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The Caribbean Theater of World War I is the name given to the theater of combat, primarily naval, fought between the Central Powers and Grand Alliance from 1913 until the war ended in 1917. The war initially involved American, Colombian and Canadian ships, with modest British and German support, fighting the navies of Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain and the Confederate States of America for control of the Caribbean Sea, particularly in order to command Colombia's crucial Panama Canal. Despite early Alliance victories such as Grand Bahama, the Confederate invasion of the Republic of Cuba and the seizure of the German coaling bases on Aruba and Curacao, the Central Powers quickly gained the upper hand after victories such as Hilton Head, Tiburon, and San Juan.
The Spanish Navy's 8th Fleet was wiped out on October 17, 1915 at Cazones and the Confederate naval base at Havana was captured two months later, effectively ending the Confederacy's naval operations. Without the strategic island of Cuba, the Alliance naval operations were largely beaten back, particularly in the Battle of Paria on August 9, 1916, where the Venezuelan and Brazilian Navies were defeated by a joint fleet of German, British, American and Colombian vessels, which was second only in devastation to Hilton Head two years prior. Paria effectively left Mexico and Venezuela defenseless and allowed Alliance blockades of both countries' coastlines, with American soldiers seizing Mexico later that month and German troops taking control of Venezuela with Colombian assistance a month after. Though Brazil would continue to fight until 1917 and Britain would drop out of the war following the October Revolution, the war in the Caribbean was effectively over.