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A Day at Manila

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A Day at Manila
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On the 1st of May 1898, the Spanish-American War had begun with the battle of Manila Bay becoming the first battle between the superpowers. The Spanish were prepared for a battle but they lacked the economy and thought it would be more productive to end the war early with a loss. The Spanish were extremely undermanned at Manila and the only real defences that they could use were naval mines. These, however, were not needed to win not only at Manila but strengthen the morale throughout the Spanish soldiers throughout the war.


Overview

The battle of Manila was not only the first battle of the Spanish-American War (1898-99), but also the first turning point. The battle of Manila was fought on May the 1st 1898, in Manila Bay, the Spanish Philippines. The American Pacific fleet traveled from Hong Kong to the bay to capture the port town of Manila to allow more soldiers to be able to be transported to the Philippines. The Spanish were at the time undermanned, and lacked major support from the Spanish government. When the battle began the Spanish Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón managed to lure the American fleet into the lower water, beaching them. This was the time when the major Spanish force started bombarding the Cruisers, with the land batteries attacking them from land. During the battle one gunship managed to get free of its position and attempted to attack the Spanish cruisers from behind, but the land batteries dealt with them. Finally, nine hours after the bombardment began, the guns went silent. The Spanish managed to win the battle destroying one protected cruiser and all the gunboats, while the Spanish lost one gunboat.

Outcome

The victory was a blow to the Americans as at the time they believed victory was certain and it was a morale-boosting outcome for the Spanish, even though the government did not support a victory, as it was deemed to costly and a waste of time to fight for a hard victory, while an easy defeat was seen as the more supported choice at the time. It also the shift of American troops and fleets going to the Philippines, as they were required to turn and attack the vital Spanish colony/province of Cuba.

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