Original U.S. WWI Marine Dominican Republic Photo Album - 234 Photographs

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind. Photo album from the occupation of the Dominican Republic between WWI 1916 - 1924 with many photos from Santo Domingo, soldier in uniform, ships, parades, buildings, landscapes, drill and so much more. Album is 110 pages with 234 photographs. This is one of the most comprehensive USMC Dominican Republic occupation photo albums we have ever encountered.

The first United States occupation of the Dominican Republic lasted from 1916 to 1924. It was one of the many interventions in Latin America undertaken by the military forces of the United States in the 20th century. On the 13 May 1916,

The piecemeal invasion resulted in the US Navy occupying all key positions in government and controlling the army and police. The first landing took place on the 5 May 1916, when "two companies of marines landed from the USS Prairie at Santo Domingo."

Admiral Caperton's forces occupied Santo Domingo on the 15 May 1916. Colonel Joseph H. Pendleton's Marine units took the key port cities of Puerto Plata and Monte Cristi on the 1 June and enforced a blockade. The marines were able to occupy Monte Cristi without meeting any resistance. However, when the marines attacked Puerto Plata they were forced to fight their way into the city under heavy but inaccurate fire from about 500 pro-Arias irregulars. During this landing the Marines sustained several casualties, this included the death of Captain Herbert J. Hirshinger, who was the first marine killed in combat in the campaign.

After marching inland for roughly twenty-four hours a unit of marines encountered an entrenched Dominican force. The first major engagement occurred on the 27 June, at Las Trencheras, two ridges, which had been fortified by the Dominicans and long thought to be invulnerable, since a Spanish army had been defeated there in 1864. There the Dominican troops had dug trenches on two hills, one behind the other, blocking the road to Santiago. The field guns of Captain Chandler Campbell's 13th Company, along with a machine gun platoon, took position on a hill commanding the enemy trenches and opened fire at 08:00 hours. Under the cover of this fire, the marines launched a bayonet charge on the defenders' first line of defence, covered until the last possible moment by the artillery barrage. The Dominicans soldiers fled to their trenches on the second hill. They rallied there briefly, then broke and ran again as the American field guns resumed their shelling of the hill. Within 45 minutes from the opening artillery shots, the Marines, at a cost to themselves of one killed and four wounded, had overrun the enemy positions. They found no dead or weapons in the trenches but later discovered five rebel bodies in the nearby woods.

This engagement set the pattern for most Marine contacts with hostile forces in the Dominican Republic. Against Marine superiority in artillery, machine guns, small-unit manoeuvre, and individual training and marksmanship, no Dominican force could hold its ground.

On July 1, 1916, 250 Dominican Revolutionaries attacked the USMC. The attack was routed killing 27 Dominicans while the USMC death was Corporal George Fravee.

Two days after the Battle of Guayacanas, on the 3 July the Marines moved onto Arias' stronghold in Santiago de los Caballeros. and on the 29 November the United States imposed a military government under Captain

Marines claimed to have restored order throughout most of the republic, with the exception of the eastern region, but resistance continued widespread in both, direct and indirect forms in every place.

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, The fighting in the countryside ended in a stalemate, and the guerrillas agreed to a conditional surrender.

After World War I, public opinion in the United States began to run against the occupation.

Despite the withdrawal, there were still concerns regarding the collection and application of the country's custom revenues. To address this problem, representatives of the United States and the Dominican Republic governments met at a convention and signed a treaty, on December 27, 1924, which gave the United States control over the country's custom revenues.

The Dominican Campaign Medal was an authorized U.S. service medal for those military members who had participated in the conflict.
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