IJCH 2018 Vol.4(3): 59-63 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2018.4.3.122

The Forgotten and Twisted Conflict History of the Siam-Burma Death Railway

Sugumaran Narayanan
Abstract—The Siam-Burma Death Railway was a World War II Japanese project. Workers on the project were subjected to terrible conditions as Japan’s primary goal was to complete the project in the shortest time in the most efficient manner. The majority of the forced labor was from Southeast Asia which included families and children, many of whom ended up becoming orphans at the conclusion of the war. While about 13,000 prisoners of war (POWs) from Europe, the U.S., and Australia died, hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians perished (an exact number is unavailable). Western powers and experts from the West managed to document the hardship and details of the POWs. Even movies were made about them, among them the much-celebrated “Bridge on River Kwai.” On the Southeast Asian side, however, little information is available, let alone online materials. Research is scarce. This project attempts to address this gap in the literature.

Index Terms—Forced labor, personal interview research, Southeast Asia, WWII Death Railway.

Sugumaran Narayanan is with Midwestern State University, 3410 Taft Blvd., Wichita Falls, TX 76308, USA. (e-mail: sugumaran.narayanan@mwsu.edu).


Cite: Sugumaran Narayanan, "The Forgotten and Twisted Conflict History of the Siam-Burma Death Railway," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 59-63, 2018.

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