Battle of the Gabbard (or Nieuwpoort), 2-3 June 1653

Battle of the Gabbard (or Nieuwpoort), 2-3 June 1653

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Battle of the Gabbard (or Nieuwpoort), 2-3 June 1653

The battle of the Gabbard (or Nieuwpoort) of 2-3 June 1653 was the decisive battle of the First Anglo-Dutch War. It was the first battle to involve the full fleets of both nations, and ended as a major English victory.

After the English victory off Portland (18-20 February 1653) negotiations were opened between Cromwell and the Dutch, but both sides also prepared for another battle, which each hoped would give them the advantage in the peace talks. A series of opportunities for battle were missed during May. First the English fleet under Monck and Deane failed to intercept Tromp and a home-bound convoy from the Baltic. The combined Dutch fleet under Tromp, de Ruyter, De With, Jan Evertsen and Floriszoon then attempted to catch the English in the Downs (14 May), only to find that they were at sea. Tromp was driven away from Dover by a bombardment from the castle, and crossed over to the Flanders coast, where he received news that the English had been seen off Nieuwpoort.

In fact on 1 June the English were further to the north, off Great Yarmouth. Learning that the Dutch were closing in, the English moved to a new anchorage two miles outside the Gabbard Bank (seventeen miles to the south-east of Orford. Tromp spent the night of 1-2 June anchored a similar distance to the north-east of the North Foreland, placing him just to the south of the English. On the morning of 2 June, when the two fleets sighted each other, the Dutch were sailing S.S.W., and were to the leeward (down-wind) of the English, sailing away from them on a north-easterly wind.

The Dutch had ninety-eight men of war and six fireships, the English one hundred men-of-war and five fireships. Given than the English ships were generally larger and better armed than their Dutch equivalents, the English had quite a substantial advantage. They also benefited from the new Instructions for the Better Ordering of the Fleet in Fighting of March 1653, a set of fighting instructions put together by Monck, Blake and Deane. These instructions contained the first version of the line of battle that would soon come to dominate naval warfare. Although the Dutch, and Tromp in particular, seem to have been responsible for the earliest use of some sort of line formation, they were still prone to break the line to board damaged enemy ships. At the Gabbard the English maintained their discipline for much longer. At this date the line of battle didn't involve the individual ships –there were simply too many ships involved in major battles for that to be possible, but instead saw the fleet divided into a number of small subdivisions, which found in a line of divisions.

The first days fighting, on 2 June, saw the Dutch lose two ships in fierce fighting, and almost lose Tromp's flagship Brederode to boarding (only after Tromp had attempted to board Penn's flagship the James). At about six the fighting ended, although another Dutch ship exploded before nightfall. Tromp was aware that his ships were running short of ammunition, and so on the morning of 3 June he attempted to escape from the battlefield, but at eleven in the morning, as he was on the brink of success, the wind fell, leaving the Dutch fleet marooned under the heavier guns of the English. The somewhat one-sided fight lasted from noon until about four, when the Dutch finally managed to escape. By the end of the battle the English had captured eleven major warships, sunk six and seen two burnt or explode. 1,350 prisoners were taken, amongst them six captains.

The English lost no ships, although they did suffer 126 dead and 236 wounded. After the battle the Dutch ports were blockaded and peace negotations resumed, but once again the Dutch prepared to fight one more battle in an attempt to restore the situation. Only after this battle too ended in defeat (battle of Scheveningen), did the war finally come to an end

Subject Index: Anglo-Dutch Wars

1653 in History

    Defeat of Dutch fleet under Adm Van Tromp by Admiral Blake off Portsmouth -Mar 3] 3 Day Sea battle English beat Dutch Johan van Galen beats English fleet at Livorno

Event of Interest

Apr 20 Oliver Cromwell routes English parliament to house

    - 13] First Anglo-Dutch War: Battle of the Gabbard/ Battle at North Foreland, English fleet beats the Dutch English Barebones Parliament goes into session

Event of Interest

Jul 30 Johan de Witt sworn in as pension advisor of Holland

    Fronde-leaders surrender in Bordeaux The Battle of Scheveningen, English fleet beats Dutch -16] Dutch ship "Sperwer" stranded at Tsjedzjoe Korea Russian parliament accepts annexation of Ukraine English "Barebones" Parliament ends Parliamentarian General Oliver Cromwell appointed as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland

Event of Interest

Dec 29 Dutch painter Jan Vermeer becomes a member of the Guild of Saint Luke for painters in Delft

Battle of the Gabbard (or Nieuwpoort), 2-3 June 1653 - History

These pages list the key dates in the history of the sailing navies of the world.

Glorious First of June. British fleet under Lord Howe defeat French fleet under Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse.

HMS Shannon (38), Cptn. Philip Bowes Vere Broke, captures USS Chesapeake (36) Cptn. James Lawrence, off Boston Harbor

On second day the English were joined by Admiral Robert Blake, but Tromp decided to attack but was routed, the English chasing them until well in the evening.

HMS Diamond Rock capitulated.

Boats of HMS Loire (40), Cptn. Frederick Maitland, cut out privateer felucca Esperamza from Camarinas Bay. Another privateer was taken but abandoned and 3 merchant vessels were destroyed.

HMS Unicorn (32), Cptn. Thomas Williams, and HMS Santa Margarita (36), Cptn. Thomas Byam Martin, captured Tribune (44), Commodore Moulson, and Tamise (42) to the westward of the Scillies. A corvette Legere escaped.

First day of 4 day campaign by HMS Arethusa (38), Cptn. Thomas Wolley, with three frigates, two sloops and army units capturing island of St. Vincent.

HMS Gaspee schooner, Lt. William Dudingston, burned at Namquid Point, Narragansett Bay by American colonists from Providence, Rhode Island.

HMS Kangaroo (16), George Christopher Pulling, and HMS Speedy (14), Lord Thomas Cochrane, destroyed gunboats and took 3 brigs from under the battery of Oropeso

HMS Meleager (32), Cptn. Thomas Bladen Capel, wrecked on the Triangles, Gulf of Mexico.

HMS Chiffonne (36), Cptn. Charles Adamand, HMS Falcon (14), Cptn. George Sanders, HMS Clinker (14), Lt. Nisbet Glen, and the Frances hired armed cutter, engaged French gunboats Foudre (10), Cptn. Jacques-Felix-Emmanuel Hemelin, Audacieuse (10), Lt. Dominique Roquebert, and 7 others protecting a convoy off the coast of France.

Boats of Rear Ad. Sir John B. Warrens's squadron, HMS Renown (74) Cptn. Eyles, HMS Fisgard (44), Cptn. T. Byam Martin, HMS Defence (74), Cptn. Lord H. Paulet, and HMS Unicorn (32), Cptn. Wilkinson, cut out gunboat Nochette (2) two armed chasse-maree and eight other vessels at St. Croix within the Penmarks. Twenty other vessels were run on to the rocks.

HMS Royal Charles (80), not in commission, captured during dutch raid on Medway

General Assembly of the Crown Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations authorize the charter of two naval vessels "to protect the trade of the colony."

Jeremiah O'Brien & crew of the sloop Unity capture HMS Margaretta schooner, Lt. James Moor (mortally wounded), in Machias Bay, Maine. Arguably the first naval battle of the American Revolution.

Boats of HMS Bacchante (38), Cptn. William Hoste, captured 24 vessels at Abruzza.

John Paul Jones takes command of Ranger

Boats of HMS Scout (18), William Raitt, stormed and captured the battery, spiked the guns and carried off 7 vessels at Cape Croisette, south of Marseilles.

Start of 5 day engagement in which HMS Latona (38), Cptn. Hugh Pigot, took Felicite (14)

HMS Superb (74), Cptn. Charles Paget, and HMS Nimrod (18), Nathaniel Mitchell, attacked Wareham at the head of Buzzard's Bay, and destroyed American ships Fair Trader (18), Independent (14), Fancy, Elizabeth and Nancy,together with a valuable cotton mill belonging to Boston merchants.

HMS Milford (28) took Licorne.

HMS Arethusa (32), Samuel Marshall, engages French frigate Belle Poule (32) in the Channel

Garrison defeated at island of Zupano, protecting Ragusa (Dubrovnik), by party from HMS Saracen (18), John Harper.

Boats of HMS Narcissus (32), Cptn. John Richard Lumley, took the American revenue schooner Surveyor in the York River in the Chesapeake.

US declares war on Great Britain for impressment of sailors and interference with commerce

Fifteen U.S. gunboats engage HMS Junon (38), Cptn. James Sanders, HMS Narcissus (32), Cptn. John Richard Lumley, and HMS Barrossa (36), Cptn. William Henry Shirreff, in Hampton Roads, VA.

Capture of Dignano by boats of HMS Elizabeth (74), Cptn. Leveson Gower.

HMS Dido (28), Cptn. George Henry Towry, and HMS Lowestoffe (32), Cptn. Robert Gambier Middleton, engaged Minerve (40) and Artemise (36). Minerve was taken.

Boats of HMS Port Mahon (18), Samuel Chambers, cut out Spanish letter of marque brig San Josef (7) from the harbour of Banes in Cuba.

Boats of HMS Amphion (32), Cptn. William Hoste, and HMS Cerberus (32), Cptn Henry Whitby, and HMS ACTIVE (38), Cptn. James Alexander Gordon, took two forts and cut out 25 vessels from the harbour at Grao.

USS Wasp (22), Cptn. Johnston Blakely, captures HMS Reindeer (18), William Manners (Killed in Action), in the Atlantic

HMS Leopard (50), wrecked near the Island of Anticosti, Gulf of St. Lawrence.

*Dates of events prior to September 1752 may be quoted differently in some countries as both the Julian and Gregorian calendars were in use by countries. Calendars were regularised when Britain passed the Calendar Act of 1751 An Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year and for Correcting the Calendar now in Use.

Battle of the Gabbard (or Nieuwpoort), 2-3 June 1653 - History

Battle of Kentish Knock (slag bij de Hoofden) 8 October 1652

The Battle was fought near the shoal called the Kentish Knock in the North Sea about thirty kilometres east of the mouth of the river Thames. The Dutch fleet, internally divided on political, regional and personal grounds, proved incapable of making a determined effort and was soon forced to withdraw, losing two ships and many casualties.

Dutch Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp had been suspended by the States-General of the Netherlands after his failure to bring the English to battle off the Shetland Islands in August, and replaced as supreme commander of the confederate Dutch fleet by the Hollandic Vice-Admiral Witte de With of the Admiralty of the Maze. This caused an immediate rift between the provinces of Holland and Zealand as De With was the personal enemy of the commander of the Zealandic fleet, Vice-Admiral Johan Evertsen, who himself had quit service because of a conflict with the States-General. Earlier tensions had been moderated by the fact that both Tromp and Evertsen were staunch Orangists, but De With was a loyal servant of the States regime that had dominated Dutch politics since the death of stadtholder William II of Orange.De With, having for months advocated a more aggressive naval policy aimed at destroying the enemy fleet instead of passively defending the merchant convoys against English attack, now saw an opportunity to concentrate his forces, joining the squadron of Vice-Commodore Michiel de Ruyter, and gain control of the seas. He set out to attack the English fleet at anchor at The Downs near Dover, departing from the Schooneveld on 5 October 1652 immediately the fleet was hit by a storm damaging many vessels. De With also had to protect the trade routes and discovered that nine of De Ruyter's ships, that had been on sea for two months, had to return to port for repairs. De Ruyter suggested that under the circumstances it was better to simply keep luring away the English from merchant fleets while declining to really fight, but De With insisted on delivering a decisive battle, stating: "I shall lustily lead the fleet to the enemy the devil may bring it back again!".

When the fleets finally met on 8 October, the United Provinces had 62 ships and about 1,900 cannon and 7,000 men the Commonwealth of England 68 ships under General at Sea Robert Blake with about 2,400 cannon and 10,000 men. The van of the Dutch fleet was to be commanded by Michiel de Ruyter, the centre by De With himself and the rear by temporary Rear-Admiral Gideon de Wildt of the Admiralty of Amsterdam. In the morning the Dutch fleet, approaching from the east, had the previous evening been again scattered by a gale and was still dispersed when around noon it saw Blake coming out in force from the south. Having the weather gauge because of a south-south-western breeze, Blake intended to exploit this excellent opportunity for a direct attack on the disordered Dutch.Having hurriedly assembled his force around 14:30, with the exception of five vessels that had drifted too far to the north, De With now wanted to transfer his flag from the smaller Prinses Louise to the Brederode, Tromp's former flagship and the most powerful vessel of the Dutch fleet. However, to his mortification, Tromp's crew refused to let him on board, addressing De With the invective 'green cheese' and even threatening to fire a salvo on his boat if he did not stop waving around his commission papers from the States-General: he had a very bad reputation among common sailors — indeed hundreds had already deserted when it became known he would be supreme commander. Zealandic Commodore Cornelis Evertsen the Elder, the brother of Johan Evertsen, was called in to negotiate but to no avail. When the enemy fleet was within half a mile distance, De With was forced to hoist his flag on the large but slow VOC-ship Prins Willem where he found the majority of its officers drunk and the crew to be consisting of untrained men.

Action was joined at about 17:00 when Blake, himself moving his flag from the too large Sovereign to the more manoeuvrable Resolution (former HMS Prince Royal), engaged the Dutch. Blake intended to break the Dutch line, but on the approach of the English fleet the mass of Dutch ships began to give way to the east. At the same time the wind slackened considerably. As a result both fleets slowly passed each other in opposite tack. This was very unfavourable for the Dutch normally being in a leeward position would have given them a longer range, but with such gentle winds this advantage was absent while the English ships were larger and better armed than their opponents, inflicting severe damage. Nevertheless some English ships at first got into trouble: the Sovereign and James ran aground on the Kentish Knock sandbank and only with much difficulty worked themselves free the Resolution and the Dolphin, venturing too far forward, became isolated and surrounded but were saved by the encroachment by the other English vessels. The Prins Willem was disabled, meaning that De With was greatly hampered in his efforts to lead his forces. But soon, by 19:00, the fighting stopped due to the onset of darkness, the fleets just having finished this single manoeuvre. At this moment one Dutch ship, the Maria, had been captured while another captured ship, the Gorcum, was abandoned by the English in a sinking condition but re-occupied and saved by the Dutch. The Burgh van Alkmaar blew up. Several Dutch ships, their morale shaken by the devastating English fire, left their formation.

The next day, early in the morning, about ten Dutch ships, mostly commanded by captains from Zealand who resented the domination of Holland and severely disliked De With, had broken off the engagement and simply sailed home. This is usually attributed to the fact that De With in the battle council in the morning of the second day had called all Zealandic captains cowards and had warned them that in Holland there was still sufficient wood left to erect gallows for any of them. The situation had become hopeless for the Dutch who now had 49 ships left in their fleet while the English fleet had during the night been reinforced to 84, yet De With still wanted to make a last effort.On his directions the Dutch fleet, now positioned to the southeast of the English force, sailed farther south in the hope of gaining the weather gauge. This design failed however: first some ships, with difficulty beating up the wind, coursed too far to the west and were badly mauled by the fire of the English rear and hardly had the Dutch fleet moved to its intended position when it all proved to have been in vain because the wind turned to the northeast, giving the English the weather gauge again. Michiel de Ruyter and Cornelis Evertsen now managed to convince De With to accept the inevitable and the Dutch fleet late in the afternoon withdrew to the east followed by Blake as De With angrily described it: "like a herd of sheep fleeing the wolves". Assisted by a westerly De With and De Ruyter nicely covered the retreat with a dozen ships and the Dutch would not lose any more vessels.The English fleet halted its pursuit when the Flemish shoals were reached De With now decided to quickly repair the fleet at sea in the Wielingen basin and then make another attempt at defeating the enemy. This order was met with utter disbelief by his fellow flag officers. De Ruyter tactfully pointed out: "Such courage is too perilous". Understanding he was alone in his opinion De With at last agreed to withdraw the fleet to Hellevoetsluis, where it arrived on 12 October).

The Dutch recognized after their defeat that they needed larger ships to take on the English, and instituted a major building program that never really came to pass until the Second Anglo-Dutch War. According to De With this, besides a lack of a sufficient number of fireships, had been the main cause of the Dutch failure he pointed out that many a light English frigate could outshoot the average Dutch warship. However according to public opinion there was only one to blame for the defeat: De With himself. As one of the more polite pamphlets put it, a week after the battle:

From this disorder and unwillingness to fight it can be seen and noticed what difference it makes whether one has or appoints a Head of a fleet who is judicious, polite and popular — or whether one imposes on the men a Head who is unloved, despised by the men and unsavoury to them. Vice-Admiral De Witt is, we all know this, an excellent soldier and bold Sailor, who fears no danger, nor even death itself. Likewise Commodore de Ruyter is an audacious and fearless Hero, who would not hesitate to engage the worst of enemies, heeding no danger. Notwithstanding all of this, we also know that Admiral Tromp possesses all these same qualities and besides these uncommon virtues: of being an extraordinary careful, Godfearing and virtuous man who does not call his men dogs, devils, or devil's brood but children, friends, comrades and similar loving and endearing words to address them with. By which he so much endears those serving under him that they, as they say, would go through fire for him and risk their lives, yes, by manner of speech, would not hesitate to fight the devil. If such a loved and respected Head is then kept from the fleet and replaced by those who displease the men, now it is shown what calamity and disaster this brings with it.

The same evening the States-General learned of the defeat, they sent a letter to both Tromp and Johan Evertsen, asking them to return.

The English believed that the Dutch had been all but defeated, and sent twenty ships away to the Mediterranean, a mistake that led to a defeat at the Battle of Dungeness but didn't prevent the defeat of the not yet reinforced English Mediterrenean fleet at the Battle of Leghorn. In the former battle the Dutch were led again by Tromp De With had suffered a mental breakdown and would be officially replaced as supreme commander in May 1653.

Destroying the Enemy’s Forces by a Decisive Action at Sea III

The Battle of the Gabbard, 2 June 1653

The Battle of Outer Gabbard (also known the Battle of North Foreland) on 2-3 June 1653 was fought primarily for control of the English Channel and the North Sea. It was the bloodiest and greatest battle of the entire First Anglo-Dutch War (1652–1654). On 11 June, the English fleet, led by General-at-Sea George Monck (1608–1670), was anchored at Yarmouth, and the Dutch fleet under de Ruyter was some 12 nm northeast at North Foreland. Monck left the anchorage and moved to a position some 15 nm southwest of Oxfordness and just outside of Gabbard Sand. On 12 June, the Dutch fleet under overall command of Admiral Tromp consisted of 98 ships and eight fireships. The British fleet had 105 warships, including five fireships and some 30 armed merchantmen with 16,550 men and 3,840 guns. For the first time, almost the entire fleet of both sides faced each other. The encounters took place along the entire length of the English Channel and ended at Nieuwpoort, Flanders. In the battle at North Foreland-Nieuwpoort, on 12 and 18 June, the Dutch offered strong resistance. By the end of the day, Monck received reinforcements of 18 ships. A much larger clash took place on 13 June. Tromp was forced to move closer to the Dutch coast because of the shortage of ammunition on board many of his ships. There was panic on board the Dutch ships.

In the three days of clashes, the British inflicted heavy losses on the Dutch fleet: 11 warships (including six sunk and two burned) and 1,350 prisoners. They did not lose a single ship but had some 120 killed and 236 wounded. The British were not able to destroy larger part of the enemy fleet because they had to break off the fight due to the coming darkness and waters that were becoming too shallow for their large ships. This allowed the Dutch fleet to reach its ports the next morning, having withdrawn in great disarray. The British exploited their victory by establishing a close blockade of the Dutch coast from Nieuwpoort to Texel.

The British defeat in the Four Days’ Battle on 1–4 June 1666 (during the Second Anglo-Dutch War) allowed the Dutch to obtain control of the English Channel and close the mouth of the Thames to trade.175 It was the longest and most difficult and bitter naval battle of the first three Anglo-Dutch Wars. The British objective was to destroy the Dutch naval power before it became much stronger. Another objective was to end Dutch commerce raiding against English trade. The British fleet of about 80 ships was commanded by Monck. Prior to the battle, the British king Charles II was mistakenly informed that the French squadron was on its way to join the Dutch fleet. In what proved to be a costly mistake, he divided the fleet by detaching some 20 ships under Prince Rupert of the Rhine westward to meet the French while the remainder under Monck went eastward to meet the Dutch. The Dutch fleet of about 100 ships was led by one of the best commanders in the Anglo-Dutch Wars, Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. He had to start battle without waiting on the arrival of the Duke of Beaufort. The battle commenced off the Northforeland coast with an English attack. In the ensuing engagement, some 20 British ships were lost. The British also had 5,000 killed and wounded and 3,000 prisoners. The Dutch losses were only four ships and 2,000–2,500 men. The arrival of Dutch reinforcements led Monck to withdraw to the Thames Estuary. So did Prince Rupert with his squadron (delayed by bad weather), on 3 June. The next day, de Ruyter blockaded the Thames Estuary. Although the Dutch achieved a great victory, they were unable to exploit it by destroying the remnants of the enemy fleet. The Dutch fought valiantly, but in contrast to the British they lacked discipline. Mahan wrote that the British defeat was largely due to dividing their fleet.

In the War of Grand Alliance, the French achieved their greatest naval victory in the Battle of Beachy Head (the Battle of Bévéziers for the French) on 10 July 1690. The French fleet of 70 ships was lead by Admiral Tourville. The combined Anglo-Dutch fleet of 56 ships was under the command of Admiral Arthur Herbert (Lord Torrington) (1648–1716). The battle took place some 12 nm south of Beachy Head (near Eastburne, East Sussex). The French objective was to destroy British and Dutch power at sea. The battle was a mêlée, in which the French did not lose a single ship. The English gave allied losses as only eight ships. Yet out of 22 ships, only three remained operational all were heavily damaged. Tourville was able to capture a number of the damaged allied vessels. However, he made a big mistake in ordering a pursuit but not general chase. The reason was that he wanted to keep his line ahead formation, so his pursuit was very sluggish. This allowed the Anglo-Dutch fleet to escape to the Thames Estuary. The Battle of Beachy Head was a great victory but it was not decisive because Tourville failed to consolidate his combat success. In the aftemath, the French had for some ten weeks unopposed control of the English Channel. Tourville’s victory did not have any influence on the land war in Ireland (where King James II wanted to ultimately regain the British throne). Both Tourville and Herbert were dismissed because their respective governments found their performance wanting.

In the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, the Japanese fleet under Admiral Heihachirō Tōgō inflicted a crushing defeat on the Russian Baltic Squadron under Admiral Zinovy P. Rozhdestvensky (1848–1909) in the Battle of Tsushima on 27–28 May 1905. As a result, the Japanese obtained full control of the Yellow Sea. The Japanese had two main divisions with a total of four battleships and eight armored cruisers backed by 16 light cruisers organized in four divisions. The Russian squadron consisted of twelve 13,600-ton battleships organized in three divisions, one small battleship, three armored cruisers, one squadron of four smaller cruisers, four scouting cruisers, and nine destroyers.The Japanese also had a great speed advantage: 15 vs. 9 knots.195 The Russian losses were heavy 21 ships sunk, including six battleships, 4,500 men killed, plus, 5,920 captured. Only one cruiser and two destroyers escaped and reached Vladivostok. The Japanese lost only three torpedo boats. Not a single Japanese ship was heavily damaged. The Japanese had about 120 men killed and 583 wounded. The main reason for the Russian defeat was the poor training and morale of their officers and crews. The Russians had not learned that the most important thing in winning victory in naval combat is spirit and decisiveness.

The largest naval action of World War I was the Battle of Jutland (Battle of the Skagerrak for the Germans) on 31 May–01 June 1916. The original German operation plan developed by Admiral Reinhard Scheer (1863–1928), the commander of the German High Seas Fleet (Hochseeflotte) and his staff, envisaged bombarding Sunderland and thereby triggering a strong British reaction. Scheer planned to deploy two battle squadrons, a scouting force, and the rest of the torpedo boat flotillas southwest of Dogger Bank and Flamborough. On 13 May, a decision was made to delay execution of the plan from the 17 to 23 May. Both sides intended to engage only one part of the enemy fleet. Despite an unfavorable tactical position, the Germans hoped to inflict greater losses than the enemy could inflict on their fleet.

The final German operation plan envisaged the major part of the High Seas Fleet sailing out from Wilhelmshaven at about midnight on 30 May and then proceeding northward, staying well off the Danish coast, and arriving the next afternoon off the western entrance to the Skagerrak. Afterward, Vice Admiral Franz von Hipper (1863–1932) with his battle cruisers would head north and advertise his presence by steaming very close to the Norwegian coast in broad daylight. Scheer would sail about 50 miles to the rear but out of sight of shore. Scheer was confident that as soon as the British learned the whereabouts of Hipper’s battle cruisers, they would send their battle cruisers on a high-speed dash across the North Sea to cut off Hipper’s retreat to his home base. Scheer’s plan was to attack the enemy battle cruisers jointly with Hipper’s force the next morning.

By coincidence, Admiral John Jellicoe (1859–1935) also planned a sortie with his Grand Fleet to the Skagerrak area on 1 June 1916. His main objective was to lure the High Seas Fleet to the north and fight a general fleet action. Specifically, he intended to send one battle squadron with two light squadrons off Skagen, with two squadrons of light cruisers to advance through Kattegat to the northern exits of the Great Belt and Sund, thereby enticing the Germans to use strong forces to counterattack. The other battle squadrons and battle cruisers, deployed in the vicinity of Horns Reef and Fischer Bank, would join the battle. As it turned out, Scheer sortied one day earlier than Jellicoe planned.

Scheer’s fleet consisted of 16 dreadnoughts, six pre-dreadnoughts, five battle cruisers, 11 light cruisers, and 61 destroyers. Admiral Jellicoe commanded a fleet consisting of 28 dreadnoughts, nine battle cruisers, 26 light and eight armored cruisers, 78 destroyers, and one seaplane carrier and minelayer each.

The Battle of Jutland was the first and last clash of battle fleets in World War I. This battle came closest to what can be considered as a general fleet action. It also had many elements of a modern major fleet-vs.-fleet operation. It consisted of several major and smaller encounters between the opposing fleets. Neither fleet was able to deliver a crippling blow to the other. Several encounters ended inconclusively. The Germans won a tactical victory by destroying 14 British ships (three battle cruisers, three armored cruisers, eight destroyers/torpedo boats) and killing 6,100 men (out of 60,000). The German losses were 11 ships (one pre-dreadnought battleship, one battle cruiser, four light cruisers, and five destroyers/torpedo boats) and about 2,550 men killed (out of 36,000). However, despite larger losses, the British achieved an operational victory. The situation in the North Sea remained the same as it was prior to the battle.

Since World War I, a major fleet-vs.-fleet operation aimed at destroying an enemy fleet at sea or its base replaced a decisive naval battle as the quickest and most effective – but most difficult – method to establish sea control. Major naval operations are invariably planned and conducted when decisive results must be accomplished in the shortest time possible and with the least loss for one’s forces. They are especially critical for one’s success in the initial phase of a war. Yet major fleet-vs.-fleet operations are to some extent less “decisive” than were some decisive naval battles.

In World War II, most fleet-vs.-fleet encounters took place when one fleet provided a distant cover and support to a major convoy or amphibious force or when the stronger fleet used the threat of an amphibious landing to lure a weaker fleet into a decisive battle. For example, the Japanese Port Moresby–Solomons operation was a major offensive naval/joint operation aimed to capture Port Moresby, New Guinea. For the Allies, in contrast, the Battle of the Coral Sea (4–8 May 1942) was a major defensive naval/joint operation aimed at preventing the Japanese from landing at Port Moresby. Both the U.S. and Australian naval forces and land-based aircraft took part. The Japanese inflicted larger losses on the Allies than they suffered and hence won a clear tactical victory however, the Japanese failed to achieve the ultimate objective of their operation, and hence the Allies won an operational victory. All losses on both sides were caused by air strikes. The Japanese sank one fleet oiler and destroyer each and so heavily damaged a U.S. fast carrier that it had to be sunk. The Japanese lost only one small carrier and a few small ships at Tulagi, Guadalcanal. They also lost 69 aircraft (12 fighters, 27 dive bombers, and 30 torpedo bombers) and 1,074 men the Allies lost 66 aircraft and 543 men. One Japanese fleet carrier was heavily damaged and was unable to rejoin the fleet for two months. The losses of planes on another carrier were not replaced until 12 June 1942. So neither of these two fleet carriers took part in the main carrier action off Midway.

Although the way to Port Moresby was open, the Japanese carrier force withdrew from the Coral Sea. The landing on Port Moresby was delayed until July 1942. However, because of the defeat in the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the capture of Port Moresby from the sea was abandoned. The Japanese eventually decided to seize Port Moresby by a much more difficult land route over the 11,000- to 13,000-foot Owen Stanley Range. They made two unsuccessful attempts to advance on Port Moresby, the last one starting in January 1943. After suffering high losses of a large convoy bound for Lae in the Bismarck Sea on 1–3 March 1943, they abandoned all offensive operations in eastern New Guinea.

The Japanese Midway-Aleutians operation (popularly known as the Battle for Midway) represented a turning point in the Pacific War 1941–1945. The primary objective of the CINC of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (1884–1943), was to “lure” the U.S. Pacific Fleet into fighting a decisive battle and thereby to secure Japan’s defensive perimeter in Pacific. Yamamoto hoped that a landing on the island of Midway would lead the U.S. Pacific Fleet to react by deploying its fast carrier forces. In the ensuing encounter, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) suffered the greatest defeat in its proud history. After June 1942, Japan was forced onto the strategic defensive and was never able to regain the initiative until its unconditional surrender in August 1944. The Japanese losses in the Midway operation were extremely high. They lost four front line carriers, 253 aircraft, and one heavy cruiser. In addition, one heavy cruiser was heavily damaged, and one destroyer suffered moderate damages, while one battleship, destroyer, and oiler each suffered slight damages. Other sources claim that the Japanese lost 332 aircraft, including 280 that went down with the carriers. Yet some 150 Japanese pilots were saved. The Japanese lost about 3,500 men. In contrast, the U.S. had only 92 officers and 215 men killed. However, three U.S. carrier air groups were decimated. The U.S. losses in aircraft were heavy, 147 of them being shot down.

Japanese Carrier Division Three under attack by United States Navy aircraft from Task Force 58, late afternoon, June 20, 1944. The heavy cruiser circling at right, nearest to the camera, is either Maya or Chōkai. Beyond that is the small aircraft carrier Chiyoda.

One of the most decisive defeats suffered by the IJN in the Pacific War came during the Battle of the Philippine Sea on 19–20 June 1944. This clash of the opposing carrier forces came as a result of the Japanese execution of the plan in defense of the central Pacific (codenamed the A-Go Operation). This operation started on 13 June as a reaction to the U.S. invasion of the southern Marianas (Operation FORAGER). The entire operation lasted about ten days. The U.S. Pacific Fleet possessed superiority in the numbers and quality of ships and aircraft. It had a larger number of fast carriers (seven vs. five) and light carriers (eight vs. four). The Japanese were numerically grossly inferior in carrier-based aircraft (473 vs. 956). They had 43 vs. 65 U.S. floatplanes. The U.S. Task Force 58 also had a greater number of battleships (seven vs. five), light cruisers (13 vs. two), and destroyers (63 vs. 28) than the Japanese First Mobile Force had. The Japanese had a larger number only of heavy cruisers (11 vs. 8). In mid-June 1944, about 880 U.S. Marine, Navy, and Army aircraft were based in the Marshalls and Gilberts. The Japanese had available some 630 land-based naval aircraft.

The Japanese were strategically on the defensive, but the A-Go Operation was a major offensive fleet-vs.-fleet operation. In contrast, the U.S. was strategically on the offensive with a major amphibious landing. The engagement between the opposing carriers forces on 19–20 June resulted in a decisive victory for the Fifth Fleet. The U.S. claimed that the Japanese lost 476 planes and 445 aviators. However, their fighting strength was emasculated because so many pilots were lost. The Fifth Fleet failed to complete the destruction of the much weakened enemy force, which escaped to fight another day. Out of nine carriers, six Japanese carriers survived.

In the Leyte operation, the main objective of the Allied naval forces was to provide both close and distant cover to the Allied forces that landed on Leyte on 20 October. The invasion of Leyte was the first Allied major amphibious operation in the new Philippines campaign that would end with the liberation of the entire archipelago less than a year later. By October 1944 the Allied forces had cut off Japan from its vital sources of raw materials in the so-called Southern Resources Area. From their bases on Luzon, Allied airpower was able to neutralize the enemy airpower on Formosa (Taiwan). The Philippines were also used as a base for preparing the final Allied assault on the Home Islands. Although the Japanese were strategically on the defensive, the IJN planned a major fleet-vs.-fleet operation aimed to prevent the Allies from obtaining a foothold on Leyte and in the central Philippines. Between 24 and 27 October, four major naval battles were fought: the Battle in the Sibuyan Sea on 24 October, the Battle of Surigao Strait on 24–25 October, the Battle off Samar on 25 October, and the Battle of Cape Engano on 25 October. In addition, numerous tactical actions on the surface, in the subsurface, and in the air took place in Philippine waters. The IJN lost all four battles. In all, the Japanese lost three battleships, four carriers, ten cruisers, and nine destroyers, totaling 306,000 tons. The Allies lost one light and two escort carriers, two destroyers, and one destroyer escort, for 37,000 tons. In the aftermath, the IJN ceased to pose any serious threat to Allied control of the sea. The IJN’s defeat sealed the fate of the defenders on Leyte and thereby created the preconditions for the eventual Allied invasion of Luzon. It also significantly affected Japan’s ability to prosecute the war because all the links with the Southern Resources Area and the Home Islands were cut.

In a major fleet-vs.-fleet operation off Matapan on 27–29 March 1941, the Italians suffered a major defeat at the hands of the British Mediterranean Fleet. The Italian force, composed of one battleship, six heavy and two light cruisers, and 13 destroyers, sailed out on 26 March 1941 to attack British convoys bound for Greece in the area south of Crete. The entire operation would be supported by the German X Air Corps. The British obtained accurate and timely information on the impending action by decoding German orders to the Luftwaffe’s X Air Corps. A strong British force sailed out to intercept the Italian fleet, and in the ensuing battle on 28–29 March, three Italian heavy cruisers and two destroyers were sunk, while one battleship, heavy cruiser, and destroyer each were damaged. The German X Air Corps’ attacks on the British ships were unsuccessful. This victory led to a temporary Allied control of the surface in the central part of the Mediterranean.

In some cases, a stronger side has conducted a major naval operation aimed to obtain sea control and also to exercise that control at the same time. For example, in the aftermath of their successful attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese began planning to deploy their fast carrier force into the Indian Ocean. Instead of capturing Ceylon, Admiral Yamamoto made a decision on 14 February 1942 to carry out a raid in the Bay of Bengal. The Japanese planners expected the British fleet to interfere with their invasion of the Andamans and Burma. The Japanese carrier force would operate east of Ceylon and wait on a favorable opportunity to launch a surprise attack on Ceylon and the British Eastern Fleet. As part of the preparations, the Combined Fleet conducted war games on 20–22 February. The Japanese planners intended to accomplish two main objectives: (1) destroy the British Eastern Fleet (believed to consist of two carriers two battleships, three heavy cruisers, four to seven light cruisers, and a number of destroyers) and (2) destroy the British air strength near the Bay of Bengal, (believed to consist of some 300 aircraft). The Japanese secondary objectives were to attack shipping and port installations on Ceylon and enemy shipping in the Bay of Bengal.

The Japanese striking force assigned to destroy the British Eastern Fleet was led by Vice Admiral Chūichi Nagumo (1887–1944). He commanded a force of six fast carriers accompanied by four battleships, two heavy cruisers, and one light cruiser, plus nine destroyers. This was the same carrier force that attacked Pearl Harbor. The Japanese carriers had some 300 aircraft onboard, and their pilots were well trained and combat experienced. The Japanese assigned another force consisting of one light carrier, six cruisers and eight destroyers to sweep British shipping in the Bay of Bengal.

The British naval forces in the Indian Ocean looked formidable on paper. However, they were grossly inferior to their Japanese opponents. Vice Admiral James Somerville (1882–1949), who took command of the British Eastern Fleet on 27 March, upon receiving reports on the impending Japanese attack on Ceylon, divided his fleet two days later into two groups: Force A (two carriers, four cruisers, and six destroyers) and Force B (four battleships, one carrier, three cruisers, and seven destroyers (including one Dutch cruiser and destroyer each). In addition, seven British submarines were deployed in the Indian Ocean. On 31 March, Somerville concentrated his fleet south of Ceylon. The single biggest weakness of the Eastern Fleet was its air component. Only 57 strike aircraft and three dozen fighters were available. Also, there was an inadequate number of the land-based long-range reconnaissance aircraft.

The British received a steady stream of reports about the strength and the movements of the Japanese forces in the area. Intelligence reports indicated that the attack on Colombo and Trincomalee was to be expected on or about 1 April. On 31 March, a new intelligence report indicated (as Somerville also suspected) that the enemy attack would be made next day.

The Japanese carrier striking force entered the Indian Ocean on 31 March. As planned, it carried out a series of carrier strikes on the ships and installations in Colombo. From 6 to 8 April, Nagumo directed a search for the British Eastern Fleet’s main body southeast of Ceylon. However, Somerville’s main body was far west of Ceylon. Hence, the Japanese searches were (fortunately for the British) unsuccessful. On 8 April, the Japanese carriers struck Trincomalee. After detecting Nagumo’s force, the British ordered all ships to leave Trincomalee. Nevertheless, many of the ships were attacked at sea.

In the meantime, the British Admiralty concluded that that there was little security against air or surface attacks at their naval base at Ceylon or at Addu Atoll (the southernmost atoll in the Maldives) used by the Eastern Fleet. The British battle fleet was slow, outgunned, and had short endurance. It was a liability if it remained in the area of Ceylon. Hence, a decision was made on 8 April to move Force B to Kilindini (part of port of Mombasa), Kenya Force A at Addu Atoll was directed on 9 April to Bombay (Mumbai today) to operate in the Arabian Sea. For all practical purposes, the Allies temporarily abandoned the Indian Ocean.

After the raid on Trincomalee, the Japanese carrier striking force left the Indian Ocean for Japan to prepare for the planned attack on Midway. The results of the raid to the Bay of Bengal were very favorable to the attackers. At the loss of only 17 aircraft, the Japanese sank one British carrier, two heavy cruisers, two destroyers, one corvette, and one armed cruiser. They also damaged 31 merchant ships of 153,600 tons, plus seven transports. However, the Japanese failed to accomplish their main objective because the British Eastern Fleet escaped. Their single biggest mistake was trying to accomplish several objectives almost simultaneously and thereby fragmenting their formidable strength. A more promising course of action for the Japanese would have been to focus most of their efforts in destroying or substantially weakening the enemy’s greatest critical strength, the British carrier force—or the enemy’s “operational center of gravity.” Afterward, they would have obtained almost undisputed control of the Indian Ocean.

In a war between coastal navies or between a blue-water navy and a small coastal navy, it might be possible to obtain sea control by planning and executing a series of quick and decisive tactical actions. For example, in the 20-day Yom Kippur/Ramadan War of 1973, from the first day of hostilities, the Israelis seized the initiative and inflicted heavy losses on their enemies. In the Battle of Latakia on the night of 6/7 October, a group of five Israeli missile craft sunk three Syrian missile craft and one torpedo craft and minesweeper each. A naval battle between six Israeli missile craft and Egyptian missile craft took place off Damietta-Baltim (off the Egyptian coast) on the night of 8/9 October. In the ensuing exchange, the Israelis sunk three Egyptian missile craft, while one was heavily damaged and subsequently destroyed by artillery fire. These victories drastically changed the operational situation at sea to the Israeli advantage. The Israelis essentially obtained control of those parts of the eastern Mediterranean declared by Syria and Egypt as war zones.

A blue-water navy can obtain a large degree of control of the surface relatively quickly through a series of tactical actions in case of a war with very weak opponent at sea. For example, in the Gulf War I (1990–1991), the U.S. Navy/Coalition aircraft conducted a number of strikes against the Iraqi navy on 22–24 January, destroying two minelayers, one oiler (serving as a scouting ship), two patrol craft, and one hovercraft. On 29 January, in the engagement off Bubiyan Island, U.S. and British missile-armed helicopters and ground attack aircraft destroyed four and ran aground 14 patrol craft carrying commandos probably to take part in the Iraqi attack on Kafji in a separate incident, a British helicopter destroyed a large patrol craft. A day later, U.S. and British helicopters and ground attack aircraft attacked a force consisting of one former Kuwaiti patrol craft and three Iraqi amphibious craft and one minesweeper all ships suffered various degrees of damage. In another encounter, a force of eight combat craft, including some missile craft, were attacked by U.S. ground attack aircraft in the northern part of the gulf four craft were sunk and three damaged. The end result of these small-scale tactical actions was that the U.S./Coalition forces obtained control of the northern part of the Persian (Arabian) Gulf.

Traditionally, the decisive naval battle, aimed at destroying a major part of the enemy fleet, was the principal method used in the era of oar/sail and until the turn of the twentieth century. However, experience shows that relatively few major naval battles resulted in the annihilation of destruction of a major part of the enemy fleet. Very often, the far more important results were not losses in materiel and personnel but the military, political, economic, and even psychological effects of such battles. After World War I, major fleet-vs.-fleet operations emerged as the main method of combat employment to a destroy major part of the enemy fleet and thereby obtain control of the sea. In contrast to a decisive naval battle, major fleet-vs.-fleet operations are fought in all three physical dimensions: on the surface, in the subsurface, and in the air. In relatively few cases, decisive naval battles and major fleet-vs.-fleet operations were planned from the outset to obtain sea control. That came as a result of one’s fleet providing cover or preventing a major enemy landing or in providing cover for a large convoy. Although major fleet-vs.-fleet operations have not been conducted since World War II, they still remain the optimal method of combat employment of maritime forces to destroy a major part of the enemy’s naval forces at sea. In the absence of two blue-water opponents and in a war between a blue-water and small coastal navy or between two numerically smaller coastal navies, a series of successive tactical actions might be decisive and achieve sea control relatively quickly. Such tactical actions should be optimally planned and carried out at the beginning of the hostilities at sea.

Urmările [ modificare | modificare sursă ]

Generalul George Monck, apreciind importanța formației și a manevrelor (el însuși fiind un strălucit ofițer al armatei de uscat), a decis să aplice tacticile liniare împotriva neerlandezilor cu începere din această bătălie pentru a contracara preferința neerlandezilor de a ataca la mică distanță și de a aborda, tactici în care erau foarte experimentați și efectivi (după cum s-a văzut în bătăliile precedente de nenumărate ori). Când englezii au adoptat linia, neerlandezii au fost nevoiți să lupte și ei într-o linie informală de bătălie, dar navele lor ușor construite și cu tunuri mici au suferit teribil sub focul numeroaselor culverine (18 livre) și demitunuri (32 livre) ale englezilor. Cu excepția navei amiral, Brederode, dotată cu multe tunuri de calibru mare, doar vreo cinci alte nave neerlandeze aveau câteva tunuri mai grele (24 sau 36 livre).

Până la sfârșitul bătăliei englezii au capturat 11 nave de război, au scufundat 6 și au văzut 2 arse sau explodate. Printre cele 17 nave pierdute se aflau 3 nave incendiare, care au fost epuizate în mod intenționat. Au fost luați prizonieri 1.350 de oameni, printre care 6 căpitani de vas. Nu s-a înregistrat câți oameni au pierdut neerlandezii. Din punct de vedere tactic, aceasta a fost cea mai grea înfrângere din istoria navală neerlandeză cu excepția celei din Bătălia de la Lowestoft din punct de vedere strategic înfrângerea amenința să fie dezastruoasă. Deoarece flota a fost învinsă în mare parte în timpul retragerii, mulți căpitani au fost aduși în fața curții marțiale, inclusiv câțiva cu funcții de comandă, precum Jacob Cleydeyck, unchiul viitorului amiral Philips van Almonde. Cele mai grave cazuri au fost deja judecate de Tromp pe mare la 18 iunie: locotenentul de Jager și căpitanii Pascaert și Naeuoogh au trebuit să asculte legați cu lanțuri de gât cum sunt retrogradați permanent și demiși din funcție în mod dezonorabil iar plățile lor trebuiau să le returneze, în timp ce De With a adăugat că sunt norocoși: el însuși i-ar fi spânzurat imediat.

Englezii nu au pierdut nici o navă, deși au suferit 126 de morți și 236 de răniți. Au fost trimise în port pentru reparații 12 nave avariate. Moartea Generalului Deane a fost o lovitură grea pentru Parlament. Blake încă mai suferea de pe urma rănii de la picior și a fost readus pe uscat la Solebay pentru recuperare, lăsându-l pe Monck singurul general-pe-mare activ. Victoria englezilor păstra controlul asupra Canalului Englez, recâștigat de Blake la Portland, și se extindea asupra Mării Nordului. După bătălie, Monck a trimis în porturi navele capturate și propriile nave avariate, apoi a blocat porturile neerlandeze și întreaga coastă, englezii capturând multe nave comerciale și afectând devastator economia neerlandeză. Comerțul de peste mări al neerlandezilor a fost stopat în întregime și unele orașe costiere au ajuns să fie amenințate de foamete. “De ce să nu vorbesc pe față?“ avea să declare Johan de Witt în parlamentul Statelor Generale. “Englezii au devenit de acum stăpânii de necontestat ai mării.” Negocierile pentru pace au fost reluate, dar încă o dată neerlandezii au preferat să mai poarte o bătălie în încercarea de a restaura situația. Doar după ce și Bătălia de la Scheveningen s-a încheiat cu o înfrângere, războiului i-a fost pus capăt.

Robert Blake, (1599-1657)

English admiral and general. A leading Parliamentary soldier and loyal supporter of Oliver Cromwell during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639-1651), Blake was a talented tactician and excellent regimental leader. He won several early defensive battles against superior Royalist forces after first losing at Bristol (1643). He did better at Lyme Regis (1644) and Taunton (1644). In 1649 Parliament appointed Blake General at Sea. He subsequently proved as adept in naval warfare against Prince Rupert and the Royalist navy as he had shown himself to be in land battle against Cavaliers. He chased Rupert to the Tagus in Portugal in early 1649, then cruised successfully off Brazil. Blake escorted Cromwell’s army to Ireland in 1649. He engaged the Royalist fleet off Cartagena and destroyed a privateer base on the Scilly Iles in a series of landings carried out during 1650 and 1651. He found his true sea legs during the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-1654) against the United Provinces, a conflict he helped provoke by insisting on Dutch acknowledgment of the English claim of sovereignty of the sea. This led to the so-called “Battle of Dover,” a minor scuffle off Folkestone on May 19/29, 1652, which nevertheless provided the pretext for the first of three major naval wars with the Dutch. He fought Maarten van Tromp at Kentish Knock (September 28/October 8, 1652). He fought Tromp again at Dungeness (November 30/December 10, 1652), losing and retreating up the Thames. He was severely wounded off Beachy Head during the last day of the “Three Days’ Battle,” or Portland (February 18-20/February 28-March 2, 1653). He spent the first day of the fight at Gabbard Shoal (June 2-3/June 12-13, 1653) sick on shore, but joined the action on the second day, intervening decisively with his squadron.

He was dispatched to the Mediterranean by Cromwell, in charge of a squadron of 20 sail. He fought a series of small actions against ships of the Barbary corsairs. He assaulted Tunis in 1655, destroying nine small ships he mistakenly believed belonged to the Dey of Tunis, but which were actually in service to the Ottoman sultan, with whom the English Levant Company did much business. He ransomed a few English captives from Algiers, but otherwise accomplished no good for English interests, having done considerable harm by attacking the sultan’s interests. He then missed an opportunity to attack a Spanish fleet on his voyage home. In April 1657, late in the Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659), Blake caught the annual Spanish silver fleet sheltering in Tenerife. Sailing his ships in with the tide and with all guns blazing, he destroyed every ship in Santa Cruz harbor, inflicting a terrible blow against Spain’s effort to finance the war. He grew ill on the return journey and died before touching English soil. During his career Blake was a major influence on sound development of the States’ Navy (renamed the Royal Navy during the Restoration). During his time as one of the top naval administrators and as a member of the Council of State for the Commonwealth, he oversaw a naval building program that laid down many new hulls, improved warship designs, and issued the first fighting instructions. Blake was the first English naval commander to lead fleets of warships in several bloody battles. Although he was actually a poor tactician, and arguably a worse representative of betrayed duty and sold-out idealism, his courage in battle meant that his name became synonymous with evolving English naval traditions.

Fighting Instructions

Naval tactics evolved sharply after the desultory English tactical victory at Portland (1653), where a strategic victory slipped away. In response, a new “fighting instruction” was developed that for the first time asked each division in a battlefleet to hold the line set by their leader, and each ship to maintain its place in line within its division. This formal order, or “Instructions for the better ordering of the Fleet in Fighting,” was issued on March 29, 1653. Its guiding influences were Robert Blake and especially George Monk. For the first time, the vice-admiral of the States’ Navy (renamed the Royal Navy upon the Restoration in 1660) was placed in command of the “right wing” of the fleet, and the rear-admiral was put in charge of the “left wing.” Most importantly, each division was ordered to “keep in a line” with the fleet commander in the flagship. This tactic was intended to take full advantage of clear English superiority over the Dutch in broadside gunnery, both ship-to-ship (in most cases), and certainly fleet-to-fleet. The English used their new line tactics to good effect in fights at Gabbard Shoal (1653) and the Texel (1653). A revised and more famous set of the “Duke of York’s Sailing and Fighting Instructions” issued later was not, in fact, penned by the Duke of York (later crowned as James II). It was actually written by Admiral William Penn (1621-1670).

The French Navy also developed fighting instructions. The leading figure in this effort was Admiral Tourville. He likely was the first commander to issues books of detailed sailing and fighting instructions for a large fleet, as opposed to a squadron. He even kept a printing press on board his flagship to crank out copies of signal books and fighting instructions that were signed and issued over his name and circulated to the other admirals of the fleet, and to individual captains, by ships’ boats. From the mid-1690s, French instructions were markedly defensive in intent and outcome, as befitted a de-emphasis on guerre d’escadre. A breakthrough compilation by the mathematician Paul Hoste, who enjoyed Tourville’s patronage, was published in 1697 under the title L’Art des Armées Navales.

The Battle of Nieuwpoort, 1600 - Linen, Wood

A beautiful school chart with an image during the 80-year war.

The Battle of Nieuwpoort was a battle on 2 July, 1600 during the Eighty Years War between the Stately army and the regular south-Dutch (‘Spanish’) army.
Maurice of Nassau, later the Prince of Orange, was sent to Flanders by the States General of the Netherlands to take the city of Dunkirk. Unexpectedly, a large Spanish army led towards Flanders, which resulted in a battle near Nieuwpoort. The battle is one of the most famous events in Dutch history, partly because of the easy-to-remember year.

The poster was issued by Wolters Groningen in the 1960s and was drawn by illustrator Isings. Dimensions approx. 100 cm x 75 cm. In good condition.
This chart will be carefully packaged for shipping, but may also be collected from the seller in Ouddorp.

Ships involved


    , 62 (flagship of Vice-Admiral James Peacock) , 48
  • Bear, 46
  • Adventure, 40
  • London, 40
  • Mary, 37
  • Heartsease, 36
  • Hound, 36
  • Providence, 33
  • Hannibal, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Thomas and William, 36 (hired merchantman)
  • Anne and Joyce, 34 (hired merchantman)
    , 88 (flagship of Generals-at-Sea George Monck and Richard Deane)
  • Worcester, 50 , 42
  • Diamond 42
  • Marmaduke, 42 (Commanded by Edward Blagg of Plymouth) Ώ]
  • Pelican, 40
  • Sapphire, 38
  • Mermaid, 26
  • Martin, 14
  • Fortune, 10 (fireship)
  • Fox, 10 (fireship)
  • Renown, 10 (fireship)
  • Golden Fleece, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Society, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Malaga Merchant, 36 (hired merchantman)
  • Loyalty, 34 (hired merchantman)
    , 56 (flagship of Rear-Admiral Samuel Howett)
  • Sussex, 46
  • Tiger, 40
  • Violet, 40
  • Sophia, 38
  • Guinea, 34
  • Falmouth, 26
  • Phoenix, 34 (hired merchantman)
  • Hambro' Merchant, 34 (hired merchantman(Captained by William Pestell)
  • Four Sisters, 30 (hired merchantman)
  • Expedition, 32
  • Assurance, 36
  • Portsmouth, 38
  • Centurion, 42
  • Assistance, 40
  • Foresight, 42
  • Ruby, 42
  • Nonsuch, 40
  • Dragon, 38
  • President, 40
  • Amity, 36
  • Convertine, 44
  • Kentish, 50
  • Welcome, 40


98 ships - of which 6 sunk and 11 captured

The term satellite state designates a country that is formally independent in the world, but under heavy political, economic and military influence or control from another country.

The Second Anglo-Dutch War (4 March 1665 &ndash 31 July 1667), or the Second Dutch War (Tweede Engelse Oorlog "Second English War") was a conflict fought between England and the Dutch Republic for control over the seas and trade routes, where England tried to end the Dutch domination of world trade during a period of intense European commercial rivalry.


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