MANILA AND SANTIAGO: The New Steel Navy in the Spanish-American War

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MANILA AND SANTIAGO: The New Steel Navy in the Spanish-American War By Jim Leeke 220 Pgs, Illustrated with 22 photos, 6.25-in ? 9.25-in, Hardback. ISBN: 978- 1-59114-464-9 - $29.95. US Naval Institute, (800) 233-8764; www.usni.org

If it is often stated that the US Navy came of age in the 1890s with the introduction of modern steel warships, then it was the Spanish-American War of 1898 that dramatically counter-pointed this transition. Although the Spanish warships at the Battles of Manila Bay and Santiago were markedly inferior to the already obsolete new American men-of-war, the daring and precision of the manner in which Adm. Dewey's fleet conducted itself proved that the United States now possessed a world-class Navy. Also a two-ocean war, global in scope, these two major actions more than 10,000-mi apart clearly demonstrated that American sailors had mastered all of the elements key to conducting large-scale operations far from home.

While there certainly is nothing new to discuss about America's first major international Naval conflict, author Jim Leeke's refreshing approach using many seldom-quoted reference sources makes for a book that carefully recreates both the mood and temper ofthat tempestuous time in our history. …