The Armada – and in English history there is only one – set sail from Lisbon on 28 May 1588, tasked with eliminating the Protestant Queen Elizabeth and restoring Catholic worship throughout England. Its creator, Philip II, ruler of Spain and Portugal, had at his disposal ‘the greatest and strongest combination that was ever gathered in all Christendom’. The fleet consisted of 130 ships, 2,431 guns, and 30,000 men.
And yet the Armada’s story was one of almost constant misfortune. On this episode of The PastCast, historian Geoffrey Parker, co-author of a major new history on the doomed campaign, explains what really happened in 1588.
The Armada is also the subject of an article in the latest issue of Military History Matters magazine, which is out now in the UK and in early October in the US. It is also available to read in full on The Past website. On this episode, Geoffrey spoke with regular PastCast presenter Calum Henderson.
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Geoffrey Parker’s book (co-authored by Colin Martin) is called The Spanish Armada: England’s deliverance in 1588 and is published by Yale University Press. It will be available to buy in the UK from December 2022. You can pre-order a copy here.