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The Spanish Armada sailed with around 160 ships. The English mobilised up to 200 ships in the Channel. Unknown numbers of Dutch vessels harassed and attacked the Armada and hemmed the Duke of Parma's forces into their harbour of Dunkirk.

 

Ships, organization, tactics and equipment: The descent of the Spanish Armada on England in 1588 ocurred at a time of profound change in sea warfare. The Spanish represented the old tradition while the English fought with a new design of warship and new tactics.

 

In medieval warfare at sea soldiers added castles to the merchant trading vessel at the front and the rear (fore castle and after castle) and at the top of the mast and fought their fleets as if on land, discharging arrows and handguns, boarding the enemy ships and conducting hand to hand fighting.  

 

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