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#145: A Dispute Over Cuba Leads to the Spanish-American War

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A painting of the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 in which the United States Navy defeated the Spanish Navy
A painting of the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 in which the United States Navy defeated the Spanish Navy

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English.

The Spanish-American War took place in the late eighteen hundreds during the administration of President William McKinley. This week in our series, Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant tell the story of that war.

美國與西班牙之間的戰爭發生在十九世紀末麥金利總統執政期間。

HARRY MONROE: Unlike other presidents of the late eighteen hundreds, William McKinley spent much of his presidency dealing with foreign policy. The most serious problem involved Spain.

麥金利總統和十九世紀后期的其他幾位美國總統不一樣,他把主要精力都放在了對外政策上,其中最重要的一個問題涉及到西班牙。

Spain ruled Cuba at that time. Cuban rebels had started a fight for independence. The Spanish government promised the Cuban people equal rights and self-rule -- but in the future. The rebels did not want to wait.

當時,西班牙統治著古巴。古巴的反政府分子發動了爭取獨立的戰爭。西班牙政府承諾,會給予古巴人平權和自治,但是要等到將來。而古巴反政府分子不愿意再等待。

President McKinley felt Spain should be left alone to honor its promises. He also felt responsible for protecting the lives and property of Americans in Cuba. When riots broke out in Havana, he ordered the battleship Maine to sail there.

麥金利總統認為,外界不應該插手這件事,應該讓西班牙履行其諾言。他同時覺得有責任保護那些生活在古巴的美國人的生命和財產安全。所以,當哈瓦那發生暴亂時,他命令軍艦"緬因號"開赴那里。

One night in early eighteen ninety-eight, a powerful explosion sank the Maine. More than two hundred fifty American sailors died. There was some evidence the explosion was caused by an accident in the ship's fuel tanks. But many Americans blamed Spain. They demanded war to free Cuba and make it independent.

1898年年初的一個晚上,緬因號軍艦發生大爆炸,軍艦沉沒了,250多名美國海軍喪生。一些跡象表明,這次爆炸是軍艦燃料箱發生事故引起的。但許多美國人指責西班牙,要求政府向西班牙開戰,解放古巴,讓古巴獨立。

KAY GALLANT: President McKinley had a difficult decision to make. He did not want war. As he told a friend: "I fought in our Civil War. I saw the dead piled up. I do not want to see that again." But McKinley also knew many Americans wanted war. If he refused to fight Spain, his Republican Party could lose popular support.

這讓麥金利總統很為難。他不想打仗。他曾對一位朋友說:"我參加過內戰,看到過尸橫遍野,我不想再看到那種場面。"但他同時知道,許多美國人想打仗。如果他拒絕向西班牙開戰,那么他所在的共和黨將會失去公眾的支持。

William McKinley in June of 1898
William McKinley in June of 1898

So, he did not ask Congress for a declaration of war right away. He sent a message to the Spanish government, instead. McKinley demanded an immediate ceasefire in Cuba. He also offered his help in ending the revolt.

所以,麥金利總統沒有立即要求國會宣戰,而是致信西班牙政府,要求西班牙立即在古巴?;?,還提出幫助西班牙結束古巴起義。

By the time Spain agreed to the demands, McKinley had made his decision. He asked Congress for permission to use military force to bring peace to Cuba. Congress agreed. It also demanded that Spain withdraw from Cuba and give up all claims to the island.

然而,等西班牙政府表示接受麥金利的建議時,麥金利已經做出另外的決定。他要求國會允許他動用軍隊來實現古巴的和平。國會同意了,并要求西班牙從古巴撤軍,并放棄對古巴所有的主權。

The president signed the congressional resolution. The Spanish government immediately broke relations. On April twenty-fifth, eighteen ninety-eight, the United States declared war on Spain.

麥金利總統簽署了國會通過的決議。西班牙立即與美國斷交。1898年4月25日,美國宣布向西班牙開戰。

HARRY MONROE: The American Navy was ready to fight. It was three times bigger than the Spanish navy. It also was better trained.?A ship-building program begun fifteen years earlier had made the American Navy one of the strongest in the world. Its ships were made of steel and carried powerful guns.

美國海軍已經做好戰斗準備。美國海軍是西班牙海軍的三倍,比西班牙海軍更加訓練有素。十五年前開始的大造軍艦項目使美國海軍成為當時世界上最強大的海軍之一。美國海軍的軍艦都是鋼制的,并配備強大的火力。

Part of the American Navy at that time was based in Hong Kong. The rest was based on the Atlantic coast of the United States.

當時,美國海軍一部分駐扎在香港,其余駐扎在美國東海岸。

Admiral George Dewey commanded the Pacific Fleet. Dewey had received a message from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt. If war broke out, it said, he was to attack the Spanish naval force in the Philippines. The Spanish force was commanded by Admiral Patricio Montojo.

海軍上將喬治.杜威指揮太平洋艦隊。海軍助理部長西奧多·羅斯福授命杜威,如果戰爭爆發,他可率領太平洋艦隊進攻駐守在菲律賓的西班牙海軍。當時指揮西班牙海軍的是海軍上將帕特里西奧·蒙托霍。

KAY GALLANT: The American fleet arrived in Manila Bay on May first. It sailed toward the line of Spanish ships. The Spanish fired first. The shells missed. When the two naval forces were five thousand meters apart, Admiral Dewey ordered the Americans to fire. After three hours, Admiral Montojo surrendered. Most of his ships were sunk. Four hundred of his men were dead or wounded.

美國艦隊5月1日到達馬尼拉灣,并直接沖向西班牙海軍的防線。西班牙率先開火,但沒有擊中美艦。當雙方軍艦相距5000米時,杜威將軍下令開火。三個小時后,蒙托霍將軍向美國投降,他手下的大部分軍艦被擊沉,400多人傷亡。

American land forces arrived several weeks later. They captured Manila, giving the United States control of the Philippines.

美國陸軍在幾周后抵達,占領了馬尼拉。美國控制了菲律賓。

HARRY MONROE: Dewey was suddenly a hero. Songs and poems were written about him. Congress gave him special honors. A spirit of victory spread across the nation. People called for an immediate invasion of Cuba.

杜威將軍一夜間成了英雄,人們寫詩寫歌來贊揚他,國會還授予他特別榮譽。勝利的情緒傳遍美國,人們要求立即派軍隊進入古巴。

Unlike the Navy, America's Army was not ready to fight. When war was declared, the Army had only about twenty-five thousand men. Within a few months, however, it had more than two hundred thousand. The soldiers trained at camps in the southern United States. One of the largest camps was in Florida. Cuba is just one hundred fifty kilometers off the coast of Florida.

然而,美國陸軍與海軍不同,并沒有作好戰斗準備。當美國宣布向西班牙開戰時,陸軍只有大約2萬5千人。不過,在短短幾個月時間里,陸軍人數就超過了20萬。他們在南部一些軍營中集訓,其中最大的一個軍營位于佛羅里達州,而古巴距佛羅里達海岸只有150公里。

KAY GALLANT: Two weeks after the Spanish-American War began, the Army sent a small force to Cuba. The force was ordered to inspect the north coast of Cuba and to take supplies to Cuban rebels. That invasion failed. But the second one succeeded. Four hundred American soldiers landed with guns, bullets, and supplies for the rebels.

美國與西班牙開戰兩周后,美國陸軍派遣一小支部隊進入古巴,他們的任務是偵察古巴北部海岸的情況,并向古巴反政府武裝提供物資。但是,這支小分隊失敗了。不過隨后的第二支小分隊的400名美軍成功登陸,并為古巴反政府武裝帶去了槍支、彈藥和其它物資。

Next, the Army planned to send twenty-five thousand men to Cuba. Their goal was the Port of Santiago on the south coast. American ships had trapped a Spanish naval force there earlier.

隨后,美國計劃向古巴派遣2萬千名陸軍,目標是在古巴南部的圣地亞哥港登陸。此前,美國軍艦在那里圍困了一支西班牙海軍。

One of the commanders of the big American invasion force was Theodore Roosevelt.

美西戰爭開始時,羅斯福辭去了海軍助理部長的職務。

Roosevelt had resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy when the war started. He organized a group of horse soldiers. Most of the men were cowboys from America's southwest. They could ride and shoot well. Some were rich young men from New York who simply shared Roosevelt's love of excitement. The group became known as Roosevelt's "Rough Riders."

他組建了一支騎兵隊,其大多數成員是來自美國西南部的牛仔。他們能騎善射。還有一些成員是紐約的富家子弟,他們加入騎兵只是因為和羅斯福一樣喜愛追求刺激。這支騎兵后來成為赫赫有名的"羅斯福勇猛騎士"。

Theodore Roosevelt, center, with the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, Cuba, 1898
Theodore Roosevelt, center, with the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, Cuba, 1898

HARRY MONROE: As the Americans landed near Santiago, Spanish forces withdrew to positions outside the city. The strongest force was at San Juan Hill.

美國陸軍在圣地亞哥附近登陸時,西班牙軍隊撤到了城市的外圍。西班牙力量最強的部隊駐守在圣胡安山。

The Spanish soldiers used smokeless gunpowder. This made their artillery hard to find. The Americans did not have the smokeless powder. But they had Gatling machine guns which poured a stream of bullets at the enemy.

當時的西班牙軍隊使用無煙火藥,他們的火力不容易被敵人發現。美國那時還沒有這種火藥,但卻有格林機關槍,可以向敵人連續射出多發子彈。

When the machine guns opened fire, American soldiers began moving up San Juan Hill. Several American reporters watched. Later, one of them wrote this report:

在格林機關槍的掩護下,美國士兵向圣胡安山發起沖鋒。幾位美國記者看到了這一戰爭場面。后來,一位記者這樣寫到:

"I have seen many pictures of the charge on San Juan Hill. But none seem to show it as I remember it. In the pictures, the men are running up the hill quickly in straight lines. There seem to be so many men that no enemy could stand against them.

"我看過許多反映圣胡安山沖鋒的照片,但似乎沒有一張能準確地再現我記憶中的那個場景。在照片中,士兵們排著整齊的隊伍,向山上沖??瓷先ッ儡娙藬堤?,敵人根本無法抵擋他們。"

"In fact," said the reporter, "there were not many men. And they moved up the hill slowly, in a close group, not in a straight line. It seemed as if someone had made a terrible mistake. One wanted to call to these few soldiers to come back."

他接著說:"其實,沒有那么多人,他們上山的速度很慢,也不是排成直線沖鋒,而是一群人一塊兒沖。整個情景看上去就好像有人做出了極其錯誤的決定。你會想讓那幾個沖鋒的士兵撤回來,不要去送死。"

KAY GALLANT: The American soldiers were not called back. They reached the top of San Juan Hill. The Spanish soldiers fled. "All we have to do," an American officer said, "is hold on to the hill and Santiago will be ours."

當然,沒有人要求士兵們往回撤。美軍攻上了圣胡安山頂,西班牙軍隊逃跑了。一位美軍軍官說:"我們只需守住圣胡安山,就能控制整個圣地亞哥。"

American Commander General William Shafter sent a message to Spanish Commander General Jose Toral. Shafter demanded Toral's surrender. While he waited for an answer, the Spanish naval force tried to break out of Santiago Harbor. The attempt failed, and the Americans took control of the port.

美軍指揮官威廉.沙夫特將軍向西班牙指揮官何塞.特拉爾將軍發出一封信,要求他投降。正當沙夫特等待特拉爾的回音時,西班牙海軍試圖突破圣地亞哥港的美軍包圍圈,但他們失敗了,美軍繼而控制了這座港口。

The loss destroyed any hope that Spain could win the war. There was now no way it could send more soldiers and supplies to Cuba.

這次失利打破了西班牙贏得戰爭的最后希望。西班牙再不能向古巴增派兵力和補給了。

General Toral agreed to a short ceasefire so women and children could leave Santiago. But he rejected General Shafter's demand of unconditional surrender. American artillery then attacked Santiago. General Toral defended the city as best he could. Finally, on July seventeenth, he surrendered. The United States promised to send all his soldiers back to Spain.

特拉爾將軍同意短暫?;?,以讓婦女和兒童離開圣地亞哥,但他拒絕沙夫特提出的無條件投降的要求。于是,美軍開始攻擊圣地亞哥。特拉爾將軍盡一切所能守城。最終,在7月17日,他投降了。美國承諾把他的士兵全部送回西班牙。

HARRY MONROE: In the next few weeks, American forces occupied Puerto Rico and the Philippine capital of Manila. America's war with Spain was over. It had lasted just ten weeks. The next step was to negotiate terms of a peace treaty. The negotiations would be held in Paris.

在此后的幾周里,美軍占領了波多黎各和菲律賓首都馬尼拉。美西戰爭結束了,這場戰爭只持續了十個星期。下一步的工作就是在法國巴黎談判和平條約。

The victorious United States demanded independence for Cuba. It demanded control over Puerto Rico and Guam. And it demanded the right to occupy Manila. The two sides agreed quickly on the terms concerning Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam. But they could not agree on what to do about the Philippines.

打了勝仗的美國要求讓古巴獨立,還要求控制波多黎各和關島,以及占領馬尼拉。雙方很快在古巴、波多黎各和關島問題上達成協議,但在菲律賓問題上卻存在分歧。

Spain rejected the American demand for control. It did not want to give up this important colony. Negotiations on this point of the peace treaty lasted for days.

西班牙拒絕美國占領馬尼拉的要求,因為它不想放棄菲律賓這個重要的殖民地。為此,雙方就和平條約這部分內容的談判持續了好多天。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at www.666321.live. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

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