Google AdSense

Amazon Ad

Saturday, May 01, 2004

The next step was to try more scenarios

When the Dutch have an advantage, these tactics are devastating to the English. I just fought a "fight to the finish" style battle for the Battle of Dungeness. I took one picture, as the scene was so striking. The English lost simulation run, having only 9% left (three ships), while the Dutch had 60%. Most of the remaining Dutch were undamaged.

The scenario is quite good, now, as the light breezes are a huge factor. I can just imagine the actual battle, when both sides were scattered across a vast expanse.

What is hard to fathom is why the Dutch, in the real battle, did not do better. I suspect that again, it was poor leadership on the part of Tromp. That is an unpopular thing to say, but the Tromp came close to losing his flagship, if he had not been saved by the loyal Jan Evertsen. If the Dutch had been properly organized, as someone like Michiel De Ruyter would have done, they could have done great damage to the English, under Blake.

Characteristically, Blake blamed his captains, although he took responsibility for the loss, and was ready to be relieved. Instead, they sacked captains, and almost lost Portland on the first day, for the same reason. It was the same reason that they had not done better at the Kentish Knock, which is the most lopsided of the battles.

Instead, when General Monck finally organized the English, they devastated the Dutch (by 17th Century standards). The English chose to break the Dutch line, possibly in response to the Dutch tactics. I suspect that if they just fought an 18th Century-style battle, with two parallel lines, the Dutch would have been beaten even worse at the Gabbard and Scheveningen.

The Dutch, at Scheveningen, tried to fight in a more disciplined manner, but the material mismatch was so great, that they did only slightly better than at the Gabbard. At Scheveingen, the Dutch losses might have been greater, but for the efforts of the surviving admirals, who had vowed not to let the situation deteriorate into chaos, at it had under Tromp's command, at the Gabbard.

No comments:

Amazon Context Links