31 January 2020
In December 1941, the Pacific War began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, and the invasion of Malaya. By mid-1942, having conquered most of South-East Asia, Japanese forces were fighting the British in Burma, their aim being an offensive against India. To maintain their armies in Burma, the Japanese needed a more secure supply route than the sea-lanes used between Singapore and Rangoon. They decided to construct a railway, 420km long, through jungles and mountains from Ban Pong in Thailand to Thanbyuzayat in Burma.