Sunday, September 05, 2004

In 1654, Dutch ships had very mixed armaments

Since last night, I have been examining my notes from the "Staet van Oorlogh te water" from July 1654. A striking freature is how many calibers of guns that ships carried. Older ships, in particular, seem to have been pretty much armed with whatever guns were available. Even the newer ships generally had multiple caliber guns on each deck. For example, the Noorderkwartier ship Wapen van Enkhuizen carried 34 guns: 2-brass 18pdr, 6-brass 6pdr, 10-iron 12pdr, 9-iron 8pdr, 5-iron 6pdr, and 2-iron 3pdr guns. The ship was built in 1645, and had dimensions 120ft x 29ft x 11-3/4ft. The new Noorderkwartier ship Alkmaar carried 32 guns: 2-brass 12pdr, 4-brass 6-pdr, 18-iron 12pdr, 4-iron 8pdr, and 4-iron 4pdr. The dimensions were 130ft x 32ft x 12ft, and was a much larger ship. This is the sort of ship that eventually carried 40 to 48 guns, but for whatever reason in 1654, they were only given 32 guns.

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