Hellfire Pass in the Tenasserim Hills was a particularly difficult section of the line to build. It was the largest rock cutting on the railway, coupled with its general remoteness and the lack of proper construction tools during building. A tunnel would have been possible to build instead of a cutting, but this could only be constructed at the two ends at any one time, whereas the cutting could be constructed at all points simultaneously despite the excess effort required by the POWs. The Australian, British, Dutch and other allied Prisoners of War were required by the Japanese to work 18 hours a day to complete the cutting. Sixty nine men were beaten to death by Japanese guards in the six weeks it took to build the cutting, and many more died from cholera, dysentery, starvation, and exhaustion (Wigmore 568). However, the majority of deaths occurred amongst labourers whom the Japanese enticed to come to help build the line with promises of good jobs. These labourers, mostly Malayans (Chinese, Malays and Tamils from Malaya), suffered mostly the same as the POWs at the hands of the Japanese. The Japanese kept no records of these deaths.By using our Bangkok holiday builder website , you can arrange your visit to Hellfire Tours and other attractions in Bangkok.
The railway was never built to a level of lasting permanence and was frequently bombed by the Royal Air Force during the Burma Campaign. After the war, all but the present section was closed and the line is now only in service between Bangkok and Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi.
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Hellfire Tours Reviews
We used them to do a one day trip to Angkor Wat. Hotel pickup and they walked us through the visa and border crossing into Cambodia. Excellent guide , well informed. Everyone was very accommodating, i... more »
I was collected from my Hotel by my Guide air at 06:30. It was a 3 ½ hr drive from Bangkok to the location of Hellfire pass. We stropped on route for a coffee & pastry. The journey was good in a very ... more »
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