The Spanish Armada by Robert HutchinsonAfter the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, Protestant England was beset by the hostile Catholic powers of Europe, including Spain. In October 1585, King Philip II of Spain declared his intention to destroy Protestant England and began preparing invasion plans, leading to an intense intelligence war between the two countries and culminating in the dramatic sea battles of 1588.
Popular history dictates that the defeat of the Spanish Armada was a David versus Goliath victory, snatched by plucky and outnumbered English forces. In this tightly written and fascinating new history, Robert Hutchinson explodes this myth, revealing the true destroyers of the Spanish Armada—inclement weather and bad luck. Of the 125 Spanish ships that set sail against England, only 60 limped home, the rest wrecked or sank with barely a shot fired from their main armament.
In this dramatic hour-by-hour, blow-by-blow account of the Spanish Armadas attempt to destroy Elizabeths England, Hutchinson spins a compelling and unbelievable narrative. Using everything from contemporary eyewitness accounts to papers held by the national archives in Spain and the United Kingdom, Robert Hutchinson re-creates one of historys most famous episodes in an entirely new way.
10 Interesting Facts About The Spanish Armada
After Henry died however, his eldest daughter Mary eventually succeeded him and in attempting to restore Catholicism to the country married King Philip II of Spain. Events finally came to a head between Elizabeth and Philip in the s when Elizabeth openly supported Protestants in the Netherlands who were revolting against Spanish occupation. Holland wanted its independence from the occupying Spanish forces that had been using their religious secret police called the Inquisition to hunt out Protestants. It is thought that Philip made his decision to invade England as early as and almost immediately started the construction of a massive armada of ships that could carry an army capable of conquering his Protestant enemy. He gained Papal support for his venture and even identified his daughter Isabella as the next Queen of England. The preparation required for such a venture was huge.
Decisive Spanish defeat   . Medina Sidonia was an aristocrat without naval command experience but was made commander by King Philip II. The aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England, to stop English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to stop the harm caused by English and Dutch privateering ships that interfered with Spanish interests in the Americas. English ships sailed from Plymouth to attack the Armada and were faster and more manoeuvrable than the larger Spanish Galleons, enabling them to fire on the Armada without loss as it sailed east off the south coast of England. The Armada anchored off Calais. In the ensuing Battle of Gravelines, the Spanish fleet was further damaged and was in risk of running aground on the Dutch coast when the wind changed.
The Spanish fleet
The Spanish Armada was an enormous ship naval fleet dispatched by Spain in as part of a planned invasion of England. The defeat of the Spanish Armada led to a surge of national pride in England and was one of the most significant chapters of the Anglo-Spanish War. Philip was particularly incensed by the spread of Protestantism in England, and he had long toyed with the idea of conquering the British Isle to bring it back into the Catholic fold. Tensions between Spain and England flared in the s, after Elizabeth began allowing privateers such as Sir Francis Drake to conduct pirate raids on Spanish fleets carrying treasure from their rich New World colonies. By , when England signed a treaty of support with Dutch rebels in the Spanish-controlled Netherlands, a state of undeclared war existed between the two powers. The Spanish Armada was a naval force of about ships, plus some 8, seamen and an estimated 18, soldiers manning thousands of guns.
The Armada failed to join up with the Spanish army , however — let alone successfully invade England — and the engagement has become a defining part of the mythology of Elizabeth and her reign. Here are 10 facts about the Armada. Philip, a Catholic, saw Elizabeth as an illegitimate ruler because Henry and Catherine had never officially divorced under Roman law. He is alleged to have plotted to overthrow Elizabeth and install her Catholic cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, in her place. Whether this was true or not, Elizabeth retaliated by supporting a Dutch revolt against Spain and funding attacks on Spanish ships.
Toggle navigation. Philip II, the Spanish monarch wanted to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I, and with the support of the Pope via priests on board the ships , and approximately 30, troops, they intended to convert the English back to the Roman Church. The English fleet was not as large nor were their ships as big, but the English held their own and won, defeating Spain's Armada. The Spanish Armada was also affected by terrible wind and rain that sent many ships northward and into the rocky shores of Ireland. Following England's victory the Protestant religion spread further throughout Europe. The Spanish Armada had ships, 25, guns, 14, barrels of wine, 4,,kg of ship's biscuits, and 11, sandals pairs. Many of the Spanish Armada's ships were former merchant ships that had been converted to battle ships.