A dramatic narrative account of the 1588 English victory over the Spanish Armada.
The overthrow of the Spanish Armada in 1588 has come down in history as one of England’s ‘finest hours’. A small, inadequately equipped fleet put to rout the mightiest naval force ever assembled; great squadrons of ships, drawn from all the provinces of the Spanish empire, were sent scuttling in disarray round the north of Scotland, many to founder on the shores of Ireland.
Drawing upon contemporary reports, diaries and letters, as well as original eyewitness accounts, Alexander McKee presents a dramatic reconstruction described by those who actually took part in the campaign, on both sides. The result is living history, a reassessment that reveals many parallels with the critical summer of 1940.
Four-hundred-year-old voices speak to us of armies massing on the coast of the Low Countries; of the bumbling incompetence that eventually brought the cumbersome Armada within sight of England; of swift and devastating assaults by the English galleons; of the panic-stricken flight into the North Sea; and of hardship and death and, throughout the action, a desperate need for more ammunition and food. Seen as a vivid documentary, the reasons why the deadly threat of Spain collapsed in ruins are thrown into high relief.
Written by the discoverer and excavator of the Mary Rose, an historian and diver well able to understand the eccentricities of wind and current that Drake and Hawkyns used to such good effect, From Merciless Invaders is an outstanding contribution to the study of naval warfare.