Melbourne Daily Photo

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Waltzing Australia

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Bridge over the River Kwai

Above: River Kwai Bridge
This black iron bridge was brought from Java by the Japanese supervision by Allied prisoner-of-war labour as part of the Death Railway linking Thailand with Burma.

The bridge is still in use today and was the target of frequent Allied bombing raids during World War II and was rebuild after war ended. The curved spans of the bridge are the original sections. A daily train still follows the historical route from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok Station. Over 13,000 POW's died building the track work.

If you're interested in reading about the building of the train line and the most infamous cutting, Click here to read about it on my other blog.

Today's quote: There are no bridges in folk songs because the peasants died building them ~ Eugene Chadbourne

8 comments:

Tanya said...

it's a beautiful bridge...i love the black iron!

Crafty Green Poet said...

nicely composed shot of an impressive bridge

Rob and Mandy said...

Welcome back! Been at the bridge, it is a very poignant place.

Louis la Vache said...

The quote is very apropos to the post.

There is another historical connection here. Some 2,000 surviving POWs who built the bridge were dumped - literally - into the cargo holds of two Japanese ships to be transported to Japan to work as slaves in Japanese copper mines. These two ships joined a convoy consisting primarily of oil tankers - high priority targets for U.S. submarines.

On the night of 14 September 1944, this convoy sailed into an area patrolled by a U.S. submarine wolf pack that included the U.S.S. Pampanito. Japan had not declared that she was transporting P.O.W.s in the convoy. Nine of the 14 ships in the convoy were sunk, including the two transporting the P.O.W.s.

Four days later, Pampanito, scouting for another convoy slated to sail through the same are, discovered the P.O.W.s in the water.

Photos HERE (scroll down) and the story is HERE. Most of the P.O.W.s were ANZACs.

Some 15 years ago, «Louis» met one of the Australian survivors who had been rescued by the Pampanito.

This post is a welcome contribution to Sunday Bridges.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Wasn't there a movie by this name?
Amazing shot of the bridge, thanks for sharing it.
: )

Dianne said...

Welcome Back - I remember this bridge from the movie "Bridge over the river Kwai"

Jacob and Lois Anne said...

Most interesting! The movie was one of my favorites growing up - I've seen it any number of times. The original bridge over the River Kwai was, I believe, made out of wood.

Right?

Roberto said...

Hello Blossom!
This post brings back memories - I lived nearby to Kanchanaburi for a while. Interesting thing is the word 'kwai' - it means 'river', so you have the 'Bridge over the river river'! of course, it was rebuilt on its current site. Originally, it was further away, and, I believe, on another part of the river.

It's also nice of you to use my Language Translator. It looks good on the black background. I do have some code for a white border around the flags.

BTW - Great blog!

Cheers.

Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.