Battle of the Gabbard
The naval Battle of the Gabbard, also known as the Battle of Gabbard Bank, the Battle of the North Foreland or the second Battle of Nieuwpoort
Battle of Nieuwpoort
The Battle of Nieuwpoort, between a Dutch army under Maurice of Nassau and Francis Vere and a Spanish army under Albert of Austria, took place on 2 July 1600 near the present-day Belgian city Nieuwpoort.-Campaign:...

took place on 2–3 June 1653 according to the Old Style of Julian calendar then used in England (12–13 June 1653 New Style) during the First Anglo-Dutch War
First Anglo-Dutch War
The First Anglo–Dutch War was the first of the four Anglo–Dutch Wars. It was fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. Caused by disputes over trade, the war began with English attacks on Dutch merchant shipping, but...

 near the Gabbard shoal off the coast of Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 between fleets of the Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 and the United Provinces
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

. In Dutch the battle is known as the Zeeslag bij Nieuwpoort.

The battle

The English fleet had 100 ships commanded by Generals at Sea George Monck and Richard Deane
Richard Deane
Richard Deane , English general-at-sea, major-general and regicide, was a younger son of Edward Deane of Temple Guiting or Guyting in Gloucestershire, where he was born, his baptism taking place on 8 July 1610...

 and Admirals John Lawson and William Penn
William Penn (admiral)
Sir William Penn was an English admiral, and the father of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania....

. The Dutch had 98 ships under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp
Maarten Tromp
Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp was an officer and later admiral in the Dutch navy. His first name is also spelled as Maerten.-Early life:...

 and Vice-admiral Witte de With, divided in five squadrons. On 2 June 1653 the Dutch attacked but were beaten back because the English employed line-of-battle tactics, making the Dutch pay a high price for attempting to board. The Dutch fleet, consisting of lighter ships, was severely damaged and lost two ships.

On 3 June the English were joined by Admiral Robert Blake
Robert Blake (admiral)
Robert Blake was one of the most important military commanders of the Commonwealth of England and one of the most famous English admirals of the 17th century. Blake is recognised as the chief founder of England's naval supremacy, a dominance subsequently inherited by the British Royal Navy into...

, but Tromp decided to try again a direct attack though his ships were practically out of ammunition. A sudden lull however made his ships sitting ducks for the superior English guns. The Dutch were routed, the English chasing them until well in the evening, capturing many Dutch ships. The battle ended with the Dutch losing in total seventeen ships, of which six were sunk and eleven captured. The English lost no ships, but Deane was killed. Tactically this was the worst defeat in Dutch naval history with the exception of the Battle of Lowestoft
Battle of Lowestoft
The naval Battle of Lowestoft took place on 13 June 1665 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.A fleet of more than a hundred ships of the United Provinces commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam attacked an English fleet of equal size commanded by James Stuart, Duke of York forty...

; strategically the defeat threatened to be disastrous.

The victory meant that the English control over the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

, regained by the Battle of Portland
Battle of Portland
The naval Battle of Portland, or Three Days' Battle took place during 28 February-2 March 1653 , during the First Anglo-Dutch War, when the fleet of the Commonwealth of England under General at Sea Robert Blake was attacked by a fleet of the Dutch Republic under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp...

 in March after it had been lost in the Battle of Dungeness
Battle of Dungeness
The naval Battle of Dungeness took place on 10 December 1652 during the First Anglo-Dutch War near the cape of Dungeness in Kent.- Background :...

, was now extended to the North Sea.

After the battle the English imposed a blockade on the Dutch coast, capturing many merchant ships and crippling the Dutch economy
Economic system
An economic system is the combination of the various agencies, entities that provide the economic structure that defines the social community. These agencies are joined by lines of trade and exchange along which goods, money etc. are continuously flowing. An example of such a system for a closed...

 . The fleets met again on 31 July 1653 (8 August 1653 New Style) at the Battle of Scheveningen
Battle of Scheveningen
The Battle of Scheveningen was the final naval battle of the First Anglo-Dutch War...



Red Squadron

Van Division
, 62 (flagship of Vice-Admiral James Peacock), 48
  • Bear, 46
  • Adventure, 40
  • London, 40
  • Mary, 37
  • Heartsease, 36
  • Hound, 36
  • Providence, 33
  • Hannibal, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Thomas and William, 36 (hired merchantman)
  • Anne and Joyce, 34 (hired merchantman)

Centre Division
  • Resolution
    HMS Prince Royal (1610)
    HMS Prince Royal was a 55-gun royal ship of the English Royal Navy, built by Phineas Pett I at Woolwich and launched in 1610. She was the first ship of the line with three complete gun decks, although when first completed the upper deck carried no guns in the waist, and was stepped down aft because...

    , 88 (flagship of Generals-at-Sea George Monck and Richard Deane)
  • Worcester, 50
  • Advice, 42
  • Diamond 42
  • Marmaduke, 42
  • Pelican, 40
  • Sapphire, 38
  • Mermaid, 26
  • Martin, 14
  • Fortune, 10 (fireship)
  • Fox, 10 (fireship)
  • Renown, 10 (fireship)
  • Golden Fleece, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Society, 44 (hired merchantman)
  • Malaga Merchant, 36 (hired merchantman)
  • Loyalty, 34 (hired merchantman)

Rear Division
  • Speaker
    HMS Mary (1650)
    Speaker was a 50-gun third-rate frigate and the name ship of the , built for the navy of the Commonwealth of England by Christopher Pett at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in 1650. At the Restoration she was renamed HMS Mary...

    , 56 (flagship of Rear-Admiral Samuel Howett)
  • Sussex, 46
  • Tiger, 40
  • Violet, 40
  • Sophia, 38
  • Guinea, 34
  • Falmouth, 26
  • Phoenix, 34 (hired merchantman)
  • Hambro' Merchant, 34 (hired merchantman)
  • Four Sisters, 30 (hired merchantman)

White Squadron
  • Expedition, 32
  • Assurance, 36
  • Portsmouth, 38
  • Centurion, 42
  • Assistance, 40
  • Foresight, 42
  • Ruby, 42

& others

Blue Squadron
  • Nonsuch, 40
  • Dragon, 38
  • President, 40
  • Amity, 36
  • Convertine, 44
  • Kentish, 50
  • Welcome, 40

& others

See also

of the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

was named in honour of the battle.
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