Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Frigateering and the Vrijheid

The Dutch described their building program as "frigateering" in the 1630's to 1650's. They were generally building rather small ships of length to beam ratios of about 4.o and greater. The first serious break from that plan was the construction of the Vrijheid, which was trying to imitate English warships, such as the old 3rd Rates, such as the Garland, Bonaventure, Entrance, and the Portuguese prize, the Convertine. Those ships were all apparently armed with culverins (18pdr) on the lower tier. The Vrijheid was similarly proportioned, but only had 12pdrs, along with 4-24pdr, on the lower tier. Until more of the 1653 and 1654 building program ships completed, too many ships only had 12pdrs as the main armament. Maarten Tromp and Witte de With really wanted to fix the problem, but politically, it was impossible. Only a few large ships were built and purchased.

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