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T2, R2, Prng 69: Brandenburg Early Frigate vs Dutch Frigate

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  • T2, R2, Prng 69: Brandenburg Early Frigate vs Dutch Frigate


    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.






    43: Brandenburg 2-Decker Early Frigate 1601-1700



    The Margraviate of Brandenburg was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire, situated mostly in what is now north-eastern Germany and partly in Poland. (Berlin is within this area.)
    Brandenburg, though not having a coast of its own as such, was close to the Baltic Sea and had port access. It had its own navy from the 16th century until 1701, when its fleet was incorporated into the Prussian Navy.
    The Brandenburg Navy was never large; having - at its height around the year 1680 - no more than about 30 serving warships. Nevertheless it was quite active in the Baltic and eastern North Sea areas, as well as in the protection of trade routes and lines of communication; especially to the Brandenburg Gold Coast colony in Africa.
    After 1688, with the death of the prince-elector Frederick William, his descendants had little interest in maintaining a navy. They recognized that they were simply too small to compete directly with the larger maritime powers (which was almost all of them). A decision was made to concentrate more on the development of their army, while at the same time courting good relations with strong friendly maritime powers such as Denmark and the Netherlands.

    The more powerful ships in the Brandenburg navy were its heavy (for the time) frigates; the model below being a good example. This was the Friedrich Wilhelm Zu Pferde (which translates to "Frederick William on Horseback"). Here, we are using Friedrich Wilhelm for short.

    Friedrich Wilhelm was launched in 1681. She displaced about 900 tons, carring a nominal armament of 54 guns and a crew of between 200 and 250 men.
    She served the Brandenburg Navy well until October 1692, when she became involved in a battle against three French warships. (Brandenburg was at war with France at this time.) Friedrich Wilhelm was defeated, captured and set on fire by the French.
    A few months prior to this, she had been escorting a convoy to Guinea, sailing from Emden. During that voyage, in company with another escort, Friedrich Wilhelm had successfully engaged and defeated a French warship.


    Model of the frigate Friedrich Wilhelm 1681

    Frigate 2-deck Friedrich Wilhelm 1681 left side.jpg



    Friedrich Wilhelm - closer view of model, showing detail to advantage

    Frigate 2-deck Friedrich Wilhelm 1681 Rfront frm above.jpg



    A portion of the Brandenburg fleet.
    Friedrich Wilhelm can be seen in left foreground

    Brandenburg fleet - Friedrich Wilhelm is front left.jpg





    53: Dutch Frigate (36 guns & over) 1661-1860



    Researching Dutch warships for most of this period has to be undertaken with extra caution. This is because the Dutch had no less than five "navies", referred to as Admiralties; although they normally worked together as a combined force and were in practical terms - and so far as external enemies were concerned - a single entity. Nevertheless, there were occasions when administration and leadership became cumbersome, as we might expect.
    These were the Admiralties of Amsterdam (the largest); Maas (or Rotterdam); Noorderkwartier; Zeeland and Friesland. Each of these Admiralties had its own separate "gazette" of ship names and it was far from rare for two and occasionally more than two Dutch warships to have the same name at the same time. (This was brought home to me when flicking through pages 42-47 of the Osprey volume Warships of the Anglo-Dutch Wars 1652-74.)
    The five Admiralties were replaced with a single Administrative Committee in February 1795.
    http://www.awiatsea.com/Dunavy/Five%...miralties.html

    The Dutch generally built very effective warships and their frigates were no exception. Unlike their ships of the line - the maximum size of which tended to be a little more limited compared to other nations due to the nature of Dutch home waters (as mentioned elsewhere) - their frigates were less constrained. Nevertheless, they still varied considerably in size and our first example below is one of the smaller Dutch frigates, Vrede.
    Vrede was built in the early 1650's, being completed and purchased for the Admiralty of Rotterdam in 1653. Her nominal armament was 36 guns but by 1665, this had been increased to 40 guns as follows:
    18 x 12pdr, 14 x 6pdr, 4 x 4pdr and 4 x 2pdr. (Naturally, a larger frigate with a similar number of guns might be expected to have larger caliber weapons.)
    Her crew was 150 men consisting of 130 sailors and 20 soldiers.
    Vrede took part in a number of battles, including the Battle of Lowestoft and the Raid on the Medway; both of these in the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Lowestoft was a Dutch defeat but the Medway was a resounding and near totally one-sided victory.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lowestoft
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Anglo-Dutch_War


    In this image, we can see Vrede (stern towards us) at the Medway in 1667.
    (More information and images regarding this action in Pairing #35, Round 1)

    Frigate Vrede 1665 36gun Medway 1667 p37 onv183 x.jpg



    In this next picture, a model of a medium-sized 46-gun Dutch frigate that would probably have been in service during the last quarter of the 18th century and a little after. (Name unknown at this stage)


    Dutch frigate 1775-1800 (approx); 46 gun

    Frigate 1775 - 1800 46gun.jpg



    Model of another un-named Dutch frigate; this example being of 38 guns and, like Vrede, towards the smaller end of the size range.
    It is relatively somewhat more modern in appearance and would probably have been in service from the late 1700's into the early decades of the 1800's.


    Frigate 1780-1830 (approx); with 38 guns

    Frigate 1780 - 1830 38gun.jpg







    Time to decide:
    Whose frigates? Brandenburg or Dutch?


    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).
    13
    43 - Brandenburg Early Frigate
    15.38%
    2
    53 - Dutch Frigate
    84.62%
    11
    Last edited by panther3485; 20 Oct 18, 23:32.
    "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

  • #2
    Dutch frigates, hands down. Much more widely used, much more influential and much more important in the global context.
    "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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