Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Battle of Nieuwpoort

The Battle of Nieuwpoort between the Dutch and the Spanish army took place on July 2, 1600 in the Belgian city Nieuwpoort.

Table of contents
1 Contestants
2 Place
3 Campaign
4 Forces
5 Battle description
6 Conclusion


Dutch army of about 10,000 men, led by Prince Maurits of Nassau. Spanish army of 8700 men, led by Albrecht, archduke of Austria.


The small city of Nieuwpoort (Newport) in Belgium, along the coast.


Against Maurits' better judgement, the Staten Generaal had ordered Maurits to take the army, march south along the coast, and burn the pirate nest of Dunkirk.

The Spanish intercepted Maurits' army, and cut off their retreat.


North flank:
Dutch : 4 guns, 650 english musketeers.
Spanish : 6 guns, 600 cavalry, 1400 infantry.

South flank:
Dutch: 1200 riders
Spanish: 1000 riders

Dutch: 9300 infantry
Spanish: 7300 infantry

The Spanish advantage in
pikemen was about 2:1.

Battle description

Two days before a Dutch army had run before the same Spanish tercio's almost without a fight. Maurits sent his ships to prevent a flight of the soldiers into the ships, and put his army in a defensive position where the sun would shine in the eyes of the Spanish towards the end of the day, while the beach sand would blow into their eyes.

All afternoon the battle raged, until both sides were exhausted. Maurits held 3 vendels of cavalry in reserve, which he committed and cleared the beach. The Spanish army was defeated. Maurits' fame spread throughout Europe.


The battle achieved nothing, and the strategic lesson was that it was more advantageous to siege and capture towns than to win battles.