What does the phrase "broke up their formation" mean exactly here?
"‘God sent a sharp wind against the fleets of the taghiya that broke up their formation and pushed them onto the enemy’s lands, bringing down their flags and banners.’
- CraigLv 54 weeks ago
To be effective in combat, the ships that compose the fleets must sail together, in an orderly way. That results in them having positions, relative to one another, where each is expected to be. Together, all those expected positions constitute a fleet's "formation". When there is more than one fleet involved, the fleets themselves have positions with respect to each other that they're expected to maintain. To "break up" a formation means to cause the fleets and their ships to be unable to remain where they are expected to be - which deprives the fleets of some or most of their effectiveness.