Scramble for Rails: Japanese Military Transport on Thai Railways during World War II
Is a groundbreaking study of military transport on Thai railways by the Japanese army during the war. Although most people recall the Thai-Burma line when hearing such keywords as Thailand, the Japanese army, railways, and World War II, the Japanese army in fact utilized almost all railways in Thailand for military purposes.
This book explicates the overall characteristics of Japanese military transport from the abundant historical materials regarding the operstion and transport of Japanese military trains preserved at the National Archives of Thailand. It clearly describes how the Japanese army utilized Thai railways, clarifying transport items, routes and volumes. Apart from transport by Japanese military trains, the use of civilian trains by Japanese soldicrs is also analyzed.
The change in the distribution of Japanese garrisons is also clarified in this book. Since few studies reveal the locations of Japanese garrisons in Thailand during the war, the author compiled various materials both in Thailand and in Japan to elucidate the distribution of Japanese grarrisons during each period of the war.
The Thai govemment’s efforts to regain contral of its rail transport is another topic of this book. Although the Japanese army used a large share of Thai rail transport at the outbreak of the war, Thailand took steps to regain its rolling stock from the Japanese army to recover its civil transport. Thailand could recover part of its rolling stock by curtailing Japanese military tranins in certain periods. This scramble for rails between Japan and Thailand peaked at the end of war, when the Japanese army tried to seize the operation of military trains on Thai railways while the Thais tried to maintrain control.