Spain lost most of its colonial possessions back in the 1820s.
Behind the previous session of gutting the overseas Spanish possessions stood England, which provided the Latin American rebels with all the necessary support, including military, transport and information. For example, the English squadron under the command of Cockrail moved the rebel army of de San Martin from Chile to Peru. And Simon Bolivar, who visited London after the start of the insurgency, was able to recruit an entire legion of European mercenaries with generous White-Hall subsidies. Freed from the Spaniards, Latin America did not become a single independent state, as Bolivar dreamed about (possibly), but into an assemblage of banana republics. Their republican and democratic facades hid English, and then American dictatorship, the dominance of the British and then American monopolies, sharp class stratification, genocide of the indigenous population (whose top was the Paraguayan War), stagnant poverty of ruthlessly exploited peasant peasants, open or slightly camouflaged slavery in plantations and mines; raw nature of the economy; lawlessness perpetrated by private armies of large landowners; dominance in the elected authorities of compradors, landowners and agents of Western companies.
And such a “liberation” became a matrix for many other “exemptions” already outside of Latin America.
However, after all the amputations, the Spanish crown has several overseas gems left - beautiful islands with diverse resources located on important oceanic communications.
The United States to the time period we are interested in has finally suppressed the resistance of Native Americans - by an order of magnitude reducing their number through deportations and genocide. In 1860-90, the land that still belonged to the Indians in the west of the continent was divided into squares and passed on to the colonists-farmers, after which the process of consolidation of land ownership began immediately. Small-scale enterprises were ruined and through the hands of banks fell into the possession of large capitalist bonanza farms. Cities were flooded with bankrupt farmers and immigrants; industry was booming, protected by very high protectionist tariffs. It was on protectionist bills that the then American President W. McKinley made his career. (Liberal talk about the great benefits of unlimited competition is only for external use, when Western companies seize foreign markets and kill someone else's industry.) American capital needed a variety of cheap raw materials, protected sales markets for manufactured products, and maritime communications provided by military naval bases ...
The US-Spanish war began after an intense newspaper campaign about "Spanish atrocities." Such a prelude to American aggression will subsequently become standard.
15 February 1898 on the harbor of Havana exploded the battleship "Maine". There were no motives for such sabotage of the obviously weaker Spaniards - did they really want to speed up the US attack? The fact that practically all the officers of this ship were on the shore also testifies to the dirty background of the terrorist attack. Killed 266 crew members. Although the cause of the explosion was never established (the Spanish and American commissions that conducted parallel investigations differed in determining why the explosion occurred, but neither of them could identify the perpetrators), the United States accused the Spanish side of deliberate sabotage, severed diplomatic relations , demanded the withdrawal of the Spaniards from Cuba and 21 on April declared war against Spain and 21 on April began hostilities.
Such a casus belli became a model for most wars that were fought by the Americans right up until today.24 April Spain, in turn, declared war on the United States.
“A certain country suffers terribly from a lack of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, non-observance of human rights, etc. (US government and capital need the resources of this country) - The enemy is terrible and cruel (the future victim is weak and deprived of powerful allies) - The cunning enemy has already attacked our citizens, we must defend ourselves (the US government killed a portion of its citizens [a modern version, several native "fighters for democracy"] and put the blame on the future victim) - The American soldier is invincible, the public rejoices ("GI" destroy everything that moves and breathes on its way) - We brought this country freedom, democracy, legality, human rights, etc. (America received the resources of this country and will not give them up until it consumes them completely) "
In this case, the Americans acted as aggressors. They knew perfectly well the weakness of Spanish. fleet and did not even take any measures to strengthen the coastal defense of their ports on the Atlantic coast. On the contrary, Spain did not want war and was not at all ready for war. Meanwhile, from 1895 on, partisan war on part of the local colonists for independence was going on in Cuba. The same war unfolded in the Spanish Philippines. Cuban rebels were supported by the United States, who were about to establish control over Cuba. This island was considered strategically important to ensure the safety of the North American coast, as well as the planned channel through the Isthmus of Panama.
Just before the start of the war, the Spaniards, having driven civilians who supported the partisans to concentration camps, managed to almost completely crush the uprising in Cuba. But with the uprising in the Philippines, Madrid did not have time to cope, and the American occupation forces continued the fight against it.
Almost all the battles of the Spanish-American war turned on the sea. The advantage of the American fleet was overwhelming.
Spain had 1 battleships, 7 armored cruisers, 5 armored cruisers (displacement over 3 thousand tons) and 8 light cruisers (displacement less than 3 thousand tons).
The US had 4 battleships, 3 armored cruisers, 11 armored deck and 8 light cruisers.
The Americans had an advantage in the overall displacement of the fleet - 116 thousand tons against 56 thousand tons. Most importantly, the American ships surpassed the Spanish in almost all indicators. The artillery of the American fleet was 2,5 times more powerful and had a higher rate of fire. Spanish armored cruisers exceeded the speed of the American, but all other classes of ships were significantly inferior in speed to the enemy. In addition, the Spanish ships were older buildings. Most of them were in need of repair and were not ready for immediate combat operations. American ships also had better armor protection.
Not comparable were the financial capabilities of the parties. The Spanish treasury did not have enough money even to buy coal for the needs of the fleet. A significant role was played by the fact that the main theater of the war in the West Indies was six times closer to the Atlantic coast of the United States than to the shores of Spain. The Spanish General Staff did not have a war plan against America at all. On the day of the outbreak of the war, April 21, the main Spanish squadron under the command of Admiral Servers was on the Cape Verde Islands. The admiral did not even have maps of the West Indies and did not know the features of the local ports. He wrote to Madrid: “I very much regret that I have to go to sea, not having agreed in advance regarding any plan, at least in general terms. On this I several times bothered, asking permission to go to Madrid. We should not deceive ourselves regarding the strength of our fleet. We should not indulge in illusions. ” However, the military council decided to immediately send a squadron of the North to the West Indies, not waiting for the battleship under repair and three heavy cruisers to be in service. The campaign went 4 armored cruisers and 3 destroyer.
The first major naval battle took place, however, not in the Atlantic, but in the Pacific. Here, the squadron of the American admiral Devey already in March was concentrated in Hong Kong and stocked up in advance with coal, food and ammunition. She moved to the Philippine Islands. The Spanish admiral Monteno was going to defend himself at the position at the entrance to Syubi Bay, threatening the rear of the American squadron leading to Manila, but at the insistence of the command of the garrison of the Philippine capital, he was forced to take the ships closer to the city to prevent its bombardment by American ships.
May 1 held the first and last battle between the squadrons of Devey and Monteno at Cape Cavite. It began at 5 in the 12 minutes of the morning when the Americans fired at the anchored Montaigne squadron. By 8 hours of the morning, almost all Spanish ships were set on fire by artillery fire, and Devey announced a break for breakfast.
By noon, the entire Spanish squadron had already been destroyed. In the prewar years, the Spaniards neglected the preparation of the commanders, and the shooting of their ship artillery was very bad. All 7 shells that wounded 6 sailors got into US ships. After that, an 27-thousandth expeditionary corps landed near Manila, three months later, on August 13, on the day of the conclusion of a peace treaty, forcing the garrison to surrender.
In the West Indies, the American squadron of Admiral Sempson blocked Havana and the entire northern coast of Cuba. Americans could not block the south coast of the island with the ports of Cienfuegos and Santiago because of the distance from the bases of the American fleet. May 19 in Santiago arrived after a long transition of the Spanish squadron Admiral Servers. After 6 days, Americans found out about it. An attempt to lock the entrance to the bay by flooding the old coal miner failed. The ship sank not where it was planned, but seven American sailors and officers who were on it were captured.
June 5 Americans landed troops near Santiago, joined with 3-thousandth detachment of Cuban rebels. 6 June launched a powerful bombardment of Santiago, during which the Spaniards lost 9 people killed and 35 wounded. 7 June a squad of 620 US marines occupied the port of Guantanamo. June 15 was followed by the landing of the main forces of the 27-thousandth Expeditionary Force. He was transferred to 35 transport ships guarded by battleships and 4 cruisers. The landing took place very unorganized and dragged on for several days. On the first day, only 6 thousands of people were landed. There was almost no interaction between the army and the fleet. American ships lost battle order and often interfered with each other. The army commanders who led the landing party had little idea how to transfer the soldiers to the shore with the help of lifeboats. However, the Spaniards did not dare to attack the American fleet, although such an attack could lead to heavy losses among the expeditionary force.
Meanwhile, a new Spanish squadron consisting of 2 armored cruisers, 2 steamers and 3 destroyers under the command of Admiral Kamera emerged from Cadiz. The Americans were afraid that she would move to the West Indies. However, the camera went to Port Said, intending to continue on to the Philippines. But by that time it became known about the death of the Spanish squadron in Manila Bay. After wandering around the Mediterranean Sea, the Chamber eventually returned to Spain, without taking part in the hostilities.
2 July Server decided to try to break the blockade. To this he was urged by the commander of the land army, Marshal Blanca. The sailors of the squadron served as a heavy burden for the meager food reserves of the defenders of Santiago, but there was no sense from the blocked fleet anyway.
The Spanish squadron marched along the coast. She was opposed by an American squadron consisting of 4 battleships and one armored cruiser. Server had 4 armored cruisers and 2 destroyers. The Spaniards marched in the wake and the Americans acted out of order. American ships alternately focused their fire on one of the Spanish ships. Soon all the Spanish ships were destroyed, while the Americans did not lose a single ship with negligible losses among the crews - only a few people killed and wounded. Having lost the fleet, Spain was forced to seek peace.
In August, the resistance of the Spaniards in Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico was broken. Moreover, in the Philippines, the patriotic movement actually defeated the Spaniards on their own, so that American soldiers remained proud to enter Manila.
10 December 1898 The Paris Peace Treaty formalized the results of the aggression. Spain “officially” transferred the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam to the States. And also paid for the costs of the United States to attack itself - 25 million dollars. Cuba, formally declared independent, was also occupied by the Americans.
President McKinley designated the status of the occupation as “benevolent assimilation” and “a soft regime of justice and legality” (then, as we see, the Americans were not so obsessed with the slogans of “freedom and democracy” as they are today). By the way, McKinley died at the presidency from a bullet fired by an “anarchist” - maybe, indeed, the heavenly car overtook the organizer of the drowning of “Maine”.
4 February 1899 Americans began fighting against the government of the Philippine Republic, formed by patriots. The Philippine republican units soon became partisan units fighting the obsessive “liberators” - the first Asian guerrilla began.
For more than two years, 120 of thousands of American soldiers stubbornly exterminated partisans and all those suspected of supporting partisan units.
According to the Paris Peace Treaty signed on 13 on August 1898, Spain abandoned all its colonies in Asia and America - the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico and Cuba. The first three became the possessions of the United States, for which the Americans paid Madrid 20 millions of dollars in compensation. Cuba was proclaimed an independent republic, but in fact its foreign policy was under American control. The US naval base was established in Guantanamo Bay.
The losses of Americans killed, mainly in the ground forces, were killed - 514 people, dead from wounds - 454 people and dead from diseases - 5438 people. The loss of the Spaniards killed reached thousands of people 2,5. There is no data on the number of deaths from diseases in the Spanish army, but it was hardly less than in the American army.
During the conquest of the Philippines, 200, according to official data, was killed by thousands of civilians. Considering that the American command had not yet carried out carpet bombing (due to the lack of appropriate military technology), it can be assumed that most of the noncombatants were destroyed by the Americans in a very old-fashioned way - with a bayonet, knife, bullet.