A series of recently uploaded photos from Naval History and Heritage Command reveal what life was like in the U.S. Navy over 100 years ago.
The photos are being released to coincide with the official 116 year anniversary of the start of the Spanish-American War on April 25.
The war, which only lasted for four months, is seen as one of the most important events in the structuring of the U.S. Navy. A resounding success for America, the war also began the process of the U.S. taking a more active role in international affairs.
The official cause of the war was the destruction of the USS Maine outside Cuba. The U.S. blamed the sinking of the ship on a Spanish mine.
Admiral George Dewey, based in Hong Kong, was given the order to engage the Spanish fleet at Manila in the Philippines.
Dewey drilled his fleet ceaselessly in order to have them prepared to fully dismantle the Spanish force.
Here, shellbacks -- sailors who had passed the equator -- relax after a day's worth of heavy training.
The Reina Cristina was the flagship of the Spanish Navy in the Pacific. Here, it's crew members pray before battle.
Despite the prayers of the crew, the Reina Cristina and the rest of the fleet was crushed at the Battle of Manila on May 1, 1898.
The U.S. did not lose a single sailor at the Battle of Manila. Here, U.S. Marines stand at attention.
Although the Battle of Manila only took six hours, it took additional months to clear the Philippines of insurgents.
Spain hung onto Cuba for as long as it could, but eventually surrendered. The Spanish-American War lasted only four months and decisively proved the U.S. could function as a world power.
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