Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Armaments for Dutch ships

The more modern style of arming gave ships a uniform lower tier of guns. In fact, where it made sense, each tier was uniform. As well, the guns on the quarterdeck would be the same shot weight and the guns on the forecastle, where there were guns, would be the same. Many of the best Amsterdam ships in 1652 and 1653 were armed this way. The larger Amsterdam ships would have the uniform 12pdr lower tier typically supplemented by 4-24pdr guns. The upper tier would be either 6 or 8pdr guns. There were many ships, though, which had odd collections of guns, as if they had whatever was available. Zeeland and the Noorderkwartier seemed to arm their ships this way. The earlier attempts at arming Dutch ships might have 6 or 8 12pdr guns, with a larger number of 8pdr guns. They would have an upper tier of 4 or 6pdr guns, possibly supplemented with some 3pdr guns. Many famous Amsterdam ships were armed this way in 1652 and into 1653, such as the Bommel and Prins Willem. Most Friesland ships in 1652 and into 1653 had odd collections of guns, as well. There are signs that they had hoped to have more uniform armaments, but they were probably forced to use a more diverse armament for new ships, such as the Zevenwolden (38 guns), simply because of what was available.

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