A guide to the outstanding quality of this book is that it is still a standard source for Dutch historians. The Dutch Wars were not the finest times for the Royal Navy. This book explains why and just how bad it was for Britain. This book is a must for all who are interested in the days of sail, most highly recommended.
NAME: The Dutch in the Medway FILE: R2460 AUTHOR: P G Rogers PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 192 PRICE: £16.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Dutch Wars, United Provinces, Low Coutries, growth empires, seamanship, Royal Navy, corruption, Stuarts, Dutch Admiralties, Medway Ports, Home Fleet, River Medway ISBN: 978-1-4738-9568-3 IMAGE: B2460.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/j5yukoc LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A guide to the outstanding quality of this book is that it is still a standard source for Dutch historians. The Dutch Wars were not the finest times for the Royal Navy. This book explains why and just how bad it was for Britain. This book is a must for all who are interested in the days of sail, most highly recommended. The lack of coverage of the Dutch Wars in English is perhaps understandable because there was little to commend the performance of the Royal Navy. What is perhaps more remarkable is that the Dutch have not written a large number of books covering every aspect of their successes against Britain. It is therefore ironic that the author, an Englishman, should, in 1970, write the premier reference work on the Dutch raid on the Medway, and that this latest reprint is still the premier work. When Dutch ships raided the Medway home of the British Royal Navy and made off with the flagship, Royal Charles, it was an exciting story in its own right. What moves this on from a ripping yarn to a work of research and scholarship is that the author painstakingly researched the subject and the Dutch Wars with help from friends in the Netherlands. Without losing any excitement of the action itself, he has managed to provide a detailed picture of the reasons for the Dutch Wars, the nature of the United Provinces, the seamanship of Dutch sailors and nature of the Dutch Empire. The well-written text is accompanied by a photo-plate section in full colour, making a delightful book. By the time of the Dutch Wars, Britain was already a united kingdom that was starting to build a global Empire, based on adventuring merchants. Across the North Sea a small group of largely autonomous states, with a very small population, had become the United Provinces. They were the Protestant remainder of the Spanish Netherlands and had been Allies to Elizabeth I, breaking free from Spain with Tudor help. As a nation of seamen they had much in common with the British, a long history of trading with Eastern England with those of Dutch origin who had moved to England as merchants and sea defence/drainage specialists. The Stuart Kings who followed the Tudors were arrogant penny pinchers who allowed the British Fleet to suffer from corruption and lack of funding. They expected the North Sea and Channel to be treated as exclusively British waters and rapidly created tension with the Dutch who depended on fishing and trade. The Dutch were also establishing successful trade factories and colonies around the world that restricted British expansion. What made the Dutch domination of sea battles all the more exemplary was that they were fought and won against self-imposed odds. The United Provinces guarded their positions jealously and this created many difficulties in forming a fleet to fight against enemies. This was a factor in day to day governance and produced a number of Admiralties that had to contribute ships to the Dutch Fleet. This extended to challenges in awarding rank because one Admiralty would expect its commander to hold at least equal rank with a commander from another Admiralty. In spite of these challenges, the Dutch seamen worked together very successfully and audaciously. Their attack on the Royal Navy in its home port is a great example and was to lead on into major reforms of the Royal Navy, its re-equipment and a fight to remove the massive corruption that had so damaged it. Shortly after the final Dutch War, the Dutch had the last laugh when William of Orange and his wife Mary were invited by the British Parliament to depose the last Stuart King, James II, who had narrowly escaped death at the Battle of Sole Bay, in the final Dutch War, when one of the Dutch ships, Kruiningen 56 gun, bravely attacked the British 100 gun flagship carrying James, then Duke of York, and set it on fire, killing most of the British officers.