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stepping stones of maritime history


The Broekerhaven was part of the squadron led by Governor Hans Putmans of Taiwan that had established a blockade for Xiamen (Amoy). The VOC wanted to try by force to force trade concessions with China. It had not been successful so far peacefully.

surprise attack
On July 7, 1633, Putmans' fleet entered the mouth of the Zhangzhou River and instantly destroyed Zheng Zhilong's newly built fleet that lay there. Part of Zheng's new fleet was armed with several heavy guns in European fashion.

Zheng Zhilong's fleet was destroyed but he managed to replace it quickly. Early in the morning on October 22, 50 large and 100 smaller junks filled with combustible material came into view. Putman's squadron was anchored in Liao lo Wan bay south of Kinmen Island. His allied Chinese pirates about 40 junks immediately lifted the anchor and took off.

The Dutch lay there, relying on their artillery. The Chinese, on the other hand, had no intention of letting it come to an artillery fight and were on a collision course. Putmans realized too late that each and every one of them were fireships approaching him. The Chinese boarded and once attached to a Dutch ship, they set fire to their own ships with real contempt for death. The Broekerhaven and Brouwershaven were thus lost. Putman lost 4 of his 9 ships and had to flee.

The battle in the bay of Liao lo Wan was the biggest clash between Chinese and European fleets until the opium war 2 centuries later.


Built: yard in Enkhuizen, 1628

MasterGerrit dircxsz Smient
People on board62
Tonnage100 ton (50 last)


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