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_Alucard_

The Spanish Armada: A Debate

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On 4/6/2017 at 0:43 AM, BungeeLemming said:

The famous spanish armada was defeated only because of two stragedies which could not be more different. Spanish - fit for boarding. Dull sailing warships - bad artillery.

Bullshit, the weather defeated the Spanish Armada not the English.

 

Split into it's own thread for great justice (and historical discussion)! - H. Darby

Edited by Henry d'Esterre Darby

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23 minutes ago, _Alucard_ said:

Bullshit, the weather defeated the Spanish Armada not the English.

said noone ever.

The british gave em a hard spanking that forced them to sail round the island and after that the storm wrecked the armada completely.

It was nonetheless the work of the british fleet that forced the armada to retreat.

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15 minutes ago, BungeeLemming said:

said noone ever.

The british gave em a hard spanking that forced them to sail round the island and after that the storm wrecked the armada completely.

It was nonetheless the work of the british fleet that forced the armada to retreat.

No, they didn't. In fact, the Spanish arrived at their destination with almost the full fleet.  Then the British used fire ships in order to get the Spanish out of the harbor. After that we know the storm did its job.

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From what i heard from documentarys they fought some battles with the english but couldn't get close enough to actually get into boarding action, so the english had a advantage there and did more damage. They got to their destination where the army should have waited but the army was not ready. (insert fireship action here) since the armada was pretty damaged they wanted to turn around but got wrecked because of a mistake in navigation because they turned south too early. (since they went NE first instead of N they were more E than they expected to be)

Edited by rediii

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The battles of those days werent "trafalgars" or abukirs. Not even close to the anglo dutch war sea fights. They didnt sink insame ammount of tonnage. But as redii said they were able to keep the dons at a fair distance and denied the boarding.

They detered the enemy from their coasts and in doing such they fought a victorious fight. Just like a few hundret years later when the french navy won strategical fights without even fighting in the first place. Or better said: avoiding when seeing it.

 

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Yeah, the Armada had already failed by the time bad weather set in. They had lost seven ships to a wildly inferior force, and were tooling around Scotland and Ireland with a shortage of anchors, ships in dismal repair, and the invasion army still sitting on dry land.

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There is a cracking discussion on the Armada on the BBC Radio 4 programme, 'In Our Time', which is well worth a listen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v1qyb

---------

The gap between technology of the 16th century and that of the 18th century, as I understand it, is enormous. Advances in ship building, metallurgy, and notions of standardisation would leave the enormous galleons as sitting ducks.

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8 minutes ago, rediii said:

From what i heard from documentarys they fought some battles with the english but couldn't get close enough to actually get into boarding action, so the english had a advantage there and did more damage. They got to their destination where the army should have waited but the army was not ready. (insert fireship action here) since the armada was pretty damaged they wanted to turn around but got wrecked because of a mistake in navigation because they turned south too early. (since they went NE first instead of N they were more E than they expected to be)

I may have some nasty bias instilled on me from the English education system but as I remember It was more that the English wanted to make use of their better technological guns, and as I understand it, the English guns were better cast and bored but the real advantage was they were sitting on much better carriages that resemble early examples of the traditional carriage we most often associate with naval warfare rather than the more historic slower loading Spanish armaments. Had it come to an actual boarding action the English would surely have lost, the English would also have lost if as Juan Martínez had suggested the Spanish were to attack the English fleet in Plymouth Harbour.

What really set the Spanish Armada to fail was the single mindedness of the administration of the conflict, not allowing deviation from the original plans where they Spanish sailed for Flanders without any allowance for adjusting to the situations presented to them.

 

Getting back on topic, I'm not an expert in the area but I remember there being a significant Galleon presence in the Ottoman navy at least well into the 1730s. The Ottomans Galleons were in no way as beautiful as those built by the Atlantic nations, most of them had rather ugly lines that presented a show of conservatism dating back almost to what was drawn upon after the fall of Constantinople, Athens and Rhodes. The Ottoman naval doctrine, landscape of the Mediterranean seas and coastlines helped the presence of older naval ideas that had fallen away in Western Europe.

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21 minutes ago, maturin said:

Yeah, the Armada had already failed by the time bad weather set in. They had lost seven ships to a wildly inferior force, and were tooling around Scotland and Ireland with a shortage of anchors, ships in dismal repair, and the invasion army still sitting on dry land.

Sorry to disagree but this may be interesting for you: https://www.ivoox.com/the-spanish-armada-and-an-iron-age-mansion-audios-mp3_rf_2901619_1.html

Listen to that from 2:50

-Defeating the Spanish Armada: rubbish

-Actually both sides were in military terms fairly well matched

-But of course, the English didn't defeat the Spanish Armada

-Lots of other factors did: stupidity on the part of the Spanish (arguable, but this who talks is English), poor organization, bad luck, but most of all the weather.

 

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12 minutes ago, Fluffy Fishy said:

 Had it come to an actual boarding action the English would surely have lost, the English would also have lost if as Juan Martínez had suggested the Spanish were to attack the English fleet in Plymouth Harbour.

What really set the Spanish Armada to fail was the single mindedness of the administration of the conflict, not allowing deviation from the original plans where they Spanish sailed for Flanders without any allowance for adjusting to the situations presented to them.

And here you have the key point. They had the perfect timming to attack the English fleet docked at Playmouth with good wind (very important) and they didn't because Medina Sidonia was told to go to Flandes and meet the Spanish troops there.

Another key point is the fact that the man who was going to lead this armada (Alvaro de Bazán) died on February. He was the best commander and actually he died undefeated.

Had Alvaro de Bazán led the armada and saw the perfect oportunity at Playmouth.....well, history might have been different.

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5 hours ago, Hethwill said:

The same way I do not see UFOs in a combat flight sim depicting the Battle of Britain I cannot picture ghost ships in two centuries of naval warfare in the caribbean.

I just had to google and sure enough there is "historical evidence" with "footage" of UFOs fighting in the battle of britain thought XD

The-X-Files-I-Want-To-Believe-Print.jpg

For the spanish armada the confident hope of a miracle is a good read.

Thanks a lot for the mp3 sounds interesting ( pun intended )

btw I also recommed the collected Works of Elizabeth the 1st but be warned it's heavy going due to the language used.

Edited by Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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1 hour ago, _Alucard_ said:

And here you have the key point. They had the perfect timming to attack the English fleet docked at Playmouth with good wind (very important) and they didn't because Medina Sidonia was told to go to Flandes and meet the Spanish troops there.

Another key point is the fact that the man who was going to lead this armada (Alvaro de Bazán) died on February. He was the best commander and actually he died undefeated.

Had Alvaro de Bazán led the armada and saw the perfect oportunity at Playmouth.....well, history might have been different.

Sounds like you're splitting hairs between defeat and failure.

If you don't even come close to achieving your aim, lose seven ships without inflicting damage on the enemy, and then get driven out of your anchorage, abandoning the invasion force, is that not defeat? Or would you rather say that the Spanish just failed on their own, to avoid giving credit to the English? The weather wage just the coup de grace to a botched campaign.

I'll be listening to the podcast, though.

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42 minutes ago, maturin said:

Sounds like you're splitting hairs between defeat and failure.

If you don't even come close to achieving your aim, lose seven ships without inflicting damage on the enemy, and then get driven out of your anchorage, abandoning the invasion force, is that not defeat? Or would you rather say that the Spanish just failed on their own, to avoid giving credit to the English? The weather wage just the coup de grace to a botched campaign.

I'll be listening to the podcast, though.

The Spanish didn't achieve their aim ----> correct, they didn't

Lose seven ships -----> I don't remember the exact numbers, but if I'm not wrong, only 2 were lost "in combat"

Get driven out of your anchorage, abandoning the invasion force, is that not defeat?-------> No it isn't. Because the Spanish still had almost the full fleet. Only minor loses and that's historically worldwide known as the "defeat of the Spanish Armada"??? Come on.....

Or would you rather say that the Spanish just failed on their own---------------> Obviously the English had something to do with it, but it wasn't a great defeat. They fought and they managed to get what they were looking for. But what the people don't know is 75% of the fleet managed to get back to a Spanish port.

And even more, what people don't know is the "contra-armada" the following year (1589). That IS what I call a great defeat and it isn't even mentioned in the history books 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Armada

Listen to the podcast, and tell me your opinion after doing so.

 

 

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I don't remember the exact numbers, but if I'm not wrong, only 2 were lost "in combat"

Wikipedia says 5 lost in combat, 2 were abandoned by the Spanish in combat after a collision and then captured by the English.

Podcast you linked says 5 ships lost, 2 from collision.

 

Quote

Get driven out of your anchorage, abandoning the invasion force, is that not defeat?-------> No it isn't.

I disagree. If you besiege a castle and wait for months, never losing a single man, but give and go home, that is defeat.

Being drive from the field is defeat, even if you don't take losses (as with the fireships). If you lose ships without inflicting damage on the enemy, that is defeat also.

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30 minutes ago, maturin said:

Wikipedia says 5 lost in combat, 2 were abandoned by the Spanish in combat after a collision and then captured by the English.

Podcast you linked says 5 ships lost, 2 from collision.

 

I disagree. If you besiege a castle and wait for months, never losing a single man, but give and go home, that is defeat.

Being drive from the field is defeat, even if you don't take losses (as with the fireships). If you lose ships without inflicting damage on the enemy, that is defeat also.

I think two collided and one of them had her sails very damaged so it was captured. And the other loss was by the magazine in another ship. Doesn't matter. The history books say that this was a great defeat and, even considering your numbers, 7 ships is in no way such a great defeat.

If you besiege a castle and then go home it isn't a defeat, actually is called retreat which to me it isn't the same. In our case, the English can call it whatever they like but the armada suffered way more by the storm than from them. And this is what the books should tell and they don't.

But it's better to use the history and make sure everybody knows this story and hide the contra-armada the following year..... 

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17 minutes ago, Hethwill said:

Well, talking about epic fail sea-borne attacks - Battle of Salga Bay.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Salga

Strenght:

6000 troops vs 8 galleons, 1 patache, 1 caravel and 1000 troops. So being outnumbered 6-1 is an epic fail?

Ok, what do you say about this then:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ponta_Delgada

28 vs 60 and ................... those 28 win!!!

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By midmorning, the Spaniards were sweeping the coast with their artillery, and the fighting was fierce. About midday, in the heat of battle, an Augustinian monk named Friar Pedro, who was taking an active part in the struggle, and  Brianda Pereira who had gathered  the women at the church of St. John, for the defense of Angra, thought of the strategy of driving half-wild bulls against the Spaniards so as to scatter them. Over a thousand head of cattle were quickly gathered and, by means of shouts and musket shots, driven against the enemy positions.  Valdez landing-force of 600 men was met with a savage welcome from the local Portuguese; the half-wild bulls of the island were driven into Spanish and they were cut to pieces as they fled to the ships.

 

I'd say it was quite a bull fight :)

Plus your numbers are not correct. We should investigate further, no? - the French were indeed ready to support the upheaval and NOT deployed on defense.

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Since the folks in the above post seem so engaged in debating the historically fascinating event of the Spanish Armada, I figured it only made sense to divert that discussion to a proper topic on the History subforum!

I'll begin. I personally think that that the Spanish Armada was a significant loss for the Spanish, due to the following:

-Superior, modern English fast-sailing warships equipped with more naval artillery vs. large, slow and unruly Spanish galleons focused upon basic boarding tactics.

-The use of fireships at Gravelines to disperse the Spanish fleet and force it on its perilous journey northward to escape the English.

And more. 

DEBATE!

Edited by _Masterviolin

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I think it's inarguable that the Armada was an abject failure long before bad weather set in.

If you want to split hairs on the difference between failing in your mission (while taking losses from the enemy), versus being defeated by the enemy, then I suspect your motives have more to do with national pride than history.

The British did lack the ability (and likely the gunpowder) to do decisive amounts of damage to the Armada in battle. But their mission was not to destroy it, just to prevent a landing. And their fireships drove the Armada from their harbor and away from the invasion army.

If we use such high standards for defining defeat, then we would be hard pressed to find many occasions where the British or French actually "defeated" the Royal Navy. On the other hand, we'd see a lot of times where the British "failed" to achieve their mission while also taking casualties.

For example, can we say that Blas de Lezo actually defeated the English at Cartagena? Or did he just cause some casualties while waiting for disease to defeat the English?

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