Tripoli (1950)





Director:    Will Price

Starring:     John Payne (Lt. O'Bannion), Maureen O'Hara (Countess D'Arneau), Howard Da Silva (Capt. Demetrios), Phillip Reed (Hamet Karamanly), Grant Withers (Sgt. Derek), Lowell Gilmore (Lt. Tripp), Connie Gilchrist (Henriette), Alan Napier (Khalil), Herbert Heyes (Gen. Eaton), Alberto Morin (Il Taiib), Emil Hanna (Interpreter), Grandon Rhodes (Cmmdre. Barron), Frank Fenton (Capt. Adams), Rosa Turich (Seewauk), Ray Hyke (Crawford).

"From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli" goes the Marine Corps Hymn.  At Tripoli the U.S. Marines fought the Barbary pirates, 1805




Spoiler Warning:




  Historical Background:

time of the Crusades to the early 19th century   --  the Barbary pirates made their livelihood by raiding shipping primarily off the coast of northern Africa (Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers, SalP and ports in Morocco; raiding European coastal towns; and engaging in the slave trade (selling European captives into slavery in places such as Morocco). 

The pirates (and privateers) were known as Barbary pirates because their stronghold was along the Barbary Coast.

1510  --  after being invited to defend Algiers from the Spaniards, Barbarossa (meaning red beard;  real name Khair ad Din) killed the ruler of Algiers and seized the city  He then made Algiers a major base for privateering and a regent for the sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

1617  --  the renegade Süleyman Reis "De Veenboer" became admiral of the Algerian corsair fleet.  He and his quartermaster Murad Reis worked for the notorious privateer Simon the Dancer, who owned a palace. These pirates were Dutch in origin.

The Moroccan ruler Sultan Moulay Ismail (1675-1727) built a palace/fortification almost entirely with Christian slave labor (supplied by Barbary pirates).

1784  --  in its infancy the U.S. had an inadequate navy and so Congress had to appropriate $80,000 as tribute to the Barbary states. The pirate raids, however, continued.  The continued attacks led to the building of the United States Navy.

1801-1805  --  First Barbary War; the United States Navy declared war on the Barbary pirates, sending ships, including the USS Constitution, to the North African coast.  The actions of the United States Marines was celebrated in the opening of the "Marine Corp Hymn": "to the shores of Tripoli".

The Battle of Tripoli Harbor was a naval blockade which took place during the First Barbary War between the U.S. Navy and the forces of Tripoli.

1803  --  Commodore Edward Preble assumed command of the U.S. Mediterranean Squadron.  He began a blockade of Tripoli Harbor. The USS Philadelphia ran aground an the Tripolitan Navy capture the ship and crew.

1804  --  Stephen Decatur, Jr. took a small group of sailors and burned the Philadelphia. denying its use to the Tripolitans.

Numbering 1,000 men, the U.S. Marines fought the first U.S. battle on foreign soil, freeing 307 American hostages.

Commodore Samuel Barron assumed command of the Mediterranean Squadron.  He supported William Eaton's attack on Derne. 

Many Naval greats served in the First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge, Charles Stewart, Isaac Hull, David Porter, Reuben James and Edward Preble.

1815  --  US naval victories finally ended the payment of US tribute to the Barbary pirates. 

1816  --  pirate raids on Western Europe finally ceased when the Royal Navy (along with six Dutch vessels) destroyed the port of Algiers and its fleet of Barbary ships.




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