After several false starts at engaging the Spanish Armada off the coast of Calais, the English fleet set eight ships on fire and sent them off towards the Spanish fleet at midnight on July 28, 1588. The fireships sent the Spanish fleet scattering, forcing them to break formation as they scrambled out to sea. While not defeated, the Spanish fleet was severely handicapped. Not only did they have fewer ships but the ships they did have were less maneuverable compared to the English ships and their artillery more difficult to fire. All this meant the Spanish were at a great disadvantage when they faced the English off Gravelines the next morning. Beaten and being chased, the Spanish took advantage of a favorable wind and headed north with the English in pursuit till they were forced to abandon the chase at Firth of Forth. The Armada would attempt to return to Spain only to be continually battered by storms along the Irish coast. In the end, more men died at sea than during battle and only 67 ships (of 130) and less than 10,000 men would make it back to Spain. 

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place to keep fruit.

Etymology: Latin.

[Alexei Antonov]

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