Sunday, August 19, 2007
A PhD thesis topic
When I had proposed this project, three or four years ago, Jan Glete and Frank Fox both encouraged me to pursue it. The idea sounds more like a PhD thesis topic than something suitable for a popular work. The idea is to do quantitative comparisons of the Dutch and English ships (and in the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the French, as well) at each battle in the First, Second, and Third Anglo-Dutch War to see if there is a correlation between the winners of battle and having the aggregate greatest displacement of ships and the heaviest broadsides. I am also interested in the weight of guns carried versus the displacement of the ships, as a percentage. You actually need to estimate displacement, as "gross tonnage", as measured by the Dutch last or the English burden calculation is not a useful figure. You actually need to have some real indication of the size of a ship, in tons of 2,240 lbs. Since we have more information available about gun weights and guns carried for the Dutch, we are better able to do some of the these calculations. The English information for the First Anglo-Dutch War will have to be mostly estimated, but we can do better for the other two wars.