The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

VOC During the Great War

Before Dutch entry into the Great War, the VOC lost little in the way of shipping. Every ship flew a large VOC flag. Their size made all combatants in the war think twice about openly attacking them. That is not to say the VOC was without losses, for forty-seven of their ships were lost in 1914, alone, all by submarine attacks., usually in the territorial waters of their intended destination. Not until after the Van Der Weld incident did Entente ships begin attacking VOC shipping in the open.

To counter, the VOC quickly adopted the same convoy system used in pirate-infested waters. Ten to twenty VOC cargo ships would move as a group, with several of the ships armed with deck guns. The company used its own small private navy as both escorts and hunters of commerce raiders. Nearly half of the enemy commerce raiders sunk by the Commonwealth warships was done so by the VOC. Company bounties on commerce raiders was partially to credit this amount of success. During the war, the loss of poorly armed and guarded competition added to the VOC’s business. As it was the only shipping company that could afford to arm its own ships as well as provide their own escorts, customers flocked to the VOC’s secure ships. The VOC share in total Dutch maritime shipping reached 50% by the end of the war.

No comments:

Post a Comment