On 1 May 1898, the US Asiatic squadron, led by Commodore Dewey, decimated the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay in the first battle of the Spanish-American War. After the February sinking of the USS Maine, believed by the US to be an act of Spanish aggression in response to American condemnation of the Spanish suppression of Cuban rebels, war was finally declared in April. On 1 May, US Commodore Dewey was instructed to destroy the elderly Spanish Pacific fleet, stationed in the Spanish Philippines. Dewey attacked the unsuspecting Spanish at 5.40 am. After two hours of fire most of the Spanish fleet was destroyed, and went on to surrender at midday, despite several US ships withdrawing at 7.35 due to shortage of ammunition. On 13 August, the US again lay siege to Manila, this time by land. A near bloodless battle ensued, ending in a Spanish surrender.
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