Michiel de Ruyter




Where are you going?

I'll be right back.




You shouldn't have brought them.

But dad is out there.

The Battle of Scheveningen, 1653

Dutch-British Trade war.

Take cover. Port, get ready to fire.

Get ready to fire.

Hard to starboard.

Admiral Tromp is trapped.

Square away the yards.

Michiel, this is madness.

Luff up to port.

Luff up to port.

We can't leave Tromp to die.

Chop it.

Chuck that mast overboard. Chop.

Reload the cannon!


We'll push those idiot English

back to their island.

Until death, Admiral.

Go straight.

Mainsail halyard.

To port.

Get ready to tack.

Get ready to fire.


Good work.

The Admiral...


He's calling all captains.

Get a sloop ready.

You want to row there?

You, you and you jump in, come on.


You're just in time.

You'll be all right.

It's nothing.

We'll get you to port.

The wind is blowing the wrong way.

Like politicians, very unpredictable.

Don't talk.

My men need someone like you.

Someone who keeps his course.

You can do it.


Go and help people.

Mother! Are you all right?


This morning you also...

I'm fine.

The new prime minister of

Holland and West Friesland.

The right Honorable Lord Johan de Witt.

Thank you.

As regent of the Prince of Orange...

I think I speak on behalf

of all members...

when I say we're glad with our new

chairman from mighty Holland.

Some would say relieved.

I, for one, will sleep better

now we have a man at the helm...

who'll serve the interests

of all the provinces.

And not just those of

his republican friends.

I presume Lord Kievit can

rise above the parties.

I was thinking of the Prince of Orange.

How can the Prince rise

above the parties...

when he doesn't even reach my belt?


Pick up what you said!



We will hear the Honorable De Witt.

First, I'm very happy that

Lord Kievit is sleeping well.

To answer your question:

I understand your concerns, I do.

There is no one in this country who

understands you more than I do.

My father was imprisoned for

disagreeing with the Orangists.

I found out what it means

to live in a country...

where you cannot say

what you are thinking.

Do you want to live in such a country?

I don't.

I don't think you do, either.

Let me pose you a question.

We're a nation of merchants.

We sail the seas of the

world with 20,000 ships.

In trade, we all work together.

To get better prices

and to help each other.

And what do you think?

Does this work or not?

It does. Some members became so successful

they hardly fit in the benches.

When you do business in

the East or the West...

do you do so as

Orangists or as republicans?

And why are the English trying

to block our shipping routes?

To disrupt trade.

Is that because you're an Orangist or a republican?

No, the English want to wage war

against us, because we're Dutch.

Free Dutchmen.

Large monarchies consider

our small nation too rich.

Too successful and too free.

On top of that, we're a republic.

In which all men are free

to live their own lives.

We decide how we worship God.

No leader is more important

than the country itself.

The English begrudge us our freedom.

Our freedom frightens them.

Because we're prepared

to die for our freedom.

Because we paid for our

freedom with our own blood.

And I'm asking you:

Haven't you all lost a relative

to the Spanish or the English?

And was that republican

blood or Orangist blood?


It was Dutch blood.

It's our blood.

This is our country.

A country we conquered from the water.

A country where we earn

our own happiness.

By working hard in the

villages and cities.

In the ports and on the main land.

Our freedom can only be protected if we are

willing to fight for freedom for others.

That is why the Dutch lion holds

these seven arrows in his claw.

That is what binds us.

Your freedom is my freedom.

I'll defend this freedom

until my last breath.

Hear, hear.

Vlissingen City


Welcome home.

Lord mayor.

Leave it, Neeltje.

I can do it myself.

I said...

Sorry, I look awful.

Why aren't you in bed?

I'm feeling better.

How long will you be staying?

For as long as you like.


I've told them to find someone else.

What about the English?

They don't pay enough.

The English will be

quiet for a while.

I want to get on with our lives.

We can finally extend

the vegetable garden.

Great... As much as you like.

I'm glad I ordered

an extra cask of beer.

All those lost years.

You were on your own

because I was away.

Was it a boy or a girl?

A girl.

I'm staying with you now.

I won't abandon you anymore.

Good morning.

Slow down.



We're awake now.

I couldn't stop them.

You stink.

Yes, of seaweed.

Do I need a bath?

There is a letter for you, daddy.

What kind of letter?

Come with us.

Go ahead.

Hello, son.

There was a messenger.

He had a fat horse.

He came from The Hague.

Open it.


We're not aboard a ship.

Look, it has a little hole.

10 copies from this one.


Mr.De Ruyter?

This way, please.

Mr.De Ruyter, I've heard so

many good things about you.


You're the man to lead our fleet.

You mean with Cornelis Tromp?

No, under me.

And not under Tromp?

No. I want you, only you.

As Admiral?

We need to rebuild and

modernize our fleet.

I haven't served long enough.

You have more experience than any other.

As a sailor.

No one will listen to me.

We'll make them listen.

I'm not of noble birth.

Even better.

Sailors are conservative.

You can't just make anyone

admiral of the fleet.

That's not how it works.

Yes, it does.

It's the 17th century,

anything is possible.

This is ridiculous.

You were raised as an Orangist.

Most men in Zeeland were.

I'm not into politics.

But that is an advantage,

sailors have to trust their Admiral.

De Ruyter, this is in

our nations interest.

I'm not setting sail again.

In the last 15 years,

I've spent six months at home.

You have to find someone else.

Are you serious?

Didn't I make myself clear?

I won't find a better man than you.

Of course you will.

This is the 17th century, anything is possible.


What a strange fellow.

What a strange fellow.

I guess we'll make Sir Obdam Admiral.

Damn it, Admiral,

what must we do?


Battle of Lowestoft,

We've lost 25 ships.

3000 dead and 2000 men taken

prisoner by the English.

Good men, who fought for their country.

Honest men.

Who trusted the prime minister.

Hear, hear.

Who trusted him with their lives.


Do you think this will be the end of it?

Is that honestly what you think?

I'll tell you who is to blame.

That prime minister from Holland.

And his republican friends.

They should send him out to sea.

This isn't your fault.

The Spanish want our trade routes,

the Germans want to control our rivers.

And the French can't wait to occupy

the Southern Netherlands.

What are we going to do?

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Lars Boom

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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