« ПретходнаНастави »
in the background is the long Spanish galley. In the bright moonlight we can clearly see her numerous oars lashing the water into foam. On forecastle and poop are crowds of heavily armed soldiers. Here in the foreground is the little Half-moon. All her sails are set. She is headed direct for her great foe. You are too far away to distinguish the individual men on her decks, but I am sure you will be able to picture in your imagination the old rugged admiral standing on his quarterdeck giving his quiet orders to the man at the wheel. Here is a man for you to remember always!
III. Admiral Joost De Moor Off Sluys
Frederic Spinola, notwithstanding the terrible beating he had received at the hands of John Kant, still had faith in the galley as a type of war vessel. With an energy worthy of a better cause he built during the winter of 1603 a new fleet of galleys in the port of Sluys. On May 25, the weather conditions were perfect for the sortie he had planned against the Dutch blockading forces. It was dead calm with a perfectly smooth sea. so that his galleys could move at high speed, while the sailing galleons of the Dutch would lie dead in the water. Spinola therefore set out with eight great galleys—each carrying 250 rowers and 200 fighting men— and four smaller vessels.
The Dutch force off the port was commanded by Admiral Joost de Moor. He could dispose of four small galleons and a vessel called the Black Galley of Zetland, which was commanded by Captain Jacob Michelzoon. The whole force combined was less than one-tenth of that of the enemy, and, as only the Black Galley could move, it would be easy for the swift Spanish galleys to concentrate all their ships on a part of it.
The Dutch galleons lay dead in the water, but the gallant Captain Michelzoon stood on in the Black Galley to meet the entire squadron of the enemy. He was soon in their midst and was rammed by two of the large Spanish galleys. Their iron bowsprits ran far into the sides of the Black Galley and the three ships hung together. The Spaniards, being far superior in numbers, made vigorous efforts to board and a most desperate combat ensued. Captain Michelzoon was killed, but Lieutenant Hart, although himself dangerously wounded, swore to his men that he would blow up the ship rather than surrender. Inspired by such a leader, the Zeelanders repulsed every attack of the enemy and in addition kept up a rapid fire with their guns with terrible effect. Finally the bowsprits broke off in the sides of the Black Galley and the three ships drifted clear for a time. The first concentrated attack of the Spaniards had been gallantly repulsed.
Meanwhile, no less than four great galleys had rammed almost simultaneously the little galleon commanded by Captain Logier. Not content with beating off the attempts of the Spaniards to board, the Dutchmen themselves boarded one of the galleys. After a hard struggle, all four galleys drew off, the Dutch boarders regaining their own ship.
Admiral Joost de Moor was next attacked, this time by three galleys. He was able to drive them off by a well-directed fire of guns and musketry before they were able to come to close quarters.
By order of Spinola a large part of his force now made a concentrated attack on the crippled Black Galley. Fortunately Captain Logier drifted down so close to this action that he was able to take some of the pressure off this devoted ship and attract the Spanish fire toward his own. Thus these two small Dutch ships engaged the whole Spanish squadron, while the other three Dutch vessels were forced to be spectators to this remarkable struggle. Finally Spinola, who had exposed himself with reckless courage, fell dead. A gentle breeze also sprang up, and the Spaniards, having lost their leader and suffered a terrible defeat, withdrew to the shelter of their forts. They had lost no less than 1000 men. Considering the small size of their crews, the Dutch had also lost heavily. Only three of their ships and about 200 men had been engaged. On the Black Galley, out of perhaps 80 men, Captain Michelzoon, 11 officers and 15 men had been killed, with an unknown number of wounded; Captain Logier was wounded and his crew suffered a loss of 15 killed and 12 wounded; Admiral de Moor was himself slightly wounded, while five of his crew were killed and 20 wounded. Of the Dutch seamen actually engaged it is certain that over half were killed or wounded.
After the pursuit had been finished the pious admiral called all hands on deck, where they knelt and recited the 34th Psalm: "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth O magnify the Lord with me and let us
exhalt His name together."
There have certainly been few actions such as this in all naval history. This beautiful picture of the old admiral and his crew in their thanksgiving for their wonderful victory is, one which should always be remembered.
IV. Captain Peter Mol At The Storming Of Tydor
I will now ask you to make another voyage to the East Indies, this time with the fleet of 13 little trading vessels which left Holland in the fall of 1603, under the command of Stephen van der Hagen. This squadron arrived in 1604, and commenced operations by establishing forts and trading stations on the island of Malabar.
In 1605, van der Hagen arrived at Amboyna, one of the chief fortresses of the Spaniards. Although it mounted 36 guns and was considered very strong, the Dutch seamen quickly took it by assault. Then the fleet broke up into several divisions for further operations.
One division under Cornelius Sebastian arrived before the citadel of Tydor in the Moluccas. This fortress was exceedingly strong and important, and was garrisoned by a large force of Spanish soldiers. Nevertheless Sebastian resolved to take it by assault.
One bright May morning, under cover of a heavy bombardment, the storming party of soldiers and sailors went forward to the assault, led by the sturdy Captain Peter Mol, whom we have seen before as captain of the Tiger in the first battle with Spinola's galleys.
The first attack was generally repulsed, but the Dutch leader with only seven men fought his way into the interior defenses of the citadel. Seeing their small number, the Spaniards concentrated against them and a hand to hand struggle took place. A Spanish soldier grappled with Mol and the two rolled over and over on the ground, until one of the Dutch seamen shot the Spaniard through the head. As the fight continued, Mol was severely wounded in the leg and fell to the ground, and his comrades were forced to retire, carrying with them their wounded leader. This hero begged them to leave him, to take the fort, after which there would be sufficient time to return for him.
As this little party was retiring a projectile from a heavy gun exploded the fort's magazine. A part of the defenses were levelled and 60 men of the garrison were killed. The Dutch again moved forward and were this time completely successful.
This victory gave the Dutch East India Company the control of the Molucca Islands and the very valuable clove trade. Their successes under the vigorous leadership of Van der Hagen, Cornelius Sebastian and Peter Mol were certainly richly deserved.
V. Vice Admiral Regnier Klaaszoon
In September, 1606, the Dutch Admiral Haultain was sent to the coast of Spain with a fleet of 19 war-galleons. His vice admiral was that Leonidas of the Seas, that hero of all heroes, Regnier Klaaszoon. His name, like that of the Swiss Patriot Arnold von Winkelreid, that of the English Captain Richard Grenville, and that of the obscure French soldier who commanded the 14th of the line at the battle of Eylau, has faded from the pages of history.
On October 6, a great war fleet was made out in the distance. This proved to be the Spanish Admiral Fazardo with 18 of the largest galleons, 8- galleys and a number of smaller craft, one of the greatest forces which had been assembled for many years. The Dutch admiral was not up to the average of the Dutch admirals of those days. Had old Klaaszoon commanded-in-chief there would have been another story to tell. It is true that Haultain had now but 13 ships and that he was greatly inferior in fighting power. He, therefore, issued orders for his ships to gain a position to windward of the enemy; which done, he would give them his final orders. In attempting to carry out this maneuver the Dutch ships became widely scattered. Only Klaaszoon held on and engaged single handed the leading ships of the Spanish fleet. In a desperate fight at close quarters his main mast was shot away, but his broadsides still continued. Inspired by this wonderful example, Admiral Haultain rallied five ships and came to his rescue, and the Spanish for a time drew off. Soon, however, they came on again, and the Dutch, discouraged by their overwhelming numbers, sought safety in flight in a manner hardly in accord with Dutch naval traditions. As the sun went down Klaaszoon's crippled galleon was seen in the very midst of the Spanish Armada, firing its broadsides with Dutch precision.
Now commenced what is without question the greatest and most remarkable fight against overwhelming odds in all naval history. It would be difficult to believe were it not given in all the Spanish and Dutch accounts of that day and specifically vouched for by the great historian Motley. For two whole clays and nights Kegnier Klaaszoon drifted about in the midst of the Spanish fleet. Knowing well his reputation, the Spaniards dared not board, for fear that he would blow up his ship, but they poured a continuous fire into him. The orange colors were nailed to the stump of the main mast and every demand to surrender was refused. I lis crew constantly returned the fire of the huge galleons until only 60 men remained alive, many of them badly wounded.
It was apparent to all that the end was at hand. The ship was sinking. It only remained to surrender or die. The Spanish admiral in recognition of his gallant defense had offered him quarter if he surrendered, a most remarkable offer from a Spanish admiral in those days.
The old admiral called his crew on deck and announced to them that he would never surrender, to which decision every man agreed. As they fell to their knees in prayer, Klaaszoon with his own hand lighted off the magazine. Two desperately wounded men were rescued by the Spaniards, but died soon after telling their dramatic story.
Thus died Vice Admiral Kegnier Klaaszoon. Nothing of the dramatic was in this man ; he does not agree with our usual idea of a hero; he was just a strong and solid old Dutchman who knew how to fight to the end. Regnier, we salute you! Your name will always remind us of your booming broadsides! With reverence and wet eyes we shall aways see that picture, beautiful beyond the power of mere words to paint, of the old crippled ship, the orange flag still flying at the stump of the mast, the wrecked guns, the wounded and the dead, the kneeling, praying crew and the old admiral walking, torch in hand, toward his magazine. Again we salute you and give you our earnest thanks for the happiness we have when we remember that we have lived in a world which has brought forth such men as you!