Remember Maine. Ideal American War

Current events related to Iran, give reason to remember the provocation that led to the Spanish-American War of 1898 and her subsequent U.S. occupation of Philippines. This war was another in a series of predatory raids of the U.S. armed forces and the first test of strength outside the American continent. 

Background to war

The Golden Age of the Spanish Empire was long gone. By the 1820s the Spaniards, mainly under pressure from the British, lost most of the colonies. Thus, in Latin America, London has provided comprehensive support rebels as informational, and military, transportation, financial. Simon Bolivar (Venezuela's national hero, the most influential and well-known leader of the war for the independence of Spanish colonies in South America), the British helped finance and weapons at the beginning of its operations for the liberation of Latin America. 

 "Remember" Maine. "Ideal American War

True, the "liberation" of Latin America has not led to the creation of a single independent state, and by a group of weak states. For their republican or monarchical façade hiding dictate UK (her then pushed the U.S.), British and American monopolies. Most of the population lived in abject poverty, small groups of rich men ruthlessly exploited slaves, peasants, peons, workers of factories. The economy had fully colonial character. The only country that has tried to get out of this "matrix" — Paraguay was ruthlessly destroyed. 

But in Spain there were some "pearls" — Cuba, Philippine Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico, this island has a variety of resources, also located in important sea lanes.

The United States by the end of XIX century have successfully solved a number of internal problems. Finally crushed the resistance of the Native Americans — American Indian tribes in the 1860-1890-ies of land still owned by Indians in western North America, were captured and became the property of the farmers of different companies. And the Indians destroyed, partly deported and forced into reservations. Resolved the issue and the division of the country to the South and the North. Rapidly developing large-scale capitalist production, secure high protective tariff. 

Now the American capital needed in a diverse cheap natural raw materials, markets for their products, shipping lanes covered with naval bases. The political superstructure U.S. has always fulfilled your financial and industrial oligarchy — in the first half of the 19th century, was proclaimed "Monroe Doctrine." According to her, North and South America proclaimed area, closed to European colonization. The implication was that it would dominate States. At the end of the XIX century, the U.S. government pursued a policy of expanding economic influence in Latin America and Asia. 

The administration of U.S. President William McKinley (March 4, 1897 — September 14, 1901) believed that the time for America to get its first colonies that are both sources of raw materials and markets. In addition, Spain was weak and could not defend their colonies by force, cause great damage to the United States, had powerful allies. The capture of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands solved the problem of strengthening the strategic position of the U.S. in the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 

United States conducted a successful preliminary work to prepare for war: an information campaign in the press about "Spanish atrocities, and in 1895, the territory of Puerto Rico and Cuba, and in 1896 the territory of the Philippine Islands" launched "national liberation struggle against the Spanish regime. For example, the Cuban Revolution began with the fact that the squad landed in Cuba Jose Marti (he was in 1892 in the United States helped create the Cuban Revolutionary Party). Cuban rebels differed ruthlessness, destroyed villages, plantations, industries. Spanish governor-general said the brutality of the violence. In Cuba, almost succeeded in suppressing the revolt, the peasants were herded into concentration camps, depriving these partisan support. 

The American press has arranged hysteria about "bloody Spanish regime." American States Senate has recognized the rebels belligerent and demanded from the Spanish side of the world to resolve the conflict. The Spaniards, in turn, said that the Cuban excitement — this is an internal matter of the empire (like reading, you realize that the current unrest in Libya, Syria, the situation in Iran, the scenario is repeated more than a hundred years ago). 
"Remember" Maine. "Ideal American War
William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States (1897-1901) from the Republican Party.

Casus belli

U.S. would look like in the eyes of the international community and the average American "liberators", so needed an excuse for war. But the problem was that Spain did not want to fight. 

At the end of January 1898 in Havana, Cuba arrived American armored cruiser "Maine." Although the Americans claimed the friendly nature of the visit, it was clear that this is a challenge and demonstration. The Spaniards were forced to allow the visit. 

February 15, 1898 there was a terrible explosion and the ship was lost. The explosion took place in the evening, when the team was on the ship and the sailors were sleeping, so there were many casualties — killed 261 people (the standard crew — 355 people). An interesting fact is that almost all the officers were on the shore, and the dead sailors were mostly blacks. U.S. accused in the bombing of Spaniards who have failed the mine under the ship. Although the Spaniards, who did not want war with the United States, this action was not needed, the motive was not unlike the Americans. 

But almost immediately, a number of issues that denied the U.S. version. According to experts, an explosion which broke the ship in half, could not have come from mine (it was formed from a hole in the underwater part of the cruiser). Therefore, an explosion apparently occurred inside the cruiser "Maine." This was pointed out by other facts: the lack of stunned fish, which would be at underwater explosion, shattered windows of neighboring buildings.

In 1910, when the ship tried to raise the surface, this version is confirmed, people have learned that:

— explosion occurred inside the armored cruiser, not mine or torpedo;

— boilers were intact, so the version of the explosion was excluded. Besides the Americans in 1911, suddenly turned all the work to raise the ship, all the documents related to the investigation of the cruiser classified. Disfigured nose of the ship explosion cut and melted. 

American Commission despite the facts that pointed to an internal explosion, quickly finished his business and left for home. The occasion has been created — "dastardly Spaniards mine blew our cruiser." In society catapulted the slogan "Remember the Maine!" April 19 U.S. demanded from Spain to give up Cuba, while the mobilization of volunteers and deployment of the fleet. On April 21, without a declaration of war, American ships began to seize Spanish transports who traveled to Cuba. April 22 American squadron of Rear Admiral Sampson opened fire on coastal fortifications at Havana. 


The campaign was quick and rather small sacrifices. Generally it was a bit strange war. The first U.S. soldiers were killed in just two months after the start of the war. They fell from the boat and drowned in landing. Spanish soldiers, completely devoid of motivation for war, fighting spirit, seen in the colonies burden and wants to return home. 

The main fighting took place on the sea. The advantage of the American fleet was overwhelming: the Spaniards possessed one battleship, 7 armored cruisers, 5 heavy cruisers (displacement of more than 3 tons) and 8 light cruisers (with a displacement of less than 3 tons), the Americans had four battleships, three armored cruisers, 11 8 heavy and light cruisers. The U.S. had the advantage and total tonnage of the fleet — 116 thousand tons compared to 56 tons. American ships were modern and superior Spanish almost all indicators — U.S. Navy artillery was 2.5 times more powerful and with a higher rate of fire, were superior in armor protection. The Spaniards neglected combat training before the war: there were no maps, no plan of action in case of war with the United States naval gunners were not practiced in the shooting, was extremely low overall level of crew training. Ships of the U.S., except armored cruisers have a greater speed. In addition, the Spanish Navy ships were in need of good repair, and the command has committed all possible errors, showing the wonders of disability.

Were not comparable and financial capabilities States and the Spanish crown. Spain does not have enough money even to buy coal for the needs of its naval forces. An important role played by the fact that the main theater of war in the West Indies was 6 times closer to the Atlantic coast of the state than to the Spanish coast. On the day of the actual beginning of the war, April 21, 1898, the main Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Pasquale Servers stationed on the islands of Cape Verde. Spanish admiral did not even have maps Caribbean and did not know about the features of the local ports. Server said in Madrid that he has to go to sea without any plan, that Spain should not "delude themselves about the strength of our fleet", "indulge in illusions." Offered to come to Madrid to work out a strategy for action, but the military council took immediately send a squadron of servers in the West Indies, without waiting to return to the system is under repair battleship and three heavy cruisers. In the march came four armored cruisers and three destroyers.

But the first major naval battle occurred not in the Caribbean, and the Pacific Ocean. Here Asian cruiser squadron of American Commodore George Dewey in April was concentrated in Hong Kong. Americans have pre-stocked with coal, food, ammunition, and were ready for war. In the squadron had 4 protected cruisers (displacement from 3 to 6 tons), 2 nautical gunboats cruising type and 3 auxiliary vessel (only available to the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Battleship "Oregon" before the war, was transferred to the Atlantic, that is to . Philippine considered a front auxiliary). American ships had better artillery and speed. April 25 American squadron came to the Philippines. 

Formally, the Spanish Navy in the Philippines possessed 12 warships, but a significant part was unfit for combat or combat-ready part. In reality, Spanish Rear Admiral Patricio Montejo-and-Pasaron had only six cruisers (2 bezbronnyh Spanish ship with a displacement of 3 tons were considered "cruisers rank 1", the other 4 in 1 — 1.1 tons — " Cruisers 2nd rank ", only two of them had a deck armor) and 1 gunboat. Spanish squadron had 31 medium caliber gun (not more than 160 mm) guns against 53 large and medium-size (including 11 guns caliber 203-mm). The Spaniards have removed weapons from five gunboats, strengthening coastal defenses, and with the remaining ships in service, they took part guns. 

Spanish admiral's squadron moved from Manila to avoid exposing the danger of firing the city, to the arsenal of Cavite. In addition, there was shallow, and the crews have more opportunities to save, the Spanish command from the outset considered doomed his squadron and thought only of interventions to reduce losses. 

May 1, 1898 battle took place (or rather beating) between squadrons at Cape Cavite. It began in 5 hours and 12 minutes in the morning, when the Spaniards opened fire from the ships and the shore on the American column. A little later, the Americans opened fire. By 8 am nearly all the Spanish ships were burning and the American commander announced a break for breakfast (it was reported that the ammunition ran out, then found out it was a mistake). Then the shooting resumed. By noon, the American squadron destroyed all the Spanish ships. Spanish carelessness led to the fact that all of the ships were lost, 161 people were killed, 210 injured. The Americans had 9 wounded, the Spaniards made a total of 19 hits (only one serious enough), against 145 hits in Spanish ships. The battle had a profound psychological importance to the United States and the Spanish. 

After that, the Philippines, there were no major battles. American squadron could not independently possess Manila, without landing Airborne Corps. The Spaniards held it until near the end of the war.

In the West Indies American ships under the command of Admiral William Sampson blockaded Havana and all the northern coast of Cuba. The southern coast of Cuba with the ports of Cienfuegos and Santiago completely block the U.S. Navy could not because of the distance from the base of the U.S. Navy. May 19 in Santiago came after a long transition Spanish squadron of Admiral P. Servers. The Spaniards were going to have a rest, to boot charcoal and go further — to Havana (it was a major center of resistance on the island). August 27 Spaniards blocked "Flying Squadron" Commodore Vinfelda breeching, and August 1 came squadron of Vice-Admiral William Sampson. 

Servers decided to defend in Santiago, strengthened coastal defenses with new shore batteries, installed in the passage to the bay mines. Americans made an unsuccessful attempt to flood the fire-ship, to block the waterway. Do not risk attacking the Spanish squadron in the bay, where the American ships met the fire is not only Spanish ships and shore batteries but decided to drop the case and take the landing port from the land. The landing was poorly organized, stretched out in time, but as the Spaniards did not dare to counteractions (and they could lead to a significant loss of troops), the Americans were able to plant 27 thousand. Assault Corps. June 25 American forces, along with the Cuban rebels tried to take Santiago, but their attack repulsed. 

At the same time, from Cadiz popped the new Spanish squadron of two battleships, 2 and 3 torpedo ships under Admiral cameras. In the United States feared that she would go to the West Indies, but the Spanish squadron moved to Port Said, intending to follow the Philippine Islands. But after she got the news of the destruction of the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, the squadron cameras wander the Mediterranean returned to his native shores, and not taking part in hostilities.

Realizing that the sea battle will lead to the defeat of the squadron, the server was planning to use the resources of their land defense squadron to Santiago. But in the end, was forced to make a breakthrough. In Santiago, starved of food, and the commandant Admiral asked to leave the port. Besides Server was ordered Commander Spanish forces in Cuba Marshal Blanco. July 2 Blanco requested break in Havana. Admiral complied with this order. Although it is believed that its implementation would entail the destruction of the squadron of ships and crews. 

The Spanish had 4 armored cruisers three of the same type — "Infanta Maria Teresa," "Admiral Oquendo" and "Vizcaya" (7 thousand tons displacement, speed to 20 knots with two 280-mm and ten 140-mm guns) "Cristobal Colon" (6.7 million tons, 20 knots, ten 152-mm and six 120-mm guns). The Americans armored cruiser "Brooklyn" (more than 9 thousand tons, 22 knots speed, eight 203-mm and twelve 127-mm guns), third battleship class 1: "Iowa" (11.4 thousand tons, speed 16 knots, four 305-mm and 203-mm eight and six 102-mm guns), "Indiana" and "Oregon" (by 10.3 thousand tons, 15 knots speed, four 330-mm, 203 eight and four 152-mm guns), battleship class 2 "Texas" (6.1 million tons, 17 knots speed, two 305-mm and six 152-mm guns). The only chance was to break the Spaniards, and part of the fleet would have to sacrifice. But in reality, the case was impossible: the Spanish cruiser could not develop full speed due to machine breakdowns, poor coal, and gunners to provide decent resistance. Besides ammunition were of poor quality, many defective gun.

The result was tragic: July 3, 1898 in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba Spanish fleet was completely destroyed. The Spaniards lost all ships, 323 men killed, 151 wounded and 1.6 million people, led by Admiral Servers prisoners. And this despite the fact that the Americans have shown a rather low accuracy — with more than 7 thousand 163 shots only hit in the Spanish ships. 

Deprived of their main fleet, the Spanish sued for peace, the war was lost. U.S. during the war have lost a total of about 500 people were killed (by disease and died of wounds much more — about 6 million people), the Spaniards more than 2.1 million people (including information on deaths from diseases of the Spanish forces there, but apparently not less than Americans). 
"Remember" Maine. "Ideal American War

Results of the war

— August 13, 1898 signed the Treaty of Paris. The Spanish side was forced to abandon all of its colonies in Asia and Latin America — the Philippine Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and Cuba. The first three possessions became U.S. territory, for it is the United States paid the Spanish crown in compensation of $ 20 million. And Cuba proclaimed an independent republic, but in reality it has become a "banana republic" and "brothel" of the U.S.. Its foreign policy, the economy, finance were under full U.S. control. In Guantanamo Bay was established U.S. naval base.

— U.S. brilliantly run-in scenario for its future wars: the information war (the enemy is mixed with mud before the start of a "hot war", turning the eyes of the world community in the "bloody monster"), brilliant use of public discontent, the organization of "national liberation" movements "provocation "Pirate" War (control over communications, actions, Navy, landings, etc.).

— Spain finally lost its status as an important colonial and naval power.

— The war gave the United States as a great maritime power, the U.S. Navy after the Battle of Santiago de Cuba has been recognized as one of the leading navies of the world.

— The Spanish-American War demonstrated to the world community to force the young predator on the world map, a new great power. The war ushered in a new era of United States history.

— In the Philippines, the Americans had to tinker. Filipinos have decided to become loose and started a war against the United States. Philippine-American War lasted until 1902 (active phase), and some troops resisted until 1913. U.S. had to throw against Filipinos 125 thousand army. The Americans did not hesitate to use the most brutal methods (which was typical of the European colonizers), so if the Filipino soldiers killed about 20 thousand people, 200 thousand civilians in the village of hunger starved Americans were committing massacres of peasants. For example, only in the area of Balangiga on the island of Samar, brave American warriors in 1901 knocked out about 10 thousand people, and killed the ancient principle of nomadic Wars — "kill all, who is above telejnoj axis." Here were shot or bayoneted all people over the age of 10. Naturally, the U.S. press and the "world community" is not particularly interested in these acts of terror and genocide (its possible).

Alexander Samsonov

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