Cuba's first major struggle for independence, the Ten Years' War, was ended by Spanish deceit. In 1895, José Martí concluded that it was the time to return to struggle.
Gómez and Maceo, returning from abroad, where again the leaders of the war. Martí died soon after his arrival, and throughout the country Cubans flocked into the ranks of the Cuban army.
Spanish troops outnumbered Cuban troops five to one. The Spanish had a powerful navy and their army, headed by General Martínez Campos, was far better equipped than the revolutionaries'. The Spanish Government pledged to fight "to the last man and the last peseta."
The Cuban troops used what rifles they had and machetes. Riding on horseback, the Cuban army would make effective machete charges on the unprepared Spanish infantry.
Another essential tactic of the rebels was the destruction of the economy. They wanted to make Cuba useless to Spain, and burned most sugar mills and many buildings.
The rebel army made a charge to the west of the island. The success of this campaign led the Spanish to bring in the ruthless General Weyler.
Weyler brought the population into concentration camps to end the rebels' supply of recruits and food. Many died in the camps, and they united Cubans against Spain.
In 1896, Antonio Maceo was killed. Like the death of Martí, the Spanish looked upon this event with great optimism. However, the Spanish forces could never catch Gómez's quiz moving guerilla army.
The Cubans claimed an army as strong as 60,000, and though the Spanish were far greater in number, the war was not approaching any end. Eventually, Weyler was recalled from Spain.
The war dragged on for a while. Cuban General Calixto García in the east captured Victoria de la Tunas. At home, the Spanish were growing angry at the number of dead soldiers. Finally, the US entered and quickly defeated Spain, claiming victory for itself and wasting much of Cuba's struggle.