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Battle of Dogger Bank (1781): Map


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The naval Battle of the Dogger Bank took place on 5 August 1781 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, part of the American War of Independence, in the North Seamarker. It was a bloody encounter between a British squadron under Vice Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, 5th Baronet and a Dutch squadron under Vice Admiral Zoutman, both of which were escorting convoys.

Precursor to the action

The Netherlands having now joined the allies, the British government was compelled to withdraw part of its fleet from other purposes to protect the North Sea trade. A desperate battle was fought in which neither combatant gained any advantage, after which both sides drew off.

Consequences of the action

The Dutch returned home with their convoy. Although the Dutch celebrated the battle as victory, their fleet did not leave harbour again during the war and their merchant trade was swept from the seas by British frigates.

Parker considered that he had not been properly equipped for his task, and insisted on resigning his command. The battle had no real impact on the general course of the war.

The rival fleets

Britain (Hyde Parker)

Ships of the line:

Berwick 74

Buffalo 60

 74 (flag)
Bienfaisant 64


Belle Poule (Philip Patton)

3 other frigates

Netherlands (Zoutman)

Erfprins 54 (Braak)

Admiraal Generaal 74 (van Kinsbergen)

Argo 40 (Staring)

Batavier 50 (Bentinck)

Admiraal de Ruijter 68 (flag, Zoutman)

Admiraal Piet Hein 56 (van Braam)

Holland 68 (Dedel)

10 other ships


  1. p.8, Penrose


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