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  • The Battle of Camperdown was a major naval action fought on 11 October 1797, between a Royal Navy fleet under Admiral Adam Duncan and a Dutch Navy fleet under Vice-Admiral Jan de Winter. The battle was the most significant action between British and Dutch forces during the French Revolutionary Wars and resulted in a complete victory for the British, who captured eleven Dutch ships without losing any of their own. In 1795 the Dutch Republic had been overrun by the army of the French Republic and had been reorganised into the Batavian Republic, a French client state. In early 1797, after the French Atlantic Fleet had suffered heavy losses in a disastrous winter campaign, the Dutch fleet was ordered to reinforce the French at Brest. The rendezvous never occurred; the continental allies failed to capitalise on the Spithead and Nore mutinies that paralysed the British Channel forces and North Sea fleets during the spring of 1797. By September, the Dutch fleet under De Winter were blockaded within their harbour in the Texel by the British North Sea fleet under Duncan. At the start of October, Duncan was forced to return to Yarmouth for supplies and De Winter used the opportunity to conduct a brief raid into the North Sea. When the Dutch fleet returned to the Dutch coast on 11 October, Duncan was waiting, and intercepted De Winter off the coastal village of Camperduin. Attacking the Dutch line of battle in two loose groups, Duncan's ships broke through at the rear and van and were subsequently engaged by Dutch frigates lined up on the other side. The battle split into two melees, one to south, or leeward, where the more numerous British overwhelmed the Dutch rear, and one to the north, or windward, where a more evenly matched exchange centred on the battling flagships. As the Dutch fleet attempted to reach shallower waters in an effort to escape the British attack, the British leeward division joined the windward combat and eventually forced the surrender of the Dutch flagship Vrijheid and ten other ships. Wikipedia

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