The invincible Spanish Armada sailed off this day, May 19, 1588, to conquer England. Queen Elizabeth relied on Sir Francis Drake, who used smaller, faster vessels and ingeniously sent burning ships at midnight downwind where the Spaniards were anchored, dispersing them in a panic. Aided by gale-force winds, half the Spanish fleet was wrecked. Had England lost, there would have been no Pilgrims, no New England and no United States. A coin minted after the event showed ships sinking and men kneeling under the inscription "Man Proposeth, God Disposeth."