Built from October 1942 to October 1943 under horrific conditions by ~200 000 Asians laborers and  >60 000 Allied POWs, the Thai Burma railway was over 400 kilometers long. Once completed, the Japanese planned to use it to attack the British in India, and roads and airfields used by the Allies to supply China over the Himalayan Mountains.

> 12 000 Allied prisoners (~2700 Australians), an estimated 75-100,000 coerced Asian laborers (Rõmusha) and  1000 Japanese died during the construction of the railway.

The terrible ordeal was depicted in the movie The Bridge over the River Kwai and many books  including the recent winner of the Man Booker prize The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan.