Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674)

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Deliberately provoked war of aggression on the part of France and England against the Dutch. English involvement was mainly naval, and ended four years before the end of the Franco-Dutch fighting. The first fighting involving the English was an attack on a Dutch convoy on 13 March 1672, which was followed by three months of preparation for war. A British and French fleet of 98 ships was created in the Channel. The Dutch, under du Ruyter, attacked first with 75 (battle of Sole Bay, 28 May 1672). The French fleet fled, leaving du Ruyter free to attack the remaining 63 English ships, and before English reinforcements forced a Dutch retreat the English suffered severe damage, including the death of Lord Sandwich. For the next year little happened, and Parliament objected strongly to the war, disliking any alliance with the French and also saw the replacement of the Duke of York (Future James II) by Prince Rupert as High Admiral. In May 1673 the English prepared for an invasion of Holland. On 28 May 1673 Prince Rupert attacked the Dutch fleet in its anchorage (Battle of Schoonveldt Channel, 28 May 1673), but De Ruyter was prepared for the attack, and repulsed Prince Rupert, inflicting heavy damage on the English fleet. From June-August 1673 De Ruyter was unable to establish a blockade of the Thames, while preparations for an invasion of Holland continued. The threat of invasion was removed at the battle of Texel (11 August 1673). De Ruyter was able to defend an East Indies convoy and successfully get it in to safety, against French and English attempts to stop it. This was the last significant English action of the war, and peace was made between England and Holland by the Treaty of Westminster (19 February 1674) after increasing public opposition to the war in England.
Fireship: The Terror Weapon of the Age of Sail, Peter Kirsch. A lavishly illustrated look at one of the most feared weapons of the age of sail. This is a very impressive piece of work – well written and researched, wide ranging in scope and with detailed accounts of most of the key fireship attacks from the sixteenth century wars against Spain to the Greek War of Independence. An essential read for anyone interested in naval warfare in the age of sail. [see more] cover cover cover
De Ruyter, Dutch Admiral, ed Jaap R. Bruijn, Ronald Prud'homme van Reine and Rolof van Hövell tot Westerflier. A collection of interesting essays written by Dutch historians and that examines different aspects of de Ruyter’s life and the wider world of the Dutch Republic. This is a valuable piece of work that helps explain the important of de Ruyter as a European figure (not just as a commander during the Anglo-Dutch Wars). [read full review]
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (12 December 2000), Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/wars_anglodutch3.html

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