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Date: 1960-1979
Overall: 20 x 10 x 105 mm, 0.04 kg
Medium: Metal, plastic, paint.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Peter Collins
Object Name: Waterline ship miniature
Object No: 00039488

User Terms

    This model is of Hr. Ms. JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK, a "Tromp Class" light cruiser that was built (1938-1940) by the Nederlandse Scheepsbouw Maatschappij in Amsterdam.
    SignificanceDating from the 1950s to 1970s, these waterline models are historically significant for their association with a
    period in which ship model production and collection was highly prolific.
    HistorySeveral Dutch vessels have been named after the famous Dutch Arctic explorer Jacob van Heemskerck (1567-1607) - the son of Hendrick Cornelis van Beest van Heemskerck, a wealthy sail maker from Amsterdam. Jacob was orphaned at a young age and was taught the rudiments of navigation at Robert le Canu's celebrated school in Amsterdam. After his schooling he went to sea as an apprentice in a merchant vessel.

    In 1595 he participated in Willem Barentsz' second voyage in search of an Arctic (North Eastern) passage to China. He also was part of Barentsz' third and final Arctic voyage (1596-1597) which ended in a much vaunted, widely admired feat of survival, the overwintering on Nova Zembla. Van Heemskerck distinguished himself by taking command of the return voyage of the battered and weakened expedition after Barentsz' death, finally arriving in Amsterdam on 1st November 1597.

    He first went to the Indies on 1st May 1598, initially as a supercargo for one of the so-called 'Voorcompagnien' (precursor companies of the VOC) in a fleet commanded by Jacob Cornelisz. van Neck and Wybrand van Warwijck. The eight ships of the fleet lost sight of each other as the voyage progressed. Van Neck arrived in Bantam first and then sent van Heemskerck and van Warwijck on to the Moluccas. Van Warwijck and van Heemskerck opened 'factorijen' (trading posts) in resp. Ambon and Banda. On 19 May 1600 their ships returned to Amsterdam, but they left behind a group of 20 crew at Banda Neira and Lontor to protect their newly established trading posts.

    In 1601 van Heemskerck set sail again for the Indies, as commander of another ('Voorcompagnie') fleet of eight ships. The fleet left from Texel destined for Bantam. One of the captains was Adriaen Maertensz. Block, who managed to make a record profit during the voyage by capturing the Portuguese carrack SANTA CATHARINA carrying silk and porcelain as a cargo. Van Heemskerck distinguished himself by his chivalrous attitude to more than 100 women that were on board.
    Upon his return to Amsterdam in July 1604 he was personally awarded an unprecedented 31.000 guilders in prize money and was also allowed to spend another 500 guilders on a golden cup commemorating the successful and very lucrative voyage; the cargoes the ships returned with to the Dutch Republic were worth many millions more!

    Van Heemskerck married in 1605 but his wife died in childbirth soon afterwards.

    In 1606 van Heemskerck collaborated with the geographer Petrus Plancius on plans for another Arctic voyage to find a North East passage to China, but was distracted by an offer from the Dutch Republic to take command of a war fleet and make a pre-emptive strike against an enemy fleet rebuilding in Spain with a view towards attacking Dutch East Indies' possessions.

    Twenty four Dutch warships assembled off the Isle of Wight and subsequently converged on Gibraltar where a Spanish fleet had been assembled. Van Heemskerck's flagship AEOLUS lead the Dutch fleet to a resounding victory, however, van Heemskerck was killed in battle. He was hit by a Spanish cannon ball that took off one of his legs. He died a few hours later.

    His death was considered untimely and, universally mourned, he became the first of a number of much loved, honoured and celebrated popular naval heroes ("zeehelden") of the Dutch Republic; the first among such well-known names as, Piet Heyn, Maarten Tromp and Michiel de Ruyter. His embalmed body was buried on 8 June 1607 in the 'Oude Kerk' (Old Church) in Amsterdam.

    Dutch vessels named Jacob Van Heemskerck:

    Hr. Ms. JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK or JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK can refer to one of five Dutch vessels named after the 16th Century Dutch explorer and Admiral van Heemskerck.

    Jacob van Heemskerck (1642), a Dutch 'jacht'
    Jacob van Heemskerck (1805), a Dutch sloop
    Hr. Ms. Jacob van Heemskerck (1908), a Dutch battleship
    Hr. Ms. Jacob van Heemskerck (1940), a Dutch “Tromp class" cruiser
    Hr. Ms. Jacob van Heemskerck (1986), a Dutch "Van Heemskerck class" frigate

    This model is of Hr. Ms. Jacob van Heemskerck, the "Tromp class" light cruiser that was built (1938-1940) by the Nederlandse Scheepsbouw Maatschappij in Amsterdam.

    Service record during WW2:
    The cruiser was still being fitted out when The Netherlands, in violation of its neutrality, was attacked without warning by Germany on 10 May 1940. Because of the German attack, the vessel immediately put to sea with a skeleton crew of only 33 men, under command of Cdr. G A Berg, who sailed her to Portsmouth.

    The ship then was assigned to accompany the ageing Dutch cruiser Hr Ms SUMATRA transporting members of the Dutch Royal family -Crown Princess Juliana and her two children- to Canada. The ships put to sea on 2 June and arrived at Halifax nine days later. The VAN HEEMSKERCK returned alone to England and arrived at Portsmouth where re-arming began; she was converted to an anti-aircraft ship. Work was completed in February 1941, and after sea trials, the ship was assigned to convoy escort duty in the Atlantic Ocean.

    In January 1942 she was sent to the Dutch East Indies to reinforce the Allied fleet assembled there. The ship arrived too late to take part in the battle of the Java Sea and was re-assigned to the Eastern Fleet in 1942. On 25 October the VAN HEEMSKERCK arrived in Fremantle and was placed under the command of Allied Naval Forces (the so-called 'ABDA' Fleet) where she again performed convoy duties.

    On 28 November 1942, the VAN HEEMSKERCK, in company with HMAS ADELAIDE, identified and attacked a German supply ship and blockade runner -the RAMSES- which was subsequently scuttled in the Indian Ocean by her crew.

    On 1 December 1943, the ship returned to the Eastern Fleet; on the 27 December she set sail for the Mediterranean where she was again assigned to convoy duty until recalled to England for maintenance (June 1944)

    On 26 July 1945 Hr. Ms JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK was the first Dutch warship to enter a Dutch port after 5 May 1945 (Dutch Liberation Day) She set sail for the Dutch East Indies in September, where she carried out patrol duties until 22 July 1946. She returned to the Netherlands in August 1946 where gradually her role as an offensive and defensive naval asset diminished; for several years in the 1960s she was used as an accommodation ship for naval recruits in Vlissingen (Flushing)

    The cruiser was decommissioned on 20 November 1969, and was struck from the Naval Register on 27 February 1970. On 23 June 1970 the ship was sold for scrap.

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