- Feb 2017
- Devon, UK
Well, Fleet not sailed in mid chanel but by the English side... they have two options: To land forces in Ramsgate and going to mouth of Thames or they can go to wight island if not landing the troops. About the Castles... I guess they would have been atacked by fleet whilst the army marched on London. About to be harried or not.... nobody knows.... I doubt...few years later, Captain Don Juan de Águila landed in Cornwall.. he beat easily English detachments and militamen.. he took Mousehole, Paul, Newlyn and Penzance. He captured two forts embarked the cannons and he backed to Spanish soil (Flanders)...in any moment, the stronger English detachments attacked them or harrased.. and they were 400 men (only 200 landed)... not 100.000 (Santa Cruz´s plan).. not even 30.000 (Philip II).. but only 400. They beat English militiamen in the battle of Penzance.
In Valladolid, King and the generals drew the following conclusions:
1st: The English defenses were only strong in the Channel and based on navy.
2nd: The landing was not impeded in any moment... although the landing force was so weak.
3rd: English Army was not rival for the Spanish one. English militiamen (despite its enormous numerical superiority) panicked when the Royal Marines (infantes de Marina del Tercio de la Armada del Mar Océano) attacked.
So... ok.. you can think Walmer and Deal castles were impossible to fall into Spanish hands ... (as it never happened.. we can´t know)... for me.. it is sure they would have been taken....if Haarlem, Breda, Ostende, Antwerpen... all of them large fortified systems.. were taken by Tercios against Dutchmen (specialized in siege warfare).... two little English Castles are not going to stop a 30.000 Sp. Invasion force.
With London in Philip´s hands... it is time to crown a new King.. a Catholic king... likely James VI king of Scotland (Simancas archives proves it was the first option for Philip II)... not in vain... his mother was killed, murdered, ... by Protestant English! by Elisabeth I...not killed by Spaniards.. not by Philip II.
So nor you nor me know the answer because we don´t know James´thought... James had always been a pro-spanish king... in Scotland and later. And the relations and letters between Philipi II and James VI is a fact (not a theory). I don´t know (you either) if James would have accepted or not to be King under Spanish army protection. What I know and I can prove it is Philip II wanted to crown James as a King of England. And if he would have say not...I think, Philip would have chosen a Spanish Habsburg. (but it is my theory not a fact).
It must be borne in mind that the essence of Spanish occupation was only temporary (from 10 to 30 years) until the English kings were able to govern without Spanish military support. We don´t know if James VI would have accepted or not.. because the army was not landed.
You are righ Mr Evans.. I agree with you. I won´t believe what continues...There are two war propaganda that are second to none: Soviet and British.
The main difference is that the Soviets never believed their own propaganda... but British yes!.. so...1588 was a kind of Spanish Midway battle...a disaster... Spain lost the Naval and land Hegemony...the Empire, the dinasty...as Napoleon or Hitler... Philip II lost everything...
Yes, Santa Cruz was as incompentece as Nelson.....British War propaganda.
That´s the reason because today (2019) research and historian are cleaning to split facts and propaganda.. nor Drake, Nor Hawkins had more experiences (or competence) than Recalde or Oquendo
The conquest of England was possible..only it was necessary Santa Cruz´s command in Sea and Farnesio´s one in land and following the Santa Cruz´s plan: 700 ships and 100.000 soldiers (35.000 Sp.) Not from Flanders to England but from Spain to England. That´s the original plan.
Hubris.. British hubris was to invade Spain in 1589....
Mathematics: 1588 Spanish Expedition to England: 35 ships lost and 10.000 dead. English casualties: 8 ships burnt and 8.000 dead
1589 English Expedition to Spain: 58 ships lost and 15.000 dead. Spanish casualties: 300 dead.
Sorry, about the ships burnt in Gravelines.... it counts as casualties by Wikipedias (in English, French, Spanish etc). Not me.
If my post had been read properly it would have been noted that I conceded that it might have been possible to take London (had all gone well). Unlikely, but possible, to take and hold England, even less likely and probably not possible.
I'm not sure of the relevance of the Mount's Bay Raid. That's what it was, a raid on civilian targets not an invasion, the 'two forts' were artillery blockhouses which housed out of date cannon and no powder. The damage was to civilian housing and merchantmen. It was destructive of property but other than a skirmish with hastily assembled militiamen there were no real military engagements and the Spanish made a point of avoiding St Michael's Mount, which had a small garrison and artillery (but no powder). They certainly didn't try to get into the more heavily defended ports of Fowey or Falmouth.
Which brings me to the way 'Invasion' is being used and understood. The Armada of 1588 (and to a lesser extent the two subsequent failures in 1596 and 1597) was an attempt to land, conquer, occupy and effect regime change, in other words, a full blown invasion. English incursions into Spanish ports were not invasions but raids (as was Moun'ts Bay above) with short term military objectives and the opportunity for a bit of opportunistic plunder. Nobody's pretending they were tea parties, or always successful but neither were they about getting rid of Philip or doing anything other than frustrating further attempts by Philip at getting rid of Elizabeth.
And finally.Believe me or not, I don't care, but what you perceive as English propaganda has always maintained that a major factor in the defeat of the Armada was the weather, it may have been characterised as Providence but then the English wouldn't be the first to give thanks for a Divine Wind (and it worked three times!). Even Elizabeth's Armada Portrait Armada Portrait - Wikipedia shows the weather doing its worst, not so much as a cannon shot in sight.