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But various factions in the Portuguese court and the Casa da India, opposed Cabral's appointment, on the grounds that it was Cabral's 'incompetence' that had created this unhappy situation to begin with.However, Cabral had his own political supporters that could not be ignored.
That these conditions were only revealed at the last minute, just before the fleet's departure, lends credence to the theory, i.e.
(Whatever the mechanics behind the appointment, the 4th Armada certainly turned out to be a Gama family affair!
) The exact composition of the three squadrons differs in the various accounts.
The Second India Armada, commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral, had arrived in Portugal in the summer of 1501 in a terrible shape.
Ship and human losses were tremendous, its mission objectives failed.The king tried to compromise by offering Cabral the position of captain-major (capitão-mor), but letting it be clearly understood that his command of the fleet would not be absolute, that at least one squadron would be placed under the separate command of Vicente Sodré (an uncle of Vasco da Gama, and leading opponent of Cabral).