Today in Philippine History, August 13, 1898, the Battle of Manila occurred

Saturday August 13, 2011 ()

On August 13, 1898, occurred the Battle of Manila, which was part of a series of battles for the occupation of Manila during the Spanish-American War.

The battle was considered "mock" because it was already pre-planned from the time the first gun would be fired as well as to what time the guns would stop firing. The surrender of Spanish forces to the Americans was theatrical as the raising of the white flag was already expected.

Raising the American flag over Fort Santiago, Manila, on the evening of August 13, 1898
(Raising the American flag over Fort Santiago, Manila, on the evening of August 13, 1898, photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Accordingly, had not Admiral Dewey cut the cable connecting Manila with Hongkong and the outside world immediately after the Battle of Manila Bay in May 1898, this battle would have not been fought, as a day or so before an armistice suspending all hostilities between the United States and Spanish forces was signed and immediately in effect.

The events were planned and seconded by U.S. General Wesley Merritt and Spanish Governor General Fermin Jaudenes respectively designed to keep Manila from falling into the hands of the Philippine Revolutionary forces led by Emilio Aguinaldo, satisfying the desire of the Spaniards to "save their honor" having fallen to the Americans and not to the Filipinos.

As early as August 9, 1898, foreign consuls in Manila and the Spanish States as well as the church officials decided to surrender when General Merritt and Admiral George Dewey issued an appeal to Governor General Jaudenes to surrender the city.

Tension in Filipino-American relations begun when the Filipino troops who took part in the "battle", were not allowed to enter Manila for the victory celebrations.

The Fall of Manila to the American forces on August 13, 1898 marked the start of American colonization of the Philippines.

References:

  1. Philippines News Agency archives
  2. American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Journal, Volume 3, Number 8, August 1923.


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