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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My translation from text on page 84 of De Vlootbouw in Nederland

I have thought that I would like to produce a translation of Dr. Elias' book, De Vlootbouw in Nederland. I actually have permission from the Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschapen, which sponsors the Commissie voor Zeegeschiedenis. The book tells the story of the development of Dutch warships from 1596 until 1655. The chapter than includes page 84 is titled "The preceding history of the first petition of the council of state, of 16 November 1652, for the building of 30 new warships". This is my translation of the first part of the page:

It is indeed a noteworthy coincidence that, which may be mentioned, that the English and Dutch fleets at the beginning of 1652, on the eve of their life and death struggle, were almost identical in numerical strength. the English naval force consisted of 86 ships, while ours [the Dutch] was composed of 41 convoyers, 36 cruisers, and 10 ships in the Brazil service that counted as "coast ships", was one ship more. Several ships were subtracted from our margin, at the start of hostilities, through various failures. From the total, four ships in British harbours were taken. Of the ships returning from Brazil, one was sunk by the English, while another was taken as prize. At least two of our total were sold. So the total of our States' ships at the start was 79, not much different from our opponents. Whatever the comparison of numbers of our ships to the English, intrinsically, our fleet was worth less than theirs.

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