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Forum LockedThe Anglo-Spanish War

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pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2008 at 20:16
Wikipedia as a source?  Please.
 
The late Professor Wernham and Mark Fissel and David Trim and Paul Hammer write differently.  The Spanish garrison at the fortress of Crozon (Pointe des Espagnolz) near the roadstead at Brest was taken by The English (Norris) and French Royalist (Marshal Aumont) force besieging it and the garrison annihilated.  It was there that Martin Frobisher was mortally wounded.  As said, Blavet continued to be used by the Spanish, but what was the strategic logic in Brittany?  The West of England; the Channel and the Thames estuary, or Ireland?
 
Part of the failure of the Gran Armada in 1588 was that it had no secure port to which it could go for reprovision or shelter.  The taking of Brest would have provided either the forward deployment or a fall back.  But what was the ultimate strategic objective?
 
 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 10-Feb-2008 at 04:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 20:16
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Just last week  I obtained Amphibious Warfare, 1000 to 1700,  Brill Academic Publishers (2006).  Don't ask the price, but I got it at deep, deep discount.
 
There are two essays specifically addressing the period roughly 1587 to 1603, and exploring the ambitious overseas operations of England and Spain.  The main thing that comes through is the enormous complexity and difficulty both experienced in mounting combined operations that seemed to be beyond the capacity of either of them.
 
One interesting attempt was (after the 1588 Armada) Spain taking advantage of France's civil wars to establish herself in Brittany with whatever Catholic League support she could get there.  The Spanish took the small port of Blavet (Lorient?) late in 1590 to have a base from which they could move on Brest, an important deep water port which could accomodate many hundreds of ships.  This location, with the prevailing winds giving the Spanish the advantage of the weather gauge, would have presented a serious threat to the English in the Channel, but there seems to be some controversy over the actual intent of Spanish strategy.
 
Was the attempt to obtain control of Brest intended to challenge the English in the Channel in preparation for another Grand Armada, or was it to threaten the west of England through repeated raids along the Cornwall coast?  By the time Spanish troops appeared in Brittany, the Army of Flanders was committed in France as well as being on the defensive in the Netherlands.  The difficulties of combined operations, with the Armada and Parma in 1588, were not any the less, so what were the Spanish at here?
 
Landings in the west of England could draw ships and troops away from the Thames estuary, but those landings required resources and support that would then be siphoned away from an attempt to reprise the Armada plan.  With fewer Spanish troops available in Flanders, how could another such attempt be successful?
 
Another idea is that by a forward deployment in Brittany, with Brest as a secure base, landings in Ireland might be possible to stretch English resources and to establish Spanish military presence there with the advantage of probable Catholic support.
 
Still another is that Phillip II intended to wage an amphibious raiding war on England as she had done in 1587 at Cadiz and in the fiasco of 1589.  I don't think this last one was it, as the complexity and difficulty of such ambibious campaigns in the 1590s were so new to those involved and the results of most smaller scale raids were somewhat minimal.  Spanish grand strategy was rather more grand than Spanish capability, but it was the same with the English who tried such operations after 1587 with less success than in that year.
 
So what opinions are out there?  Was the Brittany objective to bludgeon English resources through the front door, or to draw them away by going through the back door?
 
What were the aims of the landings on the English coast in the 1590s?  The English certainly took all this seriously with troops of her own in Brittany from 1591 to 1594.
 
It has to be remembered that with France's Henry IV converting to the Catholic Church in 1593, the Catholic League lost its compass, and in 1594 the Spanish garrison nearby Brest was obliterated by English and French royal troops.  However, in January, 1595 the English troops were withdrawn from Brittany, and the Spanish continued to operate out of Blavet for some time.  
 
I don't want this topic to die out.  What do the rest of you think Spain was up to here?
 
 
 
This most interesting topic DID die out.  I hope there is interest in reviving it.  We early modern geeks need all the support we can get.  Wink
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Apr-2009 at 15:17
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

 
One interesting attempt was (after the 1588 Armada) Spain taking advantage of France's civil wars to establish herself in Brittany with whatever Catholic League support she could get there.  The Spanish took the small port of Blavet (Lorient?) late in 1590 to have a base from which they could move on Brest, an important deep water port which could accomodate many hundreds of ships.  This location, with the prevailing winds giving the Spanish the advantage of the weather gauge, would have presented a serious threat to the English in the Channel, but there seems to be some controversy over the actual intent of Spanish strategy.
The prevailing winds are sou'westerly, which, yes, means they give you the weather gauge going up channel. However they also make it very difficult for ships to get out of Brest Harbour, a major reason the later blockading of Brest by the British in the 18th/19th centuries was so successful.
 
Whether the English in the late 16th century would have been so effective in blockading is a different question, but you should remember the Armada had the weather gauge in 1588 in theory, but they let the English steal it from them.
Quote  
Was the attempt to obtain control of Brest intended to challenge the English in the Channel in preparation for another Grand Armada, or was it to threaten the west of England through repeated raids along the Cornwall coast?  By the time Spanish troops appeared in Brittany, the Army of Flanders was committed in France as well as being on the defensive in the Netherlands.  The difficulties of combined operations, with the Armada and Parma in 1588, were not any the less, so what were the Spanish at here?
Actually I think they were mainly trying to intercept British shipping heading into the Atlantic (or coming home again). As the French frequently demonstrated Brittany is a good base for privateers. They did launch operations against Cornwall however, and they may have had another Armada in mind.
 
In 1597 a fleet under Padilla, allegedly of 136 ships, set out to try and take Falmouth and intercept the English fleet under Essex returning from the unsuccessful attack on Ferrol. It got taken apart by the usual pro-English storm and failed, bt it indicates what their intentions were. However, that eas the last fling before they gave up on Brittany and the base at Blavet.
Quote
 
Landings in the west of England could draw ships and troops away from the Thames estuary, but those landings required resources and support that would then be siphoned away from an attempt to reprise the Armada plan.  With fewer Spanish troops available in Flanders, how could another such attempt be successful?
 
Another idea is that by a forward deployment in Brittany, with Brest as a secure base, landings in Ireland might be possible to stretch English resources and to establish Spanish military presence there with the advantage of probable Catholic support.
 
Still another is that Phillip II intended to wage an amphibious raiding war on England as she had done in 1587 at Cadiz and in the fiasco of 1589.  I don't think this last one was it, as the complexity and difficulty of such ambibious campaigns in the 1590s were so new to those involved and the results of most smaller scale raids were somewhat minimal.  Spanish grand strategy was rather more grand than Spanish capability, but it was the same with the English who tried such operations after 1587 with less success than in that year.
You're rather forgetting the attack on Cadiz in 1596. It took the silver from two treasure fleets with a total bag accprding to the Spanish of 20 million ducats and drove Spain into having to repudiate its debts (again),
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Craze_b0i Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jun-2009 at 22:07
Hey, just to say I wrote about aspects of this topic for my Masters thesis and so far I have found this thread really interesting (I am at page 2 right now).
 
You guys all sound very well read. Nonetheless there is a book I really would like to recommend. Elizabethan Privateering by kenneth Andrews. It is quite old/rare so no longer in print, you might have to order from a national library. So far as I know it is the only book ever written specifically on this topic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 03:14
I presume that the British were interested in supporting the Seven Protestant Dutch provinces in their war for independence (against Spain). I likewise presume that the Spanish were seeking to secure maritime lines of communication that would negate the long and tortuous route overland from Northern Italy up through southern and western Germany to the Netherlands. Spain was determined to hold on the the Netherlands, and it behooved the French to oppose their interests by supporting the Protestant Dutch.
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
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