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The British and Dutch Invade the New Spain after the Grand Armada Debacle.

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  • #31
    In 1588-90 it didn't look like that at all and did not have hundreds of cannon. In 1565 Drake was caught but not by forces from the fort, but by a fleet which surprised him there trading African slaves ilegally, he barely escaped.
    It was greatly expanded and reinforced during the 17th and 18th centuries. The population of Veracruz was quite small in 1590.

    It was pretty useless even when it was much stronger during the 1838 Pastry war with France and the Mexican-American war. It was more useful as a prison than as a fort, since you could easily bypass it and without a fleet it could not be resupplied.

    Even the much stronger 19th century San Juan de Ulua was so useless without a supporting fleet that the Mexicans didn't bother to capture it, until it surrendered in 1825 (4 years after Mexico became independent). Yet they used the port for years before that.

    You keep mentioning Havana, which also was much stronger when it fell to the British than in 1590.

    No single port in the Americas was nearly as well defended as was the Spanish port that Drake and Norris attacked after the grand armada debacle, causing their own debacle.
    Attacking strong Spain in 1589 and not weak New Spain, which had no fleet to defend itself was so dumb of Drake as it was of Hitler to waste thousands of aviators and planes over Brtitain for no gains in 1940-41, instead of sending 1/4 of those planes to the Med in July 1940. You just do not attack the enemy exactly where you cannot hurt him and he can hurt you very much.

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    • #32
      This is from the wiki article on de Graaf, about raiding Veracruz a century after the suggested invasion, when San Juan de Ulua and the Spanish fleet were much stronger.

      The pirates arrived off Veracruz on 17 May 1683, leading with van Hoorn's two captured Spanish ships to mislead the town. Meanwhile, de Graaf and Yankey Willems slipped ashore with a small force of men. They proceeded to remove town's fortifications and incapacitate the town's defensive militia.[note 5] Van Hoorn, marching overland, joined with de Graaf and attacked the town.[6]

      On the second day of plundering, the Spanish plate fleet, composed of numerous warships, appeared on the horizon. The pirates retreated with hostages to the nearby Isla de Sacrificios and waited for ransoms. A quarrel erupted between van Hoorn and de Graaf over the treatment of the hostages and the division of spoils. According to some sources the two fought a duel on a nearby beach to settle the dispute.[2] Though neither was seriously injured during the duel, van Hoorn did receive a slash across the wrist. The wound later became gangrenous and van Hoorn died as a result of the infection two weeks later.[6] Finally, giving up on further plunder, the pirates departed, slipping past the Spanish without hindrance.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Draco View Post
        In 1588-90 it didn't look like that at all and did not have hundreds of cannon. In 1565 Drake was caught but not by forces from the fort, but by a fleet which surprised him there trading African slaves ilegally, he barely escaped.
        It was greatly expanded and reinforced during the 17th and 18th centuries. The population of Veracruz was quite small in 1590.
        But, you want conquest, not raiding which is what Drake was doing. For conquest you need a real fleet and a real army, neither of which England can afford to supply. The fort did exist in 1588 - 1620 and the original design was complete in 1635 so it was present and the city did have a palisade.


        It was pretty useless even when it was much stronger during the 1838 Pastry war with France and the Mexican-American war. It was more useful as a prison than as a fort, since you could easily bypass it and without a fleet it could not be resupplied.
        It is also irrelevant what that fort was capable of, used for, or anything else 200 years after this scenario.

        Even the much stronger 19th century San Juan de Ulua was so useless without a supporting fleet that the Mexicans didn't bother to capture it, until it surrendered in 1825 (4 years after Mexico became independent). Yet they used the port for years before that.
        Another irrelevancy.

        You keep mentioning Havana, which also was much stronger when it fell to the British than in 1590.
        Source. The only references I find are British capture during the Seven Years War in 1762 two hundred years after your scenario. Even then, the British brought a real fleet of 50 ships and nearly 12,000 troops to take the island.

        No single port in the Americas was nearly as well defended as was the Spanish port that Drake and Norris attacked after the grand armada debacle, causing their own debacle.
        Attacking strong Spain in 1589 and not weak New Spain, which had no fleet to defend itself was so dumb of Drake as it was of Hitler to waste thousands of aviators and planes over Brtitain for no gains in 1940-41, instead of sending 1/4 of those planes to the Med in July 1940. You just do not attack the enemy exactly where you cannot hurt him and he can hurt you very much.
        Raiding isn't conquest. Pulling off a successful Dieppe or Bruneval is one thing. Pulling off D-Day is a totally different thing. You want the later using forces of the former. It is an unsustainable argument.

        A handful of pirates pulling off a successful raid isn't going to translate into collapse and capture of the Spanish empire.

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        • #34
          The Spanish empire in 1588 had no navy and a ridiculous army in the New Spain, so it was indefensible.

          The fact that a small raid succeeds until a fleet arrives certainly shows how weak defenses are and how vulnerable the invaluable colony is without a fleet. Dieppe is the worst analogy you could have made. It had strong defenses and a weak fleet, the complete opposite.

          You simply don't realize that attacking the Americas in 1585, when the Spanish fleet was strong an extremely strong Spain and Portugal in 1589 is much more dangerous and less productive and makes much less sense than attacking an extremely weak New Spain. Too bad.

          Havana fell, despite a very strong fleet defending it (which was not used). Manila also fell. Both when defenses and fleet were stronger. I am not going to give you a reference for an obvious fact. There is no fleet after the armada's debacle and population, defenses and army in the Americas are ridiculous in 1590.

          The British took Jamaica and Guyana quite easily and the Spaniards never took them back.
          The Vikings realized that if you can raid successfully, you can conquer successfully.

          The English wasted a lot of people trying to populate less hospitable areas like Roanoak or Jamestown, instead of going for the new Spain.
          Last edited by Draco; 17 Sep 14, 21:06.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Draco View Post
            The Spanish empire in 1588 had no navy and a ridiculous army in the New Spain, so it was indefensible.
            That shows an ignorance of the actual results of the Armada. Spain still retained a navy of about 70 to 80 ships sufficient to still be a threat to England. Elizabeth's Counter Armada a year later failed largely because Philip still had a fleet.

            The fact that a small raid succeeds until a fleet arrives certainly shows how weak defenses are and how vulnerable the invaluable colony is without a fleet. Dieppe is the worst analogy you could have made. It had strong defenses and a weak fleet, the complete opposite.
            No it doesn't. The raids were annoying not crippling. Anyone can see that.

            You simply don't realize that attacking the Americas in 1585, when the Spanish fleet was strong an extremely strong Spain and Portugal in 1589 is much more dangerous and less productive and makes much less sense than attacking an extremely weak New Spain. Too bad.
            You don't understand the risks and cost of attacking places far from home in the 16th Century.

            Havana fell, despite a very strong fleet defending it (which was not used). Manila also fell. Both when defenses and fleet were stronger. I am not going to give you a reference for an obvious fact. There is no fleet after the armada's debacle and population, defenses and army in the Americas are ridiculous in 1590.
            It fell nearly two centuries after the period we are talking about. Show a source that defends your position because your word isn't worth a bucket of toilet water full of "brown trout."

            The British took Jamaica and Guyana quite easily and the Spaniards never took them back.
            The Vikings realized that if you can raid successfully, you can conquer successfully.
            All irrelevancies. This is like saying that in WW 2 something could have influenced what happened in the Napoleonic Wars or what happened during the Roman empire was decisive during the American Revolution.

            The English wasted a lot of people trying to populate less hospitable areas like Roanoak or Jamestown, instead of going for the new Spain.
            At little cost and in the end for great returns.
            Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 18 Sep 14, 16:41.

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