The construction of the Burma-Thailand railway is one of the most extraordinary stories of World War II. 13,000 Allied prisoners of war and 70,000 Asian conscripts died as slaves to build the railway. With primitive tools and no regard for human life, the Imperial Japanese Army thrust the railway over 400 kilometres through one of the most rugged and pestilence-ridden areas in the world, in the incredibly short span of 12 months. The cost was a life for every sleeper laid over its most difficult sections. Hugh V.Clarke, a survivor, makes use of documents, first-hand reports and photographs, many of which have never been published. Some photographs were taken by a Japanese surveyor during construction. Others show what remains of that effort and agony after four decades. All bear witness to the immensity of the exercise and its cost.