In the decade before the war with Spain, the efforts of several naval career officers were instrumental in appropriating necessary funds for the construction and modernization program of the seagoing service. Hyman G. Rickover, father of the nuclear submarine, concluded that the explosion was caused by a spontaneous combustion of the coal bunker, due primarily to improper ventilation. Two months after the sinking of the Maine, Congress approved a formal declaration of war with Spain. Many soldiers were issued a heavy woolen uniform that, when wet, added another 5 pounds or so to the soldier's weight.\n Now entrenched in their advanced positions, Gen. Shafter's men dug in around the heights surrounding Santiago to await further orders while the American land forces commander attempted to encourage the Navy to enter Santiago and attack the city.
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