09 June, 2006

6th June, 1672. Battle of Sole Bay

The Battle of Sole Bay formed the main engagement of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, and was a essentially a draw. Sole Bay is off the Suffolk coast near Southwold, and the battle is commemorated on the label of Adnams Broadside bitter (abv 6.3), which is brewed in Southwold.

The English thought they had an agreement with the French fleet to support them against the Dutch navy, but when the Dutch attacked from an unexpected direction, the French made a tactical withdrawal hoping that the English and Dutch fleets would reduce eachother to smithereens. Never trust the French!

There were heavy casualties on both sides: fireships were used to set opposing men-of-war alight, and many sailors were burnt as well as drowned, or hit by cannon shot. Body parts were washed up on the beach for some time afterwards.....nice.

There is an excellent blog devoted to the Anglo-Dutch wars.

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