The Voyage of the Armada: The Spanish Story Paperback – 1 Sep 2001
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The author recreates the drama of the Armada's progress and course. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
David Howarth was a BBC correspondent in the Second World War until 1940 when he joined the Royal Navy and came under the command of the Special Operations Service running clandestine operations between Shetland and Norway. In peacetime he remained in Shetland, and it was then that he started his writing career. Some of his books include The Shetland Bus, Dawn of D-Day. and Waterloo: A Near Run Thing. David Howarth died in 1991, at the age of 78. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
But for what he's trying to do, he succeeds wonderfully well: he's put together, from very different and contradictory sources, a single narrative that's easy to follow and that explains what happened and maybe why. Also, he knows ships and sailing, and can explain what's going on in terms of wind and weather better even than the people at the time could. Recommended both as a first book on the Armada for the novice, and as a supplementary presentation of the Spanish side for the Drakeophile who knows the English history pretty well already.
By all accounts this story of the enterprise is told as it was seen through the eyes and experiences of the Spanish soldiers and sailors and is very well done in that regard. Using first hand accounts found in numerous Spanish letters and reports, many previously not utilised before, the story comes alive and gives you a real feeling and understanding of the participants, many who did not survive to tell their tale.
One aspect of the book that I found pleasing was that the author took the story past the battle with the English fleet. David Howarth provides the reader with an account of what happened to the ships and men who actually survived the "dash" up the Channel. Those who were shipwrecked along the Irish coast were subjected to even more terror than they had experienced so far and very few survived.
The real hero of this story is Medina Sidonia, the commander of the Spanish ships, and I found myself wondering could anyone have done any better under similar circumstances? This is a great story with an exciting narrative and although it only runs to 250 pages (hardback edition) I found I came away with a better understanding of what happened and why. This book would be a great companion volume to 'The Armada' by Garrett Mattingly but can stand alone as a decent and well presented account of the "Armada".
It is said in my family that we are descended from a man who came over with the Armada and I was interested to read more about it. It was interesting and informative to read more details and learn about the events from the Spanish point of view. A good read.
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