Welcome to Wargaming.net Wiki!
Ships of Netherlands

Ships of Netherlands

Jump to: navigation, search
Dutch cruisers: branch review
HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, Tier VIII cruiser

The colorful beginnings of the first independent Dutch navy are as unique as the empire it would eventually be tasked to protect. Originally a series of private charters defending the interests of the various merchants, trading guilds and local authorities, it would eventually coalesce into a unified fighting force in the Eighty Years’ War, fighting for their independence from Spanish rule. Despite being one of the earliest European colonial empires, the Dutch Empire that followed after was far more interested in commerce rather than territorial expansion - a holdover from its mercantile origins - and as such rarely bothered themselves with taking inland territories, and their standing navy was small compared to that of other empires’. Nevertheless, the 17th century saw the Dutch navy being at the zenith of its power, ushering in the Dutch golden age and being the only European power that was allowed to trade with Japan during her period of isolation (or “sakoku”). In the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch war, the Dutch managed to gain great victories on the British and the French, mostly lead by the legendary admiral De Ruyter.

The 18th century onwards, however, saw their fortunes take a turn for the worse; the failure to take the Philippines from the Spanish, Macau from the Portuguese, and the Fourth Anglo-Dutch war that ultimately led to the British breaking the back of the Dutch Navy at the Battle of Camperdown. Renamed to the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) in 1905, the Great Depression hit Dutch commerce particularly hard, and the resulting budget cuts left the navy severely underfunded and underequipped. While the Netherlands managed to remain neutral in World War I, doing so again in World War II would prove to be futile, with Germany sweeping through the Dutch homeland in a week on 10 May 1940, giving the Kriegsmarine crucial submarine snorkel technology (known as the snuiver). Fortunately, most of the Dutch fleet was located in the Dutch East Indies (present day Indonesia), protecting the resource-rich archipelago, but that would eventually come under attack by the Japanese on 8 December 1941. Although aggressive use of their small flotilla of submarines dealt an initial heavy blow to the Japanese, the Dutch Navy would once again have its back broken in the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February 1942.


IX Groningen Doubloons
X Tromp Doubloons


Dutch Cruisers: Branch Review. 9 Sep 2021.