Investigation: Why did the English fleet defeat the Spanish Armada?

Detail of The Swallowe, an English war-ship in 1546

The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 has long been held as one of England's greatest military achievements, and a sign of the strength and spirit imparted to the country by the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. However, some more recent historians claim that the English victory was no more than a lucky accident.

Below are three views about the English defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Make a table showing these views and which of the sources support them (note that some sources may support more than one view).

  • The English defenders were too strong for the Spanish invading force.
  • The English forces were badly prepared and defeated the Spanish through sheer luck.
  • Although luck was on their side, the English were confident of victory and used good strategy to defeat the Armada.

 Can you think of a fourth view which some of the evidence might support?