Admiral: Compress and Conflate

Long-term readers of this blog will know that I’ve been quite excited about the prospect of a film set against the backdrop of the Anglo-Dutch wars, ever since it first came onto my radar. It premiered in the Netherlands at the beginning of the year as Michiel de Ruyter, and has now been released on DVD […]

The Shortening of Sail After the Battle of Lowestoft, 3 June 1665

To mark the 350th anniversary of the battle, I’ve been tweeting the key events at the appropriate times during the day. However, perhaps the most controversial aspect of the battle doesn’t lend itself readily to Twitter. After destroying the Dutch flagship during the day’s action – a brief description of which can be found here […]

The Film and the Facts: About the Movie Michiel de Ruyter

I’m delighted to welcome a distinguished guest blogger this week, to bring relief from the recent overdose of politics! Gijs Rommelse is one of the pre-eminent Dutch maritime and political historians of the early modern period, being the author of The Second Anglo-Dutch War: International Raison d’état, Mercantilism and Maritime Strife, the co-author with Roger Downing […]

Texel 341, Part 2

And now for Part 2 of my account of the Battle of the Texel/Kijkduin, 11/21 August 1673…the same caveats apply as last week! *** Ironically, one aspect of the original strategy agreed by Charles and Rupert before the fleet sailed in July worked almost exactly as they had planned it – one of the very […]

Texel 341, Part 1

Today, 11 August 2014, marks the 341st anniversary of the sea battle known in Britain as the Battle of the Texel and in the Netherlands as the Battle of Kijkduin. (The date was 21 August on the calendar then in use in the Netherlands.) This proved to be the last battle of the Anglo-Dutch wars […]

Endless Poetry

‘…this damned war: the mud, the noise, the endless poetry.’  (Lord Flashheart, Blackadder Goes Forth) There are very, very few similarities between the First World War and the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-7). One of them, arguably, is that both wars generated a substantial amount of memorable poetry, albeit of very different kinds. Having known and loved […]

“It’s coming home, it’s coming home…”

Last week I was speaking to Dutch TV about a documentary they’re planning on the Anglo-Dutch wars, and during the course of that it emerged that the sternpiece of the Royal Charles, captured at Chatham in 1667 and a prominent exhibit at the Rijksmuseum, will be returning temporarily to the UK for an exhibition at […]