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T2, R4, Prng 89: Dutch Great Ship vs Spanish Xebec

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  • T2, R4, Prng 89: Dutch Great Ship vs Spanish Xebec


    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 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.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Days%27_Battle

    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.

    image_78489.jpg



    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.

    image_78488.jpg



    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.

    image_78487.jpg





    88: Spanish Xebec 1701-1860



    Xebecs have been mentioned already as a highly effective and widely used small warship type in the Mediterranean region. They were fast, extremely maneuverable and very difficult if not impossible for most larger warships - and many smaller ones - to catch.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xebec


    Here we have a "generic" CGI image showing the general appearance of a typical xebec of the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries.

    image_78948.jpg



    Don Antonio Barcelo (1717-1797) was a Spanish sailor who became famous for his actions against the Barbary Corsairs and in particular, those of Algeria. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that he acquired legendary status in the eyes of his countrymen. His naval career began at the age of 18, taking over the family-owned xebec when his father died prematurely. By the time he had turned 19, he and his crew were already fighting against the Barbary pirates who were causing so much damage to Spanish commerce in the Mediterranean area. Within two years, at the age of 21, his fame became established at a time when he was already being trusted enough to carry important mail.
    The action that cemented his reputation was an epic fight in 1738, between his lone xebec and two powerful Algerian Barbary galliots. Barcelo's vessel carried 12 cannon and a few swivel guns.
    The corsairs must have thought they had the upper hand against the lone Spanish ship. However, Barcelo and his crew handled and fought their ship with such speed, skillful maneuver and sheer aggression that the two Barbary vessels were defeated.
    Barcelo's career was given a substantial boost when word of his exploits reached the ears of the Spanish Royal Court. From that time onwards, he steadily rose through the ranks and was involved in numerous successful larger-scale actions against the Barbary Corsairs.
    https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Barcel%C3%B3
    (Use the "Translate" option - Spanish to English)


    Image from a painting showing Antonio Barcelo's lone xebec, aggressively maneuvering to engage the two Barbary galliots, 1738

    image_78949.jpg



    Our third picture for this candidate is a fine drawing of a 10-gun Spanish xebec; probably around the mid 18th century.

    image_78950.jpg







    Quite different kinds of warships in this pairing ....
    But which will get your vote? The Dutch Great Ships or the Spanish Xebecs?
    Only one of these contestants can go on to the Semi-Final!


    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
    50 - Dutch Great Ship
    100.00%
    13
    88 - Spanish Xebec
    0%
    0
    Last edited by panther3485; 19 Nov 18, 07:48.
    "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
    Even thought the xebec could literally sail rings around the Dutch great ship, the amount of damage done by the xebec is insignificant whereas the amount of iron the Dutch great ship could put into the xebec would certainly win the day.
    ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
    IN MARE IN COELO

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jose50 View Post
      Even thought the xebec could literally sail rings around the Dutch great ship, the amount of damage done by the xebec is insignificant whereas the amount of iron the Dutch great ship could put into the xebec would certainly win the day.
      I agree with your choice.
      Xebecs or Chebecs (Spanish and otherwise) were excellent fighting ships within their size and class. Arguably, they could be considered among the best sailing warships within that class.
      However, they were not really in their element as ocean-going warships and it was the latter that helped the major navies establish and project their power and hence, both their influence and their trade, in the global context.
      Last edited by panther3485; 10 Dec 18, 00:54.
      "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!)

      Comment

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