In early 1588, the King of Spain, Philip II of Habsburg, had been maturing for some time the idea of an attack on England, a nation he ruled the "Virgin Queen" Elizabeth I of prickly relationship with the country. The project, unlike other reviews, was not intended primarily to punish the pirates (such as Francis Drake), but to build a Spanish domain geo-political and religious Europe. Felipe II, years ago, had already begun their attacks against Protestantism supporting Irish resistance and attacked Holland, a Protestant country, putting in serious trouble the role of empire in the continent. However, it was the execution of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland Catholic, which decided to build a special marine: La Grande and Felicissimo Spanish Armada. Preparations began in fact, two years ago.
Concerned about the success of a naval and landing of troops on English soil, King Philip II consulted with various authoritative voices of the time. One of them, the most renowned seaman of his nation, alvaro de Bazan, Marques de Santa Cruz, believes that the naval project is not only feasible, but given the difficult time of the English crown, it is very easy. Unfortunately for Spain, the experienced seaman dies in the midst of preparing the project took command, inexplicably, the inexperienced and marine disqualified Duque de Medina-Sidonia, Alonso de Guzman Lord. Until today, is unknown because Philip II entrusted this enormous responsibility. At that time, although in a much smaller scale than it has tried to show, the assault of the English pirates and was an uncomfortable problem.