Their High Majesties granted commanders the use of discretion regarding actions based on the content of the concerned article or instruction of the practice and purpose of their High Majesties with respect to contact with the English. The state did not appear to have intended that Tromp take an aggressive stance with regard to granting respect to the English in the narrow and North Seas or the French in the Mediterranean Sea. Compared to their rival great powers, their High Majesties pursued a very circumspect policy which the senior naval officers ignored in their defiant stand towards rendering honors, This was in spite of clear instructions which were ignored. The Dutch commanders hoped to only have to salute the strongest English forces and that some of the English commanders would not enforce the salute. Tromp was loyal and patriotic commander, and his aggresive spiriti made a conflict inevitable that would lead to the opening of hostilities. This is my paraphrase, slightly summarized, of a passage from page 55 from Vol.II of Schetsen. Source:
- Johan E. Elias, Schetsen uit de geschiedenis van ons zeewezen, Vol.II, 1923.