White Jacket (mr_machiavelli) wrote in sailhistory,
White Jacket
mr_machiavelli
sailhistory

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"Good grief, it is as if the devil is shitting Dutchmen" - Pepys at the battle of Chatham, 1667

Salutations to ye, other members of this community,

Whilst vigorously browsing through livejournal I noticed this here community on sailing and the world at sea and, without a moment of hesitation, I decided to join.

By means of introduction; I am a 23 year old Dutchman (prefer the term Netherlander as Dutch is a non-sequiter in the Netherlands itself) and have a strong passion for the world at sea with, in particular, the 17th century exploits of the Netherlandic navy. Though recently I've moved to Iowa for a while to study at ISU, I've worked at the batavia shipyards (www.bataviawerf.nl) where old 17th century ships-of-the-line and east indiamen are being replicated through traditional means. Currently the most illustrious 17th century sailing ship lies in the stocks of creation: the "Zeven Provincien" or "Seven Provinces", which was the flagship of admiral Michiel de Ruyter (see user icon) who, amongst many other exploits, sailed up the Thames in 1667 sacking the English fleet in their own port in reprisal for the sacking of the coastal town of Scheveningen. This all took place during the second Anglo-Dutch wars (1665-1667).

In either event, I am about to study history at ISU and have the hopes to one day teach the subject myself while remaining closely involved in the research on naval history. I hope to be able to deliver the occassional contribution to this community by writing down accounts of episodes at sea during one of the four Anglo-Dutch wars and/or perhaps write the random fictional piece on these wars. Hopefully I'll also learn a bit more in the process about the English and American navies from other members here.

On a final note, I have a seperate livejournal completely dedicated to the Netherlands in the 17th century and most entries so far have dealt with some of the battles fought during the Anglo-Dutch wars (tactics, results, ship listings and so forth). This livejournal can be found under the name bestevaer , should anybody be interested.

Anyhow, this introduction has become lengthy enough.

Thank you for letting me join and,

een behouden vaart.

 

Menno

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  • 7 comments
Welcome!

I, sadly do not know as much about Netherlands history as I should, so anything you want to tell us I will happily read!
As it will be happily written! :)
Wow! That sounds like such a cool job. What did you do in the shipyards? Thanks for joining, and I also would like to learn more about the Netherlands and its naval history.
Stacey
Well at the shipyards itself I mainly occupied myself with working on the actual rigging of the ship (which is still far from being put in place) and offering guided tours in English around the premises.
Can you recommend any good books (in English) about the Anglo-Dutch wars?
Well obviously I mainly have Dutch literature on the subject, though there are plenty of good sources in English I'm sure. One of these is;

"The Anglo-Dutch Wars of the Seventeenth Century (Modern Wars in Perspective)" by J.R. Jones

This book mainly focuses on the politics and economical and social consequences of these wars though, and not so much on the actual tactics.

Also this website "http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~gj/navwargaming/adw-refs.html#description" lists a lot of sources on the subject, and perhaps it will provide you with the kind of book you're looking for.

One major drawback I've found in the few English books I've read so far, is that they all almost exclusively focus on the English perspective and not so much the Dutch one. All but the last of the Anglo-Dutch wars were iniated by the English and I was rather disappointed that there has always been little mention as to the cause of these wars (other than of course the obvious conflicts over merchant wealth).

A good addition for understanding the origin and nature of these wars might be Herbert H. Rowen's biography on John (Johan) de Witt, grand pensionary of the Netherlands. It describes the political situation in the Netherlands, the ambitions of Charles II and how Charles II skillfully managed to maneouver the Netherlands into a position which was almost impossible to defend both in military and diplomatic terms, and would eventually boil down to the year of disaster 1672, when England, France and the cities states of Cologne and Munster combined forces and collectively declared war on the Netherlands.
Thank you for the reference. I have noted it down. The website is very useful as well.

Ideally, I'd like to find a book that gives a fair and balanced view of both sides.