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History of Sea Power
Naval Orientation - Military manual for administrative purposes
The Civil War - 12966_12
The  decline  of  the  Portuguese  empire  as  a strong  sea  power  began  in  1580  when  it  united with   Spain   in   disputes   with   other   European countries. DEFEAT  OF  THE  SPANISH  ARMADA From  1492  to  1588  Spain  stood  in  the forefront   of   sea   power   among   the   nations   of Europe. But Spain was a classic example of sea power based on quantity rather than quality, as evidenced  by  the  defeat  of  the  Spanish  Armada by the English in 1588. At this time, the king of Spain,  Philip  II,  determined  to  end  successful English  raids  on  Spanish  ships  and  ports.  To accomplish  this,  he  launched  an  attack  of  over- powering  military  force  against  England. The Spanish Grand Invincible Armada, made up  of  124  ships,  manned  by  8,000  sailors,  and carrying   19,000   soldiers,   entered   the   English Channel.  To  oppose  it,  the  English  had  only  90 ships, plus a mosquito fleet that had never seen action. However, they also had the know-how of Sir Francis Drake and his men. Drake, a master mariner, knew how to use the wind and tide as allies. As  a  general  rule,  most  naval  battles  were virtually infantry fights on floating platforms. If ramming  did  not  sink  an  enemy  ship,  soldiers swarmed over its side to engage in hand-to-hand combat.  The  British,  however,  used  the  same tactics  the  Portuguese  had  used  at  the  battle  of Diu.  Instead  of  engaging  in  close-range  battle, English ships maneuvered to the windward side of  the  Spaniards  and  pounded  them  with  artillery from   a   distance.   The   big,   lumbering   Spanish ships,  with  their  towering  upper  works,  were  easy targets. Ignoring  a  chance  to  attack  the  English  off Plymouth, the Spanish sailed on up the Channel while  the  English  pecked  away  at  them.  Although these attacks did little damage, they induced the Spaniards  to  fire  all  their  heavy  shot  with  no telling  effects  on  the  English.  When  the  Spaniards anchored in Calais, the English forced them out by floating several burning hulks down on them during  the  night.  The  next  day  the  combined English and Dutch fleets attacked the Armada and might have crushed it had they possessed ample powder  and  shot.  After  this  upsetting  blow,  the demoralized  Spaniards  fled  north  and  rounded  the British Isles to the Atlantic. There, storms nearly succeeded   in   finishing   what   the   English   had started. The defeat of the Armada ushered in the decline  of  Spain’s  world  dominance,  while England went on to become mistress of the sea. While not achieving any great destruction of the   enemy,   the   English   demonstrated   the superiority   of   tactics   over   an   abundance   of weapons. From that time on, the use of gunnery that  could  be  fired  from  a  distance  gradually replaced  the  shock  action  of  close-range  battles at  sea.  The  cries  of  “boarders  away”  and  “stand by  to  repel  boarders”  gradually  became  less frequent. THE   CONTINENTAL   NAVY SIGNIFICANT   DATES 13 Oct. 1775 Second  Continental  Congress establishes   the   Continental navy. 4  Apr.  1776 Brig Lexington  takes  first  enemy warship. 4  May  1780 Navy  adopts  its  first  official seal. 19  Apr.  1783 General  George  Washington proclaims  American  Revolution ended.  At  the  end  of  the  war, British naval strength included 469  vessels,  with  174  of  them mounting  60  to  150  guns.  The American naval strength during the  war  reached  a  peak  of  27 ships averaging 20 guns. Navies are born out of a spirit of independence and under the threat of war. They are nurtured into maturity by the urgent demands of defense and sharpened by the encounters of conflict. The Continental navy, which was the first American navy,  was  born  for  such  reasons  during  the American    Revolution. Before   the   American   Revolution,   the American  Colonies  were  heavily  dependent  on  the sea for their livelihood. Harbors and shipbuilding docks  all  along  the  coast  offered  livelihood  to many colonists and provided income to thousands more. These ports also harbored the tiny, hastily organized American naval forces that were sent to  harass  the  mightiest  sea  power  in  the  world. Therefore, when   the   conflict   between   the Americans and the British began, these ports were naturally the first ports the British struck. 1-3

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