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The Infamous Burma-Thailand Railway

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The Japanese government's intention was to deliver a declaration of war just moments before the bombers hit. However, the embassy in Washington screwed up and failed to do so. It was to be a surprise attack nevertheless. The declaration was to arrive too late to do anything about it.



<< In his later years, Sakai was asked to appear as a motivational speaker at Japanese schools and corporations. His theme was always the same, the credo by which he lived his entire life: "Never give up."


Sakai expressed concern for Japan's collective inability to accept responsibility for starting the war, and over the popular sentiment that only the militaryâ€â€not the political leadersâ€â€were responsible. He decried the kamikaze campaign as brutally wasteful of young lives, and he drew attention with his critical comments about Emperor Hirohito's role. "Who gave the orders for that stupid war?" he asked in an interview reported August 10, 2000 by The Associated Press. "The closer you get to the emperor, the fuzzier everything gets." >>




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It was a sneak attack and the surprise was the key factor in the Japanese strategy. In fact, the Japanese Fleet was under strict radio silence to ensure the US did get any hint the fleet was in the area.


The attack itself was a complete revision to what had been both the Japanese and US strategy for over 20 years in how such a war, if it came to that, would be conducted. Up until then everyone assumed it would be a running battle as the US Fleet advanced across the Pacific culminating in a decisive battle between battleships north of the Philippines.



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Old information, I guess.


Japan Foreign Aid thru/in the 1990's was highest. Not now.




And these numbers have nothing to do with payments to victims of Japanese atrocities and brutality during WWII. Almost non of the victims has ever received a YEN from Japan. Firstly because the Japanese paid the money directly to the governments which were more or less dictatorships in the 50s and 60s and secondly Japanese never wanted to send money directly to the victims (like Germany still does).


And when finally after much international pressure the Japanese wanted to give payment to the Korean comfort women (i. e. forced prostitutes) it was set up as an indirect payment through a foundation. The reason was, that the Japanese government did not want to acknowledge the amplitude of their war crimes. Even worse: the head of the foundation was a former soldier who was involved in organizing the comfort women program in Korea.

Unlitmately the payment program failed because the former comfort women wanted to receive first an official apology by the Japanese government which never happened.


Every know and then WWII victims claim repartions for their suffering under Japanese rulership, but these claims are always denied. Quite contrary to the victims of the Atomic bomb who have an official status as A-bomb victims.


And still today every year leading Japanese politicians do a pilgrimage to the Yaskuni Shrine for to honor the Japanese soldiers who died in the wars. Nothing bad about this, except that the Yaskuni Shrine includes even Japanese Class 1 war criminals responsible for the Japanese atrocities all over Asia. :banghead:


No wonder that the Japanese don't have much cultural or political influence in Asia.

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It does not make any difference to anything but just as a historical addition : the guards at the railway camps were to the majority no real soldiers but a bunch of assembled Japanese fuckups whom the Japs thought not to be worth fighting for their country . I have been to the museum in Kanchanaburi and strongly recommend to visit the place .

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"Never-before-heard tapes and interviews with POWs and guards expose the myths and misconceptions behind one of the most famous war movies of all time.



The 1957 film Bridge on the River Kwai won six Academy Awards and may be the most famous and celebrated war movie ever made. But while the story of the collaboration of a British officer and his Japanese captors was the perfect way to illustrate "the great joke of war," it also horrified the POWs who lived through the experience on which the movie was based.


THE TRUE STORY OF THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI interviews former POWs and guards to reveal what really happened, and how the "collaborating" officer, Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey, was a hero, not a traitor. As on soldier recalls, "he was always there to stand between us and the brutality of the Japs." His inspired leadership was the primary reason why only nine of his soldiers died during the construction of the bridge (compared to 16,000 on the Thai-Burma railway overall) and his humanity likely saved the Japanese overseer of the prison camp from execution after the war!


While he refused to speak of the ordeal during his life, Toosey left behind more than 50 hours of tapes detailing his wartime experiences. For the first time, we hear his side of what happened in his own words."




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Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand, Sortie 684BN RAF 0556, Frame 4003

Bridges over the River Mae Klong (later renamed Kwa Yai in 1960) and Tamarkan POW camp, at Tha Ma Kham, five kilometres from Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Imagery was taken by 684 Squadron, Royal Air Force, on 2 January 1945.


These images show the two bridges built by the Japanese, using prisoner of war (POW) labour, which spanned the Mae Klong river. The wooden trestle bridge was completed in February 1943, and the steel bridge in April 1943. Both bridges were subjected to numerous attacks by Allied aircraft during the period December 1944 to June 1945 – as evidenced by the numerous bomb craters.


Tamarkan POW camp was located adjacent to both the bridges and a nearby Japanese anti-aircraft battery. It also suffered during these air raids, the worst being on 29 November 1944. During this attack on the Anti Aircraft battery, three bombs over-carried and demolished the top ends of POW huts 1 and 2, burying a number of the occupants. When viewed at high resolution POWs can be clearly seen in the camp.


The 1957 film 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' was based on the building in 1943 of one of the railway bridges over the Mae Klong.



I seem to having the old problem of photos not showing, just the link.



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visited the area in 2010 and very humbling experience.

only 2 of us on the tour and we had plenty of time to look around the area.

our thai guide was informative and i gave him a good tip.


the cemetery to the POW'S was very poignant and i applaud the efforts of the locals to make it a serene place.

i was moved to tears to read the gravestones of so many men who died on the same day and laid together at rest and many so young.


the museum was also a very sobering moment with all the info and photo's shown.

the bridge itself was a powerful sight but the area around is commercialised.

did'nt like the idea of the toy train taking tourists on trips across the bridge,took time to walk across and savour the area.

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