This definitive study presents a complete account of the Dutch Republic’s naval fleet during its golden age as a world power.
The Netherlands was by far the most important maritime power of the seventeenth century. It dominated seaborne trade with the largest merchant fleet in the world. Born out of an 80-year struggle against Spain for independence, the Dutch republic relied on naval power to protect its freedom, promote its trade and defend its overseas colonies. Yet the ships that made up its fleets are among the least studied of any in the age of sail. This is partly because a decentralized administration of five separate admiralties, often producing ships of the same name at the same time, as well as competing systems of measuring ships, all lead to confusion and error.
In this comprehensive volume, James Bander delivers the first definitive listing of all Dutch fighting ships—whether purpose-built, purchased, hired or captured—from the heyday of the United Provinces. Each entry is complete with technical details and summaries of the ship’s career. It also provides administrative, economic and technical background, and outlines the many campaigns fought by one of the most successful navies in history.