Special Publications

The Panama Canal: An Army's Enterprise


Jon T. Hoffman, Michael J. Brodhead, Carol R. Byerly and Glenn F. Williams

Special Publications
CMH Pub 70-115-1, Paper
2009; 106 pages; maps, illustrations, further readings

GPO S/N: 008-029-00517-4

This pamphlet describes the critical role of Army officers who defied the odds and saw this immense project through to completion. They included Col. William C. Gorgas, who supervised the medical effort that saved countless lives and made it possible for the labor force to do its job; Col. George W. Goethals, who oversaw the final design of the canal and its construction and, equally important, motivated his workers to complete the herculean task ahead of schedule; and many other officers who headed up the project's subordinate construction commands and rebuilt the Panama railroad, a key component of the venture. In just seven years, these soldiers, thousands of fellow Americans, and tens of thousands of workers from around the world turned the dream of an isthmian canal into reality. Their success immediately ranked among the greatest peacetime feats of the Army and the nation, and it remains so to this day.

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