Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Witte de With sailed from the Texel with 27 warships and 4 fireships

I am collecting information about the Battle of Scheveningen so as to be able to compile the Dutch OOB. Witte de With wrote the States General, on 11 August 1653, that he had sailed from the Texel on 9 August with 27 warships and 4 fireships. Tromp was able to easily draw the English fleet off, so that Witte de With was able to safely put to sea, and then they were able to again outmaneuver the English, so they could join. Apparently, the English misunderstood where the Dutch were, in relation to them. This was typical of the 17th Century, as neither the English nor Dutch understood how to effectively scout. After the Battle of Scheveningen, the Dutch had retreated into the Texel roads. They had about 90 warships, yachts, and service craft remaining, and only two flag officers with the fleet. They were Witte de With and Pieter Florissen. Tromp had been killed. Jan Evertsen was missing. Michiel de Ruyter had been heavily damaged and made for the Goeree Gat. The Dutch were very fortunate that the English were forced, by heavy damage and the need for stores, to give up the blockade. Another letter from De With on 11 August names ships, so this will be helpful in building the OOB for Scheveningen. There is also a damage report that adds further ship names.

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