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Death Railway Burma - Thailand

Klicka på bilden för att förstora

I had the opportunity to visit Kanchanaburi (Thailand) in the end of last year.(Dec16)
Kanchanaburi its most famous for the River Kwai Bridge and all allied soldier who lost their life's in effort to build the 415 km railway from Nong Pladuk (Thai) to Thanbyuzayat (Burma) in 1942-1943.
Not so well know but Thailand was attaced on the 8th of December 1941.Actually Before Pearl Harbor on the 7th December (time zone)
Japan has during the 30thies buildt up a strong industrial and military Power in the east. During the time Great Britain fight with Hitler in Europe gave them a good opportunity to invade Southern parts of Asia. Malay, Burma, Philippines and Thailand.
Nobody expect this and with lot of tactics and superior airpower and a strong fleet they occupied the whole area in 6 months.
As a result of this a huge amount of prisoners was taken and plans for establish a huge camp at Singapore Malaysia and in other parts of Asia.
Japan never sign the Genève Convention and the Military code of honor said that a prisoner forfeit all his rights when giving up. Honor is to commit suicide. Not giving up. This paragraph aloud the Japanese to use violence and brutality against the prisoner.

In May 42 the first Japanese engineers arrived in Kanchaburi and the first group of prisoner show up. In August 42 the River Kwai bridge starts to build.
During May 43 the speedo period start when Japan feel that the allied push harder and they have to increase speed in the construction. Many prisoner lost
their life in this period. In August died 1643 prisoner (Approx 55 each day) and in October was the first opening ceremony of the 415 km railway.
In December was the line fully operational but was bombed in November (43) for first time. Probably a glimpse of hope for the prisoners that the allied closing in.

The bridge was later bombing 7 times before the War ended in August 45

About 250.000 prisoner works on the Railway and about 100.000 died during this period. 12500 of this men was prisoner of the war. (allied) About 85000 were Asians !!!

Sad to say, but : Nothing about these men the absolute majority.

After the war the railway was closed down (1947) and reopened again in 1957 between Nong Pladuk and Nam Tok.
Major part of the former railway has disappear but there is still plenty of traces in the nature. See pic

I found the journey very interesting with all these traces and it gives you a feeling of something touching you deep inside.
I recomend everybody, if possible, to visit all this places read their names on the graveyard stones and remember how cruel life
can handle so many young people and all pain they have to suffer. I hope they still can force us to avoid violence and understand
that War is easy to start but almost impossible to stop.