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Background
Introduction
Spanish Wrecks
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Introduction

In May 1588, the Spanish Armada, the largest invasion fleet ever, set sail from Lisbon in Portugal.

Its purpose was to enforce a claim of Philip II of Spain to the English throne and to restore the Catholic faith to Protestant England.

Under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the Armada comprised 130 vessels of varying size, type and nationality, roughly 29,450 men and 2,250 guns of all kinds.


It was supposed to rendezvous with land troops led by the Duke of Parma and proceed to invade England. Storms and English frigates scattered the unwieldy Armada and many of the ships were damaged or sunk in sea-battles.

The Irish coastline claimed many vessels and even those crewmen that reached land were not guaranteed safety or continued life. Today, many wrecks still lie off the Irish coast and exercise a strange fascination for both locals and visitors alike.

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