The Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588 but failed to successfully defeat the English navy and go on to subdue England.
The Armada achieved its first goal and anchored outside Gravelines, at the coastal border area between France and the Spanish Netherlands. While awaiting communications from the Duke of Parma's army, it was driven from its anchorage by an English fire ship attack and in the ensuing battle at Gravelines the Spanish were forced to abandon their rendezvous with Parma's army.
The Armada managed to regroup and withdraw north with the English fleet harrying it for some distance up the east coast of England. A return voyage to Spain was plotted and the fleet sailed into the Atlantic Ocean past Ireland. But severe storms disrupted the fleet's course and more than 24 vessels were wrecked on the north and western coasts of Ireland with the survivors having to seek refuge in Scotland. Of the fleet's initial complement about 50 vessels failed to make it back to Spain. The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604).
- Note: This article to applies to most of Harry Turtledove's timelines where the point of departure came after 1588. It is only germane to the following works.
Spanish Armada in Crosstime Traffic
Crosstime Traffic was aware of an alternate in which the Spanish Armada conquered England in 1588 and Spain created an empire that bordered Russia. Footage taken in this alternate was shown to Jeremy Solters and his fellow students in US history class.
Spanish Armada in Ruled Britannia
Under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the Spanish Armada defeated the English navy in the summer of 1588, then rendezvoused with a Spanish army commanded by the Duke of Parma in the Netherlands, and allowed the army to land on England's shores. The army defeated an amateur force raised by Queen Elizabeth of England, conquered the kingdom, usurped Elizabeth's throne and installed King Philip's daughter Isabella as Queen of England. The Spanish continued to occupy England for ten years at which point they were expelled from the kingdom by a rebellion led by Robert Cecil.