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T2, R1, Prng 37: Dutch Great Ship over 60 Guns vs Polish Galleon

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  • T2, R1, Prng 37: Dutch Great Ship over 60 Guns vs Polish Galleon

    In your opinion, which of these two warship types was most significant, influential and/or effective?
    Feel free to apply those criteria as you please, along with any others you think appropriate.
    Note: Suggestions for some additional criteria are at the foot of this post.

    According to the criteria as you see and apply them, please vote for your preferred candidate in the attached poll.
    If your chosen criteria are significantly different from those suggested, telling us what they are and why you used them would be helpful.

    50: Dutch Great Ship / early Ship of the Line (over 60 guns) 1601-1700

    During the 17th Century, the Dutch were very much a naval force to be reckoned with and they gave the English - along with one or two other leading European maritime rivals - a damned good run for their money.
    Eventually, the English (later, the British) would prevail; but during this period and in particular in the Anglo-Dutch wars, the Dutch - despite some strong English victories - dealt them more than one "bloody nose" and at least one very severe humiliation along the way.
    (This humiliation was the very bold Dutch raid on the Medway in 1667, which I have already covered in pairing #34.)
    In short, the Anglo-Dutch wars of 1652-1674 were most certainly very far from being a one-sided affair.

    Below, we can see the Dutch great ship Gouda (1665, 72 guns) taking the surrender of the English great ship Royal Prince (92 guns) at the Four Days Battle 1666, during the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War, 1665-1667.
    This battle is still one of the longest engagements in the history of naval warfare and was a Dutch victory.

    In a straight-out slugging match, one-on-one and broadside-to-broadside, Gouda could not have reasonably expected to prevail against the larger and more heavily armed Royal Prince.
    However, a decisive factor in this particular match was the fact that the English ship had become stuck on a sand bar and was therefore effectively immobilized.
    (Two other English ships - Royal Charles and Royal Katherine - had also become stuck but managed to free themselves. Royal Prince was not so lucky.)
    Given the near hopelessness of their situation and with the Dutch ships already winning the battle and therefore in control of the waters around them, the English crew aboard Royal Prince had little option but to surrender.

    Gouda is to the left and obviously somewhat the smaller of the two ships.


    Closer view of Gouda offering a better view of her firepower assets.
    Gouda mounted her 72 guns across 2 full gun decks, plus a partial third; one full deck less than Royal Prince.
    Medium-to-large sized Dutch warships tended in general to have less draft than their English equivalents; a necessary measure for their relatively shallow home coastal and estuary waters.
    To maintain the required flotation for a given size of ship, less draft was generally compensated with a somewhat broader beam, meaning that Dutch warships would often have a greater "beam to length" ratio.
    As such, and being smaller overall, Gouda was not as heavily armed but had better maneuverability than the English adversary she was dealing with (and might otherwise have had to face in maneuvering condition) here.


    Close-up view of Royal Prince's stern showing Dutch crew members accepting her surrender. She started her career as the 55-gun "Prince Royal", having been launched in 1610.
    Between then and her capture she had a number of rebuilds and upgrades, changing her name to "Resolution" during the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell; then to Royal Prince with Charles II's ascent to the throne upon the Restoration of 1660.


    80: Polish Galleon 1601-1700

    The Polish navy started with small fighting vessels, designed mainly to protect trade and commerce on her larger rivers. With the Thirteen Years' War 1454-66, this became extended to combat on the open sea and the Battle of Vistula Lagoon in September 1463, between the navies of the Teutonic order and the Prussian Confederation.

    Following this, in 1466 there was the Second Peace Treaty of Thorn, under which the Poles acquired the strategically placed port city of Danzig. This was critical because it gave Poland the means to maintain and deploy a substantial fleet in the Baltic. Therefore, from relatively humble beginnings the Polish Navy was able to be developed into a much larger and more potent force over the next century or so; to the point of being able to give the Swedish Navy a "bloody nose" by the early 17th century.
    This is best exemplified by the Battle of Oliwa in 1627, in which a Polish fleet defeated the Swedes.

    Our first Polish subject is the Galleon Rycerz Swiety Jerzy (Knight St George), launched in early 1627. St George displaced about 400 tons and carried over 30 guns. She was crewed by 50 sailors and about 100 marines, some of whom assisted with the guns when she was in combat.

    She was ready for service in time for the Battle of Oliwa on November 28 of that year. During this battle, under the command of Admiral Arend Dickmann, the crew of St George were able to grapple and board the Swedish Admiralty galleon Tigern. The resulting furious close-quarter and hand-to-hand melee ended with the surrender and capture of the Swedish ship.
    Shortly after the conclusion of this action, Admiral Dickmann was killed by an accidental discharge from one of Tigern's guns.
    St George was to have a relatively short career, however. In July 1628, she became stranded in the mouth of the Vistula River. The recovery effort seemed to have been successful with the returning tide; however, by then she had taken on a lot of water. When it became obvious that the recovery was not going to be successful, she was destroyed by burning and the remainder of the Polish fleet withdrew.

    Rycerz Swiety Jerzy 1627 under sail

    Galleon Rycerz Swiety Jerzy 1627 .jpg

    Scene from the battle of Oliwa, near Gdansk, November 1627.
    Polish galleons engaging Swedish. The Poles were victorious.

    Battle of Oliwa 1627 1a.JPG

    Polish gun crews in action at Oliwa

    Polish gunners 1.jpg

    Decision time:
    Will it be Dutch great ships or Polish galleons?

    Suggested additional criteria you might wish to consider, along with any others you deem appropriate.
    (Note: Some of these could be considered already covered by Significant, Influential and Effective)

    Which warship type ...
    • was the best?
    • was the greatest?
    • was the most widely used?
    • had the greatest longevity in service?
    • was the most versatile?
    • represented the best value for the cost/effort invested ("bang for the buck" in today's language)?
    • was the easiest to operate?
    Any other criteria you have applied (please tell us what they were).
    Dutch Great Ship over 60 Guns 1601-1700
    Polish Galleon 1601-1700
    Last edited by panther3485; 27 Aug 18, 07:11.
    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

  • #2
    I like the Polish ship.

    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"


    • #3
      Much as I admire the Polish ships and the efforts of their navy, they were never able to be much more than a regional power. Also, from the limited information I've been able to find, the quality of the Polish ships was OK but nothing special. Dutch warships, for a time at least, were a force to be reckoned with over a much greater area of ocean and were therefore more influential as a whole. Also, the actual quality of their ships was generally at least competitive with the other global naval powers.
      "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
      Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.


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