Darkness and fog - ideal for an escape bid from a potentially hostile harbourNovember 23rd, 1688: CopenhagenChaos reigns supreme in England. The invasion by Willem of Orange less than three weeks previously has caused the army to disintegrate. The naval service is in turmoil, torn between loyalty to its old commander in chief and King, the officers and men weigh the options for their individual and collective futures.Amidst the warmth of a harbourside tavern in freezing Copenhagen, a conclave of naval officers and merchant captains loyal to King James secretly discuss removing their vessels from port and sailing for Scotland or even Ireland. The Danes already hire thousands of troops to the Dutch and their Imperialist allies. An aggressive move may prompt King Christian’s soldiers to arrest the foreign sailors and impound their ships. To further complicate matters, the English 2nd rate Neptune is at anchor near the Danish naval yards and her captain is a notorious anti-papist and agitator against the King.Tur
17th century naval campaign
Not only did I get to sail across the very spots that Spragge, De Ruyter et al manouevred and battled with their fleets in the 17th century, I managed to make several other tangible connections with my periods of interest during the annual sojourn to Antwerp.Spanish Gate at Breda Castle.. some irony in the title - the Spaniards left a water gap in their defencesThe girls wanted a stop off en route from Ijmuiden to Antwerp so I thought, why not go to Breda? Reasons for the choice? It is on the E19 more or less, it is near the border, I just recently read about an Anglo Dutch Wars era ship called Breda and I had never been there either.Wapen van Breda - soon to be appearing on the stern of my 1/2400th scale ship of that name!Good choice as it turned out. They were happy because it was pretty, had nice shops and the weather was good. I struck gold because of the magnificent church, the best equestrian statue of Willem III I have yet seen, the historic Strategic School housed in the old castle and most impr
Set upTocht's squadron has sailed down the Channel and is approaching Plymouth. Several English warships are at anchor in the open waters south of the Hoe. Tocht has a mind to destroy as many vessels as possible. He has not spotted any sail in the Channel thus far and nothing significant is moving around the squadron at anchor. It is difficult to tell what size and state of readiness the enemy vessels are but clearly, they are 5th rate or larger, he suspects 3rds.Time to sail into the jaws of the English haven!T2 attack runTurns 1 to 3With a light southerly at their backs Tocht ordered the 2nd rate Delft and fireship Oranje into the anchorage to wreak as much havoc as possible. He chose to keep his powerful flagship De Zeven Provincien and the 3rd rate Eendracht patrolling the approaches so as to interdict any English manoeuvres to windward and prevent his squadron being bottled into the bay and destroyed. End of T3On Delft’s approach the English offered only ineffectual long-range cannon fire from a small fo
March 19, 1689Scenario name: Schomberg's reinforcementsBaert has word of a troop convoy bound for either Hoylake or Belfast. It is carrying English and Dutch soldiers to Ireland to fight King Louis's cousin James II. His ships left Dunkirk three days ago and are approaching the convoy from the north and windward. He is ordered to sink or capture as many of the transports as possible. The convoy is escorted but Baert is not sure how many warships have joined since it left Walcheren four days ago. It may have picked up more escorts at sea as it has taken a long time to reach the current position. The French state sponsored privateers operating out of Dunkirk were given a wide brief. As long as France's enemies suffered and the King's coffers swelled, anything was permissible.Jan Baert with six ships put to sea several days ago awaiting the imminent appearance of a troop convoy bound for either Hoylake or Belfast depending on where King William III wished to assemble reinforcements to bolster Old Schomberg'
Set upPeter's Dutch squadron under legendary commander Michiel de Ruyter has its first outing.De Ruyter - September 1664 off the Gold Coast/GhanaScenario name: Free trade?The Dutch East India Company (VOC) has been building trade via Gold Coast ports for several years. The English have become increasingly interested in bolstering their cash strapped economy and its own Royal Africa Company has enlisted the support of warships to restrict Dutch trade and enhance English commercial reach. Two large merchantmen are three months overdue in Amsterdam. De Ruyter's squadron was ordered to sea to find them. He has tracked the VOC merchantmen to a bay controlled by the RAC where they are being 'detained' for unpaid duty on goods to be shipped to Europe via English waters. The vessels are being protected by an English warship and lie at anchor under the guns of a large fort. The wind is blowing offshore making an approach to the coast difficult. My interpretation of Peter's plan - he sent it, I took notes and work
14th February 1665: Off the Isle of WightScenario name: Sovereign of the SeasHis Majesty King Charles II demands that every foreign vessel passing through English waters acknowledges his position as Sovereign of the Seas. In so doing each ship must lower its colours when an English warship is within sight. Although not at war, tension with France is mounting due to its support for the Dutch Republic which may soon fight England. A French squadron sailing from Brest to Boulogne appears to be ignoring the convention and has thus attracted the attention of an English patrol leaving the Solent.The table set up His Majesty King Charles II demands that every foreign vessel passing through English waters acknowledges his position as Sovereign of the Seas. In so doing each ship must lower its colours when an English warship is within sight. Although not at war, tension with France is mounting due to its support for the Dutch Republic which may soon fight England.End Turn 1Ship movements in the English Channel ar