Book Review – ‘Dutch Warships in the Age of Sail 1600–1714: Design, construction, careers and fates’ by Ron Brand
In 1993 Jaap Bruijn, a Dutch professor (now emeritus) of maritime history, wrote The Dutch Navy of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, published by the University of South Carolina Press. Bruijn wrote the book because he strongly felt the need for such a study in the college’s maritime history collection in Leiden, where he taught for many years. With the publication of this book in English, he also targeted the foreign researchers of Dutch maritime history to offer a modern survey work. The same can be said of this book by James Bender. However, Bender is not a Dutchman and not a maritime historian as Bruijn is, but he has developed a keen interest in the Anglo-Dutch wars of the seventeenth century in the last 25 years. Bender developed a fascination with the great Anglo-Dutch sea fights of the seventeenth century as a wargamer, but the search for definitive information on the ships involved led to the intense research found in this book.
While Bruijn treated the early modern Dutch navy from four perspectives – fleet operations, administrative affairs, officers, and men – Bender’s research is focused on the navies and warships that were involved in the Anglo-Dutch wars of the seventeenth century, with a particular focus on the Dutch navy and warships in the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652–4) …