Our friendly and excellent guides are available as Step On Guides for any visiting tour or coach operators who may like a unique, entertaining and educational tour of Irish History and the events of Easter Week 1916.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The United States occupation of the Dominican Republic occurred from 1916 to 1924. It was one of the many interventions in Latin America undertaken by American military forces. On May 13, 1916, Rear Admiral William B. Caperton forced the Dominican Republic's Secretary of War Desiderio Arias, who had seized power from Juan Isidro Jimenes Pereyra, to leave Santo Domingo by threatening the city with naval bombardment
Three days after Arias left the country, United States Marines landed and took control of the country within two months,[1] and in November the United States imposed a military government under Rear Admiral Harry Shepard Knapp. The marines restored order throughout most of the republic, with the exception of the eastern region; the country's budget was balanced, its debt was diminished, and economic growth resumed; infrastructure projects produced new roads that linked all the country's regions for the first time in its history; a professional military organization, the Dominican Constabulary Guard, replaced the partisan forces that had waged a seemingly endless struggle for power.
Most Dominicans, however, greatly resented the loss of their sovereignty to foreigners, few of whom spoke Spanish or displayed much real concern for the welfare of the republic. A guerrilla movement, known as the gavilleros, enjoyed considerable support from the population in the eastern provinces of El Seibo and San Pedro de MacorĂ­s. Having knowledge of the local terrain, they fought against the United States occupation from 1917 to 1921. American naval forces maintained order during a period of chronic and threatened insurrection. In 1921, the gavilleros were crushed due to the superior air power, firepower and counterinsurgency methods of the United States military

The Battle of Athens: 1916

French troops in Athens, with the Acropolis in the background, after the Noemvriana.
On early morning of 1 December 1916 the Allies landed a 3,000[35]-strong marineforce in Piraeus, and headed towards Athens.When the Allied troops reached their designated positions, they found them already occupied by Greek troops. For more than two hours both sides stood facing each other. Some time in the morning, an unknown origin rifle shot was fired and the battle of Athens began. Each side blamed the other for firing first. Once the battle spread throughout the city, the king requested a ceasefire proposing a solution and reach a compromise. Du Fournet, with a small contingent of troops was unprepared to encounter organized Greek resistance, and was already short of supplies, so readily accepted the king's compromise. However, before an agreement was finalized, the battle resumed. The Greek battery from Arditos Hill fired a number of rounds at the entrance of Zappeion where the French admiral had established his headquarters. The Allied squadron from Phaliron responded by bombarding sections of the city, mostly around the Stadium and near the Palace soon were resumed and a final compromise was reached. The king compromised to surrender just six artillery batteries camouflaged in the mountains instead of the ten that the Allied Admiral demanded. By late afternoon the battle was finished. The Allies had suffered 194 casualties, dead and wounded, and the Greeks lost 82, not counting civilians. By early morning of 2 December, all Allied forces had been evacuated.
The role of the Venizelists during the battle has been intensely contested by witnesses and historians. Admiral Louis du Fournet wrote that Venizelists supported the Allies and attacked passing Greek royalist army units. Venizelists participation was allegedly so extensive, that lead Admiral du Fourne wrote in his report that he had been involved in a civil war. The Venizelists continued fighting after the evacuation of the Allied marines until the next day, when they capitulated. The royalists claimed that large caches of weapons and ammunition were found in their strongholds packed in French military containers. Venizelists were led to prison surrounded by a furious mob and supposedly only the royal army escorts saved them from being murdered by the angry citizens. Other historians deny that the Venizelists collaborated with the Allied forces: Pavlos Karolidis, a contemporary royalist historian, argues that no Venizelist attacked their fellow citizens and the only weapons found during the raids on prominent Venizelists' houses were knifes.

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