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For a synopsis of what happened during the Summit War of Marineford, see Marineford Arc.

The Summit War of Marineford was a momentous war that took place on the island of Marineford between the Whitebeard Pirates and their allies, led by the Emperor, Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate, and the entirety of Marine Headquarters' forces, including the Seven Warlords of the Sea, over the execution of the Whitebeard Pirates' second division commander.

The clash resulted in the Whitebeard Pirates' failure to save Ace[1] and the death of their captain, Whitebeard, along with many other comrades.[2] Despite the conflict being an overwhelming victory for the Marines, the aftermath of the battle showed an increase of pirate activities worldwide due to Whitebeard's final words that confirmed the existence of One Piece. The conflict also led to multiple major power shifts in the world.

The Catalyst for the War

The war was initiated by Marshall D. Teach, after he defeated the Whitebeard Pirates 2nd Division Commander, Portgas D. Ace, and handed him over to the World Government for a position in the Seven Warlords of the Sea. Initially, Ace had pursued Teach for murdering their former crewmate, 4th Division Commander, Thatch, for the Yami Yami no Mi, before fleeing the ship. Despite Newgate insisting otherwise, Ace pursued Teach, until finally dueling on Banaro Island, with Ace losing. Aware of the Emperors fierce loyalty to their own crewmembers and allies, both Marines and the Whitebeard Pirates alike prepared for war.

Preparation for War

The Whitebeard Pirates' 2nd division commander Portgas D. Ace's public execution was scheduled to take place at 3:00 p.m. sharp.[3]

Marines

To prevent Whitebeard and his crew's attempt to save their comrade, all of the high ranking Marines (almost one hundred thousand strong), along with the Seven Warlords of the Sea, were called to Marineford to prepare for the war. This was one of the world's most pivotal events. Jinbe, however, caused an outrage in the headquarters in his refusal to cooperate, and was transferred to Impel Down.[4][5] However shortly before the execution took place, Blackbeard and his crew commandeered a Marine vessel and sailed away from Marineford.

Knowing that Whitebeard would make his move soon, the Marines had 23 patrol ships observing the pirates. However, all of them were simultaneously cut off by the Whitebeard Pirates, leaving the Marines blind to the pirates movements.

Prior to Ace's execution, the normal citizens of Marineford were evacuated from the town, leaving only the Marines to prepare for battle. Sengoku announced Ace's origins of being the son of Pirate King, Gol D. Roger, in front of the Marine forces and consequently the world.[6] He then mixed lies into his statement, claiming that Whitebeard knew this, and was protecting him, all in order to groom Ace into the next Pirate King. These lies would later be used to turn one of Newgate's allies against him.

Whitebeard Pirates

In order to match the Marines, they called in all 43 allied pirate crews and sailed into Paradise. Knowing that they were being monitored by the Marines, the Whitebeard Pirates simultaneously destroyed all 23 patrol ships observing them, in order to hide their movements. Though Kaido and his crew attempted to attack the Whitebeard Pirates, Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates intercepted them, allowing Whitebeard to go to Marineford.

Whitebeard coated 5 of his ships, including the flagship, Moby Dick as well as a paddle-ship. He used the coated ships to infiltrate into the midst of the enemies formation, with the intention of surfacing four of them in the middle of Marineford Bay, while keeping the paddle-ship submerged as a trump card.

Monkey D. Luffy

Monkey D. Luffy, infiltrated Impel Down in an attempt to rescue his adopted brother Ace from execution, but unfortunately, failed in his task. Fortunately, he made allies in the prison, including Buggy, Galdino, Bentham; the Revolutionary Army's Emporio Ivankov, Inazuma and the Newkamas'; as well as former Warlords Jinbe and Crocodile, as well as his subordinate Daz Bonez. In order to increase their chances, they orchestrated a mass breakout, randomly freeing prisoners from Level 5 upwards. The Warlords managed to hijack a ship, and the prisoners were able to successfully escape thanks to Bentham's sacrifice. Though the non-Revolutionary Army affiliated prisoners thought of staging a mutiny when they heard the ship was heading to Marineford, after Buggy (who through a series of coincidences, ended up becoming their "messiah") inspired them to take part, the prisoners happily complied. With this, Luffy and the 240 other prisoners sailed to Marineford.[7]

Blackbeard Pirates

Having attained the Warlord status he wished for, Teach put his plan into action. Shortly before the war started, using his newly gained authority as a Warlord, Teach and the Blackbeard Pirates commandeered a Marine ship and sailed to Impel Down, with Laffitte hypnotizing the Marines in the Marineford Gates of Justice control room to open the gates whenever a ship approaches. They arrived during Luffy's mass breakout, and taking advantage of the chaos, they infiltrated all the way to Level 6, where they Teach recruited the strongest and the worst prisoners on the floor, via a battle royale. They then sailed back to Marineford with their new comrades for the final part of Teach's plan.

The War Begins

Whitebeard's first move.

After Sengoku revealed Ace's secret to the world, the Whitebeard Pirates 43 subordinate pirate crews from the New World appeared before the Marineford Bay. The Whitebeard Pirates themselves appeared in the center of the bay, having coated their ships and infiltrated the bay undetected. With Whitebeard setting off a massive earthquake using his Gura Gura no Mi ability, that caused two giant tidal waves to crash into Marineford as a starting signal for the war. Aokiji froze the oncoming tidal waves and consequently the sea so to trap the pirate ships with his "Ice Age", as well as to give the pirates a surface to conduct their attack on the Marines.[8]

As the Marines and pirates converge on the ice, a quick back-and-forth took place between Newgate and his commanders, the Admirals and the Warlords took place. It started with Dracule Mihawk launching a long-distance sword slash directly at Whitebeard, which was easily blocked by Jozu using his Kira Kira no Mi ability. Kizaru then followed, launching lasers at Newgate, though Marco transformed into a phoenix and blocked it before kicking the Admiral away. Jozu then threw a massive iceberg at the Marine's Giant Squad, but it was vaporized by Akainu using his Magu Magu no Mi ability, with the attack bursting and scattering volcanic rocks amongst the pirates, as well as destroying one of Whitebeard's ships.

At this point Little Oars Jr. appeared, creating a hole in the Marines fortifications, as well as defeating several members of the Giant Squad on his way, in a desperate rush to reach Ace. However, he was eventually defeated when Bartholomew Kuma blasted him with his attack "Ursus Shock", Donquixote Doflamingo severed his leg with his strings and Gecko Moria pierced him with "Tsuno Tokage". However, his rampage did manage to open a clear path to the platform, along with Whitey Bay and her icebreaker.[9]

New Allies Arrive

The Impel Down prisoners arrive.

Amidst the fierce battle between the Whitebeard Pirates and the World Government forces, Monkey D. Luffy and his motley crew of Impel Down escapees came crashing down with their ship, due to being caught in the frozen tsunami, which cracked (Luffy originally planned for the ex-cons to break the vessel away from the iceberg, then slide it back to the un-frozen sea behind the frozen tidal wave). They survived thanks to the ship conveniently landing in the body of water left in the place where Jozu pulled out his iceberg earlier. They joined the war against the World Government as well, most of them on Whitebeard's side.[10] Luffy then informed Newgate about the coded transmission for a secret plan, which involved certain preparations and bringing forward Ace's execution time. Luffy then joined the fray, and though Ace then tried to dissuade his little brother from saving him, for Luffy's own safety, the Straw Hat captain retorted by claiming to be his brother, which brought the Marines to wonder how Roger can have a second son when he and Portgas D. Rouge already died after Ace's birth. As Luffy's action started affecting the momentum of the battlefield, Sengoku then revealed worldwide that they are adopted brothers, and Luffy is Monkey D. Dragon's son, and is as dangerous as Ace, much to the shock of many.[11] As Luffy stubbornly headed to the execution stand, he encountered Boa Hancock, who gave him the keys to Ace's Seastone handcuffs, before proceeding. With the support of Jinbe, Emporio Ivankov and his subordinates, the Whitebeard Pirates and even Buggy, Luffy made steady progress to Ace.

Newgate managed to convince Buggy to temporarily ally himself with the Whitebeard Pirates, and with him the majority of the Impel Down prisoners. During the battle, Newgate suspected that the surrounding battleships may be involved in the Marine's secret plans, and had some of his allies focus on targeting the ships. About one-and-a-half hours after the battle's start, Sentomaru brought an army of Pacifista units as their master strategy to eliminate the pirates. However, they were ordered not to attack the Whitebeard Pirates themselves, but instead the subordinate crews, in order to make it look like Whitebeard made a deal with the Marines to spare his crew in exchange of his subordinate crews, all according to Sengoku's plan. The Pacifista then began an encircling formation around Marineford, to prevent the pirates from escaping, with the pirates realizing that if they didn't target the battleships, they would have no way to escape.[12]

The War's Final Phase

Whitebeard's devastating quake.

Akainu approached Squard, one of Newgate's most loyal subordinates, and deceived him by spinning a web of lies of how Whitebeard made secret dealings with the Marines to spare Ace and his own crew by sacrificing the subordinate crews, in order to make Ace the next Pirate King like his father, which was made more convincing by the actions of the Pacifista. Due to his intense hatred for Roger who slaughtered his old crew, feeling betrayed, Squard stabbed Whitebeard before revealing the lies of the Marines. Despite being stabbed, Newgate forgave Squard, before destroying the frozen tsunamis, allowing anyone who doubted him to escape, though this action reaffirmed all the pirates belief in Whitebeard. With this, Whitebeard himself joined the war. He launched a devastating quake that tilted the entire island and the sea around it, but it was stopped by the three admirals before it reached the execution platform.

Once most of the Marines retreated to the platform, the "Encircling Wall" rose, trapping the pirates in the bay. Even though a part of the wall's mechanism was damaged by Oars Jr.'s blood and pressed down by his body, preventing it from rising, Sengoku ordered Akainu to proceed to launch his "Ryusei Kazan" to devastate the pirates, as well as to melt the ice floor, robbing the pirates of their foothold, as well as destroying Whitebeards ships' including the Moby Dick. The pirates, losing more and more of their footing desperately tried to destroy the wall or reach Oars's body, which was now the only way into the plaza. Luffy, in desperation to save Ace, requested Jinbe to throw him over the wall with a stream of water. When Luffy bypassed the barrier to get into the inner plaza of Marineford, he landed right in front of the three admirals, whom he promptly attacked and attempted to bypass. Luffy was repelled, and the Marines attempted to execute Ace, but failed when the executioners were attacked. Surprisingly Crocodile, who up till this point was targeting Whitebeard, saved Ace due to his disgust of the Marines and their cheap tactics.

Whitebeard Pirates reach the plaza.

Though Luffy failed in his challenge, his actions, as well as Oars Jr. regaining consciousness, allowed the Whitebeard pirates a chance to enter the plaza. They did this by having all allies converge on a point where Whitebeard had his last coated galleon-sized paddle-ship surface, which Oars then carried into the plaza. Luffy who was already exhausted, was targeted by the Vice Admirals and Admirals, which ended up causing him to collapse from his culminated wounds and exhaustion. However, still determined to reach Ace, he begged Ivankov to give him one more Emporio Tension Hormone boost, despite the after effects, so he could continue to fight for his brother's life, which the Newkama King reluctantly grants. Unfortunately, Whitebeard started succumbing to old age, injuries and illness, which distracted his commanders, causing him, Jozu and Marco to all suffer injuries from the Admirals they were fighting. Jozu ended up getting completely frozen, while Marco had Seastone cuffs attached to him, preventing him from healing himself. With the Whitebeard pirates strongest members incapacitated, the Marines, having replaced their executioners, attempted to continue Ace's beheading. However they were stopped again, this time by Luffy, who unconsciously released a burst of Haoshoku Haki throughout the entire Marineford plaza, knocking out the executioners as well as many others in his path, leaving everyone shocked as he continued running towards Ace.

While Luffy's outburst temporarily paralyzed the battlefield, it consequently caused the Marines to redouble their efforts to kill him, with Vice Admiral Doberman declaring that Luffy would be a dangerous criminal one day, and that he is not to leave Marineford alive. Whitebeard, on the other hand, ordered his subordinate crews to back up Luffy, putting their faith in him and expected to see the Will of D.. Inazuma then emerged out of Ivankov's hair and cutting out a slab of rock into a makeshift bridge to the execution stand for Luffy. Whitebeard and Vista blocked all incoming attacks from the Marines as Luffy continued up the bridge. Suddenly, Vice Admiral Garp jumped in, landing in front of Luffy and breaking part of the bridge in the process. Despite Luffy's request for his grandfather to move aside, Garp refused, on the grounds of his Marine duties. Garp prepared to attack his grandson but faltered at the last second, which allowed Luffy to knock him off the bridge.

Fleet Admiral Sengoku joins the battle.

Luffy reached the execution platform and is about to use the key to unlock Ace's handcuffs, but Kizaru destroys the key. Galdino, who had disguised himself as an executioner, regained consciousness, only to see Sengoku turn into a giant Buddha figure and prepares to do the execution himself. Luffy stopped Sengoku with Gigant Balloon while Galdino protects Ace with a Candle Wall. As the execution platform starts to collapse, the Marines fire their bazookas at the platform. Galdino quickly made a replacement key using his wax powers and handed it to Luffy, who freed his brother in mid-air, with Ace in turn saving Luffy and Galdino from the bazooka fire by forming a tunnel of flames around them.

Escape from Marineford

Marineford Headquarters destroyed.

After the Marines made several unsuccessful attempts at Luffy's and Ace's lives, Squard came bulldozing in with Whitebeard's paddle-ship. However, Whitebeard stopped his recklessness and ordered the crew and his allies to return to the New World, and that he alone would stay behind to finish everything with the Marines. He then launches another shock wave to shatter the Marine Headquarters' main building.

As the pirates retreated on Whitebeard's orders, Akainu launched another "Great Eruption" at them, while insulting Whitebeard for being a "loser" after calling the pirates to retreat. An enraged Ace stayed behind to retaliate with his "Fire Fist", only for it to be consumed by the superior magma. Akainu claimed that he would allow neither brother to leave Marineford alive no matter what; due to their bloodlines, their very existence is the ultimate crime, before targeting Luffy with a molten fist, only for Ace to intercept it.

As the entire Marineford saw how Akainu pierced Ace through his torso and burned his vital organs, retaliation from the commanders begins. Ace then gave his final words to Luffy, before dying in his little brother's arms, causing him to undergo a mental breakdown and fall unconscious. This instantly defeated the Whitebeard Pirates purpose, and changes the tides of the war to favor the Marines. However, Marco managed to encourage the pirates to fight on to protect Luffy, the brother that Ace sacrificed himself to save. Amidst all the chaos, Akainu continued to target Luffy, but was defeated by an enraged Whitebeard. Afterwards, Newgate managed to literally split Marineford into two, separating the pirates from the Marines and causing a defeated Akainu to fall into a crater.

Whitebeard slain by the Blackbeard Pirates.

However, soon after the Blackbeard Pirates made their appearance. After a short confrontation between captains, the Blackbeard Pirates delivered the death blow to Edward Newgate, marking the end of Whitebeard's reign as the strongest man in the world, but not before Newgate said his final words, "The One Piece is real!". Shortly thereafter, Teach managed to gain the powers of the Gura Gura no Mi, alongside his Yami Yami no Mi, declaring to all that his era has begun. To test out his newest ability, he attempted to sink Marineford whole, only to be promptly sent flying, along with the rest of his crew, by an enormous shockwave delivered by Sengoku in his Buddha form, with Garp joining in on the confrontation. After Sengoku taunted Blackbeard for his hubris, Blackbeard retorted on how he was looking forward to see Sengoku out on the field, and the three lock themselves in a duel to the death. Once Teach shook the ground once again, he not only broke the ice from Aokiji's created, but also caused a large tsunami to head towards Sabaody Archipelago.

The Whitebeard Commanders and Crocodile battle Akainu.

Elsewhere, as Akainu reemerged, planning to kill Luffy and Jinbe, he is cut in half by Crocodile who sends the wounded duo flying out of Akainu's grasp, and straight into the retreating Buggy's hands. Crocodile then confronted Akainu, and is joined by the remainder of the Whitebeard commanders who prepare to face off. At this point, Trafalgar Law surfaced in his submarine offering to save Luffy. After a few choice words with the commanders, Akainu ordered hundreds of Marine reinforcements, previously who bypassed the dividing crack by using underground passageways, to mercilessly annihilate every single pirate in their sight. Akainu himself lead the charge against the commanders and Crocodile, quickly defeated Curiel in the initial clash.

After Koby, who was knocked out earlier by Luffy, regained consciousness, he was disgusted and horrified that the war was continuing despite the successful deaths of Ace and Whitebeard, and having just awakened Kenbunshoku Haki, he heard the voices of the combatants in his head, disappearing one by one. Seeking to end the violence for good, Koby puts himself in the way of Akainu, pleading with the Marines to end the battle and tend to the wounded, an action that caused literally every combatant in Marineford to stop fighting, allowing Luffy and Law the time they needed to escape. Unimpressed by this, Akainu dismisses Koby's pacifism and tries to kill him, only to have his attack intercepted by the Emperor, Red-Haired Shanks, who commended Koby's courage to speak out against an admiral and his adherence to morality. After reclaiming his straw hat, Shanks claimed that he came to bring an end to the end to the Paramount War. [13]

Shanks with his crew arrive and bring the war to a close.

After throwing the straw hat back to Buggy, who gave it to Law as his submarine submerged into the sea, Shanks threatened both the Marines and Blackbeard Pirates alike to have their forces pull back, least they wish to face the Red Hair Pirates. With the Gura Gura no Mi under his possession, Teach no longer sees the point in resuming the battle and has his crew depart from the battlefield. As Blackbeard leaves the scene, the absence of a designated rival and presence of a powerful Emperor convinces Sengoku to concede to the necessity of a ceasefire, ordering the Marines to tend to the wounded. With Shanks declaring that the Whitebeard and Red Hair Pirates will retrieve the bodies of Ace and Newgate, the Summit War of Marineford had finally reached its long-anticipated conclusion, however short it may have been.

Aftermath

The Summit War of Marineford was a catalyst for the many world-changing events that followed.

Marines and World Government

As a result of the war, both Monkey D. Garp and Sengoku retired. Sengoku pushed for Kuzan to take the position for Fleet Admiral. However, many in the World Government voted for Sakazuki. It was decided that a duel would take place on a deserted island and the winner would be made Fleet Admiral. The battle between Aokiji and Akainu lasted for ten days and permanently changed the climate of Punk Hazard, the island they fought on, but the result was Sakazuki's win. Kuzan then chose to resign from the Marines.

The war caused heavy losses to the Marines, and as such, global military conscription took place worldwide. Two new Admirals, Fujitora and Ryokugyu, took the places of Akainu and Aokiji.

While Marineford was still under construction, Monkey D. Luffy invaded the island a second time and, together with Jinbe and Silvers Rayleigh, seemingly performed a burial at sea and rang the Ox Bell 16 times before escaping.

Sakazuki decided to wage war on the Emperors and thus switched Marine HQ to the G-1 base in the New World, creating New Marineford.

The World Government, deciding that Gecko Moria was too weak, attempted to have him assassinated, but the Warlord managed to escape. With Moria's 'forced retirement' and Marshall D. Teach and Jinbe's defections, three positions were vacated in the Seven Warlords of the Sea. One was offered to Buggy, who accepted. The second was taken by Trafalgar Law, who exchanged the hearts of a hundred pirates for the position, while the third was taken by the self-proclaimed son of Edward NewgateEdward Weevil.

Through Blackbeard's manipulations, many Level 6 prisoners escaped during the Impel Down breakout and Blackbeard increased his own power, causing great embarrassment and alarm for the World Government.

While the World Government had achieved its goal of executing Whitebeard and Ace, the battle was arguably a pyrrhic victory of sorts as it costed the World Government considerable resources and men, led to the loss of several strong individuals, including a Marine Admiral. Instead of being the deterrent towards piracy that the Marines hoped it would be, several very dangerous prisoners escaped without being caught and ended up being the catalyst for an even greater age of piracy when Whitebeard confirmed the existence of One Piece to the world.

Pirates

Edward Newgate and Portgas D. Ace were buried on the island of Sphinx in the New World. Due to Whitebeard's death, all the islands under his protection were quickly snatched up by other pirates. The Whitebeard Pirates also fell out of their position in the Four Emperors, and a year later after being defeated by the Blackbeard Pirates in what will later be known as the Payback War, the crew disbanded.

With Newgate's final words declaring One Piece to be real, thousands of pirates worldwide set out to sea in pursuit of it.

Teach, along with his Blackbeard Pirates, quickly became the new Emperor, thanks to his dual Devil Fruit powers and his in-depth knowledge of Newgate's former territories.

The Eleven Supernovas, excluding Law and the Straw Hats, quickly jumped into the New World soon after the war. Jewelry Bonney was apprehended by the Marines after picking a fight with Teach and losing, though she later managed to escape.

Jinbe, in order to protect his homeland, became allies with Charlotte Linlin and the Big Mom Pirates, staying close to Fish-Man Island ever since.

Bartholomew Kuma, before being completely turned into a cyborg, asked Dr. Vegapunk for one last favor. Because of this, he was programmed to protect the Straw Hat Pirates's ship, the Thousand Sunny, until a member of the crew returned to it.

Luffy's second invasion of Marineford was actually a method for him to send a message to his crew, letting them know that instead of meeting up in 3 days, they will reunite on Sabaody Archipelago in 2 years. The entire crew chose to use that time to train at the respective locations they were sent to by Kuma.

Overall, the war ended with a new, greater threat for the Marines in the form of Blackbeard and his crew. It also served to increase pirate presence worldwide. This led to a giant shift in policy for the Marines, switching from defending citizens to mounting an offensive against pirates, which was reflected by the location of the new Marine headquarters.

Trivia

References

  1. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 58 Chapter 573 (p. 16-17) and Episode 482, Ace is killed by Akainu.
  2. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 59 Chapter 576 (p. 14) and Episode 485, Whitebeard dies at Marineford.
  3. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 53 Chapter 516 and Episode 410, Ace's execution date and place is revealed.
  4. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 523 and Episode 417, Jinbei's current status is reported to Sengoku.
  5. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 524 and Episode 419, The Seven Warlords of the Sea and Marines are gathered to fight.
  6. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 56 Chapter 550 and Episode 459, The citizens of Marineford are evacuated and Ace's origins are revealed by Sengoku.
  7. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 526 and Episode 423, Luffy and Buggy cause mayhem in Impel Down.
  8. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 56 Chapter 551 and Episode 460, Whitebeard and the Allied pirates appear at Marineford.
  9. One Piece Manga — Vol. 57 Chapter 555, Oars fights the Giants and the Warlords of the Sea.
  10. One Piece Manga — Vol. 57 Chapter 557, Luffy and the prisoners of Impel Down join the battle.
  11. One Piece Manga — Vol. 57 Chapter 558, Sengoku announces Luffy's bloodline.
  12. One Piece Manga — Vol. 57 Chapter 561, Sentomaru brings the Pacifistas to the battle.
  13. One Piece Manga — Vol. 59 Chapter 579 (p. 16).

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