Battle of Nieuwpoort

The States forces at the Battle of Nieuwpoort were commanded by Maurice of Nassau who lived from 1567 to 1625 becoming Prince of Orange from 1618 on the death of his older brother. He was Stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands (except Friesland) from 1585 until his death. He was a successful and talented military leader. The training of his army was especially important to early modern warfare. Previous generals had made use of drill and exercise in order to instill discipline or to keep the men physically fit, but for Maurice, they "were the fundamental postulates of tactics." This change affected the entire conduct of warfare, since it required the officers to train men in addition to leading them, and it decreased the size of the basic infantry unit so that more specific orders had to be given in battle. The decrease in herd behaviour required more initiative and intelligence from the average soldier. One of the major contributions was the introduction of volley fire, making the inaccurate firearms work like the later shotgun with devastating effect. It was first used in European combat at the battle of Nieuwpoort.

Regimental Details

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe