Counterbalance of Outcomes in the Two Wars
Under Oliver Cromwell’s rule and the reign of Charles II, the first and second Anglo-Dutch wars were waged, respectively. The warships of Oliver Cromwell defeated the Dutch navy in the first war of 1652-54. The end of the second Anglo-Dutch War, however, was the victory of Holland.
When the first Anglo-Dutch war was waged, Charles II was in exile. Ruling the second war with Holland, he compared his tactics with Cromwell’s victorious maneuvers.
The war of the 1650-s was devastating yet not definitive. The English ousted the Dutch from the North Sea. Then in the next war, however, the Mediterranean Sea became controlled by Holland. The Dutch blocked the Baltic trade routes thus menacing the supplies of shipbuilding materials for England.
Different Combat Tactics
The Dutch naval warriors attacked the enemy by directly heading towards it. When approaching, they started shooting from their guns. The boarding fight and artillery shelling were essential. The Dutch fully mastered these skills.
The repelling tactics developed by the English was different. In the first war, the English ships outperformed the Dutch vessels in weapons and size. The gun power advantage was ultimate when used by a naval column conducting valley fire.
Such line ahead columns were first launched by Cromwell near the South-East coast of England. The Gabbard and Scheveningen battles brought the advantage to the English using their new combat method. Disorganized Dutch warships did not withstand the assault of strictly arranged lines of the English firing on from a long distance. The Dutch fleet ended up crushingly defeated.
Naval Wars in the 17 th century
In the 17 th century, naval wars were actually wars of attrition. Crews of warships underwent cruel gunfire techniques. Wooden “splints” were used to kill manpower. Such sharp 2 meter long “splints” cut people into pieces.
It was much later when whole ships were drowned with a single gunshot.