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  • April 09, 2024 11 min read

    The Whitebeard Pirates once ruled the seas as one of the mightiest pirate crews the world had ever seen. Their captain, Edward Newgate, better known as "Whitebeard," was a legend – one of the Four Emperors and the only man ever to match the Pirate King Gol D. Roger in a fight. 

    A Crew Built on Divisions:

    Unlike most pirate crews with a single, hierarchical structure, the Whitebeard Pirates operated differently. Whitebeard divided his massive force into divisions, each led by a powerful commander. This allowed for a more decentralized command structure, with subordinate crews operating throughout the New World. Essentially, the Whitebeard Pirates functioned as a formidable pirate fleet. 

    A Fall from Grace:

    Tragedy struck the Whitebeard Pirates with the deaths of Whitebeard and his beloved crewmate Ace. This loss of leadership left the remaining members vulnerable. They were forced to engage in a brutal war, the Payback War, against the Blackbeard Pirates. This conflict ended in a humiliating defeat for the Whitebeard Pirates, who were soundly beaten by their rivals. Blackbeard, the leader of the Blackbeard Pirates, capitalized on this victory by seizing Whitebeard's territory and usurping his position as one of the Four Emperors. As a result of this devastating loss, the Whitebeard Pirates were stripped of their power and influence, ultimately leading to their disbandment. 

    Life After Disbandment:

    The timeskip reveals that the scattered remnants of the Whitebeard Pirates were living under a new threat. Edward Weevil and his mother, Miss Buckin, began hunting down the former crew members. Weevil claimed to be Whitebeard's biological son and Buckin his lover, both seeking to inherit Whitebeard's supposed fortune. This pursuit continued until Weevil was captured by Admiral Ryokugyu. 

    Around the same time, Marco, Whitebeard's former first division commander, and Izou, another loyal crewmate, decided to lend their support to the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance. This alliance launched a successful raid against another Emperor crew, resulting in one of the alliance leaders ascending to the position of Four Emperor.

    Whitebeard's Skull and Bones: A Symbol of Power

    The Whitebeard Pirates proudly display their Jolly Roger, a symbol that strikes fear into the hearts of their enemies. It features a classic skull, instantly recognizable thanks to Whitebeard's signature mustache adorning it. Two vertically crossed bones complete the image, conveying a sense of danger and defiance.

    This emblem serves as a badge of honor for the crew's high-ranking members. Portgas D. Ace, for instance, sported it with immense pride, permanently etched as a tattoo across his entire back.

    A Change of Course: The Evolving Jolly Roger

    Interestingly, Whitebeard's Jolly Roger wasn't always the way we know it today. In the earlier chapters of the manga, a different design graced their flag. For more details on this variation, be sure to check out the "Anime and Manga Differences" section.

    The Whitebeard Pirates: A Force Divided

    The Whitebeard Pirates weren't just a ragtag crew of ruffians. They were a well-oiled machine, structured with a clear hierarchy and division of labor. Let's delve into the organization of this legendary pirate crew:

    Main Crew at the Helm:

    Leading the charge was the mighty Whitebeard himself, captain and undisputed ruler of the crew. He was a fearsome and charismatic leader, commanding immense respect and loyalty from his underlings. Under him served a core group of incredibly powerful individuals – the Division Commanders.

    The Elite Guard: Division Commanders

    These 16 commanders, along with Whitebeard, formed the elite guard of the Whitebeard Pirates. They were the most formidable fighters in the crew, responsible for spearheading attacks and safeguarding Whitebeard himself. Interestingly, not all their names were revealed in the main storyline. Half of them received their official names through a series of interviews with the author (SBS) published in Volume 58.

    Equality Amongst the Elite:

    Despite the numbering system, author Eiichiro Oda has clarified that all the division commanders held equal rank. Their division number didn't reflect authority, but rather specific duties assigned to their crew members. For example, the 3rd division under Jozu might specialize in close-quarters combat, while the 5th division led by Vista might be comprised of skilled swordsmen.

    Spotlight on the Prominent Few:

    While all commanders were equally formidable, three stood out for receiving more focus in the story:

    • Marco, the 1st division commander, often referred to as "Marco the Phoenix." He possessed a mythical Zoan devil fruit power that allowed him to transform into a phoenix, granting him immense regenerative abilities and the power to fly.
    • Jozu, the powerful 3rd division commander, known as "Diamond Jozu." He possessed the power of the Glint-Glint fruit, allowing him to turn himself into diamond, making him nearly invincible against physical attacks.
    • Vista, the skilled swordsman leading the 5th division, nicknamed "Flower Sword Vista." He was renowned for his swordsmanship and his calm demeanor, even in the heat of battle.

    A Unique Position Unfilled:

    Blackbeard, also known as Teach, was initially offered the position of 2nd division commander. This would have placed him among the most trusted members of Whitebeard's crew. However, he declined, preferring to operate in the shadows and bide his time. This position remained vacant at the time of the pivotal Marineford War, where Blackbeard made a shocking appearance.

    A Look at the Commanders:

    The following is a list of the Whitebeard Pirate Division Commanders, including those revealed in later publications:

    1. Marco the Phoenix (1st Division)
    2. Kozuki Oden (former/deceased) / Portgas D. Ace (deceased) (2nd Division)
    3. Diamond Jozu (3rd Division)
    4. Thatch (deceased) (4th Division)
    5. Flower Sword Vista (5th Division)
    6. Blamenco (6th Division)
    7. Rakuyo (7th Division)
    8. Namur (8th Division)
    9. Blenheim (9th Division)
    10. Curiel (10th Division)
    11. Kingdew (11th Division)
    12. Haruta (12th Division)
    13. Water Buffalo Atmos (13th Division)
    14. Speed Jiru (14th Division)
    15. Fossa (15th Division)
    16. Izou (deceased) (16th Division)

    Beyond the Commanders:

    The Whitebeard Pirates also had subordinate captains who led their own crews within the larger pirate fleet. These subordinates likely possessed considerable skill and leadership qualities, but they answered directly to the division commanders. While the commanders were the elite guard, the subordinate captains formed the backbone of the Whitebeard Pirates' fighting force.

    Whitebeard Pirates' Territories: A Fallen Empire's Legacy

    The Whitebeard Pirates, under the leadership of the awe-inspiring Edward Newgate, were once a dominant force. Their influence stretched far and wide, encompassing a network of islands that thrived under the crew's protection. This patronage ensured not only safety but also economic prosperity for these territories. However, with Whitebeard's sudden demise, this meticulously constructed empire began to teeter on the brink of collapse, leaving these islands vulnerable to outside forces.

    Canon Territories: Remnants of a Glorious Past

    • Sphinx: An Island Steeped in Legacy: Sphinx, the island where Whitebeard himself drew his first breath, held a profound significance for the entire crew. It wasn't just Whitebeard's birthplace; it was a symbol of his roots, his humility, and his unwavering connection to his past. A considerable portion of Whitebeard's wealth was channeled towards supporting Sphinx, a resource-poor island that couldn't afford the World Government's Heavenly Tribute, a prerequisite for official protection. This unwavering commitment to his birthplace highlights Whitebeard's compassionate nature and his desire to uplift those less fortunate. Even after his death, Marco, the steadfast First Division Commander, assumed the mantle of guardianship, ensuring Sphinx remained a safe haven.

    • Foodvalten: A Brush with Danger, a Glimmer of Hope: Foodvalten, another island under the Whitebeard banner, wasn't as fortunate as Sphinx. It fell prey to a vicious attack from the Brownbeard Pirates, a group notorious for their brutality. Thankfully, before Foodvalten could completely succumb to their tyranny, Basil Hawkins, a future member of the Blackbeard Pirates, intervened and liberated the island. This act, though not driven by altruism, served as a temporary reprieve for Foodvalten's inhabitants.

    • Fish-Man Island: Shifting Alliances in a Sea of Uncertainty: Fish-Man Island, a jewel in the depths of the ocean, also felt the tremors of Whitebeard's passing. Initially, they sought refuge under the banner of the Big Mom Pirates, another powerful Yonko crew. However, the ever-shifting sands of power resulted in a change of guard. The Straw Hat Pirates, a crew on a meteoric rise, eventually assumed the role of protectors for Fish-Man Island, a testament to the unpredictable nature of alliances in the New World.

    • Port Chibaralta Island and Unnamed Supply Island: Lost to the Mists of Time: The fates of these two islands remain shrouded in mystery. Port Chibaralta Island, once a part of the Whitebeard domain, seems to have faded into obscurity after Whitebeard's death. Its current status and who, if anyone, protects it are unknown. The unnamed supply island, a crucial stopover for the Whitebeard Pirates to replenish their resources, also faces an uncertain future. It was here that a fateful encounter between Ace and Jinbe took place, forever altering the course of their lives. The island itself seems to have been swallowed by the fog of time, its current state a lingering question mark.

    Non-Canon Territories: A Glimpse into What Could Have Been

    Beyond the canon storyline, various non-canon sources shed light on other territories that were likely under Whitebeard's protection. These islands too grappled with the power vacuum created by his death:

    • Samba Island: From Joyous Melodies to Tyrannical Echoes: Samba Island, once a vibrant and lively hub, descended into chaos after Whitebeard's demise. A tyrant named Chameleone seized control, silencing the once-joyous music of the island and replacing it with the oppressive thrum of fear.

    • Hand Island: From Whitebeard's Reach to the Marines' Grasp: Hand Island, another territory that benefited from Whitebeard's protection, found itself under the control of Marine Commodore Bilić after his death. This hostile takeover exemplifies the vulnerability exposed by the power vacuum created by Whitebeard's absence. The Marines, ever eager to expand their influence, likely saw this as an opportune moment to establish a foothold in the region formerly dominated by the Whitebeard Pirates.

    • Tomoshibi Island and Peak Ode Island: Islands on the Periphery of Knowledge: Two other islands, Tomoshibi and Peak Ode, are mentioned in non-canon sources. While it's implied they were likely under Whitebeard's wing, their exact fates after his death remain unclear. Hakuto is currently said to be protecting Tomoshibi Island, but whether this protection stems from an alliance with Whitebeard or is a more recent development is unknown. Peak Ode Island's status is an even greater mystery, lost entirely in the fog of time.

    The fall of the Whitebeard Pirates left a significant void in the world of One Piece. The islands that once thrived under their protection now face an uncertain future, some falling prey to new threats, others

     A Crew of Immeasurable Strength

    The Whitebeard Pirates were a force to be reckoned with. Led by the legendary Edward Newgate, himself a former rival of the Pirate King Gol D. Roger, this crew commanded immense respect and fear throughout the Grand Line. Let's delve into what made them such a formidable force.

    Unmatched Power: Whitebeard's crew boasted a staggering number – over 1600 strong, with 16 division commanders leading 100-man units each. This sheer size alone made them a significant power player. But their strength went beyond numbers. Having clashed with Roger himself, Whitebeard's crew earned a reputation as one of the strongest pirate crews in the world. Even the overconfident Buggy, once a member of Roger's crew, wouldn't dare attack Whitebeard's subordinate Ace while he slept.

    Fearsome Reputation: The Whitebeard Pirates' reputation instilled fear in their enemies. The World Government, facing the prospect of war with Whitebeard, mobilized practically their entire Marine force and the Seven Warlords of the Sea. This response speaks volumes about the threat they posed. The capture of Whitebeard's crew member, Portgas D. Ace, was such a significant feat that it earned Marshall D. Teach a Warlord position, highlighting the importance of Whitebeard's crew.

    Devil Fruit Prowess: While not every member possessed a Devil Fruit power, several key members like Marco, Ace, Jozu, and Blamenco did. This combination of Devil Fruit abilities and raw strength made them a truly versatile and dangerous crew. Interestingly, the crew had a unique rule – whoever found a Devil Fruit could consume it, leading to Blackbeard's deadly act of murdering Thatch to steal the Yami Yami no Mi.

    Haki Mastery: Many Whitebeard Pirates wielded Haki, a powerful technique mastered by their captain in all three forms. This mastery, coupled with their own impressive skills, allowed them to go toe-to-toe with even Warlords of the Sea. Their reputation alone commanded respect from Marines and Warlords alike. Even a rising star like Luffy was initially underestimated by Whitebeard, highlighting the crew's legendary status.

    Unwavering Loyalty: One of the Whitebeard Pirates' greatest strengths was their unwavering loyalty to their captain and to each other. They considered themselves a family, and this bond fueled their determination in battle. This loyalty was tragically manipulated by Akainu during the Marineford war, but Whitebeard's actions ultimately exposed the lie and rekindled the crew's fighting spirit.

    The Whitebeard Pirates: A Glorious History

    The Whitebeard Pirates boast a rich and storied past, filled with moments of triumph and tragedy. Let's delve into the key milestones that shaped this legendary crew.

    Early Days (38 Years Ago and Before):

    • Whitebeard, known then as Newgate, left the Rocks Pirates after their captain's death. He then embarked on a journey to assemble his own crew.
    • The Whitebeard Pirates faced a perilous shipwreck in the Kuri region of Wano Country. This is where they would encounter a pivotal figure – Kozuki Oden.

    Meeting Oden and Setting Sail (33 Years Ago):

    • Oden, a formidable warrior, clashed with Whitebeard and demanded to join his crew. Whitebeard initially refused, but Oden's persistence eventually paid off.
    • After a series of challenges and displays of loyalty, Oden became a member of the Whitebeard Pirates. Inuarashi and Nekomamushi also joined the crew during this time.

    Expansion and Loss (31 Years Ago and After):

    • Whitebeard divided his crew into five divisions, with Oden taking command of the second division. This marked a period of growth and expansion for the Whitebeard Pirates.
    • Marshall D. Teach, later known as Blackbeard, joined the crew around this time.
    • The Whitebeard Pirates crossed paths with the Roger Pirates, engaging in a legendary three-day battle that ultimately ended in a truce. This marked the beginning of a mutual respect between the two crews.
    • Oden and his family, along with Inuarashi and Nekomamushi, departed from the Whitebeard Pirates. Oden's tragic demise at the hands of Kaidou would leave a lasting scar on the crew.

    Rise to Power and the Summit War (Uncertain Timeframe - 2 Years Before Present):

    • The Whitebeard Pirates conquered territories in the New World, establishing themselves as a dominant force. Whitebeard's immense strength and reputation earned him the title of Emperor.
    • The crew amassed powerful allies, solidifying their position in the New World.
    • When Ace, Whitebeard's second son, was captured and sentenced to execution, the Whitebeard Pirates mobilized their entire force and waged war against the Marines at Marineford.

    Marineford and Beyond (2 Years Before Present):

    • The Summit War of Marineford was a brutal and decisive battle. Despite suffering heavy losses, the Whitebeard Pirates managed to free Ace. However, this victory came at a terrible cost – Ace was killed by Akainu.
    • Whitebeard himself, already heavily injured by betrayal and battle, succumbed to his wounds and was killed by Blackbeard's crew.

    A Legacy Enduring (Present Day):

    • The Whitebeard Pirates, though diminished, persevered. They buried their fallen comrades in their homeland and mourned their immense loss.
    • Blackbeard, capitalizing on Whitebeard's absence, seized control of many of his former territories. The remnants of the Whitebeard Pirates, led by Marco the Phoenix, became one of the few forces capable of challenging Blackbeard's growing power.
    • Two years after the Marineford war, Marco and Izou returned to Wano Country to aid the Straw Hat Pirates in their fight against Kaidou, seeking to avenge Oden's death. While successful in their mission, Izou tragically lost his life in the battle.

    The Whitebeard Pirates' story is one of unwavering loyalty, devastating loss, and enduring legacy. Despite facing immense challenges, their spirit of brotherhood and unwavering resolve continues to inspire.

    The Whitebeard Pirates' saga is a testament to the power of found family and the unyielding spirit of adventure. Their journey, filled with both exhilarating victories and crushing defeats, has left an indelible mark on the world of One Piece.

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