On This Day: The Bloody Naval Battle of Dogger Bank Occurs In 1781

As the American Revolution raged in North America in 1781, the British and Dutch Republic found themselves battling it out on the North Sea during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War in the Battle of Dogger Bank.  

In the predawn hours of Aug 5, British Vice Admiral Sir Hyde Parker spotted sails of a Dutch convoy on the horizon and ordered his fleet to beat to quarters.  The Dutch convoy, under the command of Admiral Johan Zoutman, formed up to fight the advancing British fleet.  The battle would last three hours and forty minutes with 246 souls lost and 742 wounded between the British and Dutch.

With neither side losing a ship in battle, both belligerents claimed victory.  Yet, on a strategic level the British were able to prevent the Dutch fleet from leaving port for the duration of the war, which allowed for continued British harassment and capture of Dutch merchant ships.  The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War would end in 1784, leaving the Dutch in economic decline and paving the way for further British dominance on the world stage.

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