Manila And Santiago: The New Steel Navy in the Spanish-American War
The U.S. Navy's first two-ocean war was the Spanish-American War of 1898. A war that was global in scope, with the decisive naval battles of war at Manila Bay and Santiago de Cuba separated by two months and over ten thousand miles. During these battles in this quick, modern war, America s New Steel Navy came of age. While the American commanders sailed to war with a technologically advanced fleet, it was the lessons they had learned from Adm. David Farragut in the Civil War that prepared them for victory over the Spaniards. This history of the U.S. Navy s operations in the war provides some memorable portraits of the colorful officers who decided the outcome of these battles: Shang Dewey in the Philippines and Fighting Bob Evans off southern Cuba; Jack Philip conning the Texas and Constructor Hobson scuttling the Merrimac; Clark of the Oregon pushing his battleship around South America; and Adm. William Sampson and Commodore Scott Schley ending their careers in controversy. These officers sailed into battle with a navy of middle-aged lieutenants and overworked bluejackets, along with green naval militiamen. They were accompanied by numerous onboard correspondents, who documented the war.In addition to descriptions of the men who fought or witnessed the pivotal battles on the American side, the book offers sympathetic portraits of several Spanish officers, the Dons for whom American sailors held little personal enmity. Admirals Patricio Montojo and Pasqual Cervera, doomed to sacrifice their forces for the pride of a dying empire, receive particular attention. The first study of the Spanish-American War to be published in many years, this book takes a journalistic approach to the subject, making the conflict and the people involved relevant to today s readers. This work details a war in which victory was determined as much by leadership as by the technology of the American Steel Navy.
A great narrative on the two decisive fleet battles of the Spanish-American War
By J. Rudy "IT Professional" - May 9, 2009
"Manila & Santiago: The New Steel Navy in the Spanish-American War", by Jim Leeke, is an excellent modern work on the two major naval battles of the Spanish American War. The book focuses on the naval modernization efforts (or lack thereof) between 1865-1890; the commanders who fought the battles; and a third-person narrative description of the battles. Leeke's writing style is easy to read and suitable for most readers.
The first major naval battle of the war took place in Manila, Phillipines, on May 1, 1898. Admiral George Dewey and his Asiatic squadron engaged the Spanish fleet at anchor in Manila Bay. Leeke provides a narrative of the battle as experienced through the eyes of the men who fought the battle.
Leeke repeats this perspective in his coverage of the second major naval battle at Santiago de Cuba. Like most wartime engagements, it happened purely by chance. The spanish fleet sailed from continental Europe. The Americans did not know the... read more
Manila and Santiago
By Bruce A. Brotherton - May 22, 2009
This is an excellent treatment of these two famous naval battles of the Spanish American War. It provides good detail and in depth treatment of the battles and what led up to them. My only criticism would be that I would have liked to have seen more information on the ships involved as well. But this is only a minor point. The history treatment is excellent. If your naval history libray is lacking for resources on this period this would be a good addition.
A Simply Told Tale
By L. Veid "Chronic Reader" - May 10, 2009
Mr. Leeke does a good job of updating our knowledge of the two major sea battles of the Spanish-American War, and he does so with an admirable economy of words. He provides a brief summary of the causes of the war and how each nation reacted to the outbreak of hostilities. I especially liked how he outlined the professional experiences of the senior US commanders, all of whom began their naval careeers during the Civil War. Mr. Leeke addresses the logistics of both sides and how those logistics affected the commanders' approaches to the battles. His accounts of the actual battles are succinct but clear, with good appreciations of the constraints acting on the respective commanders. A brief summary of the post-war situation closes out the book and completes the picture.
My only complaint is with the overly simplified charts. The chart of the Manila battle details the movements of the US ships, but doesn't even depict the locations of the Spanish ships. For the Santiago... read more