This British-desired railway, connecting Burma and Thailand, was deemed to be too incredibly tough of an undertaking to consider, due to the hilly jungle terrain and absence of transportation and medical equipment. However, in 1942 - during World War II, the Japanese seized Burma and took control away from Britain and by October of 1943, “The Death Railway” - as it became known - was completed by the Japanese with no transportation between the workers and the outside world, no medical help, no advanced tools and very little food.
It is a heartbreaking story with grueling conditions of forced labor, including more than 60,000 Allied prisoners of war and about 180,000 Southeast Asian natives. Over 100,000 people died during the construction of the railroad, and - after Wold War II ended - 111 Japanese military officials who were connected to the Death Railway were tried in court for war crimes, 32 of which received a death sentence. The remains of most of the war dead were retrieved and transplanted to official war cemeteries.Read More