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Thread: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

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    Default How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    The Royal Navy was founded Under King Charles 11 in 1660. Prior to this if war broke out, merchant ships were commandeered to fight, on as needed basis, by the crown.

    It was the practice for merchant ships to be commandeered for a battle, crowded with men-at-arms fighting along side the merchant navy crew, and become warships for the duration of a war. This happened in 1588, and merchant vessels were joined by privateers; outright pirates, fishermen and smugglers and were all that stood between England and the then worlds largest fleet, the Spanish Armada. Spain proposed to invade England as an act of revenge for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

    A fleet if 195 of the larger Merchant Naval ships gathered in Portsmouth, scrounged from the ports of Devon, Cornwall and Hampshire, under a non-seaman commander-in-chief High Admiral Lord Howard of Effingham. Few of his commanders were professional seamen, one, however, was. Sir Francis Drake: Privateer; smuggler, slaver and outright pirate on the Spanish Main. Of the 195 vessels only about 25 could come close to be called warships.

    There was no standing army in England at that time. True, Queen Elizabeth had been able to raise men to fight, but most were local agricultural workers, ranging from Cornwall to Kent, many with farming implements as weapons. The Spanish galleons were loaded with stores and payroll, heading towards the low countries where a Spanish invasion army was awaiting transportation across the Channel.

    The Story of Drake wanting to finish his game of bowels before attacking the Spaniards was actually first mentioned 148 years AFTER the event was supposed to have taken place.

    The opposing force met; the Spanish ships were large and lumbering. making roughly 2 MPH under full canvas. The English ships, were smaller, faster, and carried more guns which were cast lighter and able to shoot outside the range of the guns of the Spanish. This advantage was nullified however by the lighter ball they shot that was unable to penetrate the heavier galleons. As night time fell the Spaniards anchored-up with a perimeter of guard ships. The English loaded smaller vessels with combustibles, loaded the fire ships' cannons with double shot and grape shot, set them afire to drift among the parked Spanish fleet. As soon as the fire reached the guns they exploded sending shot in every direction causing havoc to the Spaniards, causing the Spanish to up-anchor and vacate their anchorage.

    Drake was the first of many to abandon the orders of battle and left his station to follow and sack a vessel called the "Rosario", which proved to be carrying a large part of the payroll for the awaiting invasion troops in the Low-Countries. All was forgiven later, I assume he followed his normal practice of surrendering a goodly portion of his swag to the crown.

    Remember at the beginning I said a large portion of this fleet was made up of privateers, Pirates, and smugglers, Etc. and not the best at obeying orders

    The Spanish fleet running out of ammunition received the order again to scatter, and I guess it was every "Don" for himself and the invasion was off. Not long after wards a shrieking gale came up and the English fleet returned to port. The Spanish retreat had turned into a rout and strewed the coasts of Scotland and Ireland with wrecks. There were over 11,000 casualties.

    My summation: Just think! Had the Spanish landed their army that was awaiting transportation across the channel, they more than likely would have been victorious. A civilian army of farmers wouldn't have stood a chance. Think, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Danes, Normans, all invaded, all won. What stopped the Spanish was the Merchant Navy. So my hypotheses is the history of the world would have been changed if it wasn't for the MN. Australia and New Zealand would have been populated by the Dutch, there would have been no ten pound Poms, Not test matches. The USA would not have been influenced by British law or language (they're still not you say, shame on yer!). England, Scotland and Wales would be separate countries (that maybe coming yet), Canada would be all French, Etc., etc, etc.. Instead the world was saved by the Merchant Navy...Grand innit!

    Cheers Rodney (writing this stuff while sitting in the clinic with my beloved, who's undergoing her treatment, (fingers crossed, which is working, no infusion for week number 10.)).
    Last edited by Rodney Mills; 13th May 2019 at 09:29 PM.

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    Rodney, your thoughts on much are always interesting and
    make good reading. I would add much of the above are
    probably near to true for a near modern navy. In legend
    King Arthur is credited with an early fleet, theory is the ships
    were how he quickly moved his troops onwards to battles. Doubt
    Harold had a good library or could have sailed from fighting up
    North to sort out the pesky Normans. King Alfred is also noted for
    not only burning cakes but for one of the first of the countries
    navies.

    K.


    .
    Last edited by Keith at Tregenna; 14th May 2019 at 02:38 AM.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    Rodders, that is so true of the British spirit.
    As shown in another posting about the evacuation of Dunkirk, they were always willing to give it a go.

    Had it not been for this British spirit there could well have been a different outcome in both world wars.

    I often wonder in todays world how the people would react should a similar situation arise, is the British spirit still as strong?
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    A bit more:

    Organized sea power was first used in England by Alfred the Great of Wessex, who launched ships to repel a Viking invasion. Naval activity continued to be local, defensive, and temporary until the 13th century, when Normandy was lost to France and trade was extended to Spain and Portugal. Ships were then used to transport soldiers to battles on land. In the Battle of Sluis (1340), however, the English naval force engaged in at-sea fighting.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Royal-Navy
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    ...and King Alfred's ship is on the MN cap badge
    regards
    Brenda

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    2019 MN CAP BADGE.jpg
    MN Cap badge

    B

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    King Alfred’s Navy comprised a fleet of ships supposedly designed by Alfred himself, which would be capable of defeating the Danes in their own element, at sea.

    King Alfred and his immediate successors were strong and influential rulers, who left a legacy of enduring marks across both the county of Hampshire and the rest of the country, not least of which was King Alfred’s Navy.

    King Alfred's Navy
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    "The Royal Navy was founded Under King Charles 11 in 1660. Prior to this if war broke out, merchant ships were commandeered to fight, on as needed basis, by the crown...." [my post].

    Keith your post stating Alfred of Wessex created the Royal Navy. According to all the research I have done it was not the Royal Navy of today as created by King Charles 11 who founded the ROYAL Navy. Prior to this, kings such as Alfred built ships to solve a problem and then disbanded them as the problem was resolved. It was not a standing Navy or an independent service. There were gaps of hundreds of years between events.

    Ship's (merchant ships) commandeered were crewed by the seamen and master and mates who were gun crews too, an army office was put in charge of soldiers. In 1664 these soldiers became the Royal Marines.

    The Royal Navy of Charles was built to protect the shores, conquest of territory, maintain open sea lanes for trade, ship troops to trouble spots, eradicate pirates and later slavers, etc. etc..

    A sample of supporting data:

    "The official history of the Royal Navy began with the formal establishment of the Royal Navy as the national naval force of the Kingdom of England in 1660, following the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne. However, for more than a thousand years before that there had been English naval forces varying in type and organization. In 1707 it became the naval force of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Union between England and Scotland which merged the English navy with the much smaller Royal Scots Navy, although the two had begun operating together from the time of the Union of the Crowns in 1603.
    Before the creation of the Royal Navy, the English navy had no defined moment of formation; it started out as a motley assortment of "King's ships" during the Middle Ages assembled only as needed and then dispersed, began to take shape as a standing navy during the 16th century, and became a regular establishment during the tumults of the 17th century. The Navy grew considerably during the global struggle with France that started in 1690 and culminated in the Napoleonic Wars, a time when the practice of fighting under sail was developed to its highest point...."
    Wickopedia

    A brief history of the Royal Navy - NMRN Portsmouth
    Access denied | NMRN Portsmouth...
    The British navy became the Royal Navy after the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660. National Museum of the Royal Navy, 2014...."

    "A Brief History of the Royal Navy | Online Information "
    A Brief History of the Royal Navy | Online Information Bank | Research Collections | Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    "The British Navy became the Royal Navy after the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660. In 1661, Sir William Penn and Samuel Pepys established the Naval Discipline Act which included the Articles of War and founded the Royal Navy by statute. In 1664 the Royal Marines were inaugurated."

    "History | Royal Navy"
    https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-an...story-timeline

    "... The English Navy becomes the Royal Navy after the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660."

    Etc. etc..

    Regards, Rodney

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    Not that I do not not agree, just as said #2: Rodney,
    probably near to true for a near modern navy.

    The earlier forces were probably known as Royal under a Kingship.

    Not being contrary, just hoping to add some more history, even ancient history.

    Was not one of the early Merchant ships not the Ark etc.

    All in all Merchant shipping was begat from all time, where as you say the RN was
    begat from mainly piracy etc.

    Keith.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: How the M.N. saved the English speaking world.

    Rodders, thanks for that well reached as usual.

    But at the time of Alfred there were still others who claimed kingdoms, Alfred was king of Wessex if I recall correctly.

    England at that time was still made up of various regions all with their own leader.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
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