Patani (101.249E 6.854N) is a small Thai port on the northeast coast of the southern Kra Peninsula, just north of the border with Malaya.  The population is largely ethnic Malay, and Islam is the dominant religion. There was a small airstrip here in late 1941.

On 8 December 1941 (local time), Patani became the landing site for forward elements of 42 Regiment, 5th Division, 25 Army for the invasion of Malaya. Brought in by a force of two transports and three cargo ships escorted by eight destroyers, these forces seized the local airfield, then rapidly advanced across the border. This dislocated British plans for a forward defense of northern Malaya, which presupposed a preemptive move by British forces across the Malaya-Thai border to a good defensive position known as The Ledge (Operation MATADOR). When advance British elements finally attempted to cross the border, they were fired on by Thai border guards.

Japanese order of battle

2 Fleet (Kondo)     

Patani Attack Force

8 DD

AP Tozan Maru (8666 tons)

AP Kinka Maru (9305 tons, 17 knots)

AK Azosan Maru (8812 tons, 16.5 knots)

AK Toro Maru (1932 tons)

One other AK

42 Regiment


Willmott (1982)

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