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Building the death railway: the ordeal of American POWs in by Robert Sherman La Forte, Ronald E. Marcello

By Robert Sherman La Forte, Ronald E. Marcello

The Oscar-winning motion picture 'Bridge Over the River Kwai' dramatized to thousands the development of the notorious eastern 'Death Railway' - the availability line for Japan's deliberate invasion of India in the course of international warfare II. however the motion picture informed in simple terms a part of the tale, giving the impact that every one males engaged on the road have been British. actually, 668 american citizens - serving at the USS Houston and with the Texas nationwide Guard's moment Battalion - labored along the opposite Allied troops within the jungle camps. In 'Building the loss of life Railway', their tale is instructed for the 1st time. In 22 interviews with American survivors, we study the main points in their long ordeal. affliction, punishment, camaraderie, paintings stipulations and makes an attempt to flee are defined through the boys who have been there. the tale starts off with their seize and ends with their liberation forty two months later. The Burma-Thailand 'Death Railway' used to be some of the most terrible sentences a prisoner of warfare may possibly undergo. hundreds of thousands died within the jungles of Burma. greater than one hundred thirty american citizens - one guy in 5 - by no means again domestic, sufferers of overlook, abuse, hunger and sickness. 'Building the loss of life Railway' provides the yankee point of view on occasions that stunned the realm.

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Extra resources for Building the death railway: the ordeal of American POWs in Burma, 1942-1945

Example text

They stayed there until the Japanese shipped them to Singapore, en route to Japan, where they were imprisoned until the war ended. Originally, the Houston sailors had it tougher than the soldiers. Their capture was more in line with popular opinion of what would probably happen when they surrendered. A few watched some of their buddies machine-gunned in the water. The Japanese took others of them prisoner while still in the strait, but most Houston survivors made it ashore, either to be captured by the Japanese or seized by Javanese, who turned them in, if they did not kill them.

He also had each interviewee sign the necessary release forms. The interviews presented Page xxii here were chosen on the basis of the quality of information they give pertaining to the five chapters into which this book is divided. As in the previous collaboration, on the topic of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Robert S. La Forte edited the interviews and tried to bring order out of a jumble of recollections. He wrote this general introductory essay and the introductions preceding each chapter, the brief biographies of each prisoner before and after captivity, the epilogue, and the selective bibliographical essay.

Griess, The Second Worm War: Asia and the Pacific, The West Point Military History Series (Wayne, NJ: Avery Publishing Group, 1989); and Ronald H. Spector, Eagle against the Sun: The American War with Japan (New York: Free Press, 1985). Page xii Area of Japan's Thrust into Asia, 194142 Page xiii boats. Captain Rooks masterfully maneuvered the Houston in defense of the transports and cargo vessels, and none was lost. Nevertheless, the convoy returned to Darwin after the attack and two days later, on February 18, suffered another massive air raid.

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