The English navy at around the time of the Armada was evolving revolutionary new tactics, according to new research. Tests on cannon recovered from an Elizabethan warship suggest it carried powerful cast iron guns, of uniform size, firing standard ammunition.
"This marked the beginning of a kind of mechanisation of war," says naval historian Professor Eric Grove of Salford University.
"The ship is now a gun platform in a way that it wasn't before."
Marine archaeologist Mensun Bound from Oxford University adds: "Elizabeth's navy created the first ever set of uniform cannon, capable of firing the same size shot in a deadly barrage.
"[Her] navy made a giant leap forward in the way men fought at sea, years ahead of England's enemies, and which was still being used to devastating effect by Nelson 200 years later."