Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588
The Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England and putting an end to her involvement in the Spanish Netherlands and in privateering in the Atlantic and Pacific. The Armada reached and anchored outside Gravelines, but, while awaiting communications from Parma's army, it was driven out by an English fire ship attack. In the ensuing battle, the Spanish fleet was forced to abandon its rendezvous. The Armada managed to regroup and withdraw north, with the English fleet harrying it for some distance up the east coast of England. The commander decided that the fleet should return to Spain. By the time the last of the surviving fleet reached Spain in October, half of the original Armada was lost and some 15,000 men had perished. Queen Elizabeth's decisive defeat of the Invincible Armada made England a world class power and introduced effective long range weapons into naval warfare for the first time, ending the era of boarding and close quarter fighting. Image taken from page 679 of "A History of England for the Young" by Henry Tyrrell, 1872.
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