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Why The Spanish Armada Invaded Britain And Lost

1166 words - 5 pages

Spanish Armada Essay

In this essay I am going to look at why the Spanish armada wanted to invade Britain and why they failed to do so, was it down to luck or were the British too smart for the Spanish. And was it all England's glory?

The Spanish wanted to invade England was mainly to turn England back into a catholic country, and to get Queen Elizabeth of the throne and to get a queen who was for the catholic monarch on the throne. However there are many other reasons: Firstly Philip II couldn?t accept that was not the king of England, as he was married to Queen Mary I, who was the Queen before Elizabeth. Secondly, when Philip proposed to Elizabeth she turned him down. Another reason is Elizabeth wouldn?t stop the privateers from robbing and sinking Spanish ships, which were carrying gold over the ocean, however it is to be said that Elizabeth ?turned a blind eye to it?, which means that she knew it was happening but wasn?t taking any notice. The last straw was when Elizabeth executed Mary Queen of Scott?s, who would have been Philips choice of queen to rule England, in 1587.

The battle at first sight looked at it should have been a complete walkover for the Spanish, as there army was much stronger, however if you want a successful battle you must have a successful plan. Before the fleet even set off Sir Francis Drake, Vice-Admiral of the English fleet, damaged many of the Spanish ships in Cadiz, this is just one of the reasons why the Spanish failed to invade England. The Spanish set-sail in May 1588 with 131 ships, this was after the bad weather held them back. One of the main downfalls of the plan is when the Spanish were supposed to be landing in the harbour at Calais, on the 6th August 1588, the Spanish were not sure weather it was deep enough for the Spanish ships to land, due to this The Duke of Parma?s men, who were classed as some of the best, could not board leaving the Spanish with fewer men to use in battle.

Also, before Philip sent the ships out Admiral Sanata Cruz, Spain?s best sailor, died and Philip replaced him with the Duke of Medina-Sidonia, who suffered from seasickness and did not really want to do the job. Was this a good idea? And should the Spanish of waited to find a new leader who wanted to do the job?

During the sail up to England the Armada were told to keep a crescent formation no matter what happened this was the golden rule. The idea of this was so if an English ship was to come in from behind they could scoop it up like a net. The formation was that the stronger ships would go at the front so they could easily surround any English ships that threatened the centre. This was the plan, however it did not all go that way! Lord Howard, commander of the English fleet, used some of the lighter and faster English ships to ?pick-off? some of the stragglers (ones that were lagging behind) whilst they were sailing up the English channel. Unfortunately this did not really affect the crescent shape. Next came...

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