Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Some thoughts about the Battle of the Sound in 1658
As I am doing more research about the Battle of the Sound, I am left with the impression that the Swedish fleet had a lower level of efficiency and competence than the Dutch. Otherwise, how can we account for the Dutch beating a superior fleet?
I suspect that if Witte de With's flagship, the Brederode had not run aground, teh Dutch would not have lost a single ship. As it was, the Brederode did run aground and was mercilessly raked for several hours, until Witte de With was killed and the ship was left in a sinking condition, when she was captured by the Swedes.
When we do a comparison of the fleets, we find that the Swedes had two very large ships, the Viktoria (72 guns) and the Kronan (74 guns), and several large ships with 50-some guns. The only large Dutch ships were three flagships: the Eendracht (72 guns), the Brederode (59 guns), and the Jozua (50 guns). Many of the rest were quite small.