The loss of the Spanish Armada, off the coast of England in 1588, was a military disaster for the Spanish. Not only did it mean an end for Spanish plans to invade England, but the losses the Spanish suffered, particularly when it came to ships, were extremely expensive to replace. However, while the English did have a hand in defeating the Spanish fleet, it was the weather,that truly destroyed the Spanish Armada. For those Spanish who were lucky enough to survive, but were unfortunate enough to fall into English hands or to the local population, a horrible fate awaited them, for the English saw them as subhuman, but the Spanish also thought the same way about the English.
The loss of the Spanish Armada was a combination of a variety of factors. Not only did, the weather play a role, but the English recognizing the Spanish skill in boarding and close-quarter fighting operations and adjusting made the Armada even more vulnerable: "... The English adopted new tactics, which were to use their maneuverability and greater speed to fire cannon from a longer range." As such, the English were not often able to concentrate their fire enough to sink the Spanish ships but they did cause damage which would be detrimental on the Armada's journey in the North Sea. The English also used the Fireship which, even though the Spanish anticipated it, it still caused great damage to Spanish moral . "Receiving signals about the impending danger, anxious captains slipped or cut their cables to move out to sea... [and] lost precious anchors that they would need desperately during the epic that lay before them."
The subsequent Battle of Gravelines was inconclusive but once more succeeded in doing significant damage to the Spanish fleet. However, the military situation in the Netherlands had changed, to the extent that Parma was unable to spare the troops to commit to the invasion. aAt this point, there was no option for the Spanish fleet, but to return to Spain via the North Sea. The weather of the North Sea, combined with damage that the English had already inflicted, was what finally destroyed the Spanish Armada: "It was during the return voyage that the Spanish fleet suffered its real defeat to inclement weather as thousands perished at sea [due to the damage which affected the Spanish vessels' watertight integrity]... and at the hands of English soldiers ordered to execute all Spaniards who made it to shore."
Often the Spaniards met very...