The Bridge over the River Kwai is a railway bridge in Thailand, crossing the Kwai Yai at Kanchanaburi on the Siam-Burma line. Built during the Second World War by forced laborers under the orders of the Imperial Japanese Army, it is famous for Pierre Boulle's novel and the film of the same name. During the Second World War, to support its troops in the conquest of the British Raj, the Japanese Empire launched the ambitious project of building a 415-kilometer railroad through Thailand to British Burma. The workforce, made up of 100,000 Asian workers and 30,000 Western prisoners of war, suffered heavy losses due to ill-treatment, tropical diseases and American and British bombing, particularly on the bridge under construction, where some 16,000 people died. For this reason, the line is known as the "railroad of death".
A wooden bridge was first built to span the Kwai Yai while the nearby metal bridge was under construction. It was completed in February 1943. Remains of this wooden bridge are preserved in the World War II Museum in Kanchanaburi. Source Wikipedia