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River Kwai Railway
by Kinvig, Clifford

ISBN: 9781844860210
PUBLISHER: Conway Maritime Press Ltd
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 256
PUBLICATION DATE: 16.09.2005
DIMENSIONS: 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.8 centimetres 9.1 ounces

DESCRIPTION:
As rivers go there is nothing particular about the River Kwai. It is known less for its physical characteristics than for its association with the monumental struggle that took place along its eastern bank in 1942 and 1943 as a third of a million men strove to build a railway linking Thailand to Burma. What gave this railroad its gruesome notoriety was not its uniqueness as an engineering achievement, remarkable feat though it was, but the ruthless determination of its architects to have it completed on time, however daunting the task in the inhospitable climate and topography of the region, and regardless of the cost in human life. The conditions have been well-documented in POW accounts. However, when it was first published 10 years ago, Clifford Kinvig's book was the first to present a fully comprehensive evaluation of the railway episode in its strategic, logistic and manpower contexts. Now re-released as a B-format paperback, Kinvig's commendable examination of the River Kwai Railway uses Japanese records, together with prisoners' accounts, to explain the progress of this formidable enterprise. He examines it not only from the viewpoint of the Japanese soldiers and POWs, but also from the perspective of the huge number of labourers recruited in Burma and Malaya, a mainly illiterate force who were unable to produce any coherent record of their experiences, and whose plight has been largely overlooked.

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