Learning Objectives • Be able to identify reasons for the failure of the Spanish Armada. (Level 4) • Be able to identify and explain specific reasons for the failure of the Spanish Armada. (Level 5) • Be able to rank reasons in order of importance – explaining in detail why you have chosen this order (Level 6) Starter In pairs, try to summarise the events of the Spanish Armada in no more than 15 words. Task Working in pairs, you should now decide WHY the Spanish Armada failed. Using the information in your books that you have collected throughout previous lessons, you should try to identify as many reasons as possible as to why the armada failed. Task Write the title ‘Reasons why the Armada failed’ in your book. Working in pairs, you should create a mind map that identifies as many reasons WHY the Armada failed as possible. You should use all the information and notes you have made so far to help you. If you are struggling, discuss it with other people on your table too. Task Once you have completed your mind map, you should complete the table. At first, only complete the first two columns headed: ‘Reasons for failure’ ‘Why did this reason contribute to the Spanish defeat?’ Once you have completed this – you may go on to the ranking activity. Try to explain why one event is more important than the other! The Spanish Armada Reasons for failure Spanish Ships Why did this reason contribute to Spanish defeat? The Spanish ship’s guns took up to an hour to reload. This meant they could not attack the English very often, giving England the advantage. Rank (1 most important, 7 least reason for failure. Level 5-6 Explain why you have chosen this order. By taking time to reload the Spanish could’t attack. Attacking the enemy is the most important part of an invasion. Without this they could never win. The Spanish Armada Reasons for failure Communication English Ships Spanish Ships Spanish Plans King Philip Queen Elizabeth’s Speech Fireships Why did this reason contribute to Spanish defeat? Rank (1 most important, 7 least. Level 3-4 Explain why you have chosen this order. Task In your opinion, what was the single most important reason for the failure of the Spanish Armada? Push yourself – Level 6 With your partner, choose two different reasons why the Armada failed and explain how they combined together to make matters even worse for the Spanish? E.g. Can you explain how the Spanish plans and poor communication can be linked together? The English filled 80 ships with flammable material and set fire to them. They were carried, by the strong winds, out to sea towards the Spanish who panicked and scattered. Once the armada scattered, they were no longer in their strong crescent formation, and so they were an easy target for the English artillery. Once the Spanish were forced north, they had no choice but to continue on round Scotland, because the English would have been waiting for them if they had gone back they way they had come. The English had an experienced and strong navy whilst the Spanish were better fighting on land. Lots of Spanish ships were sunk by the fire of the English guns. Elizabeth made clever use of what we would now call propaganda. She made a public appearance with her troops which made them confident. The Spanish got caught in a terrible storm. Strong winds and rain forced many Spanish ships onto the coast of Ireland, so they could not make it home. Philip had made a plan that he ordered the Spanish to follow. They had to do what he said no matter what, even if things were going wrong! Philip was said to be too proud and arrogant, and he refused to listen to anyone else’s advice. Francis Drake, an English sailor, had a good knowledge of the weather and told the English to let Spanish sail into the storm as that would finish them off. The English ships were better built and easier to manoeuvre. They were much better equipped. Because of the way the Spanish mounted their guns (placed them on the ship) they took up to an hour to re-load. The Spanish fleet was too large, so there was no port big enough for them to anchor in. Once Medina-Sidonia (the Spanish Commander) left Spain he could not communicate at all with either King Philip or The Duke of Parma (who he was supposed to collect with his troops from the Netherlands). The Spanish set sail without enough sailors. Philip’s plan to stop and collect more troops from France left the Armada vulnerable to attack.