Part 64: Q&A - December 6
This has been The Nutcracker Waltz. Since we have some time, why don't we field a few calls again. Here we have Sir Featherstonehaugh of Loughborough
I was listening to your most informative broadcast on the subject of the second eighty years' war, and I was struck by how open London was to attack with the departure of the channel fleet in the early 1720s. Was there any way the Dutch could have exploited this even given their involvement against Austria and in theatres around the globe, or were we of this sceptred isle safer than first appeared?
It would have been rather unlikely. The Dutch garrison in Amsterdam at the time, was 4 battalions of line, and 240 Hussars arranged in 4 squadrons. That army was incapable of besieging the English fortifications around London, even though they could have landed ashore at the time.
More important however, was the lack of additional defenses in Amsterdam, which the Dutch could not afford to lose. Moving their fleets and last remnants of their guard could have brought about the same calamity the Dutch had bestowed upon the French in the early 1700s. They wanted to raise an army to go across the channel, but by 1725, the Dutch funds were all required in replacing losses in India, North and South America, Africa and Europe.
The Dutch could not have turned their armies back from central Europe, even if a smaller force could have defended Stuttgart and Cologne. The German states were still in a state of revolt against the Dutch occupation, and the armies were needed to police them. They were also necessary to defend against the small armies raiding across their towns and factories that were crippling the local economy.
And that's all we have time for for today. Next up is the news.