At midnight #OnThisDay in 1588, the English ignited eight fire ships and cast them into the Spanish fleet which was menacing Blighty. Though the Spanish misjudged the situation, fearing the vessels were hellburners, the effect was to break the crescent formation of the Spanish ships which had hampered English attempts to engage with the fleet.
Though folklore, and blockbuster movies, make much of the battle that ensued, history tells a different story. That only five Spanish ships were sunk. The heavier losses, one third of the Armada, was wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland as the fleet attempted to return to Spain.
This sanguinary tale is no mere patriotic reminiscing of the ‘glory days of England,’ rather, it is a reminder that we often engage in battle and come out of it little the worse for wear. The real damage is done after, as we scramble for safety.
Be it in our professional or private lives, I think the history of the Spanish Armada is a clarion call to take care on our journey home. That although we may feel mauled by the day, we can salvage most of what we have. But only, to take a line from Kipling, if we keep our head when all around us are loosing theirs. Stay safe in this time of pandemic.
Good night, and good luck.