On This Day: May 28th

On the 28th of May in 1588 the Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men set sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel. The strategic aim from the Spanish was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I of England and the Tudor establishment of Protestantism in England, with the expectation that this would put a stop to English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to the harm caused to Spanish interests by English and Dutch privateering.

During the events the Spanish ships were scattered by an English fireship attack, and the Duke of Parma’s army was blockaded by the Dutch. The Armada managed to regroup and, driven by southwest winds, withdrew north, with the English fleet harrying it up the east coast of England. The commander ordered a return to Spain, but the Armada was disrupted during severe storms in the North Atlantic and a large number of the vessels were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Of the initial 130 ships over a third failed to return. The events of the Spanish Armada are explained by historians as:

“Philip II attempted to invade England, but his plans miscarried, partly because of his own mismanagement, and partly because the defensive efforts of the English and their Dutch allies prevailed.”

 

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