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British Navy in the Age of Sail—Strategy and Tactics
Strategy—The Fighting Instructions
On December 9, 1652, English Admiral Robert Blake (see Illustration 19.1) was decisively defeated by 88 Dutch ships under Maarten Tromp in the Battle of Dungeness. This failure resulted in the loss of control of the English Channel to the Dutch; it also gave birth to the phrase getting tromped.
After the battle, Admiral Blake demanded that the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty rethink and introduce some major reforms to the English naval strategy. In his report to the Admiralty, he blamed his defeat on the cowardice and low discipline among the captains in the English fleet. The major problem, according ...