Warships in Cross of the Dutchman

The subject has been addressed in the Naval Battles article from last week, but now it’s time to go a bit more in depth. Let’s talk about the Warships we feature in CotD. First, I would like you to know that exact information on what ships were used and what they looked like is pretty hard to come by. We got most of our inspiration from paintings and from descriptions about the vessels. From our research, we knew that there was a big difference between the ships Pier and his army used, and those of the opposition.

The ships Pier and his men used were light, quick and presumably cheap to make. Converted fishing boats with the ability to change between rowing with oars or sailing, were used as a ram to enter the enemy vessel and overpower the enemy by brute force. Larger ships would have 5 to 10 pieces of deck cannons that could do some damage, but not to the extend where they would be able to easily sink the enemy vessels. Most ships were captured (the crew either killed or thrown overboard) and re-used in battles. One element that is not clear to us is how unexperienced farmers would be able to sail a warship that was much more advanced then what they were used to.

ships used by Grutte Pier and his men

ships used by Grutte Pier and his men

The Dutch were masters of the seas in those days, and had the knowledge and technology to build the most advanced warships that ever roamed the seas in the middle ages. The ships that Pier and his men encountered however were certainly not from the elite classes, but smaller, more agile vessels. The ships would definitely have had cannons below deck, and were likely difficult for Pier and his men to overpower, if only for the difference in size between the ships.

ships used by the enemy

ships used by the enemy

The designs you see in this article are inspired by many different types of ships from the time of Pier. We feel that ships were constantly changed and improved — perhaps even to the wishes of the client who had the ship built in the first place — so it could very well be that you recognize a number of different types of vessels in a single concept drawing.

There’s also a topic on the forum about naval combat.

One Comment on “Warships in Cross of the Dutchman

  1.  by  Thagarr

    It is very tough to track down accurate information about ships built prior to the 16’th, most of the boats were built without blueprints, and simply relied on the knowledge and skill of the shipwrights of the time. Most of whom could neither read or write to begin with. What few blueprints that did exist for the bigger ships simply did not survive the ravages of time.

    Getting a boat to move is not necessarily a problem, getting it to go where you want it to is another matter entirely. I would bet that Pier had recruited a good many fisherman to his cause who did know how to handle some of the larger rigged fishing boats. A handful of knowledgeable sailors per boat telling the other what to do would have worked quite well for the smaller military ships.

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