Saturday, January 31, 2004

The Battle of Portland (28 February 1653-2 March 1653 The order-of-battle for the Battle of Portland is progressing. My first cut for the Dutch is complete, and I am working on the English. I am having to rely on Dr. Ballhausen more than I would like. I was thinking about what a hard-fought battle Portland was. Michiel De Ruyter's flagship, the Witte Lam, had to be towed in after the battle. On the first day, he had taken the English hired merchantman, the Prosperous, 42 guns. In the process, his ship was severely damaged. On the second day, Jan Duym had to take the Witte Lam in tow. Captain Duym's ship was the Zon, 28 guns (a Noorder-Kwartier ship). Jan Thyssen (or Tijssen) commanded the Witte Lam (a Vlissingen Directors ship). He was at the Battle off Dover (29 May 1652), and had gone into the Downs, before the arrival of the entire fleet, to inform the English of their need to seek shelter in English waters. The Hollandsche Mercurius published a list, in the 1652 volume, that shows the Witte Lam armed with 32 guns and having a crew of 110 men. From the book Salt in Their Blood, the chapter on Michiel de Ruyter says that at the Battle of Portland, the ship carried 40 guns and had a crew of 145 men (as I recall). The Witte Lam must have been a substantial ship to allow for a substantially larger armament and crew, although in early 1652, many ships were under-armed.

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