaniyut as commander, Re Kaman deputy commander, a column commanded by Prince Dhamma Yaza had Baik-ka-myin as deputy.

Prince Banya Payan on a war elephant that was in musth and harnessed in a red howdah, red saddle flaps, red pennants flying on the howdah and ornamented with red on its forehead and with the elephantry guards holding red lances formed the van together with ten elephants and a unit of 5,000 troops.

The column under Binnya Yaza had thirty elephants and 11,000 troops. The prince was mounted on an elephant in a golden howdah surmounted by a white umbrella with gold howdah flaps, gold ornamenting its forehead and elephantry guards holding gold lances.

Razadarit's force consisted of 30 elephants and 10,000 men with the king shaded by a white umbrella riding the war elephant named Hsin Ye with a black howdah, black howdah flaps, and elephantry bearing black lances.

When Minyekyawswa received reports that Rajadhirat was marching against him, he called a conference. Yaza-thin-gyan spoke up:

"Razadarit is a very brave warrior and will rarely withdraw from an engagement. If he is in command, should we continue to lay siege, we will be attacked from the front and rear. To prevent such a predicament we should lift the siege and combine our land and river commands to establish a strongpoint. At this strongpoint we can go on the defensive if he chooses to attack or mount an offensive if he does not move against us."

Minyekyawswa agreed with Yazathingyan's estimation of the situation and his strategy of lifting the siege and establishing a strongpoint at Thakan, thereby concentrating both land and river forces at this one point.

(edited version of San Lwin's translation, 143-144)