On 13th June 1665 a battle took place forty miles off the coast of Lowestoft. It was during the second Anglo-Dutch War. The Dutch were trying to prevent a second English blockade of their ports (the first was called off by England due to lack of supplies).
The two opponents were, at the time, struggling to dominate the shipping trade and lanes across the world.
The Dutch (Republic of the Seven United Provinces) fleet of more than a hundred ships, commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam, attacked an English fleet of about the same size, commanded by James Duke of York.
The English victory, largely forgotten now, helped to set England up as maritime supremoes. The Dutch, however, still remember it as their greatest ever defeat.
The casualties in the battle were: 1 English ship lost, 300-500 killed: 17 Dutch ships lost, 2000-2500 killed and 2000 taken prisoner.
This was a turbulent period, which may explain why this battle is not so well known. The English Civil War (1642-1651), the Restoration (1660), The Great Fire of London (1666) and, of course, The Great Plague (1665-1666), which claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Londoners.
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