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Oil painting depicting naval battle ships engaged in combat in Manila Bay

Battle of Manila Bay, May 1, 1898 (Batalla en la Bahía de Manila, 1 de mayo del 1898)

On February 25, 1898, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt sent a telegram to Commodore George Dewey, ordering him to ready ships in Hong Kong. After the United States declared war on Spain in April, Dewey’s Asiatic Squadron, comprised of six steel-clad vessels, departed for the Philippines. On May 1, Dewey’s ships fired on Rear Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón’s seven unarmored ships, which completely destroyed the Spanish fleet. 

Ildefonso Sanz y Doménech, a Spanish medical officer aboard the cruiser Isla de Luzón, witnessed the first U.S. victory of the war with Spain and
later recorded the battle in a series of oil paintings. Against a backdrop of battered Spanish vessels, Sanz y Doménech shows the USS Olympia leading the USS Baltimore, Raleigh, Concord, Petrel, and Boston in line of battle.

Ildefonso Sanz y Doménech (1863–1937)
Oil on canvas
99.1 × 200.7 cm (39 × 79 in.)
Courtesy of the Army and Navy Club Library Trust, Washington, D.C.
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