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Spanish and Dutch navies

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  • Spanish and Dutch navies

    Recently I became interested in the naval battles of napoleonic era. I would like to know what was the cause of poor performance by Dutch and Spanish navies. Very strong navies in previous centuries, they didn't demonstrated anything of good during the later half of 18th century. Which were the reasons leading to numerous defeats without any major victories ?
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  • #2
    The Spanish built beautiful boats but crewed them badly. The Dutch ships tended to be of smaller draft than the RN. The Dutch seemed to have been reluctant proxies for Napoleon.

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    • #3
      Don't know about the Spanish but the Dutch fleet is generally considered to have died here, sometime before Napoleon's rule :

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Camperdown

      The destruction of the Dutch fleet at Camperdown was also a serious blow to French ambitions to invade Ireland, and denied their Atlantic fleet of essential reinforcements; it may even have played a part in Napoleon Bonaparte's decision to abandon efforts to attack Britain directly early in 1798.[93
      Although Camperdown was considered the greatest ever victory for a British fleet over an equal enemy force to that date,[43] historian Noel Mostert has noted that it "was a battle that, with posterity, somehow lost rank and significance against the greater and more romantically glorious events that followed".[
      Good English account, with paintings, here :

      https://www.rct.uk/collection/search...-of-the-action

      Last edited by Snowygerry; 03 Feb 20, 09:03.
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