Spanish machine guns in the war of Cuba 1898

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emir pasha
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Spanish machine guns in the war of Cuba 1898

Postby emir pasha » 04 Nov 2006 14:34

Hello,

I wonder which kind of machine guns were Spanish using in that conflict and on which type of carriage.

cheers

Korpraali V
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Postby Korpraali V » 05 Nov 2006 02:27

I found one discussion about the issue:

http://miarroba.com/foros/ver.php?foroi ... id=5757216

It's Spanish, but through Worldlingo it becomes much clearer:

http://www.worldlingo.com/SH0gfCf2o9dPp ... trglang=en

;)

I hope this helps.

-Terho-

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emir pasha
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Postby emir pasha » 05 Nov 2006 13:10

Thank you very much Terho ! Mystery is solved ;)

Korpraali V
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Postby Korpraali V » 05 Nov 2006 19:01

No problem. I'm glad I could help :D

Animal
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Postby Animal » 06 Nov 2006 06:45

My Spanish is basically just enough to get me kicked out of Taco Bell, but it seems like the Spanish had Maxim machine guns, which along with the Mauser rifle, actually made them better armed than the Americans. Of course the quality of their commanders obviously didn't match that of their weapons.

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emir pasha
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Postby emir pasha » 06 Nov 2006 21:01

Those maxims were standart water jacketed, artillery type carriaged ones right ?

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ckleisch
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Postby ckleisch » 07 Nov 2006 14:07

I hate to burst the bubble of fact here. I have read some articles on the battle of San Juan Hill concerning maxim Guns. It is stated that no maxim Guns or german advisors were present in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. this is a falacy that came up in the 1987 film about the Roughriders. I have not found out what the proper gun was but you may wish to check those sources again.

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Alaric
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Re:

Postby Alaric » 15 Apr 2008 20:13

ckleisch wrote:I hate to burst the bubble of fact here. I have read some articles on the battle of San Juan Hill concerning maxim Guns. It is stated that no maxim Guns or german advisors were present in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. this is a falacy that came up in the 1987 film about the Roughriders. I have not found out what the proper gun was but you may wish to check those sources again.


That made-for-tv film, while highly entertaining and featuring some wonderful performances (I thought Tom Berringer as Theodore Roosevelt and Dale Dye as Leonard Wood were exceptional), did feature some severe historical inaccuracies. I am very impressed with the body of John Milius's work, and he certainly knows how to stage battle scenes, but there were no Maxims, no German adivsors on the San Juan Heights. Among other things, Theodore Roosevelt did not carry a nickel plated Colt Peacemaker during the war (although he did own one exactly like the one Berringer is shown using in the movie), he carried a standard issue Colt Model 1892 .38 Colt double action revolver. The one he carried was given to him by his brother-in-law, Lt. Cmdr. W.S. Cowles, which had been retrieved from the wreck of USS Maine in Havana harbor. The rest of the Rough Riders were equipped with the Colt SAA (the Peacemaker) in .45 Colt. Not to mention William Tiffany wasn't killed on Kettle Hill, he died of Yellow Fever on Long Island.

As far as Maxim guns, I've read the Spanish army in Cuba had them, but they weren't at Santiago. Can't find off hand where read that. But Theodore Roosevelt in his book Rough Riders said that when his troops first heard the Gatlings from Parkers battery firing they thought it was "the Spanish machine guns!" and he told them no, it was their own Gatlings.

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Re: Spanish machine guns in the war of Cuba 1898

Postby JamesL » 16 Apr 2008 17:57

Lt. John H. Parker commanded the machinegun detachment at San Juan Hill. He wrote a book about the experience - The Gatlings at Santiago (1898). No where does he mention Spanish machineguns nor German advisors.

He did capture 7mm Mauser ammunition which he distributed to the 'Tiffany Colt' machinegun crews.

There were British and French military observers at the battle but Parker does not mention where they were stationed.

carvil
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Re: Spanish machine guns in the war of Cuba 1898

Postby carvil » 15 Jan 2013 10:12

The use of machine guns by Spaniards and the presence of German advisors in the battle of San Juan Hills in Santiago de Cuba (that for example can be seen in John Milius’s film “Rough Riders”) are untrue facts.

The Spanish Army had bought 12 Maxim machine guns model 1889 in 1896 for use against the insurgents and trials in Cuba, but they jammed constantly, apparently because of problems with ammunition and head-spade adjustment, and were stored in army magazines and no used in the conflict. In any case they were in Havana and never went to the Santiago theater, which was in the opposite part of the island and completely isolated from the main Spanish forces in Western Cuba by the rough terrain and the insurgents presence. After the war they returned to Spain and were sent to the factory for necessary corrections, but impressions about the Maxim were bad and the Army finally adopted the French Hotchkiss in the 1900s.

You can read contemporary American authors accounts of the San Juan battle and none of them speak about Spanish machine guns or German advisors in the battle of San Juan Hill. I recommend the following books that fortunately are available for free in the web (http://www.archive.org/ or http://openlibrary.org/ ): 1) Captain Herbert H. Sargent's "The Campaign of Santiago de Cuba"; 2) Col. Arthur L. Wagner's "Report of the Santiago Campaign, 1898"; 3) lieutenant-colonel John D. Miley's "In Cuba with Shafter".

Captain Herbert H. Sargent was a prominent military historian who published in 1907 his classical three volume work based on American and Spanish sources; colonel Arthur L. Wagner's was a reputed military expert, head of the Army’s Military Information Division (MID) and took direct part in the campaign in General Shafter’s staff; and lieutenant-colonel John D. Miley's served as an aide-de-camp to Major General William Shafter (commander of the U.S. Army's 5th Corps in Santiago).

So the only machine guns that participated in the battle were in the American side: the four hand operated Gatlings of Lt. Parker's battery and some Colt model 1895 automatic machine guns in the hands Rough Riders (also used by U.S. Marines in Guantanamo).

Relating to German advisors, there were never such in the Spanish Army, nor in Cuba, nor in Spain. In fact no foreign advisors were in Spain in that period (and generally never), though foreign organization and doctrine were followed and Spanish military press of course translated mainly French and German texts. The main influence in the Spanish Army was French but the prestige of the German military machine was high and generally influenced also but many times via French Germanized reforms.


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