Synopsis by Tracie Cooper
This PBS special documents the sequence of events resulting from the Japanese army's capture of more than 200,000 Allied POWs during 1942, specifically pertaining to the supply route needed to support its front-line troops in Burma. Under deplorable conditions, the POWs, along with thousands of Asian laborers, were ordered to complete a railway linking Thailand and Burma, which would include a bridge on the River Kwai. Nicknamed "The Death Railway" due to the extreme malnourishment and disease the bridge claimed before its completion, the bridge gained no small amount of infamy. The railway was eventually destroyed by the invention of the Azimuth Only bomb (the AZON), which served as a cornerstone in the development of high-accuracy guidable bombs that would ultimately be used in places like Afghanistan and Iraq decades later.