The Spanish Armada

Aug 2019
571
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The question I'm about to ask is inconsize, but maybe will be interesting for early that fact.
So, what's important to know about the spanish /invincible armada?
 
Jul 2019
850
New Jersey
That's a pretty broad question, but I'll hazard an answer.

Even if Drake hadn't defeated them at Gravelines, the attempted invasion would have still failed. The troops in Flanders were not only diseased and unready for a full invasion of England, but the Spanish logistics and communications were also a mess. The Duke of Medina Sidonia and the Duke of Parma had no real, workable plan to rendezvous, as the waters around Holland were too shallow for the Armada yet plagued with too many Sea Beggars for Parma to send troop transports.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
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The defeat of the Spanish Armada ensured the survival in English independence, in particular the English Reformation. Elizabeth I was the first English monarch to encourage English colonization in the New World. If England had become part of Spain the US may have never happened. (Ironically, however, the Spanish Armada did contribute to the failure of the first English colony at Roanoke.)

There were also military innovations. Naval warfare became recognized as fundamentally different than land warfare so naval officers needed different training and experience than army officers. Long range cannon fire became more important than boarding and other close in fighting. Sailing ships came to dominate over galleys.
 
Aug 2019
571
North
The defeat of the Spanish Armada ensured the survival in English independence, in particular the English Reformation. Elizabeth I was the first English monarch to encourage English colonization in the New World. If England had become part of Spain the US may have never happened. (Ironically, however, the Spanish Armada did contribute to the failure of the first English colony at Roanoke.)

There were also military innovations. Naval warfare became recognized as fundamentally different than land warfare so naval officers needed different training and experience than army officers. Long range cannon fire became more important than boarding and other close in fighting. Sailing ships came to dominate over galleys.
How risky did elizabeth I behave those days? Was there a plan b, in the case of a successful spanish invasion of england?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
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I know the English Army was mobilized against the possibility that the Spanish Army might land in England. My sense is that the English Army was fairly small and would have had a tough time if it came to a land war in England.
 
Aug 2019
571
North
I know the English Army was mobilized against the possibility that the Spanish Army might land in England. My sense is that the English Army was fairly small and would have had a tough time if it came to a land war in England.
Whose side would the scottish have been on?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
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Whose side the scottish would have been on?
If anyone, then probably on the side of Spain. Scotland was still Catholic, and the war of 1588 was partly religious in nature (but not entirely). That whole business with Mary Queen of Scots was also tied in with dynastic rivalries with the Tudors over the English throne. Phillip II of Spain had his claim. Mary Queen of Scots had her claim. Both were threats to Elizabeth. Mary Queen of Scots was executed in 1587 by Elizabeth. Whether Scotland would want revenge or not, I don't know. Mary was personally unpopular in Scotland, but her son, James, was king of Scotland in 1588. James eventually inherited the English throne upon the death of Elizabeth in 1603. I can't see the Scots fighting on the side of the English. If they hadn't remained neutral they would have allied with Spain, but the Scots also had reasons not to ally with Spain. Why would Scotland want a powerful Phillip II on their southern border?
 
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Jul 2019
850
New Jersey
If anyone, then probably on the side of Spain. Scotland was still Catholic, and the war of 1588 was partly religious in nature (but not entirely). That whole business with Mary Queen of Scots was also tied in with dynastic rivalries with the Tudors over the English throne. Phillip II of Spain had his claim. Mary Queen of Scots had her claim. Both were threats to Elizabeth. Mary Queen of Scots was executed in 1587 by Elizabeth. Whether Scotland would want revenge or not, I don't know. Mary was personally unpopular in Scotland, but her son, James, was king of Scotland in 1588. James eventually inherited the English throne upon the death of Elizabeth in 1603. I can't see the Scots fighting on the side of the English. If they hadn't remained neutral they would have allied with Spain, but the Scots also had reasons not to ally with Spain. Why would Scotland want a powerful Phillip II on their southern border?
Scotland was ultra Protestant by the 1580s - even more Protestant than England. Following Mary Queen of Scots' forced abdication in 1567, the Presbyterian Lords of the Congregation held all the power. What's more, the same claim which Philip II was pressing against Elizabeth was equally valid against Scotland.

Basically, the Catholic world believed that Elizabeth was a bastard, as they maintained that Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn was invalid. This meant that after Mary I died, the succession passed over her illegitimate sister and to her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. When Mary was executed by Elizabeth in 1587, she included in her will that unless her son, James V, returned to the Catholic faith, she was cutting him out of the succession and nominating instead King Philip II of Spain. This meant that Philip inherited not only Mary's claim to England, but also her claim to Scotland.

To me there is no question that Scotland would have either joined England in the fight against Spain, or, more likely, rekindled the Auld Alliance with France, then controlled by the relatively moderate Catholic politique faction. Henri III of France would want to check Spain's growth, while James V of Scotland would be happy to appease the French by instituting some sort of Scottish episcopacy.
 
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pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,009
In line perhaps with the "Small Navies - Historical and Current" thread (Military History), the Armada may be an example of a much smaller navy successfully resisting a much larger navy by the use of sea denial and (for the era) a form of asymmetrical naval warfare.

Thoughts? Opinions?
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
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Scotland was ultra Protestant by the 1580s - even more Protestant than England. Following Mary Queen of Scots' forced abdication in 1567, the Presbyterian Lords of the Congregation held all the power.
You're right about the Scottish Reformation. I was going by the religion of the House of Stuart, but even they were not very Catholic.

So Scotland would be unlikely to ally with Spain.
 
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