Japanese Military Transport on Thai Railways during World War II by Ichiro Kakizaki.
White Lotus Press, 2019, 303 pages. www.seateservices.online
All WWII buffs, most Thais, those who survived the terrible ordeal, and hardcore cinema buffs all know about ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’, ‘The Death Railway’. Based on Pierre Boulle’s 1952 book and an epic 1957 film by David Lean, both are classics.
Ichiro Kakizaki has rendered noteworthy service to Thailand’s history by detailing the almost unknown tale of the four year struggle between the Japanese military and Thai government officials in constantly wrestling over control of the Royal Thai Railway System. The Japanese commandeered almost all of Thailand’s rolling stock from the first day to use for military purposes. The Thais fought a constant battle to regain the railroads for their own civilian use. Highly detailed and well researched, the book does credible service in pinpointing where all the Japanese garrisons were located, plus where and when the railways were used. The tremendous struggle went right down to the war’s last day. For all WWII and Thai history buffs plus railway enthusiasts.