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The Downfall of the Spanish Armada in Ireland

The Downfall of the Spanish Armada in Ireland

Ken Douglas

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Ken Douglas is one of the leading authorities on the Spanish Armada in Ireland, having been engaged in groundbreaking research on the subject for over thirty-five years. In 1978 he contributed to the publication of weather research for the summer of 1588 and in 2003 published a paper for the National Maritime Museum in London on the navigation of the Armada in the Atlantic.

The English navy inflicted a narrow defeat on the Armada, but it was the Irish coast that encompassed its downfall. The course set for the retreating Armada would have given it a safety margin of 300 miles. But in the Atlantic they encountered continuous southerly winds and unknown ocean currents; they became separated and lost. Scattered groups descended on Ireland, arriving at seventeen different locations from Donegal to Kerry. Many found shelter, but a few were lost by accidental grounding. On 21 September fourteen ships were destroyed by hurricane force winds.

In all 24 ships were lost in Ireland and about 5,000 men died – far more than in the battles with the English fleet. The English navy inflicted a narrow defeat on the Armada, but it was the Irish coast that encompassed its downfall.

From the reviews: “ This book describes how the lack of navigational knowledge and ignorance of the western seaboard of Ireland, helped by some freak weather, finished off what Drake and his fellow mariners began and the story is as fascinating…revelation of the realities of naval warfare in the sixteenth-century… this book is well worth reading not only because it debunks the mythology that surrounds the Spanish Armada and gives an intriguing insight into the life of sixteenth-century Ireland, but also because it underlines the tragedy and sordid futility of war”. Des Kenny, Galway Advertiser

Additional Information

Author Ken Douglas
Publisher Gill Books
Publication date 8 Sep 2010
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9780717148127

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