Nieuwpoort 1600 - The First Modern Battle

Published on
June 13, 2020
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Bouko De Groot; Illustrated by Peter Dennis
Other Publication Information
96pp; b&w, full-color photographs, maps and illustrations, soft bound
Product / Stock #
CAM 334
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Product Picture

Thank you Bill & Phil for all you do for the Reviewers!

Synopsis per back cover: The Eighty Years War began as a limited rebellion of Dutchmen seeking religious tolerance from their Spanish overlords, but it quickly escalated into one of the longest wars in European history. Spain’s failed invasion of 1599 and the mutinies that followed convinced Dutch leaders that they should go on the offensive, and the following campaign pitted the sons of two famous leaders against each other: Maurice of Nassau and Albert of Hapsburg. One led an unproved new model army, the other Spain’s “unbeatable” tericos; each commanded well over 15,000 men.

The Dutch wanted to land near Nieuwpoort, conquer it and then march on to Dunkirk, the northern home port of the Spanish fleet, but they were cut off by a resurgent and reunited Spanish army. The two forces then met on the beach and in the dunes north of Nieuwpoort. The battle that followed was decisive and has subsequently been identified as the first modern battle. Victory ensured the survival of the fledgling Dutch Republic, while the revolutionary tactics and techniques employed by the Republican army sparked the transformation of European Welfare.

About the Author

Bouko de Groot has a BA in Art History and an MA in Egyptology. He has served in the army and is a published author of a number of academic, popular scientific and business journalistic articles. When not writing about current affairs, he continues to study and write about military history. He is Dutch and currently lives in The Hague. Peter Dennis (Illustrator) was inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn, leading him to study Illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK. Provided by Osprey Publishing.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 - Origins of the Campaign
  • Chapter 2 - Chronology
  • Chapter 3 - Opposing Commanders
  • Chapter 4 - Opposing Armies
  • Chapter 5 - Opposing Plans
  • Chapter 6 - The Campaign
  • Chapter 7 - Aftermath
  • Chapter 8 - The Battlefields Today
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Before reading this book, I felt I had to educate myself on the city whose Dutch spelling I couldn’t pronounce. It is, simply, pronounced New-port. Nieuwpoort is a coastal town located in northern Belgium in Flanders, one of the three Belgian regions. Today it is known for its beaches and marina, yet it retains its medieval city center.

All I can say is that I learned a tremendous amount from this book. When I started, I had flashbacks to my 8th grade social studies class learning some facts about the Eighty Years War and feeling like I had been sitting my seat for eighty years. All humor aside, I really enjoyed this book, and I feel I am an improved person for reading it.

Like many who don’t read so much, I first flipped through to look at the pictures. Well, these aren’t pictures. These are much more. I was drawn in by the full-color photographs of armor helmets and breast plates, the medieval guns & canons, and then by the full-color reproductions of Dutch portraits, battle scene painting and maps. With each turn of a page, I was pulled in more and more and wanted to read and learn.

I was struck by de Groot’s description of how armies back then functioned in battle. By providing information such as distances between soldiers, how communications were relayed by non-combatant trumpeters, etc., de Groot shows us how orderly and disciplined battle was during this era.

The story of the beach standoff and then the Battle of Nieuwpoort is also very engaging. The author maps out the action in an hour-by-hour sequence, and this really brings the events to life. As I got near the end, I came across verbal commands all dealing with the Pike. Presented in their original Old English, they were a delight to read, and now I go around telling my friends all kind of Pike commands and getting odd looks.

This is a marvelous and expertly crafted book. I highly recommend it, and I believe you will be drawn in and enjoy learning the information contained within these pages as much as I did. Congratulations to Mr. de Groot for writing and portraying history in such a way as to make the reader want to learn more!

Thank you to Osprey for publishing such a fine book, and thank you to IPMS for the opportunity.


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