The Siege of Alkmaar (1573) was a turning point in the Eighty Years' War. The burghers of the Dutch city of Alkmaar held off the Spanish (who had set up their camp in Oudorp) between 21 August and 8 October 1573, with boiling tar and burning branches from their renewed city walls. On 23 September William the Silent followed up on a request by Cabeliau dating from the beginning of the siege and ordered the dikes surrounding Alkmaar to be breached, thereby flooding the polders in which the Spanish troops were camped, like the Achtermeer polder. This forced the Spanish commander, Don Fadrique, the son of the hated Alva himself, to retreat and the last Spanish soldiers left on 8 October 1573.
The end of the siege is considered a turning point in the Eighty Years' War as Alkmaar was the first city to overcome a siege by the Spanish army.
The garrison included a detachment of Scots soldiers who had previously tried to defend Haarlem.
A first-hand account of the siege exists in the diary of Nanning van Foreest, a local city councillor. Several archaeological examinations have uncovered remains of the battle.
The siege of Haarlem was an episode of the Eighty Years' War. From 11 December 1572 to 13 July 1573 an army of Philip II of Spain laid bloody siege to the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands, whose loyalties had begun wavering during the previous summer. After the naval battle of Haarlemmermeer and the defeat of a land relief force, the starving city surrendered and the garrison was massacred. The resistance nonetheless was taken as an heroic example by the Orangists at the sieges of Alkmaar and Leiden.
The Siege of Ostend was a three-year siege of the city of Ostend during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. A Spanish force under Archduke Albrecht besieged the fortress being held initially by a Dutch force which was reinforced by English troops under Francis Vere who became the town's governor. It was said "the Spanish assailed the unassailable; the Dutch defended the indefensible." The commitment of both sides in the dispute over the only Dutch ruled area in the province of Flanders, made the campaign continue for more than any other during the war. This resulted in one of the longest and bloodiest sieges in world history: more than 100,000 people were killed, wounded or succumbed to disease during the siege.
The Siege of Leiden occurred during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War in 1573 and 1574, when the Spanish under Francisco de Valdez attempted to capture the rebellious city of Leiden, South Holland, the Netherlands. The siege failed when the city was successfully relieved in October 1574.
The Battle on the Zuiderzee was a naval battle during the Eighty Years' War in which a Dutch fleet destroyed a larger and better-equipped Spanish fleet on the Zuiderzee.
The Battle of the Scheldt also known as the Battle of Walcharen was a naval battle that took place on 29 January 1574 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The battle was fought between a Dutch rebel Sea Beggar fleet under Lodewijk van Boisot and a Spanish fleet under Julián Romero. The Spanish fleet was attempting to relieve the Spanish held town of Middelburg which was under siege but the fleet under Boisot intercepted them and were victorious with the destruction or capture of nearly fifteen ships. Middelburg as a result then surrendered only nine days later along with Arnemuiden.
The Army of Flanders was a multinational army in the service of the kings of Spain that was based in the Netherlands during the 16th to 18th centuries. It was notable for being the longest-serving standing army of the period, being in continuous service from 1567 until its disestablishment in 1706. In addition to taking part in numerous battles of the Dutch Revolt (1567–1609) and the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), it also employed many developing military concepts more reminiscent of later military units, enjoying permanent, standing regiments (tercios), barracks, military hospitals and rest homes long before they were adopted in most of Europe. Sustained at huge cost and at significant distances from Spain, the Army of Flanders also became infamous for successive mutinies and its ill-disciplined activity off the battlefield, including the Sack of Antwerp in 1576.
The Siege of IJsseloord or the Capture of Arnhem was a siege that took place between the 6 and 15 October 1585 at Arnhem during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). The Dutch and English were victorious when the sconce of IJsseloord after seven days capitulated and Arnhem fell into their hands.
The Battle of Steenbergen, also known as the Capture of Steenbergen of 1583, took place on 17 June 1583 at Steenbergen, Duchy of Brabant, Spanish Netherlands. This was an important victory to the Spanish Army of Flanders led by Don Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma, Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands, over the French, English, and Dutch forces led by the French Marshal Armand de Gontaut, Baron de Biron, and the English commander Sir John Norreys, during the Eighty Years' War, the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604), and in the context of the French Wars of Religion. The victory of the Spaniards ended the Treaty of Plessis-les-Tours, and Francis, Duke of Anjou (French: François de France), left the Netherlands in late June.
The Siege of Steenwijk took place from October 18, 1580 – February 23, 1581 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War, between a besieging Spanish force under turncoat George van Lalaing against a Dutch rebel garrison at Steenwijk under Johan van den Kornput. An English and Dutch rebel force under John Norreys successfully relieved the town on January 24, and the Spanish in addition to ill-health and lack of supplies subsequently lifted the siege in February.
The Siege of Middelburg (1572–1574) was a siege that lasted two years and took place in the years between 1572 and 1574 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). A Dutch rebel army with the support of English laid siege to Middelburg which was being held by Spanish forces under Cristóbal de Mondragón. The Spanish held out and only capitulated when news of the relief effort to save Middelburg was defeated at Rimmerswiel.
The Siege of Lochem also known as the Relief of Lochem was a siege that took place in the Dutch city of Lochem during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The city was relieved by a States army composing of English and French Huguenot troops under Count Philip of Hohenlohe-Neuenstein and William Louis of Nassau-Dillenburg and John Norreys on September 24, 1582. This marked the end of the Spanish siege of the city by the Spanish general Francisco Verdugo.
The Siege of Sluis (1604) also known as the Sluis Campaign or the Battle of the Oostburg Line was a series of military actions that took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War from 19 May to 19 August 1604. A States and English army under Prince Maurice of Orange and Horace Vere respectively crossed the Scheldt estuary and advanced on land taking Cadzand, Aardenburg and IJzendijke in the Spanish Netherlands. This soon led to the culmination of the siege of the Spanish held inland port of Sluis.
The Capture of Geertruidenberg was a military event that took place on August 28, 1573 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The capture was conducted by an English, French Huguenot and Fleming force led by Colonel de Poyet. A small assault force led by Walter Morgan captured the main gate which enabled the complete surprise of the garrison, most of whom were put to the sword.
The Siege of Steenwijk was a siege that took place between 30 May - 5 July 1592 as part of the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War by a Dutch and English force under Maurice of Orange. By taking Steenwijk the Republic's army would take out one of the two main transport routes overland to the Drenthe capital of Groningen, the other lay at Coevorden. After a failed bombardment an assault was made in conjunction with the detonation of mines under important bastions and with two out of three successfully assaulted; the Spanish troops surrendered on 5 July 1592 and handed over the city to the Dutch and English army. This siege was one of the first in history to make use of pioneers as a separate military unit although they were still at the time regarded as soldiers.
The Siege of Knodsenburg, Relief of Knodzenburg or also known as Battle of the Betuwe was a military action that took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War at a sconce known as Knodsenburg in the district of Nijmegen. A siege by a Spanish army under the command of the Duke of Parma took place from 15th to the 25th July 1591. The fort was defended by the Dutch Republic's commander Gerrit de Jong and his company which was then subsequently relieved through the intervention of a Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Orange and Francis Vere respectively on July 25. As a result, the Spanish army was defeated and Parma managed to retreat by getting his army across the River Waal.
The Battle of Delft also known as the Defence of Delft was a military engagement that fought during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War which took place in October 1573 in and outside the city of Delft. The battle was fought by a small Anglo-Dutch force under Thomas Morgan and an attacking Spanish force under Francisco de Valdez. The Spanish were repelled and forced to retreat.
The Siege of Rheinberg also known as the Rhine campaign of 1601 was the siege of the towns of Rheinberg and Meurs from 12 June to 2 August 1601 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. Maurice of Orange with an Anglo-Dutch army besieged the Spanish held cities in part to distract them before their impending siege at Ostend. Rheinberg, an important city, eventually capitulated on 28 July after a Spanish relief force under Herman van den Bergh failed to relieve the city. The towns of Meurs surrendered soon after.
The Siege of Geertruidenberg was a siege of the city of Geertruidenberg that took place between 27 March and 24 June 1593 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. Anglo-Dutch troops under the commands of Maurice of Nassau and Francis Vere laid siege to the Spanish garrisoned city. The siege was unique in that the besiegers used a hundred ships, forming a semicircle in a chain on the Mass river to form a blockade. A Spanish relief force under the command of the Count of Mansfeld was attempted in May but this was defeated and he was later forced to withdraw. Three Governors of the city were killed - after the last fatality and as a result of the failed relief, the Spanish surrendered the city on 24 June 1593. The victory earned Maurice much fame and had thus become a steadfast strategist in the art of war.
The Siege of Coevorden was a thirty one week siege of the city of Coevorden in the province of Drenthe by the Spanish general Francisco Verdugo during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The siege first commenced in October 1593, but winter and shortages of food and supplies forced the Spanish into winter quarters. The siege however recommenced in March 1594, but on May 6 Maurice of Orange arrived with an Anglo-Dutch army to relieve Coevorden, forcing the Spanish army under Francisco Verdugo to retreat completing the victory.
The Achtermeer polder south of Alkmaar in the Dutch province of North Holland is the first known polder in the Netherlands. Emperor Charles V granted in 1532 the permit to drain the forty-hectare lake. The draining was completed in 1533.