The year is 1588. Angry that English pirates have been attacking Spanish ships all over the world, King Philip II of Spain has sent the mighty Spanish Armada (a fleet of warships) to attack England.
A huge army of 30,000 Spanish soldiers is poised to invade England. The English appear to have little chance against this force.
But Queen Elizabeth I of England has a network of spies and a system of warning beacons that give England plenty of time to prepare for the attack. As the Spanish fleet waits to meet up with the Spanish army, the English send eight flaming ships into the middle of the armada. The Spanish captains cut their anchors and scatter to keep their ships from catching fire. The English are able to defeat the disorganized armada.