Naval actions between the Portuguese and Dutch in India, 1654

By C.R.Boxer, published August 1928


This article provides a translation of an anonymous document dealing with the war between the Portuguese and the Dutch in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1654-56, apparently written by a contemporary high ranking Portuguese official in Goa. The original is in the library in Evora, Portugal, while a manuscript copy is in the India Office. The document describes the actions between the Portuguese and Dutch fleets, first off the coast of Ceylon and then off Goa. It is disarmingly frank, lauding the heroic actions of some of the Portuguese commanders, but at the same time recognising that the Portuguese efforts were hampered by petty rivalries and lack of strong direction within the administration. The overall impression, as Boxer points out, is that “ the worst foes of Portugal in India were those of her own household”.


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Filed under: Dutch Wars | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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