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Siege of Lingen
Part of the Dutch Revolt
View of Lingen by Matthäus Merian.
Date10–19 August 1605
LocationLingen, Emsland, Lower Saxony
(present-day Germany)
Result Spanish victory
 United Provinces Spain Spain
Commanders and leaders
Dutch Republic Maerten Cobben
Dutch Republic Maurice of Nassau
Spain Ambrosio Spinola
Unknown 16,000–17,000[1]

The Siege of Lingen of 1605 took place between 10 August and 19 August 1605, at Lingen, District of Emsland, Lower Saxony, between Spain and the United Provinces, during the Eighty Years' War.[1] After nine days of siege, the Spanish army of 16,000–17,000[1] strong under General Don Ambrosio Spinola, Marquis of the Balbases, took the Dutch-fortress of Lingen, despite of that the Prince Maurice of Nassau, who tried to preserve Lingen at all costs.[1][2] The Dutch garrison led by Captain Maerten Cobben, hoping to be aided by Maurice's army, finally surrendered to the Spaniards. The rapid activity of the Spanish troops, commanded by Spinola, was crucial. The siege was part of the successful Spinola's campaign of 1605-1606.[3]


After the devastating Siege of Ostend, on 2 July 1605, the Dutch headquarters received reports that Don Ambrosio Spinola with Spain's main army of Flanders was headed towards the strongholds of the Rhine, in Cologne.[4] Maurice and his commanders, who in secretly, were planning the siege to Antwerp, had to abandon all hope. The movements of Ambrosio Spinola, not only prevented the Dutch troops landed near Antwerp, also forced to retreat the Dutch in their attempt to capture other minor towns.[5] The States-General, alarmed for the Spanish advance, ordered to Prince Maurice to head for the Rhine with all of his troops.[4] Spinola's army was initially estimated between 7,000 or 9,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry, but a few days later, the new Dutch reports estimated the Spaniards numbered about 16,000–17,000 men.[6] Maurice quickly, at the end of July, with an army of 61 infantry companies and 6 cavalry companies, went towards Deventer, arriving on 10 August, leaving behind 50 infantry companies to cover Ijzendijke.[6] 2 days earlier, on 8 August, Spinola reached and laid siege the fortified town of Oldenzaal.[7] At the next day, the Dutch garrison surrendered to the Spaniards. Then, in the same day, Spinola's army marched on Lingen.[6]

Siege of Lingen

Spanish General Don Ambrosio Spinola by Peter Paul Rubens.

Siege and capture of Lingen in 1605 by Don Ambrosio Spinola.

On 10 August, the Spanish army, forthwith, put under siege Lingen. The news that Oldenzaal had fallen, and that Spinola was marching on Lingen reached the Dutch headquarters in the same day.[6] The garrison of Lingen, about 500 or 1,000 Dutch soldiers under Captain Maerten Cobben, plus the town militia, made every effort in the defense of this fortress-town, as the Dutch defenders were informed that Prince Maurice would come to their aid, but the rapid activity of the Spanish troops under the orders of Spinola made impossible the defense.[5][6] After nine days of siege, the Spanish army of General Don Ambrosio Spinola took the Dutch-fortress of Lingen, compelling its garrison to surrender.[6][7]


The loss of Lingen led to serious disquiet in the Dutch headquarters, and Prince Maurice had to opt for a defensive strategy.[5][6] He marched to the threatened towns by Spinola with 12,000 to 13,000 men on 30 August, and left behind garrisons, with a total strength of 8,100 men, in Deventer, Zutphen, Zwolle, Rheinberg, Bredevoort and Groenlo.[8] In mid-September Spinola drew back to the Rhine, crossed this river, took Mülheim, and laid siege to Wachtendonk on 8 October.[8] At next day, on 9 October, the Dutch troops led by Frederick Henry and Maurice launched an attack against the Spanish troops at Mülheim, but the Spaniards repelled and defeated the Dutch forces. Wachtendonk fell into Spanish hands on 28 October, and on 8 November, Krakau Castle also was taken by Spinola. The Dutch and the Spanish troops took up their winter quarters in late November.[8]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Van Nimwegen p.191
  2. Narración de los sucesos principales de la historia de España p.14
  3. Van Nimwegen p.189–190
  4. 4.0 4.1 Van Nimwegen p.190
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Historia General de España p.10
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Olaf Van Nimwegen p.191
  7. 7.0 7.1 Luc Duerloo p.260
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Van Nimwegen p.192


  • Van Nimwegen, Olaf. The Dutch Army and the Military Revolutions 1588-1688. First published 2010. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge. ISBN 978-1-84383-575-2
  • (Spanish) Rodríguez Villa, Antonio. Ambrosio Spínola, Primer Marqués de los Balbases. Estab. tip. de Fortanet 1905.
  • (Spanish) Narración de los sucesos principales de la historia de España, desde el año 1600 hasta 1808. Library of the University of Wisconsin. Madrid. 1828.
  • Black, Jeremy. European Warfare 1494-1660. Routledge Publishing (2002) ISBN 978-0-415-27531-6
  • (Spanish) Mariana, Juan. Historia General de España. Last edition. 1600 hasta 1833. Volume 9. Barcelona. 1839.
  • Luc Duerloo. Dynasty and Piety: Archduke Albert (1598-1621) and Habsburg Political Culture in an Age of Religious Wars. MPG Books Group. UK.
  • Irvine Israel, Jonathan. Conflicts of Empires: Spain, the Low Countries and the struggle for world supremacy 1585-1713. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-85285-161-3

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