The Dutch attack on Landguard Fort.

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Tim Barber 11/1

The Dutch attack on Landguard Fort.

Q 1.         Source A tells us that the Dutch attacked with about one-thousand men, in five-hundred small vessels and landed near Felixstowe cliff. Many of these soldiers had pikes. Silas Taylor, the author of the source, says that “some part” of the Dutch army attacked the fort, which is an early indication of the rear guard left behind. This also points to a possible reason for the failure of the attack, in that the Dutch did not attack with the full force of their army.

        He says that one English soldier was killed, two were wounded and that the Dutch made two attacks. He says the Dutch attacked boldly, but were as boldly and resolutely answered. However, he could be saying that the Dutch attacked boldly to make the English defence sound even better.

        We are told that the Dutch were put to “fright and flight” by the small guns from a galliot. The small guns from this ship were fired into the area were the Dutch were taking cover, and pebbles were thrown up which made them retreat.

        This source gives the overall impression that the Dutch made a strong attack, but were “boldly” answered by the English. The reliability of this source, however, is questionable, as it was written by an English man, who is bound to be biased towards his own country. Also, he was watching form Harwich, which is roughly two miles from Felixstowe.

Q2.        Source F does not support source B. Source B says that the Dutch ships were “so close to Landguard Fort that we expect fire to be given at any moment”. Source F says that the ships were so far away from the fort that their shots would “scarcely reach (the fort).” The Dutch could not get close to the fort because of the shallow water. Also, this factor means that source F cannot support source C. Source C says that it was “the fire ships that … hindered the Dutch coming into this place (Harwich)”. However, source F tells us that “all the marks (buoys) had been cut down”, so that they could not reach the fort, let alone Harwich.        

        Source F supports source A, in that it says it was decided to “leave a good number of foot at a certain pass”. This is the rearguard that is touched upon in source A. Silas Taylor says that a “good number”, but not all of the Dutch, attacked the fort. Source F does mention the galliot that Silas Taylor talks about, and it does say that some of the soldiers were “upset” by the gunfire, and “threw down their ladders and hid behind a rising”. However, source F does not say that the Dutch retreated because of it. It could be that the Dutch and English sources are talking about the same thing, but that the English exaggerated the effect of the ship to make themselves sound better. Also, the Dutch could have tried to initially take cover, but were later forced to retreat.

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        This source is written by a Dutch officer, so he is bound to be biased towards his country, and he could be making excuses to his government. However, the fact that he mentions the galliot and its effect on the men suggests that he was willing to admit mistakes and defeat.

Q 3.        Source E is fairly useful in showing why the attack failed, because it was written by an eye witness. It was written by Castillego, who was a Dutch soldier. However, he would want to make their defeat sound not so bad, or at least establish that it ...

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