Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Athens Central Gymnastics School, Athina; Athens Lawn Tennis Club, Athina; Zappeion, Athina
Date Started: April 24, 1906
Date Finished: April 26, 1906
Early rounds (24-25 April [11-13 April]) of the team Ã©pÃ©e event were held at the Athens Central School for Gymnastics and the Zappeion, but the final matches (those of 26 April [13 April]) took place at the Athens Lawn Tennis Club. The competition was won by a French team, but more is known about the results of the English team which finished second to them, because Theodore Andrea Cook, the captain of the British team, wrote about it extensively in his book, The Olympic Games. In the first round the British were to meet the Germans in front of the King and Queen of England who were in attendance at the games. The Germans, however, misunderstood the schedule and were asleep at the hotel at the time the match was to start. When they finally arrived at the Zappeion, they were easily defeated by the British, 9-2. In the second round the British defeated a Belgian team in a match which had to be postponed after it started and finished on the following morning. They defeated the Belgians 14-9. The French advanced to the final by fencing only one match, defeating a Greek team easily in the semi-finals in a rematch after their first competition ended in a dead heat.
The final match took place between the French and the British on the afternoon of Thursday, 26 April [13 April]. The two teams tied, 9-9. The two teams elected to proceed immediately to a fence-off and in this match, the French defeated the British 9-6. Cook discussed his decision to contest the fence-off immediately after the tie, "It is open to question whether I was right in continuing to fight the team again immediately after the dead heat; and for whatever that may have contributed to our final defeat I must take full responsibility. The fact remains that the greater experience of the French enabled them to win the majority of the deciding bouts more easily than the previous encounter had led me to imagine would be possible, and they therefore took the first prize.
"In deciding to go on at once, I had calculated that our men had only had part of a full round with the Belgians before the final, whereas the French had not only met the Greeks but had had to fight off a dead heat with them as well, and I therefore expected that we should physically outlast them when both sides retired."