Destruction of the Spanish
Destruction of the Spanish
The Battle of Manila Bay

The Battle of Manila Bay was a battle fought during the Spanish War on May 1, 1898. It was fought in the Philippines. This battle was a destruction of the Spanish by the U.S. The commanders of the battle were Commodore George Dewey for the U.S. and Admiral Patricio Motojo y Pasaron for Spain.


George Dewey and the Americans



George Dewey
George Dewey

Rising Through the Ranks

George Dewey was born on December 26, 1837 in Montpelier, Vermont. He graduated form the Naval Academy in 1858, and became a lieutenant in the Navy in 1861. After this, he worked his way up through the ranks of the Navy, eventually becoming Admiral of the Navy in 1903. Because of his brave and admirable acts in the Navy during the Spanish-American War, many Americans call George Dewey a hero.

In the Battle of Manila Bay

On February 25 of 1898, Dewey received orders to gather all the ships of the Asciatic Station in Hong Kong. He informed that in the event of war, he was to take those ships and destroy all the Spanish ships in Philippene waters. This squadron under his command consisted of the protected cruisers Olympia, Boston, and Raleigh, and the gunboats Concord and Petrel. They were later joined by the revenue cutter McCulloch, and the protected cruiser Baltimore. Dewey also bought the British steamers Nanshan and Zafiro to carry coal and supplies for him and his men. On April 24, Dewey was told by the British authorities that war had been decalared and him and his squadron needed to leave the neutral area within 24 hours. He also received command from the Navy Department to immediatley enter the Philippenes and begin attacking the Spanish ships. But Dewey wanted to wait for the U.S. consul in Manila, Oscar Williams, to aProxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0 ive with the latest information. So he moved his squadron to Mirs Bay, which is 30 miles east of Hong Kong, and spent the next two days drilling, distributing ammunition, and removing all wooden objects from the boats so they would not catch on fire and cause great damage to the boats. Williams arrived on April 27, and almost immediatley after, Dewey and his squadron left for the Philippines in search of the Spanish ships. When they found out where they were, Dewey put his ships in a line and they went in an oval fashion, pouring shells into them the whole time. The Spanish responded, but with extremely inaccurate fire. After two hours of the Americans destroying the Spanish ships, Dewey ordered his men to back off because of a report that they were low on ammunition. When he asked his captains of their ships status, Dewey found that they were in good condition and they had plenty of ammunition left. So after a light meal, Dewey ordered his squadron to reengage. But when they reached the Spanish ships, they found that Motojo had brought his ships into Bacoor Bay, where the water was very shallow, and the Americans found them hard to reach. Dewey then ordered his gunboats Concord and Petrel, which had shallow drafts, to finish the ships off at close range. The Spanish raised a white flag at 12:15, and thus the Battle of Manila Bay ended.

Patricio Motojo y Pasaron and the Spanish



Patrico Motojo y Pasaron
Patrico Motojo y Pasaron

From Zero to Hero

Patricio Motojo y Pasaron was born in El Ferrol, Corruna on September 7 of 1839. He attendent the Naval School in Cadiz, and became a naval cadet in 1852. He was then promoted to Sub-lieutenant in 1860, and Lieutenant in the same year. He went through many different ranks before eventually being promoted to General Officer in 1891. He was nominated for the "Grand Cross of Queen Elizabeth the Catholic", and was awarded the "Grand Cross of Queen Maria Cristina". He was a great leader and hero to the Spanish people.

In the Battle of Manila Bay

Motojo left Manila Bay on April 25 of 1898, headed for Subic to accept the enemy there. He had under his command a squadron composed of the cruisers Reina Cristina, Don Juan de Austria, Isla de Cuba, and Isla de Luzon, the dispatch boat Marques del Duero, and the wooden cruiser Castilla. But when they arrived at the entrance of the port of Subic, the Castilla was not able to join them because of some leaks, which were fixed, but it was then impossible to use her engines. When they arrived at Subic, Motojo discovered that the guns that were supposed to be placed on the island were delayed six weeks. On April 28th, Motojo was informed that the Americans had left Mira Bay, and were headed for Subic to destroy the Spanish ships. After receiving this information, Motojo held a council with his captains, where they decided to head back to Manila Bay. As soon as they arrived at Manila Bay, Motojo immediatley started preparing for battle. He decided to put his ships in Canacao Bay, away from the city of Manila, in shallow waters, and under the protection of the batteries of Point Sangley and Ulloa. He had the Castilla towed by the transport Manila, and surrounded by lighters filled with sand to protect it from enemy torpedoes and shells since it was immobile. At 2:00 the next morning, Motojo was informed that the Americans were exchanging shots with the batteries at the entrance of Manila Bay. At 4:45, the Americans were spotted, and at 5:15, Motojo gave the signal for his squadron to open fire, which the enemy responded to immediatley. The Americans were pouring numerous shells into the Spanish ships. Everything was exploding and everyone was dying. The Americans retreated but then came back later, and completely destroyed the Spanish ships. The Spanish raised a white flag at 12:15, and thus the battle of Manila Bay ended.

Embarassing Defeat


This was an extremely embarassing defeat for Motojo and the Spanish. They had suffered 381 casualties while the Americans had only suffered 9. They tried to uphold the honor of the Spanish navy. Motojo himself was stripped of his position and imprisoned. But both him and Dewey were great leaders and commanders no matter where they ended up after this battle.

References


1. "Biography of George Dewey". Biographies in Naval History. 8/11/05. Navy Department Library. 10/27/08. < **http://www.history.navy.mil/bios/dewey_george.htm**>
2."Admiral Patricio Motojo y Pasaron". The Spanish American War Centennial Website. SiteLogz. 10/27/08. <**http://www.spanamwar.com/montojo.htm**>
3."The Official Report of Spanish Admiral Motojo on the battle of Manila Bay". The Spanish American War Centennial Website. SiteLogz. 10/27/08. <**http://www.spanamwar.com/mtreport.htm**>
4. Garraty, John A. The Story of America. Austin