Sunday, January 03, 2010
The "Three Days Battle"
The Three Days Battle (more prominently known as the Battle of Portland to the English-speaking peoples) was a hard-fought action between the main English fleet and the main Dutch fleet, which was protecting a large convoy. The battle was fought from 28 February to 2 March 1653 (new style dates). None of the accounts that are known have a fleet list for the Dutch. Presumably, the records were destroyed in the fire at the Ministry of Marine in 1844. Dr. Ballhausen made an attempt to reconstruct the fleet list and organization in his book, but I have little faith in it. I have thought that we could take the Dutch fleet list and organization from Johan Evertsen's journal from late 1652 and derive the fleet list for the Three Days Battle. We have information about what ships were absent and have information about the Zeeland ships that survived the battle. There is also the account in the book Onstelde-Zee that gives some accurate information, including ship names. Our only hope is that some important documents are in private hands and just unknown, but are preserved.