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Word Count: 331
Battle of Manila Bay Dewey had his squadron concentrated in the British harbor of Hong Kong when the war message arrived on April 24 1898 He had four steel cruisersOlympiaBaltimoreBoston and Raleighand two seagoing gunboatsConcord and Petrel The Spanish commander at Manila Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasaron was as unprepared as the unfortunate Cervera in Cuba He had a total of seven ships His flagship Reina Cristina could be described as a cruiser The other ships except for a small wooden corvette were steel or iron gunboats mostly in poor repair Dewey left Hong Kong on April 25 When he arrived at Manila Bay he faced several difficulties He knew that the narrow entrance to the bay was defended by heavy guns mounted on the islands of Corregidor and El Fraile He also had reason to believe that the channel was mined Furthermore if any of his ships were to be severely damaged he would have no means of making repairshe was 7000 miles from the nearest home port and Hong Kong and other neutral ports were now being closed to him None of these difficulties deterred Dewey however and he led his darkened squadron into the harbor entrance No mines exploded and there was only scattered gunfire As day broke on May 1 Deweys squadron was well within Manila Bay The city of Manila lay dead ahead defended by batteries that began long-range and ineffective firing at the US ships Montojos squadron not Manila was Deweys immediate objective He bore away southward toward the Spanish naval station at Cavite Increasing daylight revealed the Spanish warships at anchor there At 540 AM Dewey gave the order to fire As in the Caribbean the battle was over in just a few hours resulting in the destruction of the Spanish squadron Spanish casualties included at least 160 dead and 210 wounded The US forces had no fatal casualties Only two officers and six
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