How did the US win the Spanish-American War?
The Spanish-American War was one of the most lopsided victories in American history—and possibly world history. The war begins with Cuba's struggle to rid itself of Spanish rule and the Spanish military's brutal acts against the revolutionary militias. Well-publicized in American newspapers and media, the armed conflict was compared to the American Revolution of more than a century in the past. Increasing public demand for intervention and the USS Battleship Maine's mysterious sinking forced the American government to take action.
Led by Commodore George Dewey, on May 1, 1898, the American naval forces caught the Spanish fleet utterly unprepared for battle and moored in Manila Bay in the Philippines. After destroying and annihilating the Spanish Fleet, American troops turned their attention to finding the remaining Spanish naval forces in Cuba. Adm. Pascual Cervera commanded the remaining Spanish naval forces and had moved them into Santiago Harbor, believing them to be safe from American forces. Cervera miscalculated the speed at which the American troops advanced after landing calvary forces east of Santiago. With Theodore Roosevelt and General William Shafter at command, Cevera was forced to move his fleet away from the harbor and into the open seas.
In the hastily organized retreat on July 3, the Spanish fleet's few remaining ships were hammered by American guns. Again, the once thought of as nearly invincible naval forces of Spain came to a humiliating defeat at the American forces' hands. Most of the ships were beached, burned, or sunk, resulting in Spain's surrender on July 17. In December of 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed, effectively ending the conflict.