|This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:|
|The route diagram template for this article can be found in Template:Burma Railway route map.|
- 1 Standard gauge?
- 2 Gauge 1000 mm
- 3 Guilty of war crimes
- 4 Move?
- 5 Taimen - Rensetsu Tetsudo
- 6 Use of the railway
- 7 12.000 Japanese
- 8 Death Railway?
- 9 The Real Death Railway
- 10 Details of units used on the line
- 11 Merge proposal with Hellfire Pass
- 12 Requested move
- 13 Rail gauge
- 14 Not this again
- 15 Prominent people who helped build the line
- 16 Numbers are inconsistent
- 17 Mistake
- 18 "Dusty" Rhodes
- 19 "For reference only"
Gauge 1000 mm
The line was built to standard Siamese and Burmese gauge 1000 mm ( metre ) connecting these two Railway networks. The seremonial opening day is also given as 15.10.1943. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 18:26, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Guilty of war crimes
"The construction of the Death Railway was only one of many major war crimes committed by Japan during the course of its wars in Asia" Was anyone tried for crimes they committed during the building of this railway? If so who and what was the war cime they had committed? Please also add details to the Axis war crimes page --Philip Baird Shearer 01:34, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree. The railway is known under this name.
Wereldburger758 12:34, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Likewise. My father - A Burma railway veteran - never once referred to it as the "Death Railway". The current title is more dramatic than encyclopedic.Johnmc 07:39, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
A more correct name for the railway is the Thai-Burma Railway (or conversely, Burma-Thai Railway). These are the most commonly used names. Fraser Tweedale 09:12, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Taimen - Rensetsu Tetsudo
This is the official Japanese name for the Thailand ( Siam ) - Burma Railway. It was planned by professional Japanese railway engineers who worked on behalf of Imperial Japanese Army´s Southern Army ( headquarter then in Sai-gon ) Railway Troops and supervised the construction of the railway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 18:34, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Use of the railway
The railway was used by the Japanese but by the end of the war the Americans bombed the lines with the first guided bombs so that the railway in the end didn't benefit the Japanese wareffort. Does anyone know more about this?
Sections of railway damaged by aerial bombardment were swiftly repaired by Japanese engineers with the help of forced labour. After the surrender of the Japanese the railway saw limited use by the Allies (it main use was as a means of transport for war graves search parties and evacuation of bodies). After the war the railway was torn up as there was no practical use for it. The section from Ban Pong to Nam Tok was later relaid (I can probably find out exactly when) so essentially none of the original railway exists today. Fraser Tweedale 09:12, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Wereldburger758 12:33, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The Japanese planned to transport in both directions 3.000 tons of goods and soldiers daily in 10 pairs of good trains and one daily pair of passenger trains. In addition there run one pair of military train carrying about 4.000 Japanese soldiers monthly to and from Burma on the " Running when required bases ". The line saw thus daily 11 pair of trains up to end of September 1944. In October 1944 the traffic declined and through workings stopped totally between Siam and Burma along the Taimen - Rensetsu Tetsudo on November 29.1944 when the Allied bombing caused minor damage to the Tha Makan bridge. On February 13.1945 when RAF Liberator bombers managed to destroy section five destroying spans number four and six. The complete list of all Japanese locomotives which were transferred by Southern Army Railway Department to work on Taimen - Rensetsu Tetsudo is available. In addition there were allocated also some confiscated locomotives from Malaya, Siam and Burma. And during the Great War in 1915-1916 more than 25.000 Austrian, German, and Hungarian POW´s died when constructed the Murmansk Railway between Petrozavodsk ( Petroskoi ) and Kandalaksha ( Kantalahti ) 767 km. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 19:09, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
The sentence:"About 200,000 conscripted Asian labourers and 12,000 Japanese army and 60,000 Allied POW's were forced to work on the railway.", is not correct. The Japanese were not forced nor did they work. Maybe 12.000 Japanese had the supervision over the prisoners. But I don't know myself. Erasing the mentioning of the Japanese in the above sentence.
Wereldburger758 18:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Incorrect. Many Japanese engineers worked on the railway. PoWs did the grunt work. Not sure of exact numbers but 12,000 seems quite reasonable (can and will find out). Some critical or dangerous sections of the railway were built exclusively by the Japanese engineering corps with now PoW or other external involvement. Fraser Tweedale 09:12, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Some figures are available. The Japanese recruited about 200.000 local inhabitants for the railway building. The number of Japanese working on the line never exceeded 5.000 men. Others were POW´s: British 30.000, Australians 13.000, Dutch 18.000, Americans 700, and local Malayans who served in Colonial Service 14.000. The Japanese official figures show 68.888 POW´s in Taimen - Rensetsu Tetsudo construction work. Of British POW´s 12.493 was reported to be buried in the War Cemeteries in Burma or in banks of the beautiful Kwai River in Siam ( Thailand ). As one British POW ( Major Basil Peacock ) has written: " Even the most prejudiced ex-prisoner must anknowledge that the Japanese engineers were very skilled and determined men, experts of improvisation. The task would have daunted many engineers of other races, even working with help of mechanical aids. It is doubtful if even the Japanese could have done it had the Kwai River not made possible to use sampans as transport. The tools used were shovels, picks, saws, crowbars, hammers, and rope. No ex-prisoner from the Kwai now wonders how the mighty works of antiquity were built - a vast expendable labour force can accomplish anything. " —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 19:50, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I can understand why it's called the Death Railway (because of all the people who died building it) but at the same time it seems kind of like loaded language. In addition, this made a vacation to Burma or Thailand less appealing for me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 21:54, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
- Believe me, it was less appealing for those who worked on the railway both those who died and the few survivors. --Bejnar (talk) 06:23, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
The Real Death Railway
If someone wants to compare the death toll among the POW´s and the Prisoners of Gulag lagers in Soviet Union after World War Two in 1947 - 1953 when building the Salehard - Urengoi " Death Railway " the less than 13.000 deaths in Burma and Siam ( Thailand ) is small when compared to this Stalin´s railway project where more than 40.000 prisoners died during the construction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 20:02, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
- There is no doubt that there have been forced labour projects with greater loss of life. But the loss of 13,000 lives is *never* "small", no matter what it's being compared to. That brings to mind a quote - interestingly enough, attributed to Stalin - namely, "If one dies, it's a tragedy. If ten million die, it's a statistic." By all means, create the article about Stalin's railway, and link it to here. But please don't talk the Burma Railway down. My father - ex POW, and Burma Railway survivor - would be rolling in his grave.Johnmc (talk) 07:44, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Johnmc for your comment. I create an article of Berija´s Constuction Project No 502 in the Wikipedia. Why I have given the comparable firures out is simply to show that some countries in the " Allied Side " used same methods what did the Japanese in World War Two. You have to remember that the old Samurai tradition could not except the word " unconditional surrendering ", this was agaist their believe of the soldiers fate, ( a great shame where people lost their respects ) which was against their soldier fate. I really regret the death of nearly 13.000 British POW´s and all others who gave their life when constructed this 415 km railway. But the facts are clear: The Japanese had their railway and it run smoothly with 11 pairs of trains for one year. This is the fact you cannot take out from history. The Japanese railway engineers were clever to build even such a railway. This is the main fact. When taking the Korean guards in POW labours ( as the Japanese said: Dog eating bastards ) we cannot take the treatment for Western POW´s as the main fact of the railway. The railway operated and this is the main fact. It is funny to see that the treatment of the POW´s had taken the major rule when describing the fate of this " Taimen Rensetsu Tetsudo. " 99 per cent of the western " experts " do not even known the Japanese name of this Siam - Burma Railway. Railway history must be taken as it appears from the official statistics, still available in Tokio, Japan, Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore, and Rangoon Burma ( Yangoon, Myanmar. )
==Good grief!! Is this the work of a right-wing Nihonjin nutter or what?! What a load of racist hog wash, next they'll be saying that the Holocaust was the fault of the Jews.
Sickening rubbish purporting to justify the unjustifiable - particularly the contempt reserved for Koreans (dog-eating bastards)
- Yeah. I probably should have been less restrained with my initial reply. However, this particular contributor hasn't made any edits since this one, and no edits where made to the actual article, so the advice regarding "sleeping dogs", etc. etc. might apply. Interestingly enough, his IP address resolves to Helsinki, but - not being versed in internet skulduggery - this might just mean it was done via proxy or something. As for "smooth" operation of the railway for 12 months, I would seriously doubt that, considering that the Allies considered - as they would - the railway a prime bombing target even before it was completed.Johnmc (talk) 02:12, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
As many books as exist on this subject, there's no reason why this article can't make featured someday. It just needs someone to crack a few of those books and get to writin'. My "to do" list is fairly full, but if someone starts building this and needs some copyediting or formatting help, I'm willing and able. Cla68 (talk) 02:31, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Details of units used on the line
I can understand why Grant65 removed the details of US units involved on the line (it doesn't flow in well with the opening paragraph), but i think there is room for a "units involved in construction of the line" section, with details of Australian, British, Dutch and US military units that were used. (I realise this doesn't address civilian labour).Johnmc (talk) 10:29, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Merge proposal with Hellfire Pass
- Correct. Same gauge as the rest of the Thai/Malaysian/Cambodian system.Johnmc (talk) 21:57, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Not this again
I like how the proportion of deaths among "Asian laborers", their working conditions, and the breakdown of their nationalities is less significant than that of the POWs, even as they outnumbered them 3 to 1. Seriously, does this page have to overemphasize the importance of captured Allied combatants rather than defenseless civilians? - 18.104.22.168 (talk) 09:47, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
- Well, yes. Wikipedia limits itself to published sources, and defenseless civilians didn't publish many, even though there simply wouldn't be any combatants if there weren't defenseless civilians to support them, cradle to the grave. --Pawyilee (talk) 16:29, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
(I'm new here): I am looking at this because I was told by a museum visitor that many Vietnamese and Chinese died but not one Thai. I find this impossible to believe and cannot imagine the Siamese army which collaborated with the Japs not sending Thai prisoners to face the horrors along with the enemy troops. Sorry I was offended to see the detail given to the tragedy of the allied soldiers and surely some research has been done into the suffering of the Asian others which needs inclusion to balance this article. Ricky CNX (talk) 13:55, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Prominent people who helped build the line
This section contains several redlinks and unreferenced persons.
Numbers are inconsistent
"16,000 Allied POWs died as a direct result of the project. The dead POWs included 6,318 British personnel, 2,815 Australians, 2,490 Dutch, about 356 Americans and a smaller number of Canadians and New Zealanders."
This does not compute. 6318+2815+2490+356 = 11,979. If the number of Canadians and New Zealanders are individually less than 356, then the total by simple addition cannot be more than 12,689. Were there other nationalities of Allied POWs involved but not mentioned? Perhaps Indians? I realize there is a reference for the passage, but oughtn't there be a note added that the numbers don't compute? It's frustrating to find such glaring numerical problems in an encyclopedia article. Fnj2 (talk) 01:44, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
"In accordance with the traditions of the US military, the remains of its personnel were repatriated to the United States: ..." I think that this sentence is false because remains of many WWII soldiers are still in military cemetery in France. Skiff (talk) 10:20, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
On several occasions good faith links from the portrait of "Dusty" Rhodes have been made to an American fighter pilot. This is wrong. The portrait is of an English soldier, formerly of the Palestine Police, as shown in the inscription on the portrait.