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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Age of Formative Expansion

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American Age of Formative Expansion 1789-1830 To begin with the 1st US President & extend through the Whiskey Rebellion, Quasi War with France, War of 1812, & southeastern Indian wars,

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  #1  
Old 03 May 12, 18:01
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Spanish American War

Warren Julius Shepherd, Co. D, 17th US Infantry, US Army. On July 1 1898, Shepherd assisted ion the rescue of numerous wounded men in front of the enemy lines. In the action at El Caney, Cuba. He was awarded the CMH, he was also one of my cousins.
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  #2  
Old 10 Nov 12, 03:22
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Historically speaking this was a strange war. Started on the dubious pretext of a battleship blowing up. What was the battleship doing in Havana in the first place? Was this a provocation? This was a consequence of a preplanned effort to take over the Spanish colonies, following the Monroe Doctrine. Not to suggest that the USA deliberately blew up its own ship. However, those who lusted for war and bloodshed were quick to declare it, without ever examining the reasons why the ship blew up. A French battleship, Liberte, blew up under similar conditions as did the Russian dreadnought Imperatriza Maria of the Black Sea Fleet in 1916.

However, when a sister ship of the Maine blew up in 1905, the US Navy started to realize that they had a serious problem with their magazines in their battleships. The British Navy had a similar problem with the magazines in their battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland. 3 of them simply blew up and Beatty's flagship Lion narrowly escaped the same fate.
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  #3  
Old 10 Nov 12, 05:46
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Curious about that CMH award in the Spanish American War. I have been reading quite a bit about the campaigns against the plains Indians of late. Seems like CMH was given out extremely often. Then I read they didn't have any lesser grade medals for bravery so everyone got a CMH at that time. At what point did the CMH become something higher? Spanish Am War, WW1?
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Old 12 Nov 12, 01:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijah View Post
Curious about that CMH award in the Spanish American War. I have been reading quite a bit about the campaigns against the plains Indians of late. Seems like CMH was given out extremely often. Then I read they didn't have any lesser grade medals for bravery so everyone got a CMH at that time. At what point did the CMH become something higher? Spanish Am War, WW1?
World War I.

That is when the Distinguished Service Cross was created in order to provide recognition other than the Medal of Honor. The Silver Star (known as the Citation Star) was also created during this time as well.

The Bronze Star was created during World War II.
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Old 12 Nov 12, 04:57
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Originally Posted by Nickuru View Post
Historically speaking this was a strange war. Started on the dubious pretext of a battleship blowing up. What was the battleship doing in Havana in the first place? Was this a provocation? This was a consequence of a preplanned effort to take over the Spanish colonies, following the Monroe Doctrine. Not to suggest that the USA deliberately blew up its own ship. However, those who lusted for war and bloodshed were quick to declare it, without ever examining the reasons why the ship blew up.

Nickuru, the Monroe doctrine prevented US interference with any established European controlled entity in the western Hemisphere as much as it prevented their expansion. This was the agreement more or less struck and saw Britain as the main arbiter of it until perhaps just about the turn of the century.
I don't believe that the proponents of US action were lusting for war and bloodshed, but much more likely lusting for more power and land. War was a means to that end, as it always has been.
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Old 12 Nov 12, 19:35
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Remember the Maine!
I've heard bits and pieces about this, due to one of my cousins who lives nearby.
This man
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_R._Campbell
Was her 2nd great-grandpa's nephew.
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Old 12 Nov 12, 21:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickuru View Post
Historically speaking this was a strange war. Started on the dubious pretext of a battleship blowing up. What was the battleship doing in Havana in the first place? Was this a provocation? This was a consequence of a preplanned effort to take over the Spanish colonies, following the Monroe Doctrine. Not to suggest that the USA deliberately blew up its own ship. However, those who lusted for war and bloodshed were quick to declare it, without ever examining the reasons why the ship blew up. A French battleship, Liberte, blew up under similar conditions as did the Russian dreadnought Imperatriza Maria of the Black Sea Fleet in 1916.

However, when a sister ship of the Maine blew up in 1905, the US Navy started to realize that they had a serious problem with their magazines in their battleships. The British Navy had a similar problem with the magazines in their battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland. 3 of them simply blew up and Beatty's flagship Lion narrowly escaped the same fate.
There were reportedly riots in Havanna, so the US sent the USS Maine there to protect US national and commercial interests. Re: the explosion. It has been said the Maine had a coal bunker fire that adjoined the battleship's forward 6-inch secondary battery magazine and the intense heat from the fire cooked-off the shells in the magazine through the same steel bulkhead wall shared by the bunker and magazine. It sounded like a serious design flaw.
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Old 13 Nov 12, 01:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijah View Post
Curious about that CMH award in the Spanish American War. I have been reading quite a bit about the campaigns against the plains Indians of late. Seems like CMH was given out extremely often. Then I read they didn't have any lesser grade medals for bravery so everyone got a CMH at that time. At what point did the CMH become something higher? Spanish Am War, WW1?
In 1917 a committee which was presided over by Nelson Appleton Miles stripped 911 Civil War soldiers of their Medal of Honor because their actions did not deserve such an honor. This was the start of the MOH becoming a higher honor.
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Old 14 Nov 12, 23:28
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Originally Posted by Nickuru View Post
However, when a sister ship of the Maine blew up in 1905, the US Navy started to realize that they had a serious problem with their magazines in their battleships. .
Maine had no sister ship, it was a one of a kind experimental job, and not a very good one.

I think every nation in the world lost major warships to internal magazine explosions. Maine was one of the first in the era of steel Battleships, the Mutsu in Hiroshima in 1943 was probably the last.
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Old 15 Nov 12, 11:22
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Maine had no sister ship, it was a one of a kind experimental job, and not a very good one.

I think every nation in the world lost major warships to internal magazine explosions. Maine was one of the first in the era of steel Battleships, the Mutsu in Hiroshima in 1943 was probably the last.
IIRC, while they bear little overall resembalance, the USS Texas was supposed to be the Maine's sister ship.
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Old 17 Nov 12, 21:14
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I also thought the blowing up of the Maine was the reason the US declared war on Spain. Upon further reading about this interesting subject it turns out that it was certainly a catalyst but what really caused the "Yellow Press" to go into high gear agitating for intervention was the result of the result arrived at by the US Navy board of inquiry that found the blast was likely the result of a mine. The board did not fix blame on anyone but inflammatory articles by the Yellow Press (Hearst press among them), impasse in Spanish- US negotiations and other factors relating to Cuban insurgent and Spanish relations (plus the important factor that whoever controlled Cuba controlled access to the projected isthmian canal in Panama) finally forced President McKinley to ask Congress to impose a naval blockade around Cuba. Two days after Congress gave the president authority to impose a naval blockade Spain declared war on the US.

Another interesting thing is that the US had asked Spain for permission for the Maine to enter Havana harbor and permission was granted.
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Old 17 Nov 12, 21:16
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IIRC, while they bear little overall resembalance, the USS Texas was supposed to be the Maine's sister ship.
Half sister
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Old 18 Nov 12, 19:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickuru View Post
Historically speaking this was a strange war. Started on the dubious pretext of a battleship blowing up. What was the battleship doing in Havana in the first place? Was this a provocation? This was a consequence of a preplanned effort to take over the Spanish colonies, following the Monroe Doctrine.
Its a long and complex story of the expansion of US commercial activity in the Western hemisphere. There was also a populist or anti colonial thread running strong in this. The Phillipines were the interest of a separate Asian oriented group based on the long running 'China Trade'. The same sort of folks who saw the Hawaiian islands and other atolls of pacifica as a extention of the western frontier.

There were various efforts to tie several of the other latin American nations closer to the US. One was a aborted effort at statehood within the US for Nicaragua.

In the 1920s there was a cynical slogan among the US Marines: "Making _____ safe for United Fruit" The latter being one of the large US commercial interests in Latin America and the blank being the target du jour for US intervention.
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Old 09 Jan 13, 14:41
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MAINE was sent to Havana because of anti-American rioting (though delayed until the rioting had died down), and, perhaps, as a response to Germany dispatching the second class cruiser SMS GEIER (Germany had been causing some problems in the Caribbean not long before). At that time, it was not unusual for warships to visit foreign ports, and the Spanish cruiser VIZCAYA was sent to New York as a response. MAINE blew up about two weeks after her arrival with heavy loss of life. A naval investigation (based on divers' evidence) concluded that the cause was a mine, but by persons unknown. The press, and everyone else, took this as an act of war by Spain, and so war, but it should be born in mind that Spain and the U.S. were on the precipice of war already (because of Spain's long drawn out and nasty war in Cuba), and the MAINE was simply the cause celebre that pushed both nations over the brink.

The MAINE was raised in 1911, and a second investigation conducted, and again concluded it was a mine. In 1976, Admiral Hymen G Rickover commissioned another investigation into its sinking, and the resultant Hanson-Price report concluded it was a bunker fire adjacent to a magazine, but in the decades following, this report has come under some scrutiny, because Hanson and Price relied on too many assumptions, and their assumptions on coal fires were fundamentally wrong. So now we are back to square one, where no body knows the cause.

The turret explosion on U.S.S. MISSOURI in 1904 was caused by flareback into the turret when the breach was opened after the main guns were fired which ignited the charges for the next round which spilled over into the handling room below causing more charges to catch on fire. A similar accident occurred in 1906 on the U.S.S. GEORGIA. MISSOURI was a member of the MAINE class, but not the MAINE of 1898. Shortly after the outbreak of war, Congress authorized a new class of battleships of which one was to be named MAINE. (These were MAINE, OHIO, and MISSOURI).

The British ship explosions were unrelated to MAINEs in that they used a different kind of explosive (cordite) which was very unstable. The MAINE used brown powder (similar to black powder) and was very stable and did not decompose like the nitro-glyceron based propellants used later.
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Old 27 Oct 13, 10:56
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I believe that before he died Adm. Hyman Rickkover did a study on the USS MAINE diaster and concluded it was a fire in a bunker next to an ammo bunker that caused the explosion.
Sounds more in line with explosions in other navies HMS VANGUARD,HMS BULWARK, and so forth.
And it was the Hearst press that puffed up the "it was a Spanish infernal device " story.
And as to why the ship was in Havana at all . Just a frienmdly reminder who's back yard the Spanish were misbehaving, that is oppressing the Cubans , in.
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