The Spanish Armada also called the Invincible Armada, and more correctly La Armada Grande. It was a fleet intended to invade England and to put an end to the English aggression against the Spanish Crown. However it was a fatal mistake and after a week’s fighting the Spanish Armada was shattered, this led to the gradual decline in maritime power of Spain.
Spanish powers dominated and influence much of the “known world” during the 16th Century. Spanish leader King Phillip II had reasons to eliminate their arch-rival England. His reasons were to convert the Protestants in England to the Church of Rome and to eliminate one of the major sea-fearing rivals for economic wealth.
In 1587, Francis Drake cruised off the coast of Spain and under Elizabeth's wishes; Francis Drake attacked the Spanish shipping, burnt the half-finished and unmanned ships at Cadiz, and did enormous damage to the Spanish navy. King Philip II at last convinced that Spain must invade England in order to dominate the region. But his inefficiency as an organizer was never more evident. Slow, inactive, and not only ignorant of the secret of sea power, but also unwilling to admit that there was any need for advice and direction in sea warfare. He wasted months on making plans of campaign while the building and refitting of the fleet was neglected. Even though the Spaniards of that day were reputed the best soldiers in the world, but in naval maneuvers and in the use of heavy artillery they were very far behind their rivals.
To accomplish this, King Phillip II planned to send his "Invincible Armada" of 125 ships and 30,000 men into the English Channel where it would link up with the Duke of Parma in the Spanish Netherlands at Calais. The Armada would ferry the Duke's soldiers across the straight of Dover and these troops would march onto London and conquer the entire country.
The Spanish Armada, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sedonia, sailed from Portugal in 1588 heading for the British Isles. After reaching the South West Coast of England the English fleet commanded by Lord Howard and Francis Drake shortly challenged them. The English vessels, avoiding close in combat, as the Spanish were renowned...