What sunk the Maine

Don't forget the Maine

The sinking of the Maine took place in a similar manner and in a similar context. Rippy writes: "Cuban rebels fought for the country's independence from Spain. There was a great wave of sympathy for their cause in the USA. The press pushed for war." The spark for the Spanish-American War came after the US stationed one of its warships, the Maine, in Havana harbor. The Maine exploded, killing 266 crew members. The blame for the explosion was blamed on Spain, and so the pretext for military intervention was created, which led to the expansion of the US sphere of influence. "The US government was still negotiating an agreement, but the sinking of the Maine in Havana harbor sparked a national outcry that tore the nation to war." Note 8 The American historian Jerald A. Combs writes:

"Some sensational papers and excitable politicians of the time suggested that the Spaniards had sunk the Maine. Most top American politicians, including the US Navy, said that there was an external reason for the explosion not being found on board the ship no allegations of sabotage against Spain. But Spain was responsible for the safety of ships in its ports, and the Maine explosion convinced nearly all Americans of Spain's inability to manage a colony over which it claimed sovereignty. " Note 9

In the course of the Spanish-American War there was also an American attack on the Spanish naval base in the Philippines, which ultimately led to the occupation of the archipelago by the USA. Combs refers to the work of his colleague Philip S. Foner. He came to the conclusion that the only purpose of the war was to take the first step towards an empire. That is why the Maine was sent into Spanish waters as a deliberate provocation designed to fuel the flames of the conflict.

"Foner evaluated Cuban documents and put forward the thesis that the rebels were opponents of the American intervention and only wanted to get arms and ammunition. (President William) McKinley did not intervene to come to their aid, but to the American sphere of influence Foner's explanation is that McKinley therefore did not include the demand for Cuba's independence in his ultimatum and also refused to recognize the rebel government. From the beginning he wanted to use the war to conquer the Philippines, and the deadline in the ultimatum was for the military Preparations needed. When all was ready, he sent the Maine to Havana to arrange an event that was needed to justify the war. " Note 10

The US historian Patrick McSherry wrote that, according to the documents available, in the event of the ship being destroyed from the outside, for example by a mine, the conclusion that this was the work of Cuban revolutionaries, with "support and equipment from the Americans, is reasonable Weapons and equipment were brought into Cuba through the Spanish blockade lines by independent groups allowed by the American government. This was essentially a clandestine operation by procuban groups in the United States. " Note 11 It should be noted here, however, that according to the findings of a group of experts who reopened the case in 1976, the explosion occurred inside the ship. As reported by Smithsonian Magazine:

"The American press very quickly used the theory of an external explosion caused by a mine or a torpedo in explaining this tragedy. An official American investigation confirmed this assumption. The American Congress declared war on Spain on April 25, 1898. In the end That summer, Spain ceded Cuba and the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States.

US Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover conducted a further investigation into the causes of the Maine disaster in 1976. His team of experts came to the conclusion that the ship's sinking was self-caused - presumably as a result of a fire in the coal bunker. "Note 12

Whether the explosion sank the ship from the outside or the inside, there was no evidence whatsoever of Spain's guilt. Still, the Maine incident was used to gain US citizen support for the war.

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