An Imposing Array Fact Or Fiction?

By William P. Avery, published February 1984


This article reviews the evidence for the role of the Spanish Navy in the period of the French Revolutionary War. The negative views of James, Brenton, Clowes and Schomberg on the proficiency, quantity and quality of the Spanish Navy is re-examined using Spanish records. Numbers of ships and guns are listed and the Spanish records, most taken from G. de Artenano’s Arquitecture Naval Espanola (En Madera) (Madrid 1920), support Schomberg as the most reliable recorder. Finally, the author speculates how the changing Spanish/French/British alliances impacted on the outcome between the meeting of Lord Howe and the Brest fleet.

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Filed under: Atlantic | French Revolution
Subjects include: Navies | Shipbuilding & Design | Weapons

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