Franco- British Agreement defining provisional zones in Togoland concluded see 26th, and December 27th, Craonne taken by German forces see May 4th, Soissons taken by German forces see 13th. Stewart takes over command of British forces in East Africa see October 31st. Japanese forces land in Shantung to attack Tsingtau see August 15th, September 23rd and November 7th. French Government transferred from Paris to Bordeaux see November 18th. Lemberg captured by Russian forces see August 30th, , and June 22nd, French Government inform united States Government that they will observe "Declaration of London" subject to certain modifications.
First Encounters and Battles of the Frontiers German Government agree to observe "Declaration of London" if other belligerents conform thereto, and issue their list of contraband.
Battle of the Ourcq begins. German Advance Blocked at the Marne German forces reach Claye, 10 miles from Paris nearest point reached during the war. Reims taken by German forces see 14th. Lille evacuated by German forces see August 27th and October 12th. Battle of the Masurian Lakes begins see 15th. German forces cross frontier of North Rhodesia. Defence of Abercorn begins see 9th. Serbian operations in Syrmia begin see 11th.
Affair of Tsavo East Africa. Battle of Tarnavka Galicia begins see 9th. Naval operations off Duala Cameroons begin, in preparation for attack by Allied military forces see 27th. Battle of the Drina begins see 17th. Second Battle of Lemberg begins see 11th. Turkish Government announce abolition of "The Capitulations.
Defence of Abercorn Rhodesia ends. German force retreats see 5th. Semlin Syrmia occupied by Serbian forces see 17th. German light cruiser "Emden" makes her first capture in the Indian Ocean Greek collier "Pontoporos" see 22nd, and October 28th. German and Austrian representatives expelled from Egypt see November 1st. Austrian forces in Galicia retreat see October 3rd. Serbian advance in Syrmia abandoned see 6th and 17th. British Government issue orders for the raising of the second New Army of six divisions see August 21st and September 13th.
Battle of the Aisne begins see 15th. British Government issue orders raising third New Army of six divisions see 11th. Battle of the Masurian Lakes ends see 5th. Czernowitz Bukovina taken by russian forces see October 22nd. Rebellion in South Africa begins see.
Serbian forces in Syrmia withdrawn. Semlin evacuated see 10th. Battle of the Drina ends see 8th [This is approximately the date on which the main force of the Austrian offensive had spent itself. But there was no definite end to this battle, which subsided into continuous sharp local actions for the heights south of the Drina.
These did not terminate until the Serbian retreat in the first days of November. British Naval Mission leaves Turkey. Admiral Souchon Imperial German navy assumes control of Turkish navy. First bombardment of Reims Cathedral by German artillery see 14th. Cattaro bombarded by French squadron. Secret agreement for mutual support concluded between Russian and Rumanian Governments. Jaroslaw Galicia taken by Russian forces see May 14th, British Proclamation issued adding to list of contraband see August 4th and December 23rd. First Battle of Albert begins see 25th.
Outflanking the Enemy H. German light cruiser "Emden" bombards Madras see 10th, and October 28th.
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First use of wireless telegraphy from aeroplane to artillery by British Royal Flying Corps. Przemysl isolated by Russian forces. First siege begins see October 9th. Russian forces begin first invasion of North Hungary see October 8th. First Battle of Albert ends see 22nd.
Actions on the Niemen begin see 29th. Bapaume occupied by German forces see March 17th, Distinctive markings on German aircraft first reported see November 12th. British army begins to leave the Aisne and to move northwards see 19th. Retreat of Austro-Hungarian forces in Galicia ends see September 11th. Maramaros-Sziget taken by Russian forces see 7th.
Minelaying in the open sea between the Goodwins and Ostend commenced by British see August 5th. Evacuation of Antwerp begun. Japanese naval forces occupy Yap Island Pacific. Menin occupied by German forces [Approximate date. Last forts of Antwerp taken by German forces see 10th, and September 27th. First German offensive against Warsaw. Battles of Warsaw and Ivangorod begin see 19th and 20th.
Przemysl relieved by advancing Austrian forces see 4th. End of First siege see September 24th and November 10th. Hazebrouck and Estaires captured by British forces see 9th. King Charles of Rumania dies, and is succeeded by his son Ferdinand. German gunboat "Komet" captured by H. First Battle of Artois ends see September 27th. Outflanking the Enemy Ostend and zeebrugge evacuated by Belgian forces see 6th and 15th. Lille capitulates to German forces see September 5th, , and October 17th, Ghent evacuated by Belgian forces and occupied by German forces see November 10th, Ypres reoccupied by Allied forces retreating from Ghent see 3rd and 19th.
Outflanking the Enemy First appearance of a German submarine on the Southampton-Havre troop-transport route reported. Battle of Chyrow Galicia begins see November 2nd. Belgian Government set up at Havre see 7th, and November 21st, Bruges occupied by German forces see October 19th, Yabasi Cameroons captured by Allied forces. Zeebrugge and Ostend occupied by German forces see 12th, and October 17th and 19th, First British submarines "E. German submarines attempt raid on Scapa Flow see 18th. Roulers taken by German forces see October 14th, Japanese light cruiser "Takachiho" sunk by German destroyer off Tsingtau.
First Indian units reach the Flanders front see September 26th, and November 10th, Battle of Warsaw ends see 9th. First merchant vessel sunk by German submarine British S. February 19th and March 13th and 28th, United States Government issue Circular Note to belligerent Governments stating that they will insist on existing rules of International Law see July 28th, Edea Cameroons occupied by French forces.
Outflanking the Enemy Turkey commences hostilities against Russia see July 31st. Turkish warships bombard Odessa, Sevastopol, and Theodosia. New British Order in Council revises list of contraband and modifies "Declaration of London" of see August 20th, , and July 7th, Serbian forces begin retreat from the line of the Drina see November 30th.
Allied Governments present ultimatum to Turkey see 29th. Great Britain and France sever diplomatic relations with Turkey. British and French Ambassadors demand passports see 31st, and November 5th. Signor Salandra remains Premier previously appointed March 24th, see May 13th, British hospital ship "Rohilla" wrecked off Whitby. British line broken and restored see 19th, and November 11th. Battle of Gheluvelt ends see 29th. British Government issue orders for hostilities to commence against Turkey see 30th, and November 1st and 5th. Lord Kitchener sends to Sherif of Mecca conditional guarantee of Arabian independence see July 14th, Great Britain and Turkey commence hostilities see 5th, and October 30th and 31st.
Naval action off Coronel. Martial law proclaimed in Egypt see September 10th and December 18th. Battle of Chyrow ends see October 13th. Austrian cruiser "Kaiserin Elizabeth" sunk in Tsingtau harbour. Russia declares war on Turkey see October 29th. British Admiralty declare the North Sea a military zone. British force begins attack on Tanga German East Africa see 5th. Grand Fleet ordered back to Scapa flow see October 18th, , and November 21st, Northern frontier of German East Africa first crossed by British troops.
Allied squadrons bombard forts at entrance of the Dardanelles see December 13th. German cruiser "Yorck" sunk by mine off the German coast. Russian forces cross frontier of Turkey-in-Asia and seize Azap. Moratorium in Great Britain ends see August 2nd. Great Britain annexes Cyprus.
Attack on Tanga ends. British force repulsed see 2nd, and July 7th, Belgian Government reject Papal mediation see July 30th, Turkey severs diplomatic relations with Belgium. First warship to enter Straits. Keupri-Keui Armenia taken by Russian forces see 14th. French Government issue declaration modifying list of contraband see August 25th, , and January 3rd, German gunboat "Geier" interned at Honolulu. British and French Governments conclude convention as to naval "prizes" see August 6th, , and January 15th, Dixmude stormed by German forces see September 29th, Przemysl again isolated by Russian forces see October 9th.
Second Siege begins see March 22nd, Attack by German Guard repulsed see 22nd, and October 19th and 31st. Field-Marshal Earl Roberts dies in France. Sultan of Turkey as Khalif proclaims Jehad against those making war on Turkey or her allies see 11th. Japanese Cabinet decide against despatch of troops or warships to Europe see February 8th, , and April 17th, Affair of Saihan Mesopotamia. Second German offensive against Warsaw. Battle of Lodz begins see December 15th. German cruiser "Friedrich Karl" sunk by mine in the Baltic. Trebizond Black Sea bombarded by Russian squadron see April 6th, Affair of Sahil Mesopotamia.
War Office assume control of the British operations in East Africa. Basra Mesopotamia occupied by British forces see 6th. Portuguese Government announce prospective co-operation of Portugal with Great Britain see August 8th, Belgrade evacuated by retreating Serbian forces see October 30th. General de Wet, the leader of South African rebellion, captured by Union troops see 28th, and September 15th. Battle of Cracow ends see November 15th. British Government agree to Japanese request that Australia should not occupy German islands north of the Equator see 16th.
Serbian Government declare that Serbia will never make peace without Allied consent.
The Great War Timeline - 1914
Austrian forces routed by the Serbians and driven northwards see 3rd. Rumanian Government decline to guarantee Greece against German attack see 5th. Howard appointed to the Vatican. Battle of the Falklands. At this time, on the initiative of Emperor Rudolph II a final attempt was made to attain a general peace between Philip and the States-General in the German city of Cologne. As both sides insisted on mutually exclusive demands these peace talks only served to make the irreconcilability of both parties obvious; there appeared to be no more room for the people who favoured the middle ground, like Count Rennenberg.
Rennenberg, a Catholic, now made up his mind to go over to Spain. In March he called for the provinces in his remit to rise against the "tyranny" of Holland and the Protestants. However, this only served to unleash an anti-Catholic backlash in Friesland and Overijssel. The States of Overijssel were finally convinced to adhere to the Union of Utrecht. Nevertheless, Rennenberg's "treason" posed a severe strategic threat for the Union, especially after Parma sent him reinforcements in June. He managed to capture most of Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel in the next months.
The territory under nominal States-General control was steadily shrinking in other parts also. Parma made steady progress. After taking Maastricht in June , he seized Kortrijk in February , after a four-month siege. The States-General replied by recapturing Mechelen in April after which the victorious English mercenaries sacked the town in what has become known as the English Fury.
Anjou was an orthodox Catholic, but also a Politique , who in had brought about the Edict of Beaulieu , which for a while ensured religious peace in France. As such he was acceptable to moderates in both camps.
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He also would bring the military and financial support of his brother. The latter arrived in Antwerp in January , where he took an oath to in effect govern as a "constitutional monarch", and was acclaimed by the States-General as Protector of the Netherlands [Note 12]. The secession of the States-General and the area under their nominal control from the Spanish Crown was formalised by the Act of Abjuration of 26 July The main effect of this Act was to force a number of "fence-sitting" magistrates in the rebellious provinces to finally declare their true allegiance.
Many old-guard regents now resigned and were replaced with people whose loyalty to the anti-Spanish cause was not in doubt. The Act also intensified the propaganda war between both sides, as it took the form of a manifest, setting out the principles of the Revolt, just as Orange's Apologie in answer to Philip's ban of June , outlawing him, had done. Both documents are redolent of resistance theories that were also disseminated by the Huguenot Monarchomachs. Unfortunately, Orange's attempt to paper over the disunity within the States-General by bringing in Anjou did not succeed.
Holland and Zeeland acknowledged him perfunctorily, but mainly ignored him, and of the other members of the Union of Utrecht Overijssel, Gelderland and Utrecht never even recognised him. In Flanders his authority never amounted to much either, which meant that only Brabant fully supported him. Under Anjou's nominal direction the split between the north and south was further emphasised. He governed with a Council of State that, though nominally unitary, was in practice divided in two distinct bodies, each responsible for a different theatre of war. Anjou himself concentrated his French troops in the south, leaving Holland and its allies to fend for themselves against Rennenberg which suited them fine.
He proved signally unable to staunch Parma's inexorable advance, however. Ironically, Parma had long been hampered by the provision in the Treaty of Arras which prohibited stationing of Spanish mercenaries the troops of the best quality in the provinces that belonged to the Southern union. However, after his war with the Turks had finally ended, Philip's finances had significantly improved and he had been able to steadily increase the number of troops available to Parma.
By October , Parma had an army of 61, troops available, mostly of high quality. By that time the Walloon provinces also relented their opposition against taking in Spanish troops. These improvements were soon translated into military successes. In June Parma had already captured Orange's own town of Breda , thereby driving a wedge into the territory of the States-General in Brabant.
In he made further advances into Gelderland and Overijssel  There the war had been going to and fro between the forces of the Union of Utrecht and the royalists. Rennenberg had died in the Summer of , but was ably replaced by Francisco Verdugo , who defeated the English mercenaries of Sir John Norris of Rijmenam fame opposing him in Friesland at the Battle of Noordhorn. He was in turn defeated by Norreys in trying to capture the important fort at Niezijl. Verdugo then pushed south — capturing Lochem would topple Zutphen and Deventer. However he was forced to lift his siege of Lochem , but on his way back north captured the fortress city of Steenwijk , the key to the north-east of the Netherlands, which always had eluded Rennenberg.
He survived, but suffered severe injuries which put him out of the running for an appreciable time. Meanwhile, Anjou had become weary of the restraints placed on his authority by the civilians of the States-General and he attempted to seize power in Flanders and Brabant by way of a military coup. He seized Dunkirk and several other Flemish cities, but in Antwerp the citizens remembering came to arms and massacred the French troops in the streets, an event known as the French Fury of 17 January The popularity of both Anjou and Orange who was seen as his main promotor now sank to new lows, especially in Antwerp.
Nevertheless, Orange tried to arrange a reconciliation, but both Anjou and the people of Brabant had had enough and Anjou left for France in June Morale in the cities still held by the States-General in the South sagged. Dunkirk and Nieuwpoort fell without a shot to Parma, leaving only Oostende as a major rebel enclave along the coast. In despair, Orange now left Brabant for good.
He again established his headquarters in the Dutch city of Delft in July , followed by the States-General in August the latter eventually settled in nearby The Hague. He was back where he started from in His prestige with the States of Holland and Zeeland had appreciably declined since those halcyon days, however. The States had since greatly increased their self-confidence as a budding government. Meanwhile, Parma's Army of Flanders made inexorable progress. In this desperate situation Orange started to entertain thoughts of finally accepting the vacant crown of the Count of Holland, which some of his ardent supporters, notably Paulus Buys , had first pressed upon him in However, since that time enthusiasm had waned, and Amsterdam led by the regent Cornelis Hooft , Gouda and Middelburg now opposed the plan.
The assassination for a while put the States of Holland in disarray, which left the initiative to the much diminished States of Flanders and Brabant in the States-General. The latter were by now getting desperate as they controlled only slivers of their provinces Parma had by now put Antwerp under siege.
They believed that their only succour could come from France. On their behest the States-General therefore started a debate on the merit of once more offering sovereignty to king Henri III of France in September, and over Hooft's and Amsterdam's objections a Dutch embassy was sent to France in February But the situation in France had deteriorated, the religious strife between Huguenots and Catholics flaring up again, and Henri did not feel strong enough to defy Philip, so he declined the honour.
Meanwhile, the "Calvinist republic" of Antwerp was being brought to heel by Parma. He had cut its supply-line from the north by placing a pontoon bridge across the Scheldt river downstream from the city. The usual starvation tactic now began to take hold on the city of 80, Morale declined, also because one of the last Brabant holdouts, Brussels, surrendered in March After a Dutch amphibious assault during which an attempt was made to blow up the ship-bridge with the use of " Hellburners " failed in April, the city finally surrendered in August.
Parma who was well aware of the counter-productivity of Alba's terror tactics treated the inhabitants leniently, but many Protestants nevertheless migrated to the northern provinces, swelling the stream of often wealthy merchants and skilled labourers with a Protestant background that sought refuge there in this period. A side effect of this wholesale migration was that the economic strength of the reconquered provinces steadily declined, while that of especially Holland and Zeeland mightily increased.
The States-General in their extremity now turned to the English monarch Elizabeth I with an offer of sovereignty. Elizabeth had been approached as early as by the States of Holland with a similar offer for the province, but then she haughtily declined, as she generally disapproved of rebellion and Dutchmen. Now, however, the English government reconsidered in view of the gains Parma was making, which also had the unwanted effect of strengthening Catholic anti-government sentiment in England.
Elizabeth though declining to take up the offer of sovereignty therefore decided to extend an English protectorate over the Netherlands, be it under strict conditions to protect her interests. She offered to send an expeditionary force of 6,foot and 1, horse, the cost to be shared by the States-General, provided her nominee, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester , would be put in both military and political charge of the country as governor-general.
Furthermore, he should govern through a reconstituted Council of State, on which the English government would have two voting members one of which was the Clerk of the Privy Council, Sir Thomas Wilkes , and she was to be given the fortresses of Flushing and Brill as surety for the loans she extended. This was the first instance in which the rebel state was diplomatically recognised by a foreign government the treaty with Anjou having been "private". Leicester's intervention in the Netherlands proved to be a mixed blessing.
He was to be a rallying point for the forces in the Netherlands that were opposed to the hegemony of the States of Holland. As a protector of the Puritans in England, he was seen as a natural ally by the "strict" faction of Calvinists in the Netherlands, who had opposed Orange's policy of "religious peace" and now were arrayed against the "lax" Dutch regents who favoured an Erastian Church order, a bone of contention for many years to come.
Those Dutch regents, ably led by the Land's Advocate of Holland , Johan van Oldenbarnevelt , opposed Leicester from the start because they rightly identified him as the focus of the opposition in the Netherlands to the power they had acquired during the course of the Revolt.
Dutch Revolt - Wikipedia
Beside the hard-line Calvinists, that opposition consisted of the Dutch nobility, whose power had declined in favour of that of the despised merchant class that the regents represented, and the factions in the other provinces, such as Utrecht and Friesland, that heartily resented Holland's supremacy. The first conflict arose during the negotiations with Leicester in January over the exact contents of his commission as governor-general. The Treaty of Nonsuch provided that stadtholders for the individual provinces would henceforth be appointed by the Council of State, so as to give England a say in the matter.
In a show of bad faith the States of Holland and Zeeland had then appointed the second legitimate son of Orange, Maurice of Nassau , [Note 14] stadtholder in their provinces just before Leicester arrived. To add insult to injury, the States insisted that all stadtholders derived their authority from the sovereign States of the provinces that appointed them, so Leicester could claim no say in the matter an argument that would play an important role in future constitutional conflicts.
Confronted with this fait accompli he had no choice but to acquiesce. Leicester also clashed with Holland over matters of policy like the representation of the States of Brabant and Flanders, who by now no longer controlled any significant areas in their provinces, in the States-General. From on they were barred from taking part in the deliberations over Leicester's objection, though he managed to retain their seats in the Council of State for them.
Once the States-General were thus deprived of the membership of the last Southern provinces, one may in effect start using the name Dutch Republic for the new state. Holland also opposed Leicester's embargo on "trade with the enemy. However, the embargo also hit the Dutch merchants very hard, as much of the grain trade on the Baltic was now diverted to England. The Dutch regents therefore preferred a system of control with licenses that had the added benefit of bringing in much-needed revenue.
For the moment Leicester prevailed on this point, however. The political strains between Leicester and Holland intensified when the Calvinist hard-liners, in Utrecht, led by Gerard Prouninck , seized power in that province in August This provided Leicester with an anti-Holland power base from which he could make difficulties for the Dutch regents in other provinces, especially Friesland, also. When Leicester temporarily returned to England in December , Holland immediately set to work to recover the lost ground. New regulations were put in force that required every officer in the pay of Holland to accept his commission from the stadtholder, Maurice, who also had to approve all troop movements.
Leicester's trade embargo was emasculated. Meanwhile, much mutual irritation had arisen between the Dutch populace and the English troops garrisoned in many towns. This contributed to anti-English feeling under the populace, which helped undermine the pro-English Utrecht faction, that had been agitating for offering sovereignty to Elizabeth once again. When Leicester returned to the Netherlands he found his friends weakened so much that he concluded that he would have to seize power by force to get the situation under control.
After preparations during the Summer, Leicester occupied Gouda, Schoonhoven and a few other cities in September An attempt to arrest Maurice and Oldenbarnevelt in The Hague failed, however, as did an attempted insurrection of hardline Calvinists in Leiden. When a personal attempt by Leicester to get Amsterdam in his camp also failed, he gave up and returned to England in December Thus ended the last attempt to keep the Netherlands a "mixed monarchy", under foreign government.
The northern provinces now entered a period of more than two centuries of republican government. The Dutch Republic was not proclaimed with great fanfare. In fact, after the departure of Leicester the States of the several provinces and the States-General conducted business as usual. To understand why, one has to look at the polemic that took place during about the question who held sovereignty. The polemic was started by the English member of the Council of State, Sir Thomas Wilkes , who published a learned Remonstrance in March , in which he attacked the States of Holland because they undermined the authority of Leicester to whom, in Wilkes view, the People of the Netherlands had transferred sovereignty in the absence of the "legitimate prince" presumably Philip.
In other words, in this view the republic already existed so it did not need to be brought into being. The latter and many contemporary foreign observers and later historians often argued that the confederal government machinery of the Netherlands, in which the delegates to the States and States-General constantly had to refer back to their principals in the cities, "could not work" without the unifying influence of an "eminent head" like a Regent or Governor-General, or later a stadtholder. However, the first years of the Dutch Republic proved different as in hindsight the experience with the States-General since , ably managed by Orange, had proved.
Oldenbarnevelt proved to be Orange's equal in virtuosity of parliamentary management. The government he informally led proved to be quite effective, at least as long as the war lasted. Internally, probably thanks to the influx of Protestant refugees from the South, which temporarily became a flood after the fall of Antwerp in , the long-term economic boom was ignited that in its first phase would last until the second decade of the next century. The southern migrants brought the entrepreneurial qualities, capital, labour skills and know-how that were needed to start an industrial and trade revolution.
The economic resources that this boom generated were easily mobilised by the budding " fiscal-military state " in the Netherlands, that had its origin, ironically, in the Habsburg attempts at centralisation earlier in the century. Though the Revolt was in the main motivated by resistance against this Spanish "fiscal-military state" on the absolutist model, in the course of this resistance the Dutch constructed their own model that, though explicitly structured in a decentralised fashion with decision-making at the lowest, instead of the highest level was at least as efficient at resource mobilisation for war as the Spanish one.
This started in the desperate days of the early Revolt in which the Dutch regents had to resort to harsh taxation and forced loans to finance their war efforts. However, in the long run these very policies helped reinforce the fiscal and economic system, as the taxation system that was developed formed an efficient and sturdy base for the debt-service of the state, thereby reinforcing the trust of lenders in the credit-worthiness of that state.
Innovations, such as the making of a secondary market for forced loans by town governments helped merchants to regain liquidity , and helped start the financial system that made the Netherlands the first modern economy. Though in the early s this fiscal-military state was only in its early stages and not as formidable as it would become in the next century, it still already made the struggle between Spain and the Dutch Republic less unequal than it had been in the early years of the Revolt.
Externally, the preparations Philip was making for an invasion of England were all too evident. This growing threat prompted Elizabeth to take a more neutral stance in the Netherlands. Oldenbarnevelt proceeded unhindered to break the opposition. The position of Holland was also improved when Adolf of Nieuwenaar died in a gunpowder explosion in October , enabling Oldenbarnevelt to engineer his succession as stadtholder of Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel by Maurice, with whom he worked hand in glove.
Oldenbarnevelt managed to wrest power away from the Council of State, with its English members though the Council would have an English representation until the English loans were repaid by the end of the reign of James I. Instead, military decisions were more and more made by the States-General with its preponderant influence of the Holland delegation , thereby usurping important executive functions from the Council. The role of the budding Dutch navy in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in August , has often been under-exposed.
It was crucial, however. After the fall of Antwerp the Sea-Beggar veterans under admiral Justinus van Nassau the illegitimate elder brother of Maurice had been blockading Antwerp and the Flemish coast with their nimble flyboats. These mainly operated in the shallow waters off Zeeland and Flanders that larger warships with a deeper draught, like the Spanish and English galleons, could not safely enter.
The Dutch therefore enjoyed unchallenged naval superiority in these waters, even though their navy was inferior in naval armament. An essential element of the plan of invasion, as it was eventually implemented, was the transportation of a large part of Parma's Army of Flanders as the main invasion force in unarmed barges across the English Channel. These barges would be protected by the large ships of the Armada. However, to get to the Armada, they would have to cross the zone dominated by the Dutch navy, where the Armada could not go.
This problem seems to have been overlooked by the Spanish planners, but it was insurmountable. Because of this obstacle, England never was in any real danger. However, as it turned out, the English navy defeated the Armada before the embarkation of Parma's army could be implemented, turning the role of the Dutch moot.
The Army of Flanders escaped the drowning death Justinus and his men had in mind for them, ready to fight another day. Henry IV of France's succession to the French throne in occasioned a new civil war in France, in which Philip soon intervened on the Catholic side. He ordered Parma to use the Army of Flanders for this intervention and this put Parma in the unenviable position of having to fight a two-front war.
There was at first little to fear from the Dutch, and he had taken the added precaution of heavily fortifying a number of the cities in Brabant and the north-eastern Netherlands he had recently acquired, so he could withdraw his main army to the French border with some confidence. However, this offered the Dutch a respite from his relentless pressure that they soon put to good use. Under the two stadtholders, Maurice and William Louis, the Dutch States Army was in a short time thoroughly reformed from an ill-disciplined, ill-paid rabble of mercenary companies from all over Protestant Europe, to a well-disciplined, well-paid professional army, with many soldiers, skilled in the use of modern fire-arms, like arquebuses , and soon the more modern muskets.
The use of these fire-arms required tactical innovations like the counter-march of files of musketeers to enable rapid volley fire by ranks; such complicated manoevres had to be instilled by constant drilling. As part of their army reform the stadtholders therefore made extensive use of military manuals, often inspired by classical examples of Roman infantry tactics , such as the ones edited by Justus Lipsius in De Militia Romana of Jacob de Gheyn II later published an elaborately illustrated example of such a manual under the auspices of Maurice, but there were others.
These reforms were in the 17th century emulated by other European armies, like the Swedish army of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. But the Dutch army developed them first. Besides these organisational and tactical reforms, the two stadtholders also developed a new approach to siege warfare. They appreciated the peculiar difficulties of the terrain for this type of warfare in most of the Netherlands, which necessitated much labour for the digging of investments.
Previously, many soldiers disdained the manual work required and armies usually press-ganged hapless peasants. Maurice, however, required his soldiers to do the digging, which caused an appreciable improvement in the quality of the work. Maurice also assembled an impressive train of siege artillery, much larger than armies of the time usually had available, which enabled him to systematically pulverise enemy fortresses. He was to put this to good use, when the Republic went on the offensive in Already in Breda was recaptured with a ruse from which having been aided considerably by an English army under Sir Francis Vere  and Maurice used his much enlarged army [Note 16] with newly developed transportation methods using rivercraft, to sweep the IJssel -river valley, capturing Zutphen and Deventer; then invade the Ommelanden in Groningen, capturing all Spanish forts and defeated Parma during the Siege of Knodsenburg.
He ended the campaign with the conquest of Hulst in Flanders and then Nijmegen in Gelderland. In one fell swoop this transformed the eastern part of the Netherlands, which had hitherto been in Parma's hands. The next year Maurice joined his cousin William Louis in the siege of Steenwijk , pounding that strongly defended fortress with 50 artillery pieces, that fired 29, shot. The city surrendered after 44 days. During the same campaign year the formidable fortress of Coevorden was also reduced ; it surrendered after a relentless bombardment of six weeks.
Drenthe was now brought under control of the States-General. Despite the fact that Spanish control of the northeastern Netherland now hung by a thread, Holland insisted that first Geertruidenberg would be captured, which happened after an epic textbook siege , which even the great ladies of The Hague treated as a tourist attraction, in June Only the next year the stadtholders concentrated their attention on the northeast again, where meanwhile the particularist forces in Friesland, led by Carel Roorda, were trying to extend their hegemony over the other north-eastern provinces.
This was temporarily resolved by a solution imposed by Holland, putting Friesland in its place, which the Frisians understandably resented. Holland also attempted to avoid the expense of a lengthy siege of the strongly defended and strongly pro-Spanish city of Groningen by offering that city an attractive deal that would maintain its status in its eternal conflict with the Ommelanden.
This diplomatic initiative failed however, and Groningen was subjected to a two-month siege. After its capitulation on July 22, , the city was treated "leniently", though Catholic worship was henceforth prohibited and the large body of Catholic clergy that had sought refuge in the city since forced to flee to the Southern Netherlands. The province of Groningen, City and Ommelanden, was now admitted to the Union of Utrecht, as the seventh voting province under a compromise imposed by Holland, that provided for an equal vote for both the city and the Ommelanden in the new States of Groningen.
In view of the animosity between the two parties, this spelled eternal deadlock, so a casting vote was given to the new stadtholder, William Louis, who was appointed by the States-General, in this instance. The States-General now laid a garrison in Emden, forcing the Count to recognise them diplomatically in the Treaty of Delfzijl of This also gave the Republic a strategic interest in the Ems River valley.
He made his entry in Brussels on 11 February His first priority was restoring Spain's military position in the Low Countries. During his first campaign season, Albert surprised his enemies by capturing Calais and nearby Ardres from the French and Hulst from the Dutch. These successes were however offset by the third bankruptcy of the Spanish crown later that year. The successful attack on Cadiz by an Anglo-Dutch task force was the main cause of this.
This meant that payments to the army dried up and led to mutinies and desertions. Albert's Spanish army of 4, attempted to surprise Tholen but Maurice's Anglo-Dutch army beat them to it and defeated them at Turnhout in a rare pitched battle in January. Maurice then went on the offensive seized the fortress of Rheinberg , a strategic Rhine crossing, and subsequently Groenlo , Oldenzaal and Enschede fell into his hands.
He then crossed into Germany and captured Lingen , and the county of the same name. This reinforced Dutch hegemony in the Ems valley. Capture of these cities secured for a while the dominance of the Dutch over eastern Overijssel and Gelderland, which had hitherto been firmly in Spanish hands. Meanwhile, however, the civil war in France was drawing to a close.
The Dutch viewed this with some trepidation, because though Henry IV was the winner, the end of hostilities after the Peace of Vervins of May would free the Army of Flanders again for operations in the Netherlands. Soon after, Philip died, and his Will provided a new surprise.
It turned out that he had willed the Netherlands to his daughter Isabella and her husband Archduke Albert, who would henceforth reign as co-sovereigns. Nevertheless, ceding the Netherlands made it theoretically easier to pursue a compromise peace, as both the Archdukes, and the chief minister of the new king, the duke of Lerma were less inflexible toward the Republic than Philip II had been.
Soon secret negotiations were started which, however, proved abortive because Spain insisted on two points that were nonnegotiable to the Dutch: The Republic was too insecure internally the loyalty of the recently conquered areas being in doubt to accede on the latter point, while the first point would have invalidated the entire Revolt. The war therefore continued. A Spanish strike into Holland was attempted in April — Francesco de Mendoza, the Admiral of Aragon was ordered by the Archduke of Austria to mount an offensive into the Bommelerwaard. Once this has been taken the Spanish would then be able to cut Holland off and gain more favourable talks in the peace process.
The offensive however went awry from the start. Mendoza with 12, horse and foot tried to go through to Zaltbommel by taking Schenkenschanz on 28 April, but was repelled by the small English garrison. A siege on the town of Zaltbommel by Spanish troops was attempted but they had to lift the siege by the approaching Anglo-Dutch force of 10, infantry and 3, cavalry led by Maurice of Nassau.