Glossary Term

Operation Apple

Code name for the NJM operation that resulted in the overthrow of Eric Gairy’s government in Grenada on March 13, 1979.
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Operation Apple was the code name for the NJM covert operation that seized power from Prime Minister Eric Gairy’s government in Grenada marking the official beginning of the Grenada Revolution.

Surprise Attack

During the early dawn hours of March 13, 1979, a small group of armed members of the New Jewel Movement surrounded the True Blue army barracks. Caught off-guard, the sleeping soldiers were startled awake as the NJM group hurled petrol bombs at the encampment setting the barracks on fire.  Most of the soldiers, known as the Green Beasts, ran into the surrounding areas.

NJM members who were part of the assault team that attacked the True Blue army barracks included:

During the attack, Maurice Bishop and other top NJM members – Coard, Whiteman, George Louison – remained at a command post a short distance away.

Revolution by Radio

The NJM then moved on to seize the Radio Grenada building in Morne Rouge, approximately two (2) miles away from True Blue.

As early as 6:00AM, NJM leaders took to the airwaves to announce the overthrow of the Gairy government to the Grenadian people and called on citizens to rise up and continue the revolt.

I am now calling upon the working people, the youths, workers, farmers, fishermen, middle-class people, and women to join our armed revolutionary forces central positions in your communities and to give them any assistance which they call for.

— Maurice Bishop, March 13, 1979 radio broadcast

The response was massive!

Citizens with cutlasses and makeshift weapons descended upon local police stations forcing police to surrender.  Others formed roadblocks to search cars for concealed weapons and helped in the capture of Gairy’s secret police and his infamous Mongoose Gang.

Within a matter of hours the NJM had taken over the country.

The NJM refer to this operation as a ‘bloodless coup’ saying that the loss of life was limited to only three (3) individuals.

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