Lowestoft, Battle of 1665

Lowestoft, Battle of (1665)


a naval battle fought on June 13 during the second Anglo-Dutch war of 1665-67, northeast of the city of Lowestoft in Great Britain, off the North Sea coast.

In the morning the British Navy (109 battleships and 28 fire ships), commanded by James, Duke of York (actually by Admiral W. Penn), with three squadrons attacked the Dutch Navy (103 battleships, 11 fire ships, and 12 galleons), under the command of Admiral J. van Wassenaer, which countered with seven squadrons. The English Navy turned parallel to the enemy’s course and closed with them, while the English rear guard, commanded by Admiral Montagu, cut through the formation of the Dutch ships and grappled with and boarded them. In the ensuing battle between the flag squadrons the Dutch Navy turned to flight, and the English successfully used fire ships in pursuing it. Of the Dutch ships 14 were sunk and 18 captured; the English lost two ships. The battle of Lowestoft was the first battle of sailing ships in wake-column formation; subsequently, battle rules were worked out that laid the basis for the line tactics of sailing ships.