San Juan Hill 1898
America's Emergence As a World Power
AUTHOR: Konstam, Angus
PUBLISHER: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
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Labelled a splendid little war by Senator John Hay, the Spanish American War was a peculiar yet pivotal event in America's history, provoked as much by the press as by political pressures. Here, aided by superbly detailed maps and artwork, the author deals with the clashes at Las Guasimas and El Caney, the capture of San Juan Hill, and the naval battle and siege of Santiago. The war was to mark the end of Spanish sovereignty the Americas and the establishment of the United States of America as a world power.
The background to the Spanish American war lay in the Cuban insurrection of 1895-1898 and the cruelty with which it was suppressed by Cuba's Spanish overlords. The spark which ignited the rising tension into open war was the destruction on 15 February 1898 of the USS Maine with the loss of 260 men, the result of a mysterious explosion in Havana harbour. A naval court of inquiry blamed Spain and the US declared war on 25 April. Angus Konstam's eminently readable study guides us through the clashes at the 'Bloody Ford', the defence of El Caney, and the charge of the Teddy Roosevelt's 'Rough Riders' up Kettle Hill - an event that has entered US military mythology. The naval battle and siege of Santiago are also looked at by the author. The whole Cuban operation was characterised by appalling command and control, and poor reconnaissance: it cost the Americans over 1,500 killed and wounded, but it effectively decided the outcome of the war. Spain saw the end of her dominion in the 'New World', and America drew its first blood as an emerging world power.
PUBLICATION DATE: 8/30/2004