On 3 July 1898, during the Spanish-American War, at the Battle of Santiago, Cuba, Rear Admiral William T. Sampson’s U.S. Navy squadron destroyed a Spanish fleet led by Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete. This photo shows the battle from the deck of USS Iowa (Battleship # 4). Note the volume of dense gun smoke around the ship at left center. NHHC photo NH 1132.

On 1 May 1898, at the Battle of Manila Bay, a U.S. Navy squadron under the command of Commodore George Dewey defeated a Spanish squadron at Manila, Philippines. This colored print is after a painting by J.G. Tyler, copyright 1898 by P.F. Collier. Ships depicted in left side of the print are (l-r): Spanish Warships Don Antonio de Ulloa, Castilla, and Reina Cristina. Those in right side are (l-r): USS Boston, USS Baltimore and USS Olympia. NHHC Photo NH 71839-KN

BOOK REVIEW: The Great Expedition – Sir Francis Drake on the Spanish Main, 1585-86

By Angus Konstam, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, England, (2011).

Reviewed by Charles Bogart

For the past decade, Osprey Publishing has been producing high quality, well illustrated books on various military affairs. This book is part of their Raid Series and tells the story of Sir Francis Drake’s raid on Spanish possessions in the Caribbean Sea. With a force of 21 small ships and 1,800 men, Drake, in 1585, captured and plundered the cities of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Cartagena (Columbia). This raid was planned to show the military weakness of the Spanish colonial empire, from which the Spanish Crown drew the gold and silver it needed to fight its battles of conquest in Europe.

(read the full review here)

On 16 March 1912, the hulk of USS Maine was sunk at sea in deep water with full military honors. Maine had exploded in Havana Harbor in 1898, an event which incited the Spanish-American War. This image (NHHC Photo NH 46792) shows her stern section making its final plunge to the bottom. Note the American flag just about to dip under the waves.

"Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!”

In the evening of 15 February 1898, the battleship USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana Harbor, Cuba. While the cause was likely an accidental explosion in her forward gunpowder magazines, the American media and public pointed the finger at Spanish treachery and war soon broke out between the U.S. and Spain. This 1898 painting by A. Melero depicts the wrecked ship sitting on the bottom. NHHC Photo KN-10967.