The Battle Of The Spanish Armada Essay — страница 2

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Spain in a Cath-olic alliance against the Protestants. (Howarth 17-22) The second reason was more personal to Philip. He greatly wanted to seek retribution on Elizabeth for all of the anguish she had caused him and his kingdom. For over twenty years, her privateers had been sacking Spanish settlements in America and laying claims to these cities. Her Sea Dogs, like Sir Francis Drake, had stolen on the high seas many Spanish treasures taken from the New World. This took away from the wealth of Philip’s kingdom directly. Furthermore, she had cleverly refused his marriage invitations for years, and had put down a rebellion, which he had tried to start among the people of England in 1579. (Howarth 23-25) While Philip II had all of these good reasons to invade England, he was still

unable to bring himself to act until all of advisors had exhausted themselves with arguments and the English had brought their raids to Spanish seaports. He was reluctant to act not for fear of losing the battle, but for fear of losing all of his money. While his army had been the most powerful in all of Europe at this time, Philip II had gone almost bankrupt to keep his professional army. (Howarth 26) The real beginning of the fleet of Spanish warships that were needed for the invasion of England, the Spanish Armada, was begun in 1583 by the Spanish naval officer, Marquis of Santa Cruz. It was his defeat of a French Protestant fleet in June of that year which really demonstrated Spanish supremacy of the seas. Santa Cruz’s main confidant was the Duke of Guise, who led the

Catholic League in France. Their plan was as follows: The Duke of Guise was to cross the English Channel, under the pro-tection of Santa Cruz and his fleet, and land an army in Sussex in the southeast of England. They would help the English Catholics to rebel, set the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots free and crown her Queen of England after killing Elizabeth. (Graham 44-45) One of the main reasons Philip hesitated was due to the enormous cost of pre-paring the fleet. He was horrified by the figure named by Santa Cruz – four million ducats! The armada that finally sailed in 1588 was to cost Philip over ten million ducats, and a ducat today would be worth about $12.50, bringing the cost to about 125 million dollars. (Marx 28) Philip decided that, instead of using the land forces

that the French Duke of Guise had offered, he would send his own army from the Nether-lands. All of his spies in England and on the continent agreed that the most Elizabeth would be able to raise in defense of her throne was an ill-equipped and undisciplined mess, nothing capable of repelling a power-ful, veteran army such as the one that was to be commanded by the Duke of Parma, the foremost military genius of the time. Thus, the conquest of England would be a matter of a few weeks at the most. Then Parma could quickly return to Holland and finish off the rebels without any interference from outside. The only weakness of the scheme lay in the difficulty of transporting Parma’s army, as well as all of its supplies and war materials, across the Channel to England. Santa Cruz was

placed in charge of planning all naval aspects of the invasion, including the preparation of an invincible armada to carry an in-vincible army. (Marx 30-32) However, in 1586, Santa Cruz died. Philip II was forced to pick a new commander of his fleet. He picked the Duke of Medina Sidonia. He was neither a soldier, nor a sailor, but was chosen because of his nobility. The execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, by order of Elizabeth in 1587 shocked all Catholic nations. Named by Mary, Queen of Scots, as her successor, Philip was ready now to establish himse1f as the rightful King of England. He ordered the Duke of Medina to prepare the great fleet to sail up the English Channel to link up with Parma’s army from the Netherlands. Together they would invade England. (Mckee 53) The

organization of the “Great Enterprise” (which this plan began to be called) was a huge task. Philip sent agents to Germany and Italy to buy cannons, armor, gunpowder, swords, and all other weapons of war. However, more than just weapons were needed. Enough food had to be supplied for six months. Eleven million pounds of biscuits, 600,000 pounds of salt pork, 40,000 gallons of olive oil, 14,000 barrels of wine were but a part of the necessities for a force of over 30,000 men. The transports, urcas, were to be filled with 5,000 extra pairs of shoes, 11,000 pairs of sandals, as well as equipment to repair ships, and axes, spades, and shovels for digging trenches and sieges. (Marx 38-39) With the fleet went six surgeons and six physicians, 180 priests as spiritual advisers, 19