La Contra Armada inglesa (1589) | Enrique MartĂnez RuizAug 13, 2022
The subject that brings us together this afternoon makes me feel very comfortable since my investigations began with a subject about Felipe Segundo, it was about the character Sancho DĂĄvila and his intervention in the campaigns of the Duke of Alba' in Flanders and since then the Rey has been a recurring theme in my research, so I have kept it in mind throughout many years of professional practice, and this afternoon's topic also has the attraction of being a highly controversial topic because it was commonplace for a long time. In historiography, considering the great
armadathe invincible, as the English called it, a turning point in Spanish-English warfare, from which Spanish naval power was completely ruined.
The Spanish monarchy of Felipe Segundo could not oppose from then on the england of elizabeth the first and english piracy neither overseas nor in our american possessions nor here in europe on the spanish coasts aĂ±olas that is the image that has transcended from the English bibliography influenced by a triumphalist propaganda that was unleashed practically at the time that the events were taking place and that hid the great subsequent failures that the fight against the Spanish reported to the English and was an image which we accept with resignation and also without the slightest critical spirit, perhaps because influenced by the failure the failure of the great army was not being able to pick up the men of alejandro farnesio iv and disembark in england was not the defeat as so repeatedly has been said He has pointed out and also Professor Pico Reales made it very clear, but behind her influenced by that feeling of failure, the last stage of the last decade of the reign of Felipe Segundo presented itself in a rather defeatist way, omitting or tiptoeing over some facts that deserve further consideration and greater detail, such as the one that concerns us on this occasion and the one that focuses to our interest, fortunately, today things have changed and the episode of the great army is located in a much broader context that has been called the battle of the atlantic and that takes place between 1,585 and 1604 and has, of course, all the overseas scenarios American zone, especially the Caribbean and then in Europe, the Cantabrian and the English Channel, especially the change in focus has also brought about a change in the assessment of the two great episodes that take place in the course of that battle of the Atlantic.
One is the great army and the other is the counter army on the occasion of the centenary of 1588 there was a great review of the episodes of said battle and the English themselves began to reveal the many falsehoods that had been repeated since the same dates of the the great army with the aim of magnifying its victory a very nuanced victory cultivated it on the opportunity to see it in the previous conference and they had come rep Going to magnify the English victory and at the same time strengthen the English national spirit on the Spanish side, on the occasion of the centenary, very meritorious work was carried out.
We have a magnificent documentary collection and conscientious monographs that have qualified a very different reality from the one that had been spread Until then, this reality is the one that, at the same time as being the culmination of the conferences in England whose development I insist you know from the lecture by Professor Pee Corrales, is the one that will serve us this afternoon as a starting point for the objective that brings us together in On this occasion, the great
armadaof 1588, to which I will have to make some references due to the way in which I conceive these two events, was made up of a force of 101 ships assisted by 41 auxiliary ships that were the 21st patache, if you know, 10 caravels and 10 feluccas in Total was made up of about 150 ships of which 28 were lost and of those 28 10 were you will know an alliance and 3 pataches are from The great navy only lost 14 ships, the rest were auxiliary ships, and in the worst moments of the battle of the channel, the navy knew how to rebuild and reorganize itself, and in a journey bordering the north of the British Isles, a truly gruesome journey, they returned to the Spanish coasts to the Spanish coasts is a reality that historians have recognized are qualified and English such as MartĂn ColĂn and Geoffrey Parker who write thus in defiant although somewhat diminished formation the great armada left the English coasts had fought and failed but had not suffered an open defeat Medina -Sidonia and her men had lost a lot but they had not lost their honor, well, on September 21, after five weeks of navigation, the ships of the Spanish navy began to arrive at the Cantabrian coast, meeting in Santander, more than fifty fifteen arrived in Laredo 9 showed up in passages another 15 reached La CoruĂ±a and its surroundings some entered n in lisbon until the end of november from september to november elements of the great army were arriving and some even returned the year after the attack of the great army followed in
1589that of the against the English sister whose attacks were practically silenced in historiography English and in ours, in ours particularly, it appears very, very blurred and as if lost in the events of the end of Philip's reign, so that until a very recent time it has not been given the importance it really had and was presented for what it was In general, as a reply, as a kind of retaliation for the English victory and as if they were 222 completely separate actions without any connection, I don't see it that way.
From my point of view, it is the same naval campaign that takes place in two stages, one campaign. which begins for the two monarchies when the great armadas of felipe the second isabel the first is transformed has to do the same with their forces to avoid the invasion, a campaign that concludes when the English return to their bases after failing in the attacks on Spain and Portugal and I think so I think they are a continuity because in the minds and plans of the English and Spanish there is no solution of continuity between one company and another so that the return of the great army much more complete than what had been thought is the ramp the start of the English reply and the events that take place in the court of Elizabeth the First demonstrate this In a clear and forceful way, when on August 12, 1588, the English army lost contact with the Spanish, which was in full retreat, there was great relief in England, but the concerns did not disappear because the Spanish had not been defeated, they had only escaped from They had not managed to lose sight of the English ships and, as the Spanish were still powerful, they worried about what their next moves would be.
For this reason, the English keep their forces vigilant for more than a month throughout the month of September, the month in which the arrivals in Spain of the ships that returned from the canal journey begin, since they were unable to follow and watch the ships Spaniards on August 18, Flor Howard, who is the ideologue of the English plan to combat the great Spanish army, and Drake, among others, are in favor of maintaining the state of alarm. They were unaware of Spanish intentions and said at the time that the only one who knew what the Spanish plans were god because they were ignorant if they were going to norway towards denmark towards the islands or the channel or to rebuild and return to the charge around those same dates of william cecil rules out that the great armada could return to england and proposes Organize a force that at the height of Ireland resume the persecution of the Spaniards and harass them until they beat them in their own ports so that before the end of the day The day of England of the Great Armada, the first objective that would be pursued against the Great Armada was already established, which was none other than to destroy what had survived of that Spanish fleet that had entered the Channel.
Elizabeth the First, the queen was thus faced with a dilemma Remain on the defensive by ignoring what the Spanish could still do or continue the action against Spain. The dilemma is resolved by the situation in which the English ships and crews found themselves, some ships and crews that in the fight of the channel against the fleet Spanish had reached the limit at the end of the month of August the howard that had exposed to the private council the urgent need that before anything else what was interested was to recover the good condition of the ships and restore the health of the sailors and soldiers in the middle of September after a month of news without the great navy the situation had not improved the ships remained in the ports fearing a new Spanish attack and that fear prevented them from facing in depth the necessary repairs that were necessary in the English ships because they feared that yes and those repairs were done with all the meticulousness that was needed they might not be in a condition to navigate if the Spanish attack took place On the 14th of that month of August, in a letter, Hawking exposed the companies in good shape to Cecil. without a complete repair, refreshment and new supplies of caulking provisions and spare men with the ships in such a state, the postponement of the offensive and English plans was imposed and keeping on guard against the possible return of the Spanish fleet, however, when on 13 On September, reliable news began to arrive in London that the Spanish ships were up Going to the peninsula, the counteroffensive was once again Isabel's preferred option, but the queen found that she did not have the necessary resources to put it into practice, that is when drake and norris offered the queen here we have her represented in 2 very different ways one is a cut suit, the one on the left while the right one is stepping on a supposed map, since it points to that power and that greatness that was aspired to and that was encouraged by the propaganda that was being developed around that time, well, they propose to the queen drake and here we have the other character the solution to carry out that offensive which consisted in that they would be in charge of gathering a large naval force to which the queen would only have to contribute with a contribution of ships they speak of six in some estimates it is said that you burn and also an economic amount to cover part of the total cost of the company, an amount that is estimated to have been about twenty thousand pounds Afterwards, the rest would be covered with the contribution of the two characters who proposed the company as well as with the participation of private investors where merchant merchants would intervene, in short, a varied panorama of those interested in obtaining benefits in trade or in the expedition, but what The English did not know or if they did know they did not consider it is that as for the ships of the great armada they began to arrive in the peninsula and Felipe Segundo was informed of what had happened, measures began to be taken to put the islands in a state of defense.
Spanish coasts, particularly those of the Cantabrian and especially Santander, which offered a large bay where one could take refuge in the boats. In fact, we have already seen that more than fifty took refuge in the bay and shipyards such as the Guarnizo shipyard, which at that time was one more on that coast. but that Felipe Segundo turned it into the great Cantabrian shipyard because of how protected it was and the free access it had to the sea from ma So that also in Spain, as a consequence of these forecasts of Felipe Segundos, an activity is registered that is clearly linked to the day of England to the days of the great army and that these preventions of the king are simultaneous to the defensive attitude that the English were Because we are still talking about the month of September, especially in its first two weeks, where the English still did not know what was going to happen to the Spanish fleet and Felipe Segundo was already taking measures to strengthen the Cantabrian faĂ§ade, well, England accepted the proposal. from drake and noris for the queen not responding as a result of those news that she says were arriving announcing that the Spanish fleet was already back to the peninsula so they got down to work and began to attract investors to gather ships enlist people to prepare the supplies and cover the different needs that the company required, the expedition was financed as a kind of company by shares the estimated capital was about 80 thousand pounds of that amount we have already said the queen paid 20 thousand a quarter an eighth payment the Dutch government apart from the contribution it made in boats and the rest those who were going to direct it to the The company, as we have said, was seen by merchants, nobles and guilds, so in September 1588 the preparation of this great army or of this counter army began and until the moment of setting sail in April of the following year of
1589the preparations and the network and the recruiting progressed.
Overcoming difficulties until gathering 20,000 men, of which only 1,800 were really veterans and were seasoned in war and naval actions, according to estimates by FernĂĄndez Duro, who is one of our most prestigious naval historians, according to him, the men who gathered for this great army were 23,375. The latest data that we know about these crews tell us about higher figures of 27 thousand 667 of those four thousand were sailors 1500 officers and the rest of the war people who were embarked on prime moon in 6 royal galleons 60 English merchant ships 60 Dutch hookers about 20 pincers and dozens of barges and launches for a total of 180 units a little more orexcept what it meant that this great armada had 30 ships more than the great Spanish armada, however the English lacked experience to organize fleets of such magnitude and that was the first obstacle they had to solve and they did it with serious defects, which in The Spanish organization did not show up because we had been organizing fleets to America for a long time on long journeys both outward and return and we were aware of all these logistical and provisioning problems and we had sufficiently faced them and surpassed the orders of Elizabeth the First for this English expedition They were very clear and you can see them summarized.
It was ultimately about destroying what was left of the Spanish navy in its Cantabrian ports, especially in Santander, expelling the Spanish from Portugal, placing Antonio the Prior of Crato on the throne and seizing the Indian fleet and a base in the Azores so that in the future England could have having an operations center in the atlantic at a crucial point of the routes followed by the spanish fleets the organization of the expedition was terrible bad weather delayed the departure provisions that were planned for the expedition were consumed in the long wait it had to to face until the exit the Dutch did not send all the warships that they had promised and in short they began to verify the consequences of that inexperience that they had in the formation of these great fleets apparently they fixed a lot on the success of drake in the attack on cadiz In 1587 they thought that the company would not have any major complications and they were also a bit confused, let's say, why during the day in England they had competed in the channel, that is, they had fought very close to their bases and that greatly simplified logistics, an aspect that was going to see himself vastly surpassed in the expedition that was now preparing, as if that were not enough, the participation of different fine nciators that diversified interests and that caused the expedition leaders to have higher priority interests than those of the crown, for them it was much more important to obtain a substantial booty than to culminate the Spanish defeat in the expedition.
I am now going to give you a fairly detailed account of what happened on this expedition because the events have been so distorted has been camouflaged so much in the result that I want you to have the chance to compare it and draw your own conclusions when you hear the story that I am going to give you and also the references which I am going to give you, contained in the historiography, the expedition began on April 28, 1589, they set sail from Playmon, where Antonio the Prior of the Prior of Crato and the second count of Eses Robert de Beret, who at that time was Elizabeth the First's favorite and also the queen had given an express order not to embark but that order was not fulfilled Shortly after setting sail the difficulties began because well before reaching the Spanish coast, 20 small ships that had two thousand men on board deserted and returned to England as for Drake for fear that the bad weather would leave him stranded in the Bay of Biscay and in a certain way having to face the fight against the Spanish ships that were on that coast, decided not to risk attacking Santander and changing course and attacking La CoruĂ±a, a city that then had about 5,000 inhabitants where the English were expected getting not only supplies but a large booty that seemed much more beneficial to him than sinking Spanish ships and above all running the risk of sinking his own when they approached the Galician coast the first sighting of the English fleet occurred in a bar stake And from there, notices were sent to the city where a permanently lit fire in the Tower of Hercules warned the entire community of the danger that was coming. ark the second marquis of cerralbo don juan pacheco de toledo who was the governor of the city did not have more than a force of about 1500 men made up of soldiers by hidalgos and by some local militias but the civilian population was involved in the company of a determined way and some naval units that existed in La CoruĂ±a would also participate, which were a galleon, a ship, an Orca, a CT galleon and two galleys. from the cannons of the fort of san antĂłn from the fire of the galleon and the two galleys instead of attacking the city directly, what they did was an encircling maneuver to land on the beach of Oza on the opposite shore of the fort without the defenders of the fort city ââcould prevent it, the English strengthened the head of the bridge that they had established and I no laugh attacked the city, conquering the lower part of the city without much difficulty. the city and looting the fishmonger's neighborhood, the population of the city then took refuge in the upper part where the English continued the landing in the lower part of several pieces of artillery and 14 longboats to beat the Spanish ships the Spanish ships Being anchored they were unable to move and the galleon crew decided when they saw that the English were trying to conquer it, they decided to set it on fire while the crew went to the city to contribute to the defense and the galleys much more and manny workers for the possibility of rowing they tried to get out of the bay they succeeded and headed for ferrol to avoid enemy fire and pursuit and they also sank wool hello san bartolomĂ© to also prevent it from falling into the hands of the English and the crews largely went over to the city when the English advanced towards the upper part they verified that it was much better protected and when to charge Against it, they found solid resistance on the walls in which women and children participated, rejecting the invaders who suffered numerous casualties and in the defense, those of women stood out.
Simultaneously, the populations of the surrounding regions were mobilizing as soon as they learned of the English presence the residents of Betanzos de San Saturnino and the nearby places armed themselves as best they could and went out in search of the invaders who were in command and these defenders were under the command of Juande Vale de Valera, he was a veteran of Flanders with experience in the land warfare to this force were added the reinforcements that arrived from Santiago de Compostela and even apparently two companies of inexperienced Asturians with no practice in combat but who also decided to join to defend the Galician land and expel the English there were also contributions from Galician lords like those of the lord of CayĂłn who contributed three companies the result was reu nir a contingent of about 2,400 men was not very large but it was a force with deterrent capacity when the English saw what was coming together they did not decide to make new landings and they were also under fire that punished them from the mount of arkas for a few weeks they maintained the hostilities without the English being able to conquer the city, it is true that on two occasions they breached the wall and that they were about to enter the city but outside they were rejected on the second, particularly according to the legend Mariah Mayor FernĂĄndez de la CĂĄmara And Pita, known as MarĂa Pita, who had lost her second husband in the siege, reached with a spear an English ensign who was haranguing his men at the foot of the wall and she encouraged them to continue the resistance by tackling the English assault.
That would be worth it. Later, from Felipe Segundo, the reward of being named perpetual lieutenant and, above all, I entered those commemorative annals and of exaltation of heroic actions with images like the ones you are seeing that does not have much to do with the one we have seen in the previous one in the previous image that seems more real than what would really happen and is also illustrated with those women with stones and even a child in the background is contributing to the defense without the possibility of conquering the city and given the need to fulfill the other objectives that the queen had entrusted to him, as well as news that was beginning to arrive that Spanish forces were preparing to come to the aid of the people of CoruĂ±a the English decided to re-embark on May 18 without being able to supply themselves, they had apparently caused about a thousand casualties among the Spaniards but they had apparently suffered 1,300, they had also lost several barges and a couple of ships due to their success in commanding the troops For his contribution to keeping the English at bay in other possible landings in the area, Juande Varela was also rewarded by him. or the king and marĂa pita was not the only woman who stood out in the defense there were more such as inĂ©s deben who also had an outstanding and heroic activity on the wall for the english the worst thing was not having to embark and conquer without conquering the CoruĂ±a the worst thing was the moral blow that failed before a city that was considered easy express prey and where they hoped to get a juicy booty and as if that were not enough, epidemics began to appear in the crews favoring indiscipline and discouragement that explains that instead After going to Lisbon to carry out a new attack there, ten ships and about a thousand men deserted and decided to return to England, abandoning the bulk of the expedition without even having attempted to carry out the first objective that the queen entrusted to them, the attack on Santander and failed.
In La CoruĂ±a, this English edition headed towards Lisbon to see if it achieved the second objective, which was to establish itself on the throne. or portuguese to don antonio prior de kratos this character was a bastard son where the infant don luĂs of portugal who had already been felipe's rival ribera when he was left vacant on the portuguese throne by the death of the cardinal infant don
enriquefirst had to leave portugal without issue Failing in his attempt to get the crown, he took refuge in Europe, especially in France and England, where he hoped to get support to try to recover the Portuguese throne.
When open hostility was declared between England and Spain, the prior considered it a good time to get closer to england and when the failure of the great armada occurred, it seemed that it was the ideal opportunity for him to return to portugal and so he proposed it to isabel, committing himself with great length in a treaty that he signed with the English queen on December 31, 1588 in full preparations for the counter-armed, in exchange for that help that he would receive from the queen of portugal, he was going to become a an english protectorate and completely subordinated to england where antonio was in the fleet as we know that fleet that was now going to arrive in lisbon and considered that upon reaching the portuguese capital the spanish defense would be destroyed and the spanish slit their throats the fleet enters not Presented directly in Lisbon but anchored on May 26, 1586 in Peniche 75 kilometers north of the capital and once the landing was made the fleet would continue to Cascais to be located at the entrance of the Tagus estuary in Peniche disembarked in north and the sea was in very bad condition and that cost him the loss of 80 men and about 14 barges and when he had the 10,000 men who were going to carry out the march on the road to Torres Vedras gathered on the beach, he was proclaimed don antonio king of portugal and continuing the march both norris and don antonio hoped to find help and portuguese volunteers to join him to attack lisbon By land, Drake had continued with the fleet to Cascais, as I have said, to carry out a plan that consisted in him forcing the entrance of the pit and attacking the Lusitanian capital by sea, while Norris would do the same by land.
Norrie's march did not turn out as he expected no volunteers none volunteer troops none he was losing troops on the march due to the diseases that had appeared on board and that were now manifesting themselves openly among the soldiers who were walking towards Lisbon he also had to endure the attacks of Spanish-Portuguese parties that They caused casualties in attacks like stings and the road became a real ordeal. Not even a significant contribution of Portuguese was obtained to this contingent and it advanced rather battered towards the capital, only about 300 countrymen joined, who did not have a great deal of support either. military experience and when after a hard walk of 75 km norris arrived with n his men linked to the situation of this contingent it was unfortunate, he only had 44 horses and the soldiers, due to the lack of animal traction power, were forced to transport the material, which exhausted them even more and they lacked enough cannons to be able to raise a series in maximum conditions when there was a lack of gunpowder there was a lack of ammunition and food in sight of lisbon no race verified that it was prepared to defend itself and not to surrender as don antonio had promised.
In the port there were forty ships under the command of MatĂas de Alburquerque and there were the galleys of the Portugal squadron commanded by Don Alonso de BazĂĄn, who was the brother of Don Ălvaro de BazĂĄn, the Marquis of Santa Cruz, who had died shortly before the great war set sail. armed so that in the estuary of the pit it was going to be the scene where the two fleets would face each other, as in this image drake is presented He would have decided to enter the estuary and approach Lisbon when the attack on the city began by Norris's forces.
From the banks of the Tagus, the Spanish galleys attacked with their cannons while hunting and firing at thethe English forces causing numerous casualties to escape from that fire the English sought refuge in the convent of Santa Catalina but the cannons of one of the galleys managed to dislodge those from that position while the cavalry of the Count of Fuentes harassed them on the flank the English waited the arrival of night to be able to set up the camp without being detected by the defenders of lisbon don alonso tried to locate the location where they were going to be located but he could not succeed and to provoke the english response he simulated a landing by going down to the sea a few boats and ordering people to shoot and shout to create a big scandal this caused confusion in the English who immediately lit torches to position themselves and above all they also lit the wicks of the arquebuses that were going to use those lights allowed Don Alonso to locate the English and concentrating on them the fires of their ships again the English sought They took refuge in Santa Catalina but the artillery concentrated their fire on the convent and ended up evicting the English from that area while this was happening on land.
Drake remained inactive with his ships in cascades. all accusing him of cowardice and he claimed that he had not intervened because he could not do anything against the Lisbon defenses and above all the bad state in which his crews were found a few days later another nine galleys from the Spanish squadron entered the Portuguese capital under the command of Don MartĂn de Padilla, reinforcing the defense with a thousand men, aggravating the English situation to the point that on June 16 he did not consider that he had no notion to enter Lisbon and ordered the re-embarkation of his people in the little booty they had obtained when they looted warehouses, sheds and the like on the coast near the capital, there were the articles of clothing that had been obtained They were in a warehouse but they were unaware that these clothes belonged to the sailors of the great army who had returned from Lisbon and that they were clothes that were contaminated so they spread these clothes of diseases among the looters so that an English officer reported on the case as follows our diseases had been caused in part by the hot winds but above all by the old clothes and luggage when the Spanish noticed the re-embarkation of the English then the Spanish-Portuguese troops were ordered to attack the enemy and although there was no important clashes between the troops that withdrew towards the ships to re-embark and those that and the troops that harassed them.
The truth is that quite a few Englishmen from stragglers were captured and enough supplies that they abandoned to lighten the march towards their own boats and among those who abandoned there was the documentation of don antonio the prior of crato where there was a list that contained The names of those who supported his attempt to expel the Spanish from Portugal and recognized them as king, well, in view of these results, the origin of the following paragraph about these events that says that Francis Drake reached the shores of Galicia under the command of a large Anglo-Dutch fleet that landed an expeditionary force something that the navy had not managed to do well, it is a somewhat simplistic argument because before disembarking in England the sister had to have embarked the troops of Alejandro Farnesio after looting La CoruĂ±a and burning some galleons We already know that there was only one galleon and that the English did not burn it but it was the Drake crew itself that robbed near the mouth of the pit and with their troops they began the march towards Lisbon to hide the landing in Peniche although drake's troops withdrew long before reaching the igua, it is true that the troops reached lisbon his auda cia infuriated the king this is commonplace a toast to the sun why the king could be outraged long before this attack on lisbon happened and especially the king once they were repulsed the least he would care about was what the king had done to them I was saying that this paragraph is surprising because it comes from an accomplished and highly respected specialist who is none other than Geoffrey Parker in one of his latest works on our king, which he titles Felipe Segundo, The Definitive Biography.
Well, Drake and not Rey knew that they were not complying with the royal recommendations. and they tried to create a favorable opinion with some letters that did not dispel the queen's discomfort but that helped to blur the mistakes that had been made and the failures that were being reaped and at the same time spreading a very different image of what had happened The Spanish historian who quoted FernĂĄndez Duro a moment ago and that I think it is worth reading the text is It's a bit long but it's worth reading because they can detect the differences between what the lawyers who had the defense of the expedition members in England said and what happened, says the good lawyers they had, they were very diligent in spreading the news For example, the one I was saying before returning, they had looted the suburbs of Lisbon, it was true that they looted them, they took a lot of loot, they would take a considerable amount of loot because the furniture warehouses on the docks were full of merchandise, but Don Antonio looked around. the interests of their vassals, who the Portuguese called them that way, and deprived the British of the greatest advantage of the expedition, those good lawyers assured that they had distracted many victuals prepared for another expedition and forced the Castilians to burn a greater quantity by their hand.
They also took fifteen ships with provisions in Cascais, later seizing another sixty of them. the Asian cities that transported wheat and punished 20 galleys that dared to attack the rear and these stories, as you can see, have nothing to do with what I told you a few minutes ago. Drake decided to enter the Atlantic a few days later when As he saw that they were withdrawing, he decided to go out with his galleys in pursuit of the English ships, fearing that Drake would return to CĂĄdiz again as he had already done in 1587 and the lack of wind imposed a slow march on the English ships and the galleys were able to reach them. moving with oars, they positioned themselves in the stern of the ships of the English rearguard so as not to be under fire from the English fire from the fat English ships and at the same time to be able to do what the sailors called the downwind shot, that is, to shoot to the enemy ships from the stern so that the la was able to enter through that part of the ship and go through the entire hold along the length of the ship, it seems that The English lost 570 men in this entire operation, 130 had been taken prisoner.
They also lost several ships that were captured by the galleys, a patache and a launch. The Spanish casualties seem to have been considerably less under this pressure. AtlĂĄntico when deciding to go against the Azores, in this image the main scenarios where the battle of the Atlantic takes place is marked in green, more intense than the bottom of the sea, and this area is particularly interesting because here we have the Canary Islands, the Madeira archipelago and the azores, which is the archipelago of cape verde, was much more displaced from the scene and did not have any prominence on this occasion and this whole area is what had been the scene of that of the great army, well, when they head towards the azores here we have an old classic map of the archipelago I try to meet the third objective of the The queen who was getting a base on these islands because they were an obligatory step for the Spanish Indian fleets when they came loaded from America with colonial American products and especially with gold and silver, however, she was rejected by the garrison of the archipelago, among others. things because it seems that the endowment of the ships that drake carried only about 2,000 men left in a position to fight the others were affected by diseases and that with that force it was impossible for him to establish a base in the azores and again the bad weather complicated his situation Well, another storm because as it caused some losses in ships and men and he decided to change course to go to the Madeira archipelago further south where a course towards Puerto Santo one of the medium-sized islands of that but not the largest of the largest It is a deity that could have created it and from there it returned to the peninsula to enter the Vigo estuary with the idea of ââlooting the city and supplies.
Ars the city then had about 600 inhabitants more or less and they were able to resist causing new casualties to the English when the English expeditionary forces learned that new militia forces were approaching withdrew in the midst of more than deserters who remained on the peninsula and a new wave of typhus among the endowments the harvest of failures that had been happening made drive try with 20 ships and return again to the azores to see if he could get hold of the Indian fleet but the rest of the expedition with norris with That
contract and with the crews dominated by a growing indiscipline decided that they were returning to England and continuing it, the expedition did not achieve a break in this new attempt either, no success a storm again disrupted the formation and frustrated the plans of the Englishman who, discouraged, also decided to return to the English island when it was at the height of the Cantabrian you will know the Spanish ones located there They attacked, managing to capture two other English ships and on July 10, 1589, Drake finally went into prime.
The final result of the company was quite disastrous, he had not achieved any of the proposed objectives, he had lost numerous boats and had cost the lives of around ten a thousand English soldiers and sailors, a figure to which desertions must be added, which would mean more or less half of the starting force, but it is very difficult to make a balance, a balance that should be made to summarize these two moments in one same campaign and it is complicated because we have no guarantee that the figures we have are true, and there is also a lot of dancing between some figures and others and the estimation is quite complex I present here some figures that I do not do with the pretense that they are the reliable ones if the definitive ones but so that they have some indicative references of what could have been the balance of the great army and what could have been the balance of the counter army in any case the losses in men were quite hard they were very very expensive losses the Spanish casualties as well as the English ones are difficult to determine because among other things we do not have clear references of what that was lost in the attack on lisbon in la coruĂ±a nor do we have any news of what the crews that attacked the fleet suffered, the british fleet has made an overall assessment of the joint losses of spanish and british that i am going to read to you and Well, you draw your own conclusions, he says, the important means that were available in Lisbon to fight against the plague are remarkable.
We are referring to shortly before the great army left, he says to fight against the plague that was ultimately controlled. and the sanitized ships and the post and subsequent sanitary control was very strict, which allowed the casualties produced during the the shipwrecks on the return trip of the great armada the final mortality did not reach 50 percent in vivo
contrast the scarcity of sanitary resources put into play for the great interception fleet whose ships would later form the counter-armada also with deficient sanitary means entailed Because the mortality in this English expedition exceeded 75 percent, well, it is an estimate that may be indicative, but it will undoubtedly have to be specified.
The economic cost of the company for England was very high. The loot did not reach 29,000 pounds and there were The expedition cost 80 thousand an investigation begins and as a result of that investigation Drake was highly criticized by his peers to the point that he was totally discredited and without consideration in court, for which he was relegated to be the governor of the defenses of prime another big difference was the indiscipline in the great army there were no desertions if there were in the counter army in the case of the great army and even the enemies praise the discipline of the crews and their commanders as shown in the order of combat mattingly a specialist in English in these expeditions wrote the recovery of tactical order manifestation of discipline and skill The seafaring of the Spaniards was clearly possible thanks to the qualities of the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia and the tenacious courage displayed in his rearguard action.
Well, these phrases are a sample of the review that was taking place that alluded to the beginning of my conference and that in the case of a Briton it is quite manifest there are some statements that he made about the presidents of the historical associations of secondary education in the United Kingdom where he has some very harsh phrases that will allow me to see them even if they are a little long but I think they are very graphic and that will help you obtain your own assessment of what I am telling you this afternoon. says the following the invincible armada is perceived as a victory and obviously it is not the english armada against spain was made up of 180 ships compared to the 130 of the invincible armada and lasted from april 18 to july 2, 1589 althoughIt was led by the most famous sailor of the 16th century, Cell Francis Drake.
The company was characterized by problems that were illness and disappointment, indiscipline and incompetence. The disappointments were the cause of the loss of at least three thousand men while the incompetence of drake and his generals weakened the troops and cost many lives the generals negligently did not bring enough baggage carts on the expedition so the soldiers had to carry ammunition there was a shortage of food from doctors and experienced officers Indiscipline was endemic from top to bottom Drake himself deliberately disobeyed Isabel Primera's instructions to destroy the Spanish fleet moored in Santander. Drake his admirals and those who supported him financially from England were more interested in trying to liberate Portugal in the hope of obtaining trade concessions from a monarchy p reestablished ortuguese the military espionage of the invasion force was so deficient that when the english admiral approached lisbon he discovered that the city walls were very high and strong contrary to what he had been told corruption is also endemic and the soldiers and sailors lacked two thirds of the goods seized in Spain' I think these paragraphs are graphic enough not to need a comment, however none of these errors of what this statement manifests none of this transcended and the propaganda that was developed in england on the occasion of the great army had its continuity in the contra in the counter army for england it was very necessary to mask the defeat and it deployed a propaganda campaign of colossal proportions it was considered that what happened was the great triumph of the Protestantism over Roman Catholicism to the point that English and Dutch authors consider They deferred the English victory as a kind of divine protection even in one of the commemorative medals that circulated there was a legend that said flaviis debt is dissipates tissue that is, god blew and they dissipated in the propaganda battle spain was defeated in all line and the victory spread throughout Europe and to a large extent on it rests a large part of the myth of English nationalism with the episode of the counter-armed because the propaganda was in the same way the version that the English gave was the one that was believed in Europe was very active in the authors of the Victorian era but nevertheless the memory of the counter-armed did not last among the among the English in Spain' the meticulousness of the documentation that was being developed in the Spanish administration required meticulous because it made Felipe Segundo would not enter into that dimension if he were to give the arguments that emerge from that documentation would not have had the same resonance that the English pamphlets written in an exalted and triumphalist tone that in no way corresponded with the Spanish documentation recently if something has been done in this regard but not with too much significance in the series of commemorations and congresses that were held on the occasion of the commemoration of the great army there is a book by luis casado soto that was published in 1988 which is one of the best exponents of the work of conscience a researcher that spanish historians did at that time in that book the english myth is refuted giving a detailed account Of the 102 ships that returned but the English did not echo or respond to this argument, a much more recent book from 2011 on the fight against the armed forces is located in the same line, however, between one book and the other, confusion remained and the bad information and I am going to give you a couple of samples allow me to be repetitive in this matter but But if I'm interested in you being able to end up with the best possible idea of ââwhat both Professor Pico Reales and I are telling you, for example, Henry Came in his biography of Felipe will be published in 1900 in 1997, 11 years after Casado Soto's book.
At the beginning of the summer, a large English fleet under the command of Drake and Ser John Norris was written, prowling off the coasts of Galicia and Portugal and making destructive incursions at will over CoruĂ±a, Vigo, and in the vicinity of Lisbon. I think this is quite different from the story. What I have done to you, but there is more to it, I know it is PĂ©rez, who is a prestigious Hispanist who is more than consecrated in his book on the history of Spain published in 1996 and translated into Spanish three years later in relation to the great army.
He says that only 16 ships returned when it had already been shown that they were 102. Well, these errors were also maintained by the Anglo-Saxon side, for example, the Scotsman Angus Constant in his li book about the invincible armada published in 2010 and from one in Spanish of the English version that had appeared in 2009, it is obtained that at least 45 ships were lost, including the 27 largest of the Spanish armada, he should not have known the book of Married married, it is very difficult to dismantle nationalist myths, historians have known that since time immemorial and the case of the great army offered all the accessories, all the incentives for what and it is not an exception and what will enter into that English nationalist imaginary what conclusion can we In general, we can draw from these two great expeditions that we have seen the armada and the counterarmada, since both frustrated the great objectives to which they were directed and that came to show that neither England nor the Iberian Peninsula were approachable from the sea with the means then available so that there is a kind of technical ceiling of nautical ceiling that made unreliable the results of both expeditions after the counter-armada followed several English expeditions that were more similar to the previous piratical actions since the naval activity in the Atlantic and in the channel as a consequence of that battle that had opened in 1585 continued and was developed by both parties and both parties had failures and also those expeditions had no significance in the nautical icon military war game that was being developed at that time, notwithstanding some facts that did have a great resonance such as the death of Hawking in Puerto Rico in 1595 and of drake in portovelo in 1596 in the same expedition that both headed towards spanish america well in the context of a war that would last until 1604 the battle of the atlantic had not ended the great army and the counter army had been nothing but its episode The most outstanding, the most important, is true, but it had not closed the conflict, far from it, and therefore nothing more from me thank you very much for your attention
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