Bridge On The River Kwai, The true story.


Verified Military
Sep 7, 2006
I just finish watching the history channel documentary of this, I'm not dry eyed...

First thing to be thought about is that the movie is almost complete fiction and is viewed with derision by the POWs who were there, of particular insult to them all is the portrayal of the British C.O. who in real life was a hero.

The river was not the Kwai (Khwae Noi is the actual name of the river, they couldn't even get that correct) at all it was the Mae Klong river, the bridge crossed the river at a spot known as Tamarkan which is really what the bridge is correctly called.

There were two bridges made simultaneously a wooden one and the proper steel and concrete.

The loss of life during the construction was minimal with only 9 men loosing their lives and is viewed by the POWs as an easy time.

The 250 mile Burma-Thailand railway claimed over 13,000 British, Australian, American and Dutch lives.
A ratio of 1 in 4!

I hate the Japanese for these crimes and I further hate the Japanese for their continuing denial and cover up of the crimes they committed during the war.

I for one will never forgive the Japs for what they did and continue to do to this very day.

As for our guys that were tortured and murdered by the criminal Japanese.

We Will Remember Them.


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Thanks - I will have to pick that up and see it.

I remember the first time I watched that movie with my Dad. He was in the Burma Regiment during WWII and he didn't have much use for the movie.

I remember him finding fault with everything. He died when I was young and many times since I have watched that movie trying to remember all he said. I definitely want to see this.

I have tried to find as much as possible on Burma.
Found two out of print books that are really good:
"Fighting through to Kohima - A memoir of war in India and Burma; Michael Lowry" and
"B Company: Raymond Cooper, One man's war in Burma 1942-1945". He was in the 9th battalion of the Border Regiment.

thanks Pardus
As for the Japanese denial, it's acknowledged widely that for them, the rape of Nanking never happened.
As for retribution, ask any digger who is still alive about the sinking of the Hospital ship Centaur and it's aftermath.
The Living Hell is the story of a Singaporean who was forced by the Japanese to work as a hospital assistant along the death railway.

One chilling story from the book I will always remember: 5 American soldiers were caught trying to escape. The Japanese gathered all the prisoners and handed each of the 5 a shovel. At first, the 5 thought that as punishment they had to do some extra digging work.

But the Japanese indicated that they were to dig their own graves, and they were to be buried alive. 1 of the 5 tried to resist but was beaten. So the 5 started digging. When the grave was big enough only for 1, the Japanese forced one of them in. The others were forced to cover him up as he screamed. This went on till there was only one left. The Japanese helped him dig his own grave.