US Sponsored Regime Change in the Middle East: Episode One
January 7, 2004 11:48 PM   Subscribe

On the night of April 27th, 1805, US Marine Lt. Presley O'Bannon led a ragtag army of Greek, Arab and Berber mercenaries in a desperate charge into the teeth of the fortifications of Derna, Tripoli (now Libya). The defenders inexplicably turned and ran, leaving behind loaded cannons which, turned around, secured victory for the US in its first land battle in the old world.

In recognition of his bravery, Lt. O'Bannon was given a sword by Hamet Karamanli. William Eaton (no, the other William Eaton ) had led O'Bannon, six other US Marines, and the five hundred odd mercenaries across six hundred miles of North African desert in order to replace the usurping Pasha of Tripoli, Yusef, with the rightful heir, his pro-American older brother Hamet.

Shortly after the battle, Yusef reached a peace with Col. Tobias Lear, the American Consul to Tripoli, and hostilities between the US and Tripoli ceased. Eaton, O'Bannon, and Hamet Karamanli, along with the Marines and most of the Greeks, departed aboard American warships, leaving the Muslim mercenaries behind in Derna. Unpaid.
posted by hob (11 comments total)

 

US Marine Lt. Presley O'Bannon led a ragtag army of Greek, Arab and Berber mercenaries in a desperate charge...



Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica, leads a ragtag, fugitive fleet, on a lonely quest -- for a shining planet known as Earth.



Erm. Carry on, then.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:53 AM on January 8, 2004


And now you know why all Marine officers wear Mameluke swords as part of the dress uniform, and why the US Navy usually has a ship named USS O'Bannon in service.
posted by alumshubby at 1:10 AM on January 8, 2004


And why the Marine's song mentions "to the shores of Tripoli"

For some reason this brought to my mind the story of Rodger Young, who is remembered in the Infantry's song (flash) as well as the Heinlein novel Starship Troopers, which is on the Marine's reading list.
posted by bashos_frog at 2:13 AM on January 8, 2004


Unfortunately, due to years of conditioning in public schools, history puts me to sleeee . . . . ZZZzzzzz
posted by Outlawyr at 3:52 AM on January 8, 2004


Those who fail from history are doomed to repeat it...next semester.
posted by alumshubby at 4:00 AM on January 8, 2004


Lemme try again: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it...next semester.
posted by alumshubby at 4:04 AM on January 8, 2004


Or, those who fail history are doomed to repeat it...next semester.
posted by mkultra at 6:25 AM on January 8, 2004


ZZZzzzzz . . . huh, whu? Did I miss something? Hey, can I borrow your notes?
posted by Outlawyr at 7:42 AM on January 8, 2004


A rousing story. Something that could have come out of the annals of Chinese history.
posted by firestorm at 5:07 PM on January 8, 2004


Chinese history....US Marine derring-do...Oh, wait, are you referring to the Boxer Rebellion?
posted by alumshubby at 5:25 PM on January 8, 2004


As will be seen in the 2007(?) release of Tripoli from director Ridley Scott and starring Ben Kingsley (Karamanli) and Keanu Reeves (O'Bannon)...
posted by billsaysthis at 6:28 PM on January 8, 2004


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