Battle of Manila Bay Facts

Battle of Manila Bay Facts
The Battle of Manila Bay was a major battle in the Spanish-American War (1898) that took place on May 1, 1898 in Manilla Bay, Philippines. Although most of the major battles in the Spanish-American War were fought in Cuba, the Battle of Manila Bay was the first major battle of the war and set the tone for the course of the war. Many people around the world, including many in Spain, believed that the Americans would be no match for the Spanish, at least on the high seas, while many Americans feared that a quick Spanish naval victory would open the door to a potential invasion of the American West Coast. Once the battle began, though, it was quickly proven that the Americans had indeed "grown up." Under Commodore George Dewey (1837-1917), the Americans maneuvered their way to a decisive victory. Only one American died and one ship was damaged, versus seventy-seven Spanish deaths and seven ships sunk, which was most of their ships engaged in the battle. The victory opened cleared the way for American domination in the Philippines, which continues to this day in many ways, and gave momentum to the American forces to eventually win the Spanish-American War.
Interesting Battle of Manila Bay Facts:
Although the Spanish navy had once been the most powerful in the world and even rivaled the British as late as the early 1800s, by 1898 it was a shadow of its former self, using obsolete ships and weapons.
The Americans had four "protected cruisers" versus two for the Spanish. Protected cruisers were a major advance from earlier cruisers because they were much more heavily armored, allowing them to withstand a number of direct hits.
The admiral of the Spanish fleet in the Philippines was Patricio Montojo y Pasaron (1839-1917). He had an otherwise distinguished military career and was held in high regard by his careers, but he was made the scapegoat for Spanish defeat.
Pasaron was court martialed by the Spanish Navy and imprisoned. Dewey actually wrote a letter on his behalf that stated, "Although without accurate knowledge as to the condition of your ships, I have no hesitation in saying to you what I have already had the honor to report to my government, that your defense at Cavite was gallant in the extreme."
The USS Olympia was Dewey's flagship and the one that led the attack.
Fighting began at 5:41 am and just over two hours later it was done.
The only American casualty in the battle was chief engineer Francis B. Randall, who died of a heart attack onboard the USS McCulloch.
Dewey landed Marines the next day to take the remaining Spanish ports, hospital, and other strategic points in Manilla.
After the victory, George Dewey became an American hero and was directly associated with the modernization of the U.S. Navy.
The victory ended with the Spanish withdrawing all of their forces from the Philippines and the Americans taking their place. One year later the Americans would be involved in war against Philippine nationalists.

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