Weapons of the War 

American Weapons 
Krag-JorgensenA Norwegian-designed Krag-Jorgensen carbine atop items used in the Spanish-American War and the early Philippine campaign, including a cavalry saddle, canteen, gloves, spurs, and hat. The Krag was the last U.S. Army Cavalry carbine that was used from 1895 to 1905. [Photo credit: National Rifle Association of America] 
Krag-Jorgensen riflesVarious models of the Krag-Jorgensen rifles that came in two models: the 30-inch barrel infantry version (bayonets mounted on) and 22-inch barrel cavalry version, both .30 calibers. At the bottom is a Colt .38 revolver, shown for size comparison. 
A rapid-firing Gatling gun, that was invented and perfected during the U.S. Civil War, was a deadly weapon in formal battles with the Filipinos during the early part of the Philippine-American War. But in guerrilla warfare, it found limited use due to problems of maneuverability
A Hotchkiss 37-millimeter revolving cannon, a Gatling-like rapid-firing gun with five barrels that would fire five-pound cannon shells. Mounted in naval vessels, it was effective in demolishing the Filipino troop encampments along the Pasig River and Laguna Bay during the early days of the war. 
A modern breech-loading artillery piece. The Americans were able to move it quickly on dry land. 
Loading artillery at TampaLoading assault artillery pieces on U.S. transport ships at Tampa, Florida for Cuba during the earlier Spanish-American War. The same artillery pieces were also used during the Philippine-American War. It was effective in breaking the defense entrenchment of the Filipinos at the Battle of Bagbag/Calumpit. 
Yankee sailor, Yankee gunThe U.S. had a formidable navy with big guns; the Philippine Navy had only a Mosquito Fleet
At a U.S. Army Signal Corps field telegraph station, the telegrapher hands a message to a mounted courier for delivery to the headquarters of a division advancing north of Manila. The American commanders could easily and accurately assess the field situation compared to the Filipinos who relied only on foot runners. 
6th Cavalry hauling pine boughsThe Americans had fine horses which gave their cavalry units great mobility.  The same imported horses were nearly twice the average sizes of their local counterparts. 

American Weapons Not Shown: 
1. "Thorite," a new explosive "to rock the Filipinos to their senses." 
2. Flame thrower, converted from steam engine fire-fighting engine "to spray villages with petroleum to make them burn more rapidly." 
3. Maxim guns mostly used in the Mindanao Moro wars. 

[ Source :  Stuart C. Miller, Benevolent Assimilation ,  Yale University Press, 1982] 

Filipino Weapons 
Christian weaponsChristian bladed weapons four knives and their scabbards. At top center is a Talibon knife; the others are assorted bolo knives called itak in Tagalog and sundang in Visayan.  Moro weaponsMoro bladed weapons three knives and their scabbards. At left is a Bárong knife; at right is a Kris ; in center is the Sultan of Sulu's dress sword. Not shown in the photo is another favorite Moro sword called Kampilan. 
Long spears of the Moro resistance fighters.
Spanish cannonA muzzle-loading Spanish cannon captured from the Spaniards was used by the Filipinos in formal battles against the Americans during the early days of the War. 
Homemade Filipino cannonsHomemade cannons made out of sections of water pipe, covered with wood held in place by iron straps, and mounted on cart wheels and axles. 
Remington and Mauser riflesPhoto of the rifles used during the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1898.  The top rifle is a .30-caliber American-made Remington rolling block rifle, shown here with a bayonet. Below is a German-made Mauser rifle used by the Spanish Army and many were later captured by the Filipinos. [Photo by Ron Ziel in his book Birth of the American Century: Centennial History of the Spanish-American War , New York: Amereon House, c.1997.] 

Philippine Navy 

"They had even collected a comical little navy eight Spanish steam launches and five larger ships enough to carry a few captured three-inch guns and these vessels now commenced darting about the bay under the new Filipino flag, quite insolently getting into everyone's way." 

Leon Wolff, in his book Little Brown Brother 

 Filipino Weapons Not Shown: 

  • Assorted home-made weapons (guns, bamboo and stell pipe cannons, etc.) 
" The rebels [Filipinos] had a large gun, from which they were firing home-made canisters, loaded with nails. . .Their shooting was most accurate." 
  Marshall Everett, in Exciting Experiences in 
Our Wars with Spain and the Filipinos
The Educational Co., Chicago, 1899. 
  • Traps and dugouts armed with sharpened bamboo stakes called suyak in the Visayas. 
  • Link to Various Filipino Weapons, from Duke University collections [Miscellaneous collection of arms consisting of bamboo cannon ( lantaka), Mauser and Remington rifles, and bolos .] 



Copyright ©1998. All rights reserved 
Philippine-American War Centennial Initiative (PAWCI)