On this day in 1588, at the naval Battle of Gravelines just northeast of the Channel, the Spanish Armada was defeated by an English fleet under Lord Howard and Sir Francis Drake. A count of ships captured, disabled and sunk would reveal a tactical draw, but the Spanish Admiral decided to sail around Great Britain rather than fight his way back through the Channel. Bad move. After storms scattered and sank much of the Armada, Spain never could put together enough ships to attempt a second invasion and Spain began to decline steadily thereafter to the point where, in the final years of the 19th Century, we could sink all their ships near Cuba and Luzon with hardly a casualty. Britain went just the opposite way until 1945 when the sun finally began to set on the Empire.
Labels: No one expects the Spanish Armada