The Path Between the Seas - Book 1, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

David McCullough
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"Soldiers under Fire" is a rather obscure title for this examination of the second part of the French effort. Raging tropical diseases, previously discussed, raise such fear in Paris that professors encourage young graduates in engineering not to volunteer for Panama, but they are fired with the kind of patriotic zeal one normally associates with warriors.

Jules Isidore Dingler, a physically unimpressive man in his mid-40s, a graduate of the Polytechnique, and successful engineer, is as qualified as possible to serve as the first Directeur Gynyral. During the month Charles remains, Dingler restores order and confidence, distributes the workload, and purges the cowardly and disloyal. He inspects the line, examines data, and formulates the only master plan the French will have in Panama. Taming the Chagres is the heart of the matter, and Dingler envisages the largest earth dam ever built. A...

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This section contains 1,286 words
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