Death Railway Completed

October 17, 2021

The Burma-Thailand Railway might seem like an idyllic way to see beautiful scenery in countries less heavily trafficked by tourists, but many don’t know of its existence; its dark past largely obscured by horrors on the battlefields raging across Europe and stories from Holocaust survivors.

It was built between 1942 and 1943 during WWII, when the Japanese Army conquered parts of Southeast Asia. It took thousands of captive prisoners of war from the Allied Forces down to Burma while also taking the local people hostage. They would labor through the construction of a railway that would span from Thanbyuzayat, Burma (modern-day Myanmar) to Ban Pong, Thailand, a distance of about 250 miles (400 kilometers) each way. The goal was twofold: first, to assist the Japanese in invading the then, British-owned colony of India and, second, to create a way for Japanese troops to transport their military supplies in the ongoing fight to take over Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.

Laborers were forced to work through the dry season when temperatures soared up to 40 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit, and the rainy monsoon season. Hundreds died each day due to heat exhaustion, malnutrition, and lack of medical aid when disease struck. Many of whom were in their late teens to early twenties when they died. Beatings by the Japanese were a daily occurrence. Working 18-hour shifts with improper tools to cut into the cliff face of the surrounding mountains and having little food to give them energy to power through the day, it was a brutal existence.

17 Comments

  1. Dana Henderson

    Kill all the Japs, f’n scumbags. I can’t stand them.

    Reply
  2. Big Schlong

    So how many died

    Reply
  3. Louisa Ford

    The Burma Thailand railroad item was fascinating. Dorothy Smith must be a genius covering all of human history. Do you know of any other source of material on the Burma Thailand railroad?

    Reply
  4. Robert Richey

    So, what’s the answer to how many people died building the Burma-Thailand Railway?

    Reply
  5. greg

    The question was: How many people died building the Death Railway? The answer isnt provided in the article?

    Reply
  6. Paul Johnston

    It was 250 miles each way, was it? As opposed to what, 250 miles one way and a different distance the other?

    Reply
  7. Max DiCanine

    For the nth Time – delete me from your lists and unsubscribe me! I will report you to the FCC if this continues.

    Reply
  8. Max DiCanine

    For the nth Time – delete me from your lists and unsubscribe me! I will report you to the FCC if this continues.

    Reply
  9. Jonathan P Stokes

    I visited the “Bridge Over the River Kwai” back in the 80’s. By this bridge is a cemetery where the soldiers who died (described above) were buried. I was 25 or 26 at the time when I was there and I was struck by how young they all were. An old man buried there was maybe 24. Thailand is a Buddhist country and people are cremated in the Buddhist religion. My understanding is that the cemetery by that bridge is the ONLY cemetery in the entire country. The Tahi government allowed this cemetery in honor of the soldiers who died while building that railroad. You won’t see Thai people in the cemetery as they are Buddhists. Cemeteries are a foreign concept and really spooks the average Tahi citizen.

    Reply
  10. Donna

    History leaves us many lessons!

    Reply
  11. DOROTHY Wood

    Good history for us to remember

    Reply
  12. James Birrman jr

    My Dad fought in the Pacific Theater and hated the Japanese until the day he died. The were inhumane in their treatment of POW.

    Reply
  13. Niurka M Olivera

    love history channel and now i love this too thank u so much u made my day very interresting article thank so much

    Reply
  14. Michael Huffor

    Alec Guinness starred in a movie based on this “The Bridge over the river Kwai”.

    Reply
  15. ยูฟ่า

    Link building is a great way to traffic to your blog.

    Reply
  16. พนันบอล

    When setting up a blog the most essential element is identifying the purpose of the blog.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.