Legacy. The railway was completed in October 1943. The Japanese were able to use it to supply their troops in Burma despite the repeated destruction of bridges by Allied bombing. More than 90,000 Asian civilians died on the railway, as well as 16,000 POWs, of whom about 2800 were Australian.
What happened to the Thai Burma Railway?
In the 1980s Australian ex-POWs returned to Thailand and reclaimed Hellfire Pass from the jungle which had swallowed it when the Burma-Thailand railway was demolished after World War II. The cutting soon became a site of memory for many Australians, particularly on Anzac Day.
When was the Death Railway completed?
The Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway, the Siam–Burma Railway, the Thai–Burma Railway and similar names, is a 415 km (258 mi) railway between Ban Pong, Thailand and Thanbyuzayat, Burma, built by prisoners of war of the Japanese from 1940–1943 to supply troops and weapons in the Burma campaign of World War …
Was the Death Railway completed?
Yangon — The construction of the “death railway”, the 415km link between Ban Pong near Bangkok and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar’s Mon State, was completed on this day in 1943, costing the lives of over 100,000 Asian civilians and Allied prisoners of war in a yearlong construction process.
What happened at the Burma railway?
Burma Railway, also called Burma-Siam Railway, railway built during World War II connecting Bangkok and Moulmein (now Mawlamyine), Burma (Myanmar). More than 12,000 Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and tens of thousands of forced labourers perished during its construction. …
Why did the Japanese treat POWs so badly?
Many of the Japanese captors were cruel toward the POWs because they were viewed as contemptible for the very act of surrendering. … But the high death toll was also due to the POWs’ susceptibility to tropical diseases due to malnutrition and immune systems adapted to temperate climates.
Is the original bridge over the River Kwai still standing?
The real bridge on the River Kwai was never destroyed, not even damaged. It still stands on the edge of the Thai jungle about three miles from this peaceful town and it has become something of a tourist attraction. The bridge was erected by Allied pris oners during the Japanese occupation of Thailand in World War II.
How many died building the Burmese railway?
This breakneck speed of construction had a heavy toll for those who built it: around 13,000 Allied Prisoners of War (POW) died during the work, alongside 100,000 local workers from across the region. They perished in unimaginably horrific conditions – starved, overworked, sick and mistreated.
What did the Japanese do to the Burmese?
In 1942, Japan invaded Burma and nominally declared the colony independent as the State of Burma on 17 May 1942. A puppet government led by Ba Maw was installed. However, many Burmese began to believe the Japanese had no intention of giving them real independence.
How long was the Sandakan Death March?
The march lasted for twenty-six days, with prisoners even less fit than those in the first marches had been, provided with fewer rations and often forced to forage for food. Compound No. 1 of the Sandakan camp was destroyed in an attempt to erase any evidence of its existence.
How was the Burma Railway built?
It was to be built by a captive labour force of about 60,000 Allied prisoners of war and 200,000 romusha, or Asian labourers. They built the track with hand tools and muscle power, working through the monsoon of 1943.
What country is bridge Over the River Kwai?
The actual bridge on the River Kwai is located in Thailand, and stretches over a part of the Mae Klong river, which was renamed Khwae Yai (Thai for big tributary). The railway route, which ran through Burma and Thailand, had been planned by the British.
What happened on the Death Railway?
During World War II, the Japanese forced more than 60,000 allied prisoners of war and nearly 300,000 Southeast Asian labourers to build a 415km railway across the mountains and jungles between Thailand and Myanmar (then Burma). Tens of thousands died during the construction and it became known as the “Death Railway”.
Why is it called the Death Railway?
It originated in Thailand and cut across to the Burmese war front to aid in the Japanese invasion of India. Originally called the Thailand-Burma Railway, it earned the nickname “Death Railway” because over one hundred thousand laborers died during its 16 month construction between 1942 and 1943.
How many Australian POWs were captured by the Japanese?
Over 22,000 Australian servicemen and almost forty nurses were captured by the Japanese. Most were captured early in 1942 when Japanese forces captured Malaya, Singapore, New Britain, and the Netherlands East Indies.
What happened to the Australian prisoners of war?
They were imprisoned in camps throughout Japanese-occupied territories in Borneo, Korea, Manchuria, Hainan, Rabaul, Ambon, Singapore, Timor, Java, Thailand, Burma and Vietnam and also Japan itself. At the end of the war only 13,872 of the POWs were recovered: one-third of the prisoners had died.