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English Channel and the British Isles
The Spanish Armada was a naval force of about 130 ships, that sailed from Lisbon in late May 1588, with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England and to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England.
In May 1588, the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon under the command of the Duke of Medina-Sidonia. The English fleet and the Spanish Armada met on July 31, 1588. By August 6, the Armada had successfully dropped anchor at Calais Roads on the coast of France. With the Armada out of formation, the English initiated a naval offensive at dawn on August 8, that became known as the Battle of Gravelines. After the Battle of Gravelines, a strong wind carried the Armada into the North Sea, and its journey home became far more deadly than the battle.
The Spanish Armada didn’t mark the end of the conflict between England and Spain, and Queen Elizabeth launched a failed “English Armada” against Spain, in 1589. The defeat of the Armada saved England from invasion and the Dutch Republic from extinction.
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