Wednesday, March 19, 2008
One thing to bear in mind about how Dutch ships were armed in the First Anglo-Dutch War is that by the 1670's, English fifth rates had a main armament of 9pdr demi-culverins with 30 0r 32 guns total. A representative fifth rate had 18-9pdr, 10-5pdr, and 4-4pdr guns. Since many of the Dutch ships in the First Anglo-Dutch War were armed with 12pdr, 8pdr, and 6pdr guns, they are not that far out of line. They were ill-suited for fighting 40-some gun 4th rates or larger ships, but they were what the Dutch mostly had. The Dutch were not able to fix their problem until too late for the first war. It was only the second war building program that provided them with ships that could fight on a more equal basis. Those ships were not as well-armed until the third war, as there was still a shortage of larger guns in the 1664 to 1667 period.