The Battle of Manila Bay (Filipino: Labanan sa Look ng Maynila Spanish: Batalla de Bahía de Manila), also known as the Battle of Cavite, took place on 1 May 1898, during the Spanish–American War. The American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron under Contraalmirante (Rear admiral) Patricio Montojo. The battle took place in Manila Bay in the Philippines, and was the first major engagement of the Spanish–American War. The battle was one of the most decisive naval battles in history and marked the end of the Spanish colonial period in Philippine history.
|Battle of Manila Bay|
|Part of the Spanish–American War|
Contemporary colored print, showing USS Olympia in the left foreground, leading the U.S. Asiatic Squadron against the Spanish fleet off Cavite. A vignette portrait of Rear Admiral George Dewey is featured in the lower left.
|Commanders and leaders|
|George Dewey||Patricio Montojo|
Engaged forces:[cn 1]|
4 protected cruisers
1 revenue cutter
Engaged forces:[cn 1]|
2 protected cruisers
4 unprotected cruisers
|Casualties and losses|
1 dead (due to heatstroke)|
1 protected cruiser damaged
2 protected cruisers sunk
5 unprotected cruisers sunk
1 transport sunk
Americans living on the West Coast of the United States feared a Spanish attack at the outbreak of the Spanish–American War. Only a few U.S. Navy warships, led by the cruiser USS Olympia, stood between them and a powerful Spanish fleet.
Admiral Montojo, a career Spanish naval officer who had been dispatched rapidly to the Philippines, was equipped with a variety of obsolete vessels. Efforts to strengthen his position amounted to little. The strategy adopted by the Spanish bureaucracy suggested they could not win a war and saw resistance as little more than a face-saving exercise.:59 Administration actions worked against the effort, sending explosives meant for naval mines to civilian construction companies while the Spanish fleet in Manila was seriously undermanned by inexperienced sailors who had not received any training for over a year. Reinforcements promised from Madrid resulted in only two poorly-armored scout cruisers being sent while at the same time the authorities transferred a squadron from the Manila fleet under Admiral Pascual Cervera to reinforce the Caribbean. Admiral Montojo had originally wanted to confront the Americans at Subic Bay, northwest of Manila Bay, but abandoned that idea when he learned the planned mines and coastal defensives were lacking and the cruiser Castilla started to leak.:69 Montojo compounded his difficulties by placing his ships outside the range of Spanish coastal artillery (which might have evened the odds) and choosing a relatively shallow anchorage. His intent seems to have been to spare Manila from bombardment and to allow any survivors of his fleet to swim to safety. The harbor was protected by six shore batteries and three forts whose fire during the battle proved to be ineffective. Only Fort San Antonio Abad had guns with enough range to reach the American fleet, but Dewey never came within their range during the battle.
The Spanish squadron consisted of seven ships: the cruisers Reina Cristina (flagship), Castilla, Don Juan de Austria, Don Antonio de Ulloa, Isla de Luzon, Isla de Cuba, and the gunboat Marques del Duero. The Spanish ships were of inferior quality to the American ships; the Castilla was unpowered and had to be towed by the transport ship Manila. On April 25, the squadron left Manila Bay for the port of Subic, intending to mount a defense there. The squadron was relying on a shore battery which was to be installed on Isla Grande. On April 28, before that installation could be completed, a cablegram from the Spanish Consul in Hong Kong arrived with the information that the American squadron had left Hong Kong bound for Subic for the purpose of destroying the Spanish squadron and intending to proceed from there to Manila. The Spanish Council of Commanders, with the exception of the Commander of Subic, felt that no defense of Subic was possible with the state of things, and that the squadron should transfer back to Manila, positioning in shallow water so that the ships could be run aground to save the lives of the crews as a final resort. The squadron departed Subic at 10:30 a.m. on 29 April. Manila, towing Castilla, was last to arrive in Manila Bay, at midnight.
At 7 p.m. on 30 April, Montojo was informed that Dewey's ships had been seen in Subic Bay that afternoon. As Manila Bay was considered unnavigable at night by foreigners, Montojo expected an attack the following morning. However, Oscar F. Williams, the United States Consul in Manila, had provided Dewey with detailed information on the state of the Spanish defenses and the lack of preparedness of the Spanish fleet. Based in part upon this intelligence, Dewey—embarked aboard USS Olympia—led his squadron into Manila Bay at midnight on 30 April.
Passing the entrance, two Spanish mines exploded but were ineffective as they were well below the draft of any of the ships due to the depth of the water. Inside the bay, ships normally used the north channel between Corregidor Island and the northern coast, and this was the only channel mined. Dewey instead used the unmined south channel between El Fraile and Caballo Islands. The El Fraile battery fired a few rounds but the range was too great. The McCulloch, Nanshan and Zafiro were then detached from the line and took no further part in the fighting. At 5:15 a.m. on 1 May, the squadron was off Manila and the Cavite battery fired ranging shots. The shore batteries and Spanish fleet then opened fire but all the shells fell short as the fleet was still out of range. At 5:41 with the now famous phrase, "You may fire when ready, Gridley", the Olympia's captain was instructed to begin the destruction of the Spanish flotilla.
The U.S. squadron swung in front of the Spanish ships and forts in line ahead, firing their port guns. They then turned and passed back, firing their starboard guns. This process was repeated five times, each time closing the range from 5,000 yards to 2,000 yards. The Spanish forces had been alerted, and most were ready for action, but they were heavily outgunned. Eight Spanish ships, the land batteries, and the forts returned fire for two and a half hours although the range was too great for the guns on shore. Five other small Spanish ships were not engaged.
Montojo accepted that his cause was hopeless and ordered his ships to ram the enemy if possible. He then slipped the Cristina's cables and charged. Much of the American fleet's fire was then directed at her and she was shot to pieces. Of the crew of 400, more than 200, including Montojo, were casualties and only two men remained who were able to man her guns. The ship managed to return to shore and Montojo ordered it to be scuttled. The Castilla, which only had guns on the port side, had her forward cable shot away, causing her to swing about, presenting her weaponless starboard side. The captain then ordered her sunk and abandoned. The Ulloa was hit by a shell at the waterline that killed her captain and disabled half the crew. The Luzon had three guns out of action but was otherwise unharmed. The Duero lost an engine and had only one gun left able to fire.
At 7:45 a.m., after Captain Gridley messaged Dewey that only 15 rounds of 5" ammunition remained per gun, Dewey ordered an immediate withdrawal. To preserve morale, he informed the crews that the halt in the battle was to allow the crews to have breakfast. According to an observer on the Olympia, "At least three of his (Spanish) ships had broken into flames but so had one of ours. These fires had all been put out without apparent injury to the ships. Generally speaking, nothing of great importance had occurred to show that we had seriously injured any Spanish vessel." Montojo took the opportunity to now move his remaining ships into Bacoor Bay where they were ordered to resist for as long as possible.
A captains' conference on the Olympia revealed little damage and no men killed. It was discovered that the original ammunition message had been garbled—instead of only 15 rounds of ammunition per gun remaining, the message had meant to say only 15 rounds of ammunition per gun had been expended. Reports arrived during the conference that sounds of exploding ammunition had been heard and fires sighted on the Cristina and Castilla. At 10:40 a.m. action was resumed but the Spanish offered little resistance, and Montojo issued orders for the remaining ships to be scuttled and the breechblocks of their guns taken ashore. The Olympia, Baltimore and Boston then fired on the Sangley Point battery putting it out of action and followed up by sinking the Ulloa. The Concord fired on the transport Mindanao, whose crew immediately abandoned ship. The Petrel fired on the government offices next to the arsenal and a white flag was raised over the building after which all firing ceased. The Spanish colors were struck at 12:40 p.m.
According to American sources, Dewey won the battle with seven men very slightly wounded, a total of nine injured, and only a single fatality among his crew: Francis B. Randall, Chief Engineer on the McCulloch, from a heart attack. On the other hand, the Spanish naval historian Agustín Ramón Rodríguez González suggests that Dewey suffered heavier losses, though still much lower than those of the Spanish squadron. Rodríguez notes that Spanish officials estimated the American casualties at 13 crewmen killed and more than 30 wounded based on reliable information collected by the Spanish consulate in Hong Kong. According to Rodríguez, Dewey may have concealed the deaths and injuries by including the numbers among the 155 men who reportedly deserted during the campaign.
A Spanish attempt to attack Dewey with the naval task force known as Camara's Flying Relief Column came to naught, and the naval war in the Philippines devolved into a series of torpedo boat hit-and-run attacks for the rest of the campaign. While the Spanish scored several hits, there were no American fatalities directly attributable to Spanish gunfire.
On 2 May, Dewey landed a force of Marines at Cavite. They completed the destruction of the Spanish fleet and batteries and established a guard for the protection of the Spanish hospitals. The resistance of the forts was weak. The Olympia turned a few guns on the Cavite arsenal, detonating its magazine, and ending the fire from the Spanish batteries.
In recognition of George Dewey's leadership during the Battle of Manila Bay, a special medal known as the Dewey Medal was presented to the officers and sailors under Admiral Dewey's command. Dewey was later honored with promotion to the special rank of Admiral of the Navy; a rank that no one has held before or since in the United States Navy. Building on his popularity, Dewey briefly ran for president in 1900, but withdrew and endorsed William McKinley, the incumbent, who won. The same year Dewey was appointed President of the General Board of the United States Navy, where he would play a key role in the growth of the U.S. Navy until his death in January 1917.
Dewey Square in Boston is named after Commodore Dewey, as is Dewey Beach, Delaware. Union Square, San Francisco features a 97 ft (30 m) tall monument to Admiral George Dewey's victory at the Battle of Manila Bay.
Vessels engaged in actual combat during the Battle of Manila Bay ranged in size from 5,870 tons (Olympia) to 492 tons (Marques del Duero).
Despite the superiority of the American artillery, the success rate of their guns was minimal, a total of 5,859 shells were expended during the battle. Excluding shells fired at land targets and the unengaged vessels, only 145 hit the seven Spanish engaged vessels. The Reina Cristina and Castilla suffered 81 hits between them, the Don Antonio de Ulloa was hit 33 times, the Don Juan de Austria 13, the Marques del Duero 10, the Isla de Cuba five and the Isla de Luzón was hit three times.
The Spanish vessels had 19 torpedo tubes between them but no serviceable torpedoes.
The batteries were supplemented with the guns removed from Montojo's fleet. The Corregidor, Caballo and El Fraile batteries had a combined total of 17 guns.
The United States Navy ships:
The destroyed Spanish ships after the battle:
Basilio Augustín y Dávila (February 12, 1840 – August 7, 1910) was briefly a Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines, from April 11 to July 24, 1898.
During his tenure, the Spanish–American War began, which he assured the Spanish would be "short" and "decisive". Spanish forces were decisively defeated by the American Navy in the Battle of Manila Bay. This defeat led to the return of revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo from exile and the beginning of the second phase of the Philippine Revolution, during which, on June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence.
Augustín attempted to create a consultative assembly of Filipino Ilustrados loyal to Spain and a militia of Filipinos, as a way to support autonomy in the Philippines. He offered one million pesos to Aguinaldo but the latter refused. However, it did gain following from reputable figures from the revolutionaries such as Artemio Ricarte and Emiliano Riego de Dios due to the efforts of Pedro Paterno.
Augustín's plans for reform ended in failure as most of the Spanish-trained Filipino militia deserted to the revolutionary ranks, and his consultative assembly finally dissolved with most of its members became signers of the Malolos Constitution and members of the Malolos Congress in 1899. In August 1898, the United States Army occupied Manila and in December 1898 Spain signed the Treaty of Paris transferring sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States. In 1899, the Philippine–American War began between American and Philippine revolutionary forces.Battle of Manila (1898)
The Battle of Manila (Filipino: Labanan sa Maynila; Spanish: Batalla de Manila), sometimes called the Mock Battle of Manila, was a land engagement which took place in Manila on August 13, 1898, at the end of the Spanish–American War, four months after the decisive victory by Commodore Dewey's Asiatic Squadron at the Battle of Manila Bay. The belligerents were Spanish forces led by Governor-General of the Philippines Fermín Jáudenes, and American forces led by United States Army Brigadier General Wesley Merritt and United States Navy Commodore George Dewey. American forces were supported by units of the Philippine Revolutionary Army, led by Emilio Aguinaldo.
The battle is sometimes referred to as the "Mock Battle of Manila" because the local Spanish and American generals, who were legally still at war, secretly and jointly planned the battle to transfer control of the city center from the Spanish to the Americans while keeping the Philippine Revolutionary Army, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, out of the city center.The battle left American forces in control of Intramuros, the center of Manila, surrounded by Philippine revolutionary forces, creating the conditions for the Battle of Manila of 1899 and the start of the Philippine–American War.Charles Vernon Gridley
Charles Vernon Gridley (24 November 1844 – 5 June 1898) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the Spanish–American War.Dewey Medal
The Dewey Medal was a military decoration of the United States Navy which was established by the United States Congress on June 3, 1898. The medal recognizes the leadership of Admiral of the Navy George Dewey, during the Spanish–American War, and the Sailors and Marines under his command.George A. Loud
Colonel George Alvin Loud (June 18, 1852 – November 13, 1925) was a politician and businessman from the U.S. state of Michigan.
Loud was born in Bainbridge Township, Geauga County, Ohio, and moved with his parents (Henry M. Loud and Vilitta Kile) to Massachusetts in 1856 and then to Au Sable, Michigan, in 1866. He attended the English High School in Boston, and Professor Patterson's School at Detroit, He graduated from Ann Arbor High School (now Pioneer High School) in 1869. He was vice president and general manager of the Au Sable and Northwestern Railroad. For four years he was a colonel on the staff of Michigan Governor Hazen S. Pingree. He was paymaster on the U.S. revenue cutter McCulloch when it participated in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.
Loud was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 10th congressional district to the 58th United States Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1903 to March 3, 1913. In 1912, Loud was defeated by Progressive Roy O. Woodruff. Loud defeated Woodruff in 1914 to be elected to the 64th Congress, serving from March 4, 1915 to March 3, 1917. In 1916, Loud was defeated in the Republican Party primary elections by Gilbert A. Currie.
Loud returned to engage in the lumber business at Au Sable. He was killed in an automobile accident at Myrtle Point, Oregon and was interred in Au Sable Cemetery in Oscoda.George Dewey
George Dewey (December 26, 1837 – January 16, 1917) was Admiral of the Navy, the only person in United States history to have attained the rank. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.
Born in Montpelier, Vermont, Dewey entered the United States Naval Academy in 1854. He graduated from the academy in 1858 and was assigned as the executive lieutenant of the USS Mississippi at the beginning of the Civil War. He participated in the capture of New Orleans and the Siege of Port Hudson, helping the Union take control of the Mississippi River. By the end of the war, Dewey reached the rank of lieutenant commander.
After the Civil War, Dewey undertook a variety of assignments, serving on multiple ships and as an instructor at the Naval Academy. He also served on the United States Lighthouse Board and the Board of Inspection and Survey. He was promoted to Commodore in 1896 and assigned to the Asiatic Squadron the following year. After that appointment, he began preparations for a potential war with Spain, which broke out in April 1898. Immediately after the beginning of the war, Dewey led an attack on Manila Bay, sinking the entire Spanish Pacific fleet while suffering only minor casualties. After the battle, his fleet assisted in the capture of Manila. Dewey's victory at Manila Bay was widely lauded in the United States, and he was promoted to Admiral of the Navy in 1903.
Dewey explored a run for the 1900 Democratic presidential nomination, but he withdrew from the race and endorsed President William McKinley. He served on the General Board of the United States Navy, an important policy-making body, from 1900 until his death in 1917.Manila, Kentucky
Manila is an unincorporated community in Johnson County, Kentucky, United States. Manila's original post office opened on July 1, 1898 and was named in honor of the Battle of Manila Bay, which had occurred earlier that year. The community's ZIP code is 41238.
Manila is at an elevation of 794 feet.Manila, West Virginia
Manila is a small unincorporated community in Boone County, West Virginia, United States. Like other American settlements named for the Philippine capital, the town was named around 1900 during the Spanish–American War to commemorate the United States' naval victory at the 1898 Battle of Manila Bay.Its fourth class post office was discontinued on February 28, 1969.Naval Station Sangley Point
Naval Station Sangley Point was a communication and hospital facility of the United States Navy which occupied the northern portion of the Cavite City peninsula and is surrounded by Manila Bay, approximately eight miles southwest of Manila, the Philippines. The station was a part of the Cavite Navy Yard across the peninsula. The naval station had a runway that was built after World War II, which was used by U.S. Navy Lockheed P-2 Neptune, Lockheed P-3 Orion, and Martin P4M Mercator maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. An adjacent seaplane runway, ramp area and seaplane tender berths also supported Martin P5M Marlin maritime patrol aircraft until that type's retirement from active naval service in the late 1960s. NAS Sangley Point/NAVSTA Sangley Point was also used extensively during the Vietnam War, primarily for U.S. Navy patrol squadrons forward deployed from the United States on six-month rotations. The naval station was turned over to the Philippine government in 1971. It is now operated by the Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy.Pedro Gil Street
Pedro Gil Street (formerly Herran Street) is an east-west inner city street and a tertiary national road in south-central Manila, Philippines. It is 3.6 kilometers (2.2 miles) long, and spans the entire length of Ermita, Malate, Paco and Santa Ana districts, as well as portions of San Andres.
The street originates at the intersection with Calderon Street fronting the Santa Ana Church in Santa Ana district where it is divided by a median of greenery and sculptures known as Plaza Felipe Calderon. Heading west, it passes through the Santa Ana Market and an SM Savemore outlet before it narrows into a four-lane undivided road west of Suter Street. Continuing past old heritage houses and a few commercial establishments, Pedro Gil crosses into the northern portion of San Andres and Paco district where it is interrupted by the Paco railway station and busy Quirino Avenue. The downtown portion of Paco, as well as Ermita and Malate, lie across this intersection passing through the Paco Church, Robinsons Place Manila shopping mall, and universities such as University of the Philippines Manila and Saint Paul University Manila. The Ermita-Malate portion in which the street serves as boundary also contains several hotels like the New World Manila Bay Hotel (formerly Hyatt Hotel & Casino Manila). Roxas Boulevard lies at its western end.
The street is served by the LRT-1 Pedro Gil Station along Taft Avenue and the Paco railway station along Quirino Avenue. It also continues into the eastern Metro Manila cities of Mandaluyong and San Juan across the Pasig River as Panaderos and General Kalentong Streets.
The street was named after Pedro Gil, a Filipino legislator of the early 1920s. It was originally known as Herran Street, after José de la Herrán, a Spanish captain during the Battle of Manila Bay.Spanish cruiser Castilla
Castilla was an Aragon-class unprotected cruiser of the Spanish Navy that fought in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.Spanish cruiser Don Antonio de Ulloa
Don Antonio de Ulloa was a Velasco-class unprotected cruiser of the Spanish Navy that fought in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.Spanish cruiser Don Juan de Austria
Don Juan de Austria was a Velasco-class unprotected cruiser of the Spanish Navy that fought in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.Spanish cruiser Velasco
Velasco was a Velasco-class unprotected cruiser of the Spanish Navy which fought in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.Spanish gunboat Marques del Duero
Marques del Duero was a Fernando el Catolico-class gunboat of the Spanish Navy which fought in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.USS Gridley (DDG-101)
The fourth USS Gridley (DDG-101) is the 51st Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. Gridley is named after Captain Charles Gridley, Commander of Admiral George Dewey's flagship Olympia, (Flag Captain) and recipient of Admiral Dewey's famous command, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley" in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.
In May 2004, the Secretary of the Navy announced the names of five new Arleigh Burke class destroyers, including Gridley. Her keel was laid on 30 July 2004 at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. She was christened on 11 February 2006. The Gridley was commissioned at the Port of Miami on Saturday, 10 February 2007.
She has joined the Pacific Fleet and is homeported at Naval Station Everett.
Gridley departed Naval Base San Diego on 19 May 2008 for her maiden deployment and returned on 25 November 2008.On August 22, 2014 Gridley departed the naval base for a scheduled 10-month deployment, along with USS Bunker Hill and USS Carl Vinson, returning on 4 June 2015.On July 9, 2016 Gridley arrived at her new homeport in Everett, WA.USS Lamberton (DD-119)
USS Lamberton (DD-119)/(DMS-2) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was the only ship named for Benjamin P. Lamberton, an admiral who had served with Admiral Dewey in the Battle of Manila Bay.
Lamberton was laid down on 1 October 1917 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at their yard in Newport News, Virginia. The destroyer was launched on 30 March 1918, sponsored by Miss Isabell Stedman Lamberton, Admiral Lamberton's granddaughter. The vessel was commissioned on 22 August 1918, Lieutenant Commander Frank Slingluff, Jr. in command.USS McCulloch (1897)
USS McCulloch, previously USRC McCulloch and USCGC McCulloch, was a ship that served as a United States Revenue Cutter Service cutter from 1897 to 1915, as a United States Coast Guard Cutter from 1915 to 1917, and as a United States Navy patrol vessel in 1917. She saw combat during the Spanish–American War during the Battle of Manila Bay and patrolled off the United States West Coast during World War I. In peacetime, she saw extensive service in the waters off the U.S. West Coast. She sank in 1917 after colliding with another steamer.
Pacific Theater: Spanish American War
|Personnel and training|
|Uniforms and equipment|
|History and traditions|
|Battles and operations|