Up until the 15th Century, the reputation of the Netherlands as a formidable and invincible seapower was widely known. It was already a factor in the political calculations of Western Europe. England and France did not include transport fleets in their mutual invasion plans of the Netherlands. Nevertheless, our sovereign naval power had not matured at the start of the rebellion against Spain. At the time, there were no construction differences between warships and merchant ships. The Spanish king could, as Earl of the Netherlands and Zeeland, for the current service for the sea had a small standing fleet of no more than 11 ships, which were in Veere (the seat of the admirals from the House of Burgundy). Other than that, for the remainder, there were stocks of guns and other war supplies on hand. Because of that, when there was a necessity of arming for war at sea, in both the wealthy old sea districts, there were always available merchant ships which were suitable, in an emergency, to be equipped for war.
Friday, February 03, 2006
My translation of the beginning of De Vlootbouw in Nederland
This is based on my translation of the beginning of Dr. Elias's book De Vlootbouw in Nederland: