Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón

(1839-1917)
By Jose Poncet 
A full account of the Battle of Cavite/Manila Bay  |||  Montojo's report of the Battle of Manila Bay/Cavite
Admiral Monojo's Literary works  ||| Admiral Montojo's letter to Admiral Dewey ||| Dewey's response
Philippine Newspaper Account on Montojo and Manila 
 General:
Rear Admiral Montojo was the commander of the Spanish squadron at the Battle of Manila Bay/Cavite.

Background:

Admiral MontojoPatricio Montojo y Pasarón was born in EL FERROL, in the Spanish province of Corunna, on September 7, 1839. As a young man, he studied at the Naval School in Cadiz, (South of Spain), and in 1852 he became a naval cadet.

The future admiral's first  assignment as a Midshipman was in 1855, and by 1860  he was nominated as Sub-lieutenant. That same year Montojo went to Philippine Islands, where he was in the service of Admiral Méndez Núñez and fought the Moros in Mindanao. In Pagalugan he was promoted to Lieutenant. During his stay in Philippine Islands Montojo visited China and Cochinchina  before returning to Spain in 1864.

On the frigate ALMANSA, the young lieutenant participated in the battle of El Callao and was nominated to be the secretary to Admiral Méndez Núñez, accompanying the admiral to Madrid, where Montojo filled an office at the Secretariat of the Admiralty.

Montojo was promoted to Commander in 1873 and was in command of several warships in Havana´s naval station and in River Plate. He was Commodore when he returned to the Philippines, eventually returning to Madrid in 1890. Montojo stayed in Madrid until November 1891 when he was promoted to the category of General Officer .

In 1892 Montojo was proposed for the "Grand Cross of Queen Elizabeth the Catholic"and, in 1897, he received the "Grand Cross of Queen María Cristina."

Once more, Montojo returned to the Philippines when he was Rear-Admiral, and held the category of general commander of all the naval stations in those islands. He collaborated in all the fights that Spain maintained with the rebellious Tagalos and was the protagonist of the sad days of 1898, when he was in command of the Spanish Squadron that was annihilated by the U.S. Asiatic Squadron in the Battle of Cavite/Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. In this battle, Montojo's sons Eugenio and Patricio also took part in the battle, with both the Admiral and Eugenio being wounded in action.

By Decree of September 1898, it was stated that, because of the actions resulting in the destruction of the squadron under his command, Montojo's duties as General Commander of the Philippine's Naval Stations and Squadron were suspended. Admiral  Patricio Montojo, commander-in-chief of the Spanish Navy in the Philippines was summoned to Madrid in order to explain his defeat in Cavite before the Supreme Court-Martial. Montojo left Manila in October of that year and arrived in Madrid on November 11, 1898.

By judicial decree of the Spanish Supreme Court-Martial, (March 1899), Montojo were imprisoned. Later, Montojo was absolved by the Court-Martial but was discharged. In an odd change of events, one of those who defended Admiral Montojo was his former adversary at Cavite, Admiral George Dewey.

Montojo died in Madrid, Spain, on September 30, 1917.


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