Gandalf, Horatio Hornblower or Christopher Columbus was the hero of the English fleet's defeat of the Spanish Armada, according to large proportion of British youth. In a poll of 1,006 16 to 24-year-olds less than half identified Sir Francis Drake as the key figure in the naval battle.
The poll also revealed ignorance about the Battle of Hastings with a third unable to name William the Conqueror as the victor. And more than a fifth thought the Germans, Americans and Spanish had also conquered Britain. The survey marks the start of a BBC2 series Battlefield Britain.