From patria to Asia
“Don’t mention the war!”
- Fawlty Towers
This chapter will form the first part of an analysis of one particularly interesting and warlike episode of voc-history, starting with the end of the Anglo-Dutch War, of which news reached Asia by the beginning of 1655, and ending with the ceasing of hostilities between the Portuguese and the voc after the conquest of Cochin in 1663. This period saw several of the most intense wars the voc ever fought, including various campaigns against the Portuguese on the Indian subcontinent in a final bid to drive them from Asia, the first war against Makassar, and the loss of Fort Zeelandia on Formosa.
The analysis made in this particular chapter will limit itself to the first step in the operational, logistical and political aspects of the voc’s military system: the connection between the Netherlands and the East. Firstly, it will look at the logistics of the supply chain: the way in which patria supplied Batavia with soldiers and material to wage war. Secondly, it will look at the political interaction between patria and Asia, the division of competence, and the way in which decisions in Europe took their effect in Asia.