The Spanish Armada was a group of armed warships that tried to invade England in 1588. Bad feelings between Spain and England had existed since the 1560's. Spain was taking gold and silver from lands it had claimed in the Americas, and England wanted some of this wealth. When the Spanish Armada sailed in 1588, many of the crewmembers were inexperienced and most of the ships were lightly armed. The Spanish warships were often called the Invincible Armada, supposedly because the Spaniards thought it could not be defeated.
Queen Elizabeth I encouraged Fransis Drake and other English sailors to attack Spanish ships and towns even though the countries were officially in peace. Religious differences also caused a fight between the two nations. England's warships had 197 ships and nearly 16, 000 men, most of them were sailors rather than soldiers. On the night of 28th of July, the English launched eight small fire ships at the Spaniards.
One Spanish ship was sunk, twp more driven onto where the water was shallow and taken by the Dutch and many others damaged. Only 67 ships reached Spain, with many men dead or dying. Most of the 67 ships were in poor condition. The failure of the armada did not end the war between England and Spain it lasted until 1604. Spain remained a major power after the battle, but English traders and sailors challenged the Spaniards with great confidence throughout the world. At least a third of the Armada's sailors and soldiers never returned home.