Patricio Montojo

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Patricio Montojo
Born (1839-09-07)September 7, 1839
Ferrol, Galicia, Spain
Died September 30, 1917(1917-09-30) (aged 78)
Madrid, Spain
Allegiance  Spain
Service/branch Emblem of the Spanish Navy.svg Spanish Navy
Years of service 1855–1899
Rank Rear Admiral

Chincha Islands War

Spanish–American War

Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón (September 7, 1839 – September 30, 1917) was a career Spanish naval officer most known for his defeat at the Battle of Manila Bay (May 1, 1898) by Admiral George Dewey, a decisive battle of the Spanish–American War.

Early life and career

Born in Ferrol, Galicia, Montojo studied at the Naval School in Cadiz, and was assigned as a Midshipman in 1855. By 1860, he had become a Sub-lieutenant and fought against the Moros of Mindanao in the Philippines before returning to Spain in 1864.

Montojo fought in the Battle of Abtao and the Battle of El Callao under Admiral Casto Méndez Núñez against Peru and subsequently assumed a post at the Secretariat of the Admiralty. He was promoted to the rank of Commander in 1873. His new duties included commanding several warships in Havana's naval station as well as those in the Río de la Plata.

Service in the Philippines

Montojo returned to the Philippines again as Rear-Admiral, serving as general commander of all Spanish Philippine naval stations. At the outbreak of the Spanish–American War, Montojo was in command of the Spanish Squadron that was destroyed by the U.S. Asiatic Squadron in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. Montojo was wounded during this battle, as was one of his two sons who were participating in this battle. Most of the Spanish vessels sank or were surrendered.

By a September 1898 decree, Montojo was relieved of his duties. Moreover, he was ordered to appear before a Supreme Court-Martial in Madrid. Montojo left Manila in October 1898 and arrived in Madrid on November 11, 1898. In March 1899 he was court-martialed and imprisoned. He was later absolved. Among his defenders was his onetime opponent in battle, Admiral George Dewey. However, Montojo was discharged from the Spanish Navy. He died in Madrid on September 30, 1917.


Admiral Montojo's daughter, Fermina, became the second wife of Enrique Zóbel de Ayala, patriarch of the Zóbel de Ayala line. With Don Enrique, she sired Consuelo, who married the American General James Alger of Hawaii and benefactress of the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation; Matilde, who married into the Andres Soriano family, Gloria, who married renowned Hispanicist Ricardo Padilla Satrustegui,and whose children, Georgina MacCrohon and Alejandro Padilla of Spain administer the Premio Zobel and Fernando Zóbel de Ayala, the renowned painter whose works hang prominently in Madrid, Barcelona, and Ateneo de Manila University's art galleries.

With this marriage, Fermina Montojo became stepmother to her husband's three young children: Jacobo, a colonel in MacArthur's army during World War II and father of polo player billionaire Enrique Zóbel de Ayala Olgado, Alfonso, father of photographer billionaire Jaime Zóbel de Ayala Pfitz and the youngest, Mercedes Zobel de Ayala Roxas de McMicking, who owned the majority of shares in the Ayala Corporation, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecom, Cebu Holdings, Honda Philippines, and was, together with husband Joseph McMicking, developer of the Sotogrande in Spain and the entire Makati central business district, including Forbes Park.

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