Ever since the "defeat" of the Spanish Armada by the British Royal Navy in 1588, British tradition has formed the events of that August into a glorious God-sent victory with a Protestant David overcoming the Goliath of Spanish tyranny. Felipe Fernández-Armesto's richly-illustrated volume challenges this view. Based on the latest research, he refutes the notion of a grand conflict of religion and values, and, instead, provides a more balanced account of the confrontation between the Spanish and British naval powers. Fernández-Armesto argues that neither navy defeated the other. Both navies muddled strategic planning at high levels of command, faced frustration at the ineffective tactics used, and endured pain, misery, and fear in battle. Drawing extensively on personal accounts, he vividly depicts the trials and suffering of fighting this gruelling war. He also examines the broader issues of the conflict, including the aims of the Armada; the Spanish strategists' plan in achieving their goal; the military differences between the two sides; and the reasons behind the Armada's failure. Stressing the common experiences of both sides, Fernández-Armesto offers a fresh view of one of the most famous sea battles in history.