Fire Over England (1937)

  |  Adventure, History, Romance

Fire Over England (1937) Poster

During the reign of Elizabeth I, a young man's fervent devotion to the crown and to his sweetheart, a lady-in-waiting, lead him to battle for England's victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588.


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19 August 2007 | Mandyjam
The Fate of the Armada
The facts:- Charles Howard, later Earl of Nottingham, commanded the British Fleet with Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins as secondary command. When the Armada was sighted, beacons were lit, as in the movie. (It was demonstrated at the pre-wedding party for Prince Charles prior to his marriage to Diana, that it was possible to get a signal from Hampstead Heath, London, to Lands End, the furthest point west, within some extraordinarily short time by this method. If my memory serves me, the time was something like 7 minutes to Lands's End and about 40 minutes to the outer Hebrides. This is why Drake was able to famously claim that he had time ti finish a game of bowls before he thrashed the Spaniard.)

The Brits met the Armada at Plymouth and fought them in the Channel to Calais, where the Spanish expected more ships to join them from the Netherlands which was in Spanish hands at the time. The battle in the Channel lasted about a week, with the smaller and much more maneuverable English vessels whipping in close to do damage, but out- numbered by the much larger vessels.

The Armada anchored at Calais and waited. It was there that the British sent in the small fire ships which, assisted by a rising wind, created havoc among the anchored vessels. When many of the ships destroyed, the remainder could not sail westward out of the Channel to return to Spain, because of the winds. They were forced to sail northwards up the east coast of England and around Scotland, where they ran into foul weather. The weather worsened as they sailed south and many of the remaining vessels were wrecked on the Irish coast.

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