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Robert | all galleries >> Travel Galleries >> Kanchanaburi, Thailand > Hellfire Pass
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28-DEC-2005 Copyright 2005 Robert

Hellfire Pass

Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Hellfire Pass took 3 months (late April-July, 1943) to cut through rock mostly by using the hammer and tap method. Two man teams would operate alternatively a hammer and a steel drill. Each team had to drill at least
a meter and a half to two meters per man per day. At the end of the day, all holes were plugged with gelignite, detonators and fuses. Cigarette smokers would volunteer to light the fuses to get cigarettes from the guards.
Each smoker would have to light about ten or a dozen fuses and it was too bad if one didn't light or if you delayed in lighting. There was a high risk of being blown up and it was a long run to safety after the final fuse was lit.
During the Speedo (which started around late April as the Japanese wanted to finish the line by August) all the men were not allowed to move prior to the fuses being lit to get every last bit of work out of them. To remove
the huge volume of waste rock produced, ore skips running on light narrow gauge rail tracks were provided. However, the vast hulk of material had to be removed by hand using cane baskets and rice sacks slung between two poles. There were 69 murders from bashings by guards. Approximately 700 men died as a result of working in Hellfire Pass.

Canon EOS 20D ,Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
1/100s f/4.5 at 24.0mm iso400 full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
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