Maarten Tromp and Cornelis Tromp (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
Article abstract: While the Tromps and other Dutch heroes such as Michiel Adriaanszoon de Ruyter were in command, the Netherlands came close to being the chief naval power in Europe. The competition between the elder Tromp and the English commanders resulted in a revolution in naval tactics.
Though both Tromps, father and son, had distinguished careers and rose to the position of lieutenant-admiral, their lives show some interesting contrasts. The early life of Maarten Tromp contained enough experience to last an ordinary mortal a lifetime. He first went to sea in a warship commanded by his father and took part in the Battle of Gibraltar (April 25, 1607), when Jacob van Heemskerck crushed a superior Spanish fleet under the guns of their own fortress. Several years later, he accompanied his father on a merchant voyage. The ship was attacked by an English pirate, Maarten’s father was slain, and Maarten himself was compelled to endure a life of “the utmost abandonment and cruelty” as cabin boy to his father’s slayer. Released or escaped, he made other voyages and was captured by the Barbary pirates; he was released either on the payment of a heavy ransom or by impressing the Bey of Tunis with his skill in gunnery and navigation. In 1627, he entered the Dutch navy. For some years, he was occupied either in reforming the Dutch marine establishment or in fighting the privateers of Dunkerque, then under...
(The entire section is 1946 words.)
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