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Willing to trust the insurgents, hanty detailed Lieutenant Victor Blue to penetrate to the shore of Santiago, and by personal inspection ascertain the force that lay upon protected waters. its In the uniform of his rank Lieutenant Blue landed, and upon his return on June 13 reported that he had seen and located all the ships of Admiral Cervera's command. THE NEW AMERICAN NAVY 14 Decided formation. relief Even however, and, in Sampson followed the receipt of this inbefore it reached Washington, fact, prior to for confirmatory the inquiry to knowledge of the pre- sence of the Spanish force at Santiago, Remey had been directed to reassemble and coal the convoy; troops were all the time embarking on board, and on the morning of June 12 it was reported ready for the service expected of it.

Come Its advance forced Spain to to a decision in regard to Cervera's fleet. Captain-General Blanco expressed the opinion on June 28 that the situation of the vessels in Santiago was the most dangerous of all, and that, if they should be destroyed without fighting, the THE NEW AMERICAN NAVY 28 moral effect would be terrible both in Spain and abroad. Cervera replied that, on account of lack of batteries to keep the hostile squadron at a distance, it remained constantly near the harbor it; and that this made a entrance, illuminating except by main force, impossible.

Watson's departure was suspended. The first of the Spanish ships began passage through the canal on July 2, and others went through on July 5 and 6. In the mean time Cervera's squadron had been destroyed, and the defense of Spain compelled the return of the ships in the Red Sea. Meantime not the slightest attempt was made by the Spanish gunboats lurking in the harbors of Cuba to prevent the American transports with the army on board from safely reaching their destination. The knowledge of the formidable character of the fleet convoying it was sufficient to deter even the boldest from making a dash upon it.

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Air Defense Weapons by John Nicholas

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