The Spanish American war

Chris

Hi I'm doing my report on the Spanish American War. In the following pages I will be giving information on how and why the war started, major battles, and the results of the war. I will also include stories from people on the battleship Maine.

Introduction


The Spanish American War marked the emergence of the United States of America as a world power. The war which lasted only 10 weeks between April and August of 1898 took place over the liberation of Cuba. In the course of the war the U.S. won Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands. A large aspect to the begining of the war was the explosion and sinking of the Maine on February 15 1898 at 9:30 PM in Havana Harbor. 260 American naval personnel where killed or wounded. The USS Maine was the second "second class" battle ship constructed for the U.S. Navy. It took almost nine years to complete three year took waiting for armor. The USS Maine was at the time the largest ship to be built in a U.S. Navy yard. The USS Maine arrived in the Havana harbor in Cuba on Jan. 24 of 1898. The USS Manie was sent to Cuba in response to a small protest by Spanish officers. The ship was under the command of Captian Charles Sigsbee.

When the Manie sank there where 2 separate explosions ammunition continuted to explode for hours after the blast. Some people say that the Maine was torpedoed or blown up with under water explosives by the Spanish Navy, others say that the 896 ton capacity coal bunker exploded but most people at the time said that the ship was torpedoed and blamed Spain for the sinking of the ship. After the disaster an official court of inquiry was held to determine the cause of the blast. The Navy said that the ship was sunk by a water mine, but stated that it could not fix responsibility on any single person or persons.

Declaration of war


At the time of the sinking of the Maine U.S. President William Mckinley was in office. Pres. Mckinley had hoped to avoid going to war with Spain but along with thousands of other Americans was swept up in the feeling to support war. In 1898 Pres. mckinley asked to declare war on Spain.

The war begins


At the begining of the war there were almost 200,000 Spanish troops located in Cuba. About 125,000 of them were regulars or well trained and well armed men the rest were local volunteers. Most of the troops were station in Havana. On the other hand the U.S. Army had about 25,000 in total. To add on to this they were spread out into small post all over the country.

The blockade of Cuba


The Navy's basic job was to blockade the island of Cuba. If the Spanish army could be cut off from seaborn supplies from Spain it would greatly weaken the Spanish army within a amount weeks. To maintian a successful blockade the United States deterimined that the spanish navy had to be destroyed whenever found.

In the spring of 1898 all the Spanish navel force had was for armed cruisers and three destroyers compared to the U.S. force offour battle ships and two armed cruisers which at the time was very superior. Sampson was forced to leave half of his forces at Hampton Roads, Virginato discourage the Spanish from bombarding U.S. seaports.

With his forces cut in half Sampson could not watch the two major Cuban ports of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba located in southeastern Cuba. The Spanish force was stoped from entering Cienfuegos habor in May 1898.

San Juan Hill


The Rough Riders cavalry division had been dismounted because thier horses had to be left behind the cavalry was the first to land and they quickly advanced to Santiago de Cuba. At Las Guasimas they were to fight the first land battle of the war. Even though the spanish force was somewhat larger they were still drove off of their post. On July 1 the U.S. division launched a badly constructed attack at El Cany and San Juan Hill. But because of being badly coordinated more than 280 U.S. solider where killed and over 1500 wounded in the battle. U.S. commanders were not to happy with the results and didn't follow up with futher attacks. At 5:40 in the AM General Dewy gave