Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A good point: not every ship commander was a captain

Carl Stapel makes a good point:

Be aware that people commanding fireships were not always captains ordinaris or extra-ordinaris but commandeur. Furthermore people commanding adviesjachten and galjoten were also commanders and captains. Sometimes commanders of galjoten are called schippers for they were hired by the admirality with their ship and crew.

For instance Peter Melkenbeeke was never a captain but always remained commander a rank lower then lieutenant.

I come from the American naval tradition where we would call every ship or boat commander "captain", even if they were an Lieutenant (Junior Grade), so I have been sloppy about referring to Dutch naval officers as captains, when they were just Commandeurs.

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