Battle of Heiligerlee (1568)
|Battle of Heiligerlee (1568)|
|Part of the Eighty Years' War|
|Dutch Rebels||Spanish Friesland|
|Commanders and leaders|
Louis of Nassau|
Adolf of Nassau † 
|Johan de Ligne † |
|Casualties and losses|
|50 dead or wounded||1,500 – 2,000 dead, wounded or captured|
Not to be confused with the earlier Battle of Heiligerlee (1536)
The Groningen province of the Spanish Netherlands was invaded by an army consisting of 3,900 infantry led by Louis of Nassau and 200 cavalry led by Adolf of Nassau. Both were brothers of William I of Orange. The intention was to begin an armed uprising against the Spanish rulers of the Netherlands.
Aremberg initially avoided confrontation, awaiting reinforcements from the Count of Meghem. However, on 23 May, Adolf's cavalry lured him to an ambush at the monastery of Heiligerlee. Louis' infantry, making up the bulk of the army, defeated the Spanish force which lost 1,500–2,000 men, while the invading force lost 50, including Adolf. The rebels captured seven cannon.
The invading force however, did not capture any cities and was soon defeated at the Battle of Jemmingen.
The death of Adolf of Nassau is mentioned in the Dutch national anthem (4th verse):
- Graef Adolff is ghebleven, In Vriesland in den slaech,
- "Count Adolf stayed behind, in Friesland, in the battle"
- Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupuy, Harper Encyclopedia of Military History, (HarperCollins Publishers, 1993), 528.
- Menzel, Wolfgang, The history of Germany: from the earliest period to 1842, Vol.2, (George Bell & sons, 1908), 293.
- Laffin, John, Brassey's Dictionary of Battles, (Barnes & Noble Inc., 1995), 194.
- Laffin, 194.
- Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupuy, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History, (HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.
- Laffin, John, Brassey's Dictionary of Battles, Barnes & Noble Inc., 1995.
- Menzel, Wolfgang, The history of Germany: from the earliest period to 1842, Vol.2, George Bell & sons, 1908.