The Spanish Armada was a Spanish navy fleet most famous for being used by Spain's King Philip II to attack Britain in 1588. It was defeated by the Royal Navy of England under command of Sir Francis Drake during queen Elizabeth I's reign. The Royal Navy defeated the Armada by using the wind to blow ships that were lit on fire into the anchored fleet. This started on 12 July 1588 and ended during August 1588.
The Armada was led by the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who had no naval experience. He replaced the original commander, who died in February.
The defeat of the armada is often attributed to a severe storm which scattered the Spanish vessels prior to their engagement of the British fleet, meaning they could not utilise vastly superior numbers to their advantage as planned. The British only had 55 ships.
Another key element in the action were the superior ships used by the British as the oarred Spanish galleons had inferior maneuvrability and could have their sweeps shorn off completely by a heavy vessel sailing past nearby. The galleons were also considerably smaller than the British privateers, meaning they carried less guns.
The morale and dedication of the British sailors was high, buoyed by the famous speech by Queen Elizabeth and national loyalty, and led by experienced captains who had years of naval battles behind them. Phillip died in 1598 with fever.
However, even though the English sailors had done so well, they didn't get paid and were made to stay on their ships and 'Guard' in case there was another Spanish attack.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Spanish Armada|