Military Review

Dutch Tsushima


Exactly 220 years ago, on October 11, 1797, the Battle of Camperdown took place - the last battle of the Dutch sailing fleet. In this battle, the Dutch suffered a crushing defeat from the British, as a result of which the Netherlands forever lost the status of a strong sea power. And once they fought with Britain almost on equal terms and more than once prevailed in sea battles ...

In 1797, Holland was called the Batavian Republic and was an ally of revolutionary France. The English squadron of Admiral Duncan for several months blocked the Dutch fleet in the ports of De Helder and Texel, not allowing it to join the French fleet to support the French-planned landing operation in Ireland.

But at the end of September, British intelligence reported that the French had canceled the operation due to the approaching period of the autumn storms. Duncan was ordered to lift the blockade and withdraw his ships to British ports. Seeing this, the commander of the Dutch fleet, Admiral Jan de Winter, nevertheless decided to go to sea. According to some data, he wanted to go to Brest and unite with the French there, according to others - he planned to break the English merchant shipping in the English Channel and seize several merchant ships for the sake of premiums.

However, the exit of the Dutch fleet from Texel and De Helder immediately spotted the English high-speed cutters Active and Black Jock left to watch him. The information was promptly delivered to Duncan, and the latter, after some thought, decided to take the risk and attack the Dutch on his own initiative. He ordered the squadron to rotate 180 degrees and move to the intersection of de Vinter.

Dutch outposts - sloops “Cerebus” and “Delft” noticed the enemy on time and reported his approach. Assessing the strength, de Winter realized that his chances are slim. Duncan had 14 battleships, and he had 11; moreover, the English battleships were larger than the Dutch and carried more heavy guns. True, the Dutch had 15 frigates and sloops, and the British had 10, but it was better not to engage in a firefight with battleships of these “lightweights”.

The Dutch admiral ordered a retreat to be stolen among the coastal shallows, but the British did not allow him to leave. Taking advantage of their favorable wind direction, they attacked the enemy at full speed in two groups, one of which crashed into the front and the second into the back of the Dutch wake column.

Duncan ordered all captains to act on their own and choose their own goals. Having passed through the gaps between the Dutch battleships, a part of the British came in from the reverse side and took the enemy in two flames.

Despite shelling from both sides, the Dutch stubbornly fought off, causing serious damage to several English battleships, but the advantage of the British in the caliber of guns and the training of gunners soon made itself felt. About an hour later, the Dutch ships, broken by their cores, began to surrender one by one. On the flagship battleship of de Winter "Freyheyd" ("Freedom") all the masts were shot down and the sides were riddled. Dozens of officers and sailors, including the captain, were killed, but de Winter himself, standing on the upper deck, miraculously remained unharmed.

At his command, who lost the course and squeezed between two British ships "Freyheyd" after two hours of battle, lowered the flag. The battleship "Hercules" broke out from hot kernels, and its captain ordered to throw all the gunpowder overboard in order to avoid an explosion. It was possible to extinguish the fire by the heroic efforts of the crew, but only so that the remaining unarmed ship surrendered.

By dusk it was all over. De Vinter, delivered under escort in a boat to Duncan's flagship battleship Winerybel, presented his sword to the enemy admiral. He nobly left personal to the defeated enemy weapon. In addition to "Freiheid" and "Hercules", five more battleships and four frigates became trophies of the British, however, two of them were beaten so badly that they could not reach the English coast and sank when towing.

The losses of the Dutch in manpower are estimated at 540 killed, 620 (according to other data - 924) wounded and several thousand prisoners. The British had no losses in the ships. The victory cost them 244 dead and 720 injured, that is, even more than they lost in the famous battle of Abukir.

The disaster at Camperdaun significantly weakened the fleet of the Batavian Republic, and most importantly - it undermined the morale of the Dutch sailors. In the future, the Dutch were simply afraid to engage in battles with the British, which had never happened before. Two years later, the shameful “Vietnamese incident” resulted when 12 of the Dutch battleships, caught up in the sea by the Anglo-Russian squadron under the command of Vice Admiral Mitchell, refused to fight and capitulated without a single shot. However, this is different история.

Battle of Camperdaun, painting by English artist Thomas Whitcomb.

Fragment of a picture of Anton Lawrence with the same plot. In the center - shot, but not yet lowered the flag "Freyheyd", on the right - "Wineries".

Another fragment of the picture of Lawrence, which depicts the English battleship "Monmouth" and the burning Dutch "Hercules", with which the artist seems to have overdone it. It is unlikely that the team would be able to extinguish such a strong fire.

On the left - a brave English sailor Jack Crawford from the battleship Wineryl. When the flag was blown off on this ship, Crawford climbed onto the mast and nailed the cloth with nails, using a pistol as a hammer.
In the center - Admiral Duncan, during the Camperdaun battle, aims at the Dutch from a telescope.
On the right is the nasal decoration of one of the Dutch battleships captured by the English.

De Winter gives his saber to Duncan, and he refuses to accept it, the picture of Daniel Orme.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 14 October 2017 07: 26
    De Winter built his fleet in the traditional "line" .., and Duncan attacked with two columns, this construction and attack anticipated Nelson’s similar plan under Trafalgar. Later, de Winter confessed to Duncan: “Your decision not to build the line has finished me.” A procession was held in London in honor of the victory. John Crawford’s act became legendary, and the expression “nail the flag to the mast” over time turned into a synonym for determination to fight to the end.
    1. antivirus
      antivirus 14 October 2017 15: 00
      Napoleon’s fate wasn’t decided under Borodino,
      and at sea!
  2. andrewkor
    andrewkor 14 October 2017 07: 51
    The Dutch lost their chance to become a world power as a result of the Anglo-Dutch wars of the 17th century. There were objective reasons for this: England, with its merchant fleet, transported mainly the products of its industry, and Holland foreign goods. And before that, the expansion of the Netherlands looked very impressive: North America, South Africa, East Indies!
    1. Curious
      Curious 14 October 2017 09: 37
      "The Dutch missed their chance to become a world power" ... But they did not miss the chance to reach one of the highest standards of living.
      1. andrewkor
        andrewkor 14 October 2017 14: 52
        Dear Curious, what’s your flag changing, as far as I remember it was yellow-blue?
        1. Curious
          Curious 14 October 2017 15: 00
          This is a VPN service. Due to events known to you, access to some resources is difficult, you have to go around. And I forget to switch there. It seems that I have already told everyone that I am from Ukraine, and therefore I do not follow.
        2. w70
          w70 15 January 2018 20: 34
          But Peter the Great cut off the upper third of the Dutch flag, sewn it below, and so our Besik appeared
      2. Catherine II
        Catherine II 15 October 2017 11: 16
        Quote: Curious
        The Dutch missed their chance to become a world power "... But they did not miss the chance to reach one of the highest standards of living.

        there were not many resources for such events. In the golden age of colonial power, they could (and even under favorable political conditions. And as soon as England and France ended the feud sharply and went in the same channel, the era of small ones ended. Only heavyweights (Germany added).
        And at that time Holland was already losing power. And all the resources were purchased (including the Russian forest). The blockade was an effective way.
    2. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 14 October 2017 10: 00
      Nonsense is whose product to transport. "The countries of the sea and land", alas, this is serious. England (Japan, USA) with ships sat on the communications of European countries and all of its resources thumped into the fleet. Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Germany and Russia were forced to invest more seriously in ground forces and fend off neighbors. And England, after a routine ground showdown, provoked a conflict at sea, and sometimes even baited and paid extra land. How many of our victories over Turkey we gave to the threat of the British coalitions.
      1. andrewkor
        andrewkor 14 October 2017 15: 01
        I meant that the industrial production of England was at an incomparably higher level than in Holland and this led to their final victory. And I respect the Dutch sailors, like Peter the Great, that I learned sea and shipbuilding from the Dutch!
        1. Mavrikiy
          Mavrikiy 14 October 2017 18: 37
          England lived by the sea and taught swimming competitors? ....
          The Dutch have already received a number of defeats from England, from this the desire to teach allies.
  3. Stirbjorn
    Stirbjorn 14 October 2017 09: 47
    An interesting and informative article! good There would be more of these, in return for the propaganda garbage that flooded VO
  4. Monarchist
    Monarchist 14 October 2017 11: 14
    Quote: Stirbjorn
    An interesting and informative article! good There would be more of these, in return for the propaganda garbage that flooded VO

    Perhaps I agree that the article is good and regrets that there are few interesting articles on our site
  5. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 14 October 2017 13: 43
    By all accounts, Britain and Holland were supposed to be allies. Together they fought against Spain, both were against the Pope and Catholicism. Both - the first in Europe - became bourgeois parliamentary democracies. This is because of the French revolution of the Dutch "demon beguiled" belay
    1. Roman 11
      Roman 11 14 October 2017 14: 09
      Quote: voyaka uh
      This is because of the French revolution of the Dutch "demon beguiled"

      And who wanted the invasion of the revolutionary armies? They are so emotional, they could drown the Netherlands .... crying
    2. andrewkor
      andrewkor 14 October 2017 15: 08
      You precisely noted the primacy of England and Holland in bourgeois development, for the sole superiority between them, wars broke out in the 17th century. And by the time of the French Revolution Holland was already a "regional power", and later a member of the anti-French coalition.
    3. tiaman.76
      tiaman.76 14 October 2017 15: 09
      but in fact they were quarreled by the colonial question of the division of land in America and India, as well as Southeast Asia. As for the Pope, it wasn’t relevant for those times .. well, not the Middle Ages already .. yes, and the Franks became closer after the revolution. the unification of the three sides of spain france and the netherlands could overwhelm britain
      1. Monarchist
        Monarchist 14 October 2017 16: 10
        Your words reminded me of Woland from "Dog’s Heart": "... they were spoiled by the housing issue," so the Netherlands and the England colony
        1. Catherine II
          Catherine II 15 October 2017 11: 19
          Yes, they were competitors for control of the open sea. The Dutch as they could maneuver between the interests of England, France, Spain .. And each of them were competitors.
          Someone from the giants was supposed to kill a small but proud colonial country.
  6. tiaman.76
    tiaman.76 14 October 2017 15: 04
    not Tsushima but Trafalgar of Holland should have been entitled. The only chance then to crush England at sea is to unite the forces of Spain France and the Netherlands fleet
  7. kvs207
    kvs207 14 October 2017 18: 33
    Quote: Monarchist
    Woland from Dog Heart: "...

    However. Bulgakov turns over in a coffin.
  8. Catherine II
    Catherine II 15 October 2017 11: 53
    The Directory plans for victory over England were simple. Avoid the sea battle and turn everything into a land battle. It was planned to land in Ireland and Scotland (to raise uprisings and break the WB as much as possible)
    The British had a hard time. It was necessary to control many points at once. In addition, the blockade had to be carried on at random. Sometimes the entire fleet guarded the entire 4 ship. In the near future, Nakhimov will also guard the Turks, possessing an approximate number.
    The Dutch made their unsuccessful attempt at revolution.
    Description of the battle is present in the article. I will add that the battle, although standard for the Anglo-Dutch wars, was the bloodiest of all the naval skirmishes of these two states before him .. The decision of the British to turn everything into a dump (with an advantage in artillery and the training of gunners). Despite the initial skillful actions of the Dutch, a gross advantage in guns and skill leveled everything.
  9. alatanas
    alatanas 16 October 2017 13: 19
    There is another very important factor. Shallow coastal waters near Holland. This did not give the Dutch the opportunity to build deep-sea ships. They could not have entered the harbor of the Dutch ports.
  10. DimanC
    DimanC 16 January 2018 06: 32
    This is what the absence of explosive grenades and rotating gun turrets did to the ships: forward to the attack on the “stick over T”. In fact, in steam fleets, tactics changed to the exact opposite ...