One of the great navies of the past, the only one the British respected, ruled the seas and an immense empire while being at the same time a world trade powerhouse, and art and thinking center for the whole of Europe, and a republic of tolerance and freedom. This was the Dutch golden age. However, the Netherlands entered a century long-decline and at the eve of WW2 had nothing near the projected fleet she needed to face both the Kriegsmarine home or less so the formidable Imperial Japanese Navy to defend the East Indies. Nevertheless with limited budget the Koninklijke Marine did the best of what budget she had, relying on delaying and harrassing tactics with minelayers and submarines while at the same time producing ships of extreme quality and level of equipments by European standards, innovative in rangefinder gears, AA artillery or inventing a workable snorkel.
A article helping to nail the Evolution of the Dutch Navy since her early days in the XVIIth Century to the end of world war two, complete with a full register of Dutch ww2 warship types, from battlecruiser projects to destroyers and submarines.
The Dutch Navy in WW2