Published by Andalus Press
288 pages, full colour, hardback
ISBN: 978-1-8384859-3-1

1588, The Spanish Armada and the 24 Ships Lost on Ireland’s Shores

(Irish edition)

Published abroad as ‘The Surprising Survival of the Spanish Armada”.

by Michael B. Barry

By 1588, relations between the superpower of the time, Catholic Spain and the relatively small Protestant England had deteriorated to a new low. Philip II had decided that the best way to deal with English piracy and its support for the Dutch rebels was to invade England and replace Elizabeth I with a friendly Catholic ruler. At the end of May 1588 an enormous fleet set out from Lisbon. Skirmishes along the English Channel culminated in the great battle of Gravelines. Wind blew the Armada up the North Sea, around the north of Scotland and Ireland to begin a tortuous storm-bound journey back to Spain.

In this well-researched book, Michael B. Barry tells the complete story of the Armada, from its beginnings to its return to northern Spain. He shows that while the Armada did not achieve its objective of invading England, contrary to widespread belief, it was not totally destroyed. The English fleet sank only one ship during the engagements, and over two thirds of the Spanish fleet managed to return to Spain. The main losses were on Ireland’s jagged coasts where exceptionally severe storms wrecked 24 of the ships making their return journey. These coasts were also the nightmarish setting where most Armada survivors were put to death by a Tudor regime struggling to extend its control over the whole island.

Here is the fascinating story of the Spanish Armada, brought to life in this well-researched and richly illustrated book. Written in an accessible style and full of new revelations, this thought-provoking book is essential to gain a new perspective on the intriguing story of the Spanish Armada of 1588, one of history’s most famous events.

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