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Friday, July 27, 2007

One of the ships lost on 22 July 1652: the Kalmar Sleutel

The Kalmar Sleutel (or Calmer Sleutel) was one of the ships hired by the Admiralty of Rotterdam in early 1652 as part of the 100 ships, the Extraordinary Equipage. Her captain was Dirck Vijgh. In the summer of 1652, the Kalmar Sleutel was assigned to the 15 ship fishery protection squadron. That squadron was devastate on 22 July 1652 when many ships were sunk or captured. At least some of the captains, such as the squadron commander, Dirck van Dongen, shamefully surrendered their ships without a fight. Dirck Vijgh fought, however, and his small ship was sunk. Ron van Maanen has the details, which match fairly well with those that I have seen elsewhere. The dimensions were 103ft x 25ft x 11ft x 6ft. The latter is the "height above the hold", or height between the decks. The armament consisted of something like 8-8pdr, 6-6pdr, and 6-3pdr guns, according to Ron. My information from June 1652 was that the armament included 4-8pdr, 6-6pdr, 6-4pdr, and 4-3pdr guns. There actually may have been as many as 24 guns. The crew consisted of 90 men. Ron says that the Kalmar Sleutel was twenty years old.

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