Siege of Alkmaar

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Siege of Alkmaar
Part of the Eighty Years' War & the Anglo–Spanish War
The Siege of Alkmaar by Frans Hogenberg
Date August 21 - October 8 1573
Location Alkmaar (present-day Holland)
Result Decisive Dutch & English victory[1]
Dutch Republic Dutch Rebels
England England
Spain Spain
Commanders and leaders
Dutch Republic Jacob Cabeliau Spain Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo
800 Geuzen, ca.1,300 civilians 6,500 to 16,000 troops
Casualties and losses
24+ geuzen, 13 civilians over 500
File:Alkmaar 1573.jpg
A painting showing unfinished fortifications

The Siege of Alkmaar (1573) was a turning point the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The burghers of the Dutch city of Alkmaar fought off the Spanish (who had set up their camp in Oudorp) between August 21 and October 8, 1573, with boiling tar and burning branches from their renewed city walls. The garrison included a detachment of English and Scots soldiers (including a few survivors from the siege of Haarlem).[2]

This battle forced the Spanish commander, Don Fadrique, the son of the hated Alva himself, was defeated and retreated.[3]

A first hand account of the siege exists in the diary of Nanning van Foreest, a local city councillor. The site also been the site of several archaeological examinations of the remains of the battle.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Knüsel & Smith p 456
  2. Knight, Charles Raleigh: Historical records of The Buffs, East Kent Regiment (3rd Foot) formerly designated the Holland Regiment and Prince George of Denmark's Regiment. Vol I. London, Gale & Polden, 1905, p. 11
  3. Nolan p 12
  • Nolan, Cathal J. (2006). The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0313330452.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Knüsel, Christopher; Smith, Martin (2013). The Routledge Handbook of the Bioarchaeology of Human Conflict. Routledge. ISBN 9781134677979.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>