Battle on the Zuiderzee

Battle On The Zuiderzee

Military Conflict
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Battle on the Zuiderzee

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The Battle on the Zuiderzee (October 11, 1573) 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.


For the years prior to the Battle of the Zuiderzee, one of the largest Dutch cities, Amsterdam, had been occupied by the Spanish. Because supply routes for cities in the area controlled by both the Spanish and the Dutch almost exclusively went through the Zuiderzee, Dutch rebels (calling themselves Les Gueux) attempted to disturb this route as much as possible in small skirmishes and raids against Spanish ports. In 1573 the Spanish Governor Maximilian de Henin Count of Bossu sent a fleet consisting of about 30 ships with a crew of over 1,300 persons with the prerogative to halt the attacks and destroy the enemy force. This fleet also included his flagship, the Inquisition. Weighing in at just over 250 tons, the Inquisition had reinforced sides consisting of armored plating. Opposing Henin's fleet were a small fleet the Gueux managed to assemble. This fleet of 24 much smaller and lightly armed ships. Altogether, this fleet consisted of around 700 men.


Henin and his fleet left Amsterdam on October 5 and immediately hit a standstill in the midst of his attack. Gueux forces continually attacked Henin's fleet. Due to the Gueux's lack of heavily armed ships, instead of a frontal assault against the Spanish fleet, they had chosen to attempt to board, and if possible capture the...
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