The Manila Incident: The German-American Conflict of 1898 in the Philippines



The Spanish-American War, Manila Incident, Philippine Military History


With the declaration of the Spanish-American War in 1898 caused by the sinking of the American battleship, USS Maine, the American Navy, led by the Commodore George Dewey, quickly found themselves in the Philippine Islands as part of the mission to neutralize the Spanish navy in Asia. In the Manila Bay, early in May, the German ships led by Vice Admiral Otto von Diederichs gradually entered the Manila waters as neutral ships. Their concentrations and movements were questioned. From May to July 1898, in the Philippine theater of the Spanish-American War, an incident between a belligerent nation, the United States, and a neutral nation occurred. This incident has been known to be the Manila Incident of 1898, where hostilities such as firing shots by American ships against the German ships happened.  On these notes, this paper will focus on the said event from the declaration of war by the Spaniards in late April, up to August 1898 with the withdrawal of a majority of the German ships. Likewise, this paper will give a historical narrative of the event and will attempt to give reasons for the presence of the German Navy on the Islands. The researcher will also discuss how the conflict between Dewey and Diederichs started, and how it almost started another war. Lastly, the contribution of the press will also be discussed.




How to Cite

Orlino, M. L. “The Manila Incident: The German-American Conflict of 1898 in the Philippines”. TALA: An Online Journal of History, vol. 5, no. 1, June 2022,