Radcliff's Armada is an informal name given to a combined fleet of English and Dutch ships under the command of William Radcliff of Atlantis in the 1660s. The Armada was created with express purpose of destroying the Avalon pirates that preyed upon the ships that passed through the Hesperian Gulf, the most notorious of those pirates being Radcliff's distant cousin, Red Rodney Radcliffe.
The government of England had grown exasperated with the bold rapaciousness of the Avalon corsairs. Emissary Elijah Walton approached Radcliff about participating in an offensive against Avalon proper. Soon, they secured the resources of Piet Kieft, the governor of Nieuw Haarlem in Terranova. Kieft had been personally assaulted and humiliated by Radcliffe, and was anxious to see the pirate dead. He was even prepared to let the English take command of the overall fleet. William Radcliff himself was anxious to lead the offensive as admiral. After some resistance from Walton, Radcliff was made admiral of the fleet.
Radcliff secured the aid of another distant cousin, Marcus Radcliffe, who willingly provided some sixty Atlantean woodsmen as marines.
One glorious morning, the fleet arrived. William took his place as admiral aboard the Royal Sovereign. Marcus Radcliffe made good with sixty woodsmen, who acted as marines. To William's surprise, Elijah Walton sailed with the fleet, calmly and respectfully accepting William's authority.
As the fleet approached Avalon, they encountered a pinnace off North Cape, acting as look-out. While they were able to beach it, the crew (unknown to William, but suspected by him) sent word to Red Rodney. Thus, as William's armada approached Avalon, they were met by the pirate fleet in the Hesperian Gulf.
While William was initially aided by the pirates' lack of discipline, and seemed to be getting the better of the pirates, Red Rodney had a nasty surprise: fire ships appeared from the west. William watched one Dutch ship destroyed and then a British man-of-war. With the sun setting, Radcliff ordered the Armada to pull back.
However, Radcliff did not admit defeat. After taking stock of the fleet, including a quick meeting with Marcus Radcliffe, William Radcliff ordered that his Armada would attack again the next day. When the pirates retreated, William ordered the invasion of Avalon itself.
William began a two prong offensive. He ordered the marines, Marcus Radcliffe and his men with them, to land south of the town and fight their way in. In the meantime, the ships would cannonade the forts that protected Avalon. William joined the marines. While not an experienced woodsman, he was able to keep up with the marines as they made their way around Avalon's defenses and into the town.
When they'd gained the advantage, William ordered his men to raise a red flag, a signal for the fleet to put sailors in boats and attack the defending wall. Avalon fell in short order.
With Avalon broken, Radcliff's Armada was dissolved, and the various ships returned to their country of origin.