For months during 1943 there was no night in Hellfire Pass. By the light of flares, carbide lamps and bamboo fires, men near naked and skeletal cut a passage through stone to make way for a railway.
Among these men were some of the 22,000 Australian soldiers taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. In camps across Asia and the Pacific they struggled, died, survived with a little help from their mates. Their experiences became a defining feature of the war, just as Hellfire Pass was to become a defining symbol of what every prisoner experienced.
Hellfire tells the epic stories of these men. It charts the long history of racial tension between Australia and Japan, and the forces that shaped each country before the descent into war. Beyond the clash of nations it intimately explores both bravery in battle and the different courage required to survive years of harshness and hard labour.
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