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The Planning of "Operation Overlord"

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From the tolls collected, the ACP must pay an annual fee to the Panamanian national treasury. Any surplus remaining after that and the payment of canal operational and maintenance expenses also goes to the treasury.

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History As early as the 16th century, the Spanish recognized the advantages of a canal across the Central American isthmus. Eventually two routes came to be considered, one through Panama and the other through Nicaragua. Impetus for selecting the route through Panama increased with the construction by the United States of the Panama Railroad in the midth century.

The eventual route of the canal closely followed that of the railroad. Panama railroadPanama railroad terminus at Culebra, Library of Congress, Washington, D. The company, under the leadership of Ferdinand de Lessepswas financed by French capital from countless small investors. Unfortunately for the French, however, his idea was ignored at the time, and the Compagnie Universelle embarked on its ill-fated undertaking.

Lesseps was unfamiliar with conditions in Panama or was unwilling to acknowledge that they were vastly different from Suez. Unlike the arid desert of the Isthmus of Suez, Panama was a tropical jungle, with diluvial rains, debilitating heat and humidity, and tropical diseases.

Topographic conditions along the proposed route varied considerably and ranged from coastal marshes to the mountains of the Continental Divide. Despite competent engineering, there was no sound overall plan. Progress was costly and extremely slow. As a cost-saving measure, the plans for a sea-level canal were eventually dropped in favour of a high-level lock-type canal, but that change had little effect.

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With no foreseeable return on its investment, the French public lost faith in the project and its leader. Attempts at further financing failed, and the company collapsed in Although the company reorganized init virtually ceased to function by Any possibility of completing the canal across Panama was gone; its sole hope lay in holding together an enterprise that could be offered for sale.

In the end, less than half of the excavation made by the French was used in the U. American intervention Hope became reality with the passage of the Spooner Act of by the U. Congress, which authorized purchasing the assets of the French company and building a canal, provided that a satisfactory treaty could be negotiated with Colombia of which Panama was then an integral part.

When treaty negotiations with Colombia broke down, Panama, with the implicit backing of the United States, declared its independence and was recognized by the United States in November Map of central Panama c. A French company had unsuccessfully attempted to construct a canal in the late 19th century; the United States completed the waterway in —14, largely tracing the route shown here.

From the first Senate resolution in favouring Nicaragua until the dramatic change of location for the canal in the Spooner Act, the American public and government had consistently and overwhelmingly supported a canal through Nicaragua.

That the canal was built in Panama is primarily attributable not to the intrinsic merits of the Panama route but to the ingenuity and zeal of two remarkable men who worked separately toward a common goal: The political power that turned the U. Theodore Roosevelt and Sen. By the summer ofwork under American administration was under way all along the canal route. The French had abandoned the sea-level approach in favour of a high-level canal with locks, and indeed that was desirable as it would cost less and would eliminate potential problems arising from differences in sea levels at either end of the waterway.

Yet engineers still disagreed on the type of canal that should be built, and they faced another problem of equal importance: Left unchecked, its menacing flood could easily inundate a waterway built near its path. In Roosevelt resolved the matter when he sided with Chief Engineer John Frank Stevenswho argued for a lock-type canal.

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So massive was the lake that it was able to accommodate the greater part of the river even at flood stage.

Perhaps more important, the man-made lake formed more than 20 miles 32 km of the canal route. Panama Canal lock constructionMen working on the locks of the Panama Canal. Human costs and completion Where tropical fevers— yellow fever and malaria in particular—had decimated the ranks of French workers with an estimated loss of over 20, lives, those in charge of the American effort were determined to prevent the same thing from happening again.

American medical staff understood how the diseases were transmitted and how they could be controlled, and by the Canal Zone had become safer for work to resume in earnest. Even with such precautions, accidents and disease claimed the lives of 5, workers during the American effort.

At times more than 40, people were employed on the project, mostly labourers from the West Indian islands of Barbados, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, though many engineers, administrators, and skilled tradesmen were from the United States.

Panama Canal Authority Railroads and heavy machinery were critical elements. Most notable was the use of more than steam shovels, many of which were used to dig the Culebra Cut, later called Gaillard Cut after David du Bose Gaillard, the American engineer who supervised its construction until his death in The unstable nature of the soil and rock in the area of the cut made it one of the most difficult and challenging sections of the entire canal project, however, and numerous lives were lost in landslides and dynamite accidents during that phase of the project.

Indeed, hillsides were subject to unpredictable earth slides and mudslides, and at times the floor of the excavation was known to rise precipitously simply owing to the weight of the hillsides. The well-known Cucaracha slide of continued for years and poured millions of cubic yards into the canal excavation. Corbis Despite all of those challenges, the canal was opened to traffic on August 15,more than three decades after the first attempt to build the canal had begun.

It remains the greatest engineering feat yet attempted. Panama Canal lock constructionTwo men standing on railroad tracks in front of canal locks under construction in as part of the Panama Canal Project.

It had been written and negotiated for the infant republic by Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varillaa French citizen who had not been in Panama for 18 years and who later openly admitted that he was willing for Panama to pay any price to ensure acceptance of the treaty by the U.

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As eventually constituted by the middle of the century, the Canal Zone was administered by an American governor appointed by the U. Judicial matters were settled before magistrates appointed by the governor or by a circuit court judge appointed by the president.

The governor was ex officio a director and president of the Panama Canal Company, an American corporate body whose directors were charged with operating and maintaining the canal in a businesslike manner. In order to guarantee operation of the canal in the event of war, U. Some of the harsher effects of the Hay—Bunau-Varilla Treaty were ameliorated by subsequent treaties, principally those of and But the Panamanians continued to press for more-drastic changes, including eventual full sovereignty over the canal.

After years of negotiation, agreement was reached between the two governments in Omar Torrijos Herrera of Panama and Pres. Jimmy Carter of the United States. It terminated all prior treaties between the United States and Panama concerning the canal and abolished the Canal Zone. The treaty recognized Panama as territorial sovereign in the former Canal Zone, but it gave the United States the right to continue managing, operating, and maintaining the canal and to use lands and waters necessary for those purposes during a transition period of 20 years covered by the agreement.

The treaty also provided for joint study of the feasibility of a sea-level canal and gave the United States the right to add a third lane of locks to the existing canal, though those were never built by the United States.

The treaty went into effect on October 1,and expired on December 31, The treaty was supplemented by a separate, but interrelated, Neutrality Treaty that also went into effect in but has no termination date. Under the Neutrality Treaty the United States and Panama guarantee the permanent neutrality of the canal, with nondiscriminatory tolls and access for all nations; U.

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No nation other than Panama may operate the canal or maintain military installations within Panamanian territory. French Resistance networks passed on precious bits of information, particularly the condition of bridges and canal locks. Wireless telegraph operators transmitted in bursts to evade German radio-detection teams. Also, the French Resistance used pigeons to fly information to the Allies. Some of the pigeons were shot down, however most made the trip to the Allies.

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Operation Overlord is most famously known as D-day, however it is not the only operation known as D-day. D-Day is a reference to Day-Day because the exact day was not known therefore it was represented by the letter D.

The weather, tides, and moonlight conditions were the main decision makers on when the operation would take place. Tides were important since the invasion was amphibious. It was necessary for it to be low tide because it would give the Allies the advantage of seeing where mines and other obstacles were located.

The risk with low tide was the larger amount of land the Infantries would have to cross. The operation had been previously scheduled for May 1, Because the date was fast approaching, the US wanted to practice the operation and on April 27th Exercise Tiger occurred. However by that date the Allies still did not have enough landing crafts to proceed. The operation was pushed back until June 5th of the same year. Eisenhower on June 5th made a speech to the troops to boost their moral and to help them realize just how important their jobs were.

You are about to embark upon the greatest crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.

Panama Canal

Eisenhower, supreme Allied Commander. He spoke to the soldiers in a way that motivated them. Only two percent of you here today will die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Every man is frightened at first in battle. Some men are cowards, yes! But they fight just the same, or get the hell shamed out of them watching men who do fight whoa are just as scared.

The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire, some take an hour.

For some it takes days.