Conference at U of C on Saturday the 19 on cyber espionage – contact Ferris for details, if interested.
For years, Phillip II has been building up resources to attack England. Concentrates new construction
with attempts to gather up naval strength. Some of the navy isn't well suited to this, though. Have to
maintain fleet capable of fighting in the Med and the WesternAtlantic – the latter which features
replacement of oars with sails. By 1587-88, Phillip has gathered a fleet large enough to launch a major
attack against England. Not a fleet ever tested in battle. Some of the ships are new, command is
complicated. Leading Spanish naval figure dies midway through gathering up the fleet, and Phillip is
forced to hand control to an elite with no experience. Has ability in administrative terms, and takes
constant advice from his captains and admirals.
From english perspective, fact that the Spanish are amassing this fleet is apparent almost as soon as the
Spanish start doing it. Cannot hide such a large fleet. So English have great deal of warning, use this
knowledge to expand and change their fleet. General recognition that Spanish are building a fleet, and
English must do something to deal with it. Doesn't produce major factionalization, but there is an upper
level to English naval resources – can't build a fleet as numerically big as the Spanish fleet. Not clear
whether building a larger fleet might've done them much good anyways. English draw correct general
conclusions. Try to match fleet, try to gather info/intel on where the fleet will go. Walsingham acquires
material from italian states with diplomatic relations with spain. Because these italian states steal some
planning documents, it's possible to get some decent sense of the scale of the effort of what will be the
SpanishArmada. But: problem the english can't solve is that they can't get a sense of where the fleet is
going to go. Technically possible to be used to launch a campaign in the Med, or against another
country – but english don't need to know where it's going for sure, just have to know the capability is
great enough that they can't risk not responding.
Decision on english part to assess this info based only on capabilities is a natural one. Worse case is
Spanish send the whole armada against you.About to see a naval battle of a kind that's never happened
before. SpanishArmada engagement with the english is a battle using ships and weapons that'd never
been used in combat before.At Battle of Leponto, Spanish beat the Turks as they've turned to use of
more artillery power, which the Turks hadn't. Same dilemma about to confront english and spanish- no
real idea how to use large sailing vessels armed with artillery – guesswork. English and spanish have
many captains experienced in single ship engagements. But if the issue is how to get a fleet to work,
neither side has a clear idea of what's going to happen. English have taken technical step which pushes
them past anything the Spanish can handle. English approach to deploying artillery, which later
becomes the standard.
Spanish artillery deployment – have to send gunners over the side of the ship to reload, occurs in an
environment where you don't have to worry about a high level of enemy firepower coming down on
you, surprisingly. English use system whereby every artillery piece has gunmouth outside of vessel,
artillery piece recoils, system of webbing or ropes allows gun to move back 10 feet or so, reload it in
the ship, point the muzzle out again and fire once more. English advantage over the Spanish. Spanish
don't foresee this happening.
Early July 1588,Armada is concentrated on Spanish coasts, be