Armed Forces: Modern Spanish Armada

A U.S. Navy Skyhawk darted above the calm waters off Spain's Mazagón beach, its lights flashing in the early dawn. On that cue, 84 U.S. Navy ships, ten U.S. merchant ships and 14 small Spanish vessels began churning about in the largest military landing operation since World War II. This was Steel Pike I—the Navy's attempt to prove that old-fashioned assault by sea still holds some advantages over the modern trend toward movement of men by air.

For two hours, 95 helicopters took off from the decks of the carriers Guadalcanal, Boxer and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!