The Introduction of the Single Line Ahead as a Battle Formation by the Dutch 1665–1666

By R. E. J. Weber, published February 1987


Using contemporary documents and eye witness accounts, this article attempts to clarify whether or not Tromp ordered his small force to sail in battle formation. The Dutch experience of war is explained, with the development of tactical rules under different situations. The Resolution and order instruction of August 1665 could not take into account conditions of weather as well as enemy position, and a great deal was still left to the discretion of individual captains. The emergence of De Witt as author of the final orders is explained.

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Filed under: Dutch Wars | North Sea
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies

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