The History of the Americans

The History of the Americans

The Defeat of the Spanish Armada and the Survival of Protestant England Part 2

November 06, 2021

At some point in the second week of August, 1588, a merchant ship from one of the cities of the Hanseatic League, sailing through the North Sea off the east coast of England, found itself surrounded, in the middle of nowhere, by a herd of horses and mules, swimming, with no land in sight anywhere. This is, among other matters of greater historical significance, the story of how those poor creatures ended up paddling frantically, and unsuccessfully, for their lives.

We look again at the geopolitics of 1588, considered a "year of dire portent" in Europe for at least a hundred years, the struggle of the Armada to sail free of Iberia in some of the strangest summer weather old sailors had ever seen, the famous game of bowls, and the long fight up the English Channel as the Duke Medina Sidonia sailed to protect the Duke of Parma's invasion force which was to cross the Channel on barges. Oh, and we learn where Tolkien got the idea for the Beacons of Gondor.

Selected references for this episode

Garrett Mattingly, The Armada

Robert Hutchinson, The Spanish Armada: A History