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Japanese Merchant Shipping And The Bridge Over The River Kwai

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Chapter Summary

From an early stage it was quite clear that the construction of the Thai-Burma railway and the building of the Bridge on the River were undertaken to help supply the Japanese forces in Burma. But why go to the tremendous expense and suffer the appalling trauma of creating a permanent way through some of the worst terrain and weather in the world when the Imperial armies could have been provided with all their requirements more cheaply and conveniently by sea through the port of Rangoon? This question is a complex one that this chapter attempts to answer. Japanese shipbuilding output has dominated the scene since 1955 when it replaced Britain as the world's largest producer; Japan currently operates the biggest fleet of merchant vessels under her national flag.

Keywords: Britain; Burma; Imperial armies; Japan; Rangoon; River Kwai; Thai-Burma railway

10.1163/ej.9781905246885.i-194.19
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