Armada, Day 4 (03:07)
On August 1, 1588, the Spanish Armada traveled off the English coast with 123 ships. Having missed an opportunity to attack the English fleet in Plymouth Harbor, it sailed toward London. Elizabeth I suffered nightmares of death by the Spanish.
Key Intelligence (03:23)
The English navy was far behind the Armada due to Sir Francis Drake's decision to loot a damaged Spanish ship for gold and ammunition. He discovered that Spanish cannons had slower firing rates than English cannons.
Running the Spanish Empire (01:44)
Philip II was a religious workaholic who left a paper trail. He saw conquering Protestant England as God's will.
Conflicted Spanish Armada Command (03:18)
The Duke of Medina Sidonia and Admiral Juan Martinez de Recalde disagreed on attacking the English fleet in Plymouth Harbor. Newly discovered documents reveal Sidonia did not want to lead the Spanish fleet.
Armada Plan (01:27)
Philip ordered the Spanish fleet to sail up the Channel to join the Duke of Parma's Dutch army at Margate, and then march on London. Sidonia's updates were not reaching Parma.
Superior English Naval Technology (02:40)
Worried that the Armada would capture deep water harbors, the English fleet gained ground. Learn differences between English and Spanish galleon design. The Spanish approached Weymouth.
Armada, Day 5 (04:12)
On August 2, 1588 Elizabeth was a helpless observer of the naval battle. Now past her prime, she used makeup to present a youthful, god-like face to England. She was jealous of her ladies-in-waiting.
Battle at Portland Bill (04:12)
On August 2, the English fleet caught up with the Armada, believing Weymouth their target. Martin Frobisher lured the Spanish to treacherous waters and Drake attacked from the opposite side. Superior English firepower drove the Armada past Weymouth.
Armada, Day 6 (02:34)
On August 3, 1588, messengers delivered a battle update and ammunition request to Sir Francis Walsingham and Lord Burghley. Elizabeth lacked funds to properly defend England. The Armada approached the Isle of Wight.
Isle of Wight (05:31)
The English feared the Spanish would anchor the Armada in the Solent. Drake knew the English had to get closer to cause damage—but not close enough to be boarded. Witness a replica English cannon firing at a target.
Fifth Column Threat (03:12)
English commanders knew they would have to hit the Spanish at close range. Elizabeth feared an internal Catholic uprising as the Armada was sighted. She forced her ladies-in-waiting to taste her food to protect against poisoning.
Armada, Day 7 (06:11)
On August 4, 1588, Sidonia decided to abandon Philip's orders and anchor the Armada in the Solent to await Parma. The English attacked; learn about details of the battle for the Isle of Wight that concluded with Spanish disengagement.
Spanish Tactical Mistake (03:26)
Drake celebrated victory at the Isle of Wight. Recalde criticized Sidonia's withdrawal from the Solent; Sidonia said he was following Philip's orders. The Armada sailed for Calais to await Parma's army.
Armada, Day 8 (02:14)
On August 5, 1588, Elizabeth learned that the Armada had sailed for Calais; she believed the Spanish would reach Parma and England would fall. She instructed English musketeers to join the fleet, rather than providing requested ammunition.
Armada, Day 9 (02:18)
On August 6, 1588, the Armada anchored off Calais; Parma's army was 20 miles away. English commanders knew they had to destroy the Spanish fleet to save England.
Armada: The Untold Story—Battle for England (00:42)
Armada: The Untold Story—Battle for England
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