|Fig.1: Yellow sky during battle, better find a paddle!|
Tensions between the kingdoms of Spain and England had been mounting throughout the 16th century. First, I'm-King-Henry-the-VIII-I-Am wished to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, due to the lack of males emerging from that womb of hers, and instead marry Anne "You Can Find Me Behind the Bleachers at the Football Game" Boleyn. Normally this was nbd, but Catherine was the aunt of Spanish king (and Holy Roman Emperor, for good measure) Charles V, who didn't appreciate the woman that always brought awesome peanut butter brownies to their family reunions being kicked to the curb like that. To make matters worse, when the Pope rejected Henry's petition for divorce, he decided to create his own clubhouse called Anglicanism, with him as head honcho, and their super-secret-rulebook in English instead of Latin. That made those staunch Catholics in Spain muy loco!
|Fig.2: Mary and Phillip's matching scowls alone made |
them 100% compatible on all dating websites.
Next in line was Elizabeth, Henry VIII's daughter with that hussy Anne Boleyn, which would have been cool except she was all Protestant and stuff. Phillip tried to look past that, and extended a marriage proposal her way on the JumboTron at the Real Madrid-Chelsea matchup, to which Elizabeth covered her mouth and shook her head no in front of the whole crowd. Phillip was super embarrassed, and vowed never to speak to her or take her out for late-night Chinese food ever again. He proceeded to spread vicious rumors about her, like how she was the product of an illegitimate marriage, and worse, how her left earlobe hung slightly lower than her right. He openly supported her overthrow in favor of Elizabeth's cousin, Mary, Queen of Butterscotch; Elizabeth responded by imprisoning her in a Smucker's jar for nearly twenty years. She also made efforts to aid the Dutch Protestants who were rebelling against Spanish rule in the Nether-regions. The last straw came when Mary was accused of plotting an assassination attempt on Elizabeth's life (as well as a plaque attempt on her bicuspids), and her and the rest of the Cavity Creeps were executed by fluoride squad in 1587.
|Fig.3: Elizabeth I of England, the |
greatest ginger of them all.
Here is where the Spanish should have taken advantage of their superior firepower, manpower, and flowerpower. While the English used up most of their ammunition during the previous skirmishing, the Spanish had enough gunpowder to take down an entire Mesoamerican civilization, which they had actually done once or twice before. Unfortunately, naval tactics of the day focused on an ship's ability to maneuver close enough to land an attachment of marines onto an enemy vessel, and commence with the drawing of swords, ye scallywags! So instead of blowing the English out of the water, the Spanish only fired to keep their cover as their fleet moved in. The English, knowing this, used their faster, not-weighed-down-by-forty-tons-of-cannonball ships to shoot quickly and then scurry away, successfully keeping the Spanish as the monkey in the middle for several hours. At the end of the day, the English used up all of their ammo but didn't lose a single ship, while the Spanish lost five and had several others damaged in ways that were going to raise their insurance rates tenfold. Most importantly, the plan to link up with the army on the Dutch coast failed, leaving them all stranded on the dock with their bathing suits and flippers on. Worst vacation ever!
|Fig.4: Pool's closed.|
I am come amongst you as you see at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of battle, to live or die amongst you all – to lay down for my God, and for my kingdoms, and for my people, my honour and my blood even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king – and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms – I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.Unfortunately, this moving soliloquy has been edited by conspiracy theorists in order to prove that Elizabeth enjoyed performing odd science experiments with her father's body parts:
[F]or my recreation ... I have the heart and stomach of ... a King of England ... grow[ing] by me ... arms....
|Fig.5: Last time I ever trust |
So the Spanish Armada ended in a big bellyflop, and Elizabeth lived out the rest of her reign to be old and chubby and Protestant just like her father. Philip couldn't help feeling that if the two forces met on land, his superior army would have easily wiped the floor with the English, and then there would be paella for everybody! Alas, Britain just had to be an island, forcing him to take his chances on the uncertainty of a naval battle. It mostly certainly backfired, giving England the confidence it needed to explore the New World and become the maritime powerhouse that would pretty much colonize the world. That sound you just heard was all the peoples exploited by the British simultaneously cursing Philip II's name, all four billion of them. Darn you, Phil. Darn you.