The Spanish Armada campaign ended in tragedy


The Spanish Armada campaign ended in tragedy

More than four centuries ago, a war broke out between the Dutch and the Protestant Catholics, which was part of the 16th-century struggle between the forces of Queen Elizabeth I of England and King Philip II of Spain. Spanish (English) that “the fighting fought by the English and Spanish armies in the Manch was considered as… the final decisive battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil.”

What is the purpose of the invasion attempt?

For years, English pirates have looted Spanish ships, and Queen Elizabeth II of England supported the revolt against Spanish rule, and Catholic King Philip II felt it was his duty to help English Catholics get rid of the rampant Protestant heresy in their country. In order to achieve this, the Armada ships carried 180 priests and religious advisors on board, and even before the fleet began, all its passengers had to confess their sins to the priests and eat the Eucharist.

The great Jesuit Pedro de Ribadnayra highlighted the religious climate that prevailed in Spain and influenced its kings when he said: “God, our Lord, who is defending his cause and his holy faith, will advance our ranks. Nothing is feared with a leader like him.” As for the English, They hoped an overwhelming victory would pave the way for the spread of Protestant ideas throughout Europe.

The Spanish king’s invasion plan seemed easy and precise, ordering the Armada to sail up into the waters of the Channel to meet the Parma Duke and his 30 000 experienced soldiers stationed in Flanders. After that, the unified force would cross the Channel and descend on the coast of Essex to crawl Towards London, and King Philip predicted that English Catholics would abandon their Protestant property and join his army.

But Philippe’s plan was fraught with loopholes, and while he believed he had divine care, he missed two important obstacles: the English navy and the difficulty of Parmesan troops joining his soldiers in the absence of a deepwater port where the two armies could converge.

H0uge and heavy fleet

King Philip was appointed the commander of Armada, and although the Duke was not a navigational expert, he was a brilliant organizer who was able to enjoy the cooperation of the experienced masterminds who accompanied him, and together they set up a fighting force and made an effort to supply the vast fleet as much as possible. They carefully defined the signals, the laws of navigation, and the formations that would unite the multinational forces.

Finally, the 130 Armada ships left the port of Lisbon on May 29, 1588, with some 20,000 troops and 8,000 sailors on board, but a storm and stormy winds forced them to stop in La Coruna, The Duke of Medina Sidonia wrote to the king a frank message expressing his fears about the entire mission, after he was worried about the shortage of supplies and disease that had spread among his men, but Philip insisted that the plan be carried out strictly. Finally arrived to the Sea of Manch two months after leaving Lisbon.

Battles in the Munch Sea

When the Spanish fleet arrived at the Plymouth beach in southwestern England, the English were waiting for them, and the ships in the Spanish and English fleets were equal in number but different in design: Spanish ships were very high and equipped with a large number of short-range heavy guns. In terms of military tactics, the Spanish plan required their fighters to board enemy ships when they attacked, while the English ships were faster and lower, and equipped with a larger number of long-range guns. Their captains planned to avoid docking with the enemy and strike Spanish ships from afar.

In order to face the English fleet’s speed and firepower, the Spanish admiral devised a defensive mode that relied on the position of the ships in a crescent-shaped formation, and the longer ships with longer-range guns protected both ends of the formation.

There was a skirmish between the fleet along the Munch and two secondary battles: the defensive formation proved effective, and no Spanish ship was drowned under a barrage of English long-range guns. The opportunity was reached on August 7.

Duke Medina Sidonia had committed himself to the orders given to him, and the Armada met with the Duke of Parma and his soldiers and, awaiting the arrival of a letter from the Duke of Parma, ordered the flotilla to drop anchor against the city of Calais on the French coast, The Englishmen sent eight ships after setting up combustible materials and setting fire to them, and the majority of Spanish captains rushed to sail to the sea to avoid danger, but were drifted north by strong winds and strong currents.

At the dawn of the following day, the final battle took place, and the English fleet fired at Spanish ships from close range, destroying at least three ships and damaging a large number of them. Due to the shortage of ammunition, the Spaniards were unable to withstand the fierce enemy attack.

It was a storm that forced the British to suspend their attack until the following day, allowing the Spanish to return that morning to organize their fleet in the form of a crescent, and despite the few remaining ammunition, the Armada confronted the enemy and prepared to fight But before the English fired, Winds and currents pushed Spanish ships relentlessly toward a disaster that seemed inevitable at the sandy banks of Zelanda opposite the Dutch coast.

When the situation seemed hopeless, the winds changed direction and pushed the armada northward to the sea, and the fleet was safe, but the English fleet was on its way back to Calais and the winds were still driving the damaged ships to the north. The Duke Medina Sidonia had no choice but to cancel his mission and save what he could from ships and men, and he decided to return to Spain to sail around Scotland and Ireland.

Shipwreck storms

The first of the Armada ships reached Santander in northern Spain on September 23. Only 60 ships and about half of those who left Lisbon survived, thousands of them sinking into the sea, many died of their wounds or As a result of their illness during the return journey, but survivors of these disasters did not end their plight by reaching the Spanish coast.

According to the book “The Spanish Armada,” many ships were unable to eat and died of starvation, even though they were anchored in a Spanish port, and one of the ships crashed on the pier of the Spanish port of Laredo “because there is not enough Of the men to take down the sail and hit the anchor.

Historic landmark event

The defeat of Armada reinforced Protestant confidence in northern Europe, although religious wars did not lose their momentum.

With the passage of time, Great Britain became a world state: “Great Britain emerged in 1763 and became the greatest colonial and commercial power in the world.” The book of the Navy and the Empire (In English) that “Great Britain dominated the world in 1763 as if the Roman Empire had re-established life and expanded its borders and territories.” Later, Great Britain united with the United States, one of its former colonies, To form together with the Anglo-American state.


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