Saturday, July 17, 2004

Why did the Dutch reduce ship armaments in July 1654?

I am curious as to why the Dutch reduced 40-gun ships to 32 and 34 guns in July 1654. That is one of the really striking features of the "Staet van Oorlogh te water voor den Jahre 1654". Even the Vrede, which carried 44 guns for much of the First Anglo-Dutch War was reduced to 32 guns. She was a substantial ship with dimensions of 131-1/2ft x 31-1/2ft x 13-1/2ft. Her reduced armament consisted of: 4-brass 24pdr, 4-brass 6pdr drakes, 18-iron 12pdr, and 6-iron 8pdr. One theory that occurred to me that is that there were difficulties in finding guns for all the new construction from 1653-1654. Another theory is that these ships were reduced in armament for service in distant waters (which I don't believe was the case). Does anyone have any other ideas (or knowledge)?

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