22 galleons of Portugal and Castile, 108 armed merchant vessels (including 4 war galleasses of Naples) 2,431 artillery pieces 7,000 sailors 17,000 soldiers (90 percent were Spaniards, and 10 percent were Portuguese)
Casualties and losses
Battle of Gravelines: 50–100 dead 400 wounded 8 fireships burnt Disease: 6,000–8,000 dead
Battle of Gravelines: Over 600 dead 800 wounded 397 captured 5 ships sunk or captured Overall: ~35 ships lost (10 scuttled) 20,000 dead
The Armada chose not to attack the English fleet at Plymouth, then failed to establish a temporary anchorage in the Solent, after one Spanish ship had been captured by Sir Francis Drake in the English Channel. The Armada finally dropped anchor off Calais. While awaiting communications from the Duke of Parma's army, the Armada was scattered by an English fireship attack. In the ensuing Battle of Gravelines the Spanish fleet was damaged and forced to abandon its rendezvous with Parma's army, who were blockaded in harbour by Dutch flyboats. The Armada managed to regroup and, driven by southwest winds, withdrew north, with the English fleet harrying it up the east coast of England. The commander ordered a return to Spain, but the Armada was disrupted during severe storms in the North Atlantic and a large number of the vessels were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Of the initial 130 ships over a third failed to return. As Martin and Parker explain, "Philip II attempted to invade England, but his plans miscarried, partly because of his own mismanagement, unfortunate weather, and partly because the opportunistic defensive naval efforts of the English and their Dutch allies (the use of ships set afire and sailed into the anchored Armada to create panic) prevailed.".
The word armada is from the Spanish armada, which is a cognate with English army. Originally from the Latin armāta, the past participle of armāre (to arm), used in Romance languages as a noun, for armed force, army, navy, fleet.Armada Española is still the Spanish term for the modern Spanish Navy. Armada (originally from its armadas) was also the Portuguese traditional term (now alternative, but in common use) of the Portuguese Navy.