Royal Netherlands Navy / Koninklijke Marine – Amphibious Ship

L 801   -   HNLMS Johan de Witt



l-801 hnlms johan de witt insignia crest patch badge amphibious transport dock landing ship royal netherlands navy

l 801 johan de witt amphibious transport dock landing ship royal netherlands navy

Type, Class:


Amphibious Transport Ship / Landing Platform Dock - LPD; Rotterdam - class



Koninklijke Maatschappij De Schelde (KMS), Vlissingen –

(Royal Schelde Shipbuilding, Vlissingen, The Netherlands)



Laid down: June 18, 2003

Launched: May 13, 2005

Commissioned: 2007

ACTIVE / in service



Den Helder, The Netherlands

Ship’s Motto:


AGO QUOD AGO / Ik doe (met alle aandacht), wat ik doe / I do what I do

Technical Data:


Length: 176,35 meters, over all

Beam: 29,20 meters

Draft: 5,55 meters

Displacement: 16680 tons, full load


Propulsion: Diesel-Electric

                   4 x diesel generators (3,7 MW, each);

                   2 x POD's at 5,5 MW, each;

                   1 x bow thruster (0,9 MW);

Speed: 19,5 knots, max.


Crew: 146 + 547 Marines


Aviation/Hangar: flight deck (58 x 25 meters) and hangar (600 m2) -

                 for a mix up to

              6 medium weight helicopters: NH-90 or Lynx or Sea King;


              4 heavy weight helicopters: EH-101 Merlin or CH-47D Chinook;


Well-deck: 575 m2;

Main vehicle-deck: 960 m2;

Low vehicle-deck: 1140 m2;

General Ammo stores: 770 m2;



2 x 30mm Thales Netherland SGE-30 Goalkeeper Close in Weapon System (CIWS);

4 x 0,5" (12,7mm) machine-guns;


Johan de Witt will be the second LPD in use by the Royal Netherlands Navy. The main mission of the Johan de Witt will be the transport and disembarkation of a fully equipped battalion marines to the objective area using organic landing assets such as helicopters and landing craft or existing port facilities.


In addition the ship is provided with Combined Joint Task Force facilities (CJTF), involving 402 men.

With the required capabilities the ship is also well suited for secondary missions such as military sealift or disaster relief.

Johan de Witt will have a larger vehicle transport capacity than the Rotterdam, which has demonstrated full functionality for dock and helicopter operations in all weather conditions.

The platform of the Johan de Witt has been designed with generous operational spaces, deck areas and mobilisation and access routes to ensure swift adaptation to various tasks.

The vessel has facilities for extensive medical and surgical care.


ship images


l 801 hnlms johan de witt amphibious ship eunavfor atalanta


l-801 hnlms johan de witt amphibious transport dock landing ship royal netherlands navy


l-801 johan de witt amphibious ship




l 801 hnlms johan de witt amphibious transport dock landing ship netherlands navy


graphics (c) by Thales Naval Nederland







Johan de Witt


Cornelis (left) & Johan de Witt



Johan de Witt



Johan de Witt (September 24, 1625 – August 20, 1672):


Johan de Witt (born: September 24, 1625 in Dordrecht / died: August 20, 1672 in The Hague) was a key figure in Dutch politics at a time when the Republic of the United Provinces was one of the Great Powers in Europe, dominating world trade and thus one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

Early life

Johan de Witt was born as the son of Jacob de Witt, an influential burgher from the patrician class in the city of Dordrecht which, in the seventeenth century, was one of the most important cities of the dominating province of Holland. Johan and his older brother Cornelis de Witt grew up in a privileged environment in terms of education, his father having important scholars and scientists, such as Isaac Beeckman, Jacob Cats, Gerhard Vossius and Andreas Colvius as good acquaintances. Jacob de Witt greatly valued stoicism.

Johan and Cornelis both attended the latin school in Dordrecht, which impregnated both brothers even more with the values of the Roman Republic. As Johan proved to be a highly gifted student, he was awarded by being allowed the role of Julius Caesar in a school play.


After having attended the Latin school in Dordrecht, he studied at the University of Leiden where he excelled at mathematics and law. He received his doctorate from the University of Angers in 1645. He practiced law as an attorney in The Hague as an associate with the firm of Frans van Schooten.

In 1650 he was appointed leader of the deputation of Dordrecht to the States of Holland, the same year stadtholder William II of Orange died. In 1653 De Witt became raadpensionaris of Holland and, as such, the factual leader of this governing body in 1653. Controlling Holland, the most powerful province, he served as the most important administrator in the Republic of the United Provinces as a whole. Being the most influentian administrator of the United Provinces, the raadpensionaris of Holland was also referred to as the Grand Pensionary. Johan applied his mathematical knowledge to the Republic's financial and budgetary problems.

Johan de Witt brought about peace with England after the First Anglo-Dutch War with the Treaty of Westminster in the year 1654. The peace treaty had a secret annex, the Act of Seclusion, forbidding the Dutch ever to appoint William II's infant son as new stadtholder. This annex had been attached on instigation of Cromwell who felt that a relative the executed Charles I ((William III was a grandson of Charles) in power in Holland was not in the interests of England. De Witt did his utmost to prevent any member of the House of Orange from gaining any power, convincing many provinces to abolish the stadtholderate entirely. Influenced by the values of the Roman republic, he bolstered his policy by publicly endorsing the theory of republicanism. He is known to have contributed personally to the Interest of Holland, a radical republican textbook published in 1662 by his supporter Pieter de la Court.

De Witt's power base was the wealthy merchant class. The people supporting him were called the "States faction", opposed by the "Orange faction" that was popular among the artisan class. This antagonism paralleled a division between moderate and intolerant Calvinists. In the period following the Treaty of Westminster the Republic increased in wealth and influence under De Witt's leadership. De Witt created a strong navy, appointing one of his political cronies, Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam, as supreme commander of the confederate fleet. Later De Witt became a personal friend of Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. The Second Anglo-Dutch War began in 1665, lasting until 1667 when it ended with the Treaty of Breda, in which De Witt negotiated very favorable agreements for the Republic after the partial destruction of the British fleet in the Raid on the Medway, originally conceived by De Witt himself.


His pro-French policy however would prove to be his undoing. In the Dutch rampjaar (disaster year) of 1672, when France and England during the Franco-Dutch War (Third Anglo-Dutch War) attacked the Republic, the Orangists took power by force and expelled him. Recovering from an earlier attempt on his life in June, he was assassinated by a carefully organized lynch "mob" after visiting his brother Cornelis de Witt in prison. He was decoyed into this trap by a forged letter.

After the arrival of Johan de Witt the city guard was sent away to stop plundering farmers, the farmers were not found. Without any protection against the assembled mob the brothers were doomed. They were taken out of the prison and on their way to the scaffold killed. Immediately after their death the bodies were mutilated and fingers toes and other parts were cut off.

Nowadays most historians assume that his adversary and successor as leader of the government stadtholder William III of Orange was involved. At the very least he protected and rewarded the killers.


Besides being a statesman Johan de Witt also was an accomplished mathematician. In 1659 he wrote "Elementa Curvarum Linearum" as an appendix to his translation of René Descartes' "La Géométrie".

In 1671 his "Waardije van Lyf-renten naer Proportie van Los-renten" was published ('The Worth of Life Annuities Compared to Redemption Bonds'). This work combined the interests of the statesman and the mathematician. Ever since the Middle Ages a Life Annuity was a way to "buy" someone a regular income from a reliable source. The state for instance could provide a widow with a regular income until her death, in exchange for a 'lump sum' up front. There were also Redemption Bonds that were more like a regular state loan. De Witt showed - by using probability mathematics - that for the same amount of money a bond of 4% would result in the same profit as a Life Annuity of 6% (1 in 17). But the 'Staten' at the time were paying over 7% (1 in 14).

The publication about Life Annuities is seen as the first mathematical approach of chance and probability.

The drop in income for the widows contributed no doubt to the "bad press" for the brothers De Witt. Significantly, after the violent deaths of the brothers the 'Staten' issued new Life Annuities in 1673 for the old rate of 1 in 14.

In addition, in his Elementa curvarum linearum, De Witt derived the basic properties of quadratic forms, an important step in the field of linear algebra.

In Popular Culture

The lynching of the De Witt Brothers is depicted with a dramatic intensity in the first chapter of The Black Tulip, a historical fiction novel written by Alexandre Dumas, père in 1850, and this event has implications for the whole plot line of the book.

In its time, Dumas' book has helped make this tragedy known to a French readership (and a readership in other countries into whose languages the book was translated) otherwise ignorant of Dutch history.


HNLMS Johan de Witt (L801):


L 801 history wanted





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