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Bridge overtheriverkwai1


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Bridge overtheriverkwai1

  1. 1. The Bridge Over theRiver Kwai Music : Malcolm Arnold
  2. 2. Kwai (Khwae Noi) - a river in western Thailand near the border with Burma, flows into the Gulf of Thailand. During the Second World War two bridges were built across the river.During the building many Allied prisoners of war were killed. The river and the events of the war was made famous by the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. The David Lean film was based on the novel by Pierre Boulle of the same title.When the Japanese entered the Second World War, they immediately began to wonderhow to avoid the blocking the Bay of Bengal by the Allies. The search for a different way between the gained lands, stretched from Singapore to the northern border of Burma.Theydecided that the best solution would be to build a railway - linking stations in Burmaand Thailand. They marked trail through the valley of the River Kwai, although the area was almost inaccessible to man.Work on both ends of the railway line began in June 1942. Its hard to believe that up to 60 thousand slaves were forced to work. Allied prisoners of war, later expanded the number to 200 thousand. Allied prisoners and Asian forced laborers, with the help of primitive tools, cut through three million cubic meters of rock and built nearly fifteen kilometers of bridges. When, after fifteen months the line was completed, it fully deserved to be called the "Railway of Death." The cost of lives rose to 16 thousand prisoners and 100 thousand. Asian workers. ENTER
  3. 3. The need to build a crossing over the River Kwai Yai, in the north of the place calledKanchanaburi Makkham, was one of the biggest obstacles in the construction of therailway. The steel bridge components were imported from Java, and assembled only bymeans of blocks and ropes. Right next to the steel bridge a temporary wooden bridgewas built, and the first train crossed in 1943. Steel construction was completed threemonths later. Both bridges were severely damaged by Allied bombers in 1944 and 1945.Only pilons of the wooden bridge remained, while the steel bridge was repaired after thewar and is used today.In what conditions the Allied prisoners of war lived and worked, you can see at the the WarMuseum located near the bridge. The museum is a copy of the barracks of death. Crudely cobbled together bunks, dozens of photographs showing prisoners of the allied zombies standing in a line next to the arrogant Japanese officers. The interesting exhibition also consists of newspaper articles and photos. When the conditions in the camp deteriorated, the Japanese banned drawings depicting camp life and these had to bedone in secret on stolen scraps of toilet paper. On the basis of a few of them, made by aBritish prisoner of war, Jack Chalker, paintings were later done. The most shocking parts of the exhibition are drawings and pictures showing the torture. ENTER
  4. 4. Why did this incredibly cruel treatment of prisoners by the Japanese begin? Well, their brutality was a consequence of samurai bushido code, according to which the soldier should not surrender, rather choosing ritual suicide. As people devoid of honor, alliedprisoners were denied any rights. Rations were very small, the work lasted for eighteen hours, after which often followed the march to the next camp. Many prisoners died ofberi-beri, while others fell victim to exhaustion caused by dysentery. The coming of themonsoon season started the spread of cholera and malaria. It is said that each sleeper on the Thai - Burmese railway cost the death of one man. Kanchanaburi cemetery, where most of the dead Allied POWs are buried is a depressing sight. The immaculately manicured lawns and gardens can be found here. The graves of 6,982 prisoners of war are arranged in even rows, For many of the unknown soldiers the stone tablets read only, "the man who gave his life for his country." The others bear the names, dates and names of their units. You can see that most of the people buried here died at the age of 25 years.The history of construction of the "death railway" inspired a former prisoner, Frenchman Pierre Boulle, to write the novel "The Bridge on the River Kwai." Based on this novel, David Lean in 1957, made a film that really made the bridge in Kanchanaburi so frequently visited by tourists. ENTER
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