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How Thailand's Hellfire Pass Got Its Name

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»The Death Railway

How Thailand's Hellfire Pass Got Its Name

Short | 02:20

During WWII, Hellfire Pass was a notorious Japanese railway construction site. There, Allied prisoners were forced to work at night in grueling conditions, illuminated by the glow of hundreds of burning fires.


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It was one of the most accomplished engineering feats of World War II, but also one of the cruelest. The Thai-Burma Railway, built to supply Japan's invasion of India, cut through mountains and jungles and required over 600 bridges, including the legendary bridge over the River Kwai. But the mission came at the expense of thousands of Allied POWs who were forced to build it. This is the story of the construction of this 258-mile railway, including the notorious Hellfire Pass, through the accounts of veterans who lived to tell the tale.

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