The tiny new state of the United Provinces of the Netherlands won its independence from the mighty Spanish empire by fighting and winning the Eighty Years’ War, from 1568 and 1648. In this long conflict, warfare on water played a much bigger role in determining the ultimate victor.
On the high seas the fleet carved out a new empire, growing national income to such levels that it could continue the costly war for independence. Yet it was in coastal and inland waters that the most decisive battles were fought. Arguably the most decisive Spanish siege (Leiden, 1574) was broken by a fleet sailing to the rescue across flooded polders and the battle of Nieuwpoort in 1600, the largest successful invasion fleet before World War II, was one of the most decisive battle in western history. Using detailed full color artwork, this book shows how the Dutch navies fought worldwide in their war of independence, from Brazil to Indonesia, and from the Low Countries to Angola.