Dutch naval wars 1652-1676

Compiled by H.T. Colenbrander

Following its independence in 1648, the trade supremacy of the Republic of the United Netherlands was put to the test for more than a quarter of a century in the form of heavy military onslaughts both inside and outside Europe. A series of wars was waged against different major European powers: England (1652-1654; 1665-1667; 1672-1674); Sweden (1656-1660); France (1672-1674) and Spain (1676). This was the era of formidable naval battles – some of which lasted for several days – and famous admirals such as Tromp and De Ruyter. Although the propaganda of the time often reported massive victories or crushing defeats, the naval battles were seldom of any decisive importance.

Two volumes of this edition have been published: 1652-1667 and 1667-1676. The documents are written in English, French, Dutch, German, Swedish or Danish and have been categorised according to the military operation. They were written by diplomats, admirals, naval officials and correspondents. Not only do they contain documents about diplomatic negotiations, they also include messages about fleet manoeuvres and naval battles.