The Dutch Army and the Military Revolutions, 1588-1688

TitleThe Dutch Army and the Military Revolutions, 1588-1688
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsNimwegen, Olaf van
Number of Pages602
PublisherBoydell Press
CityWoodbridge, UK ; Rochester, NY

The Dutch army is central to all discussions about the tactical, strategic and organisational military revolution of the early modern period, but this is the first substantial work on the subject in English. This book addresses the changes that were effected in the tactics and organisation of the Dutch armed forces between 1588 and 1688. It shows how in the first decades of this period the Dutch army was transformed from an unreliable band of mercenaries into a disciplined force that could hold its own against the might of Spain. Under the leadership of Maurits of Nassau and his cousin Willem Lodewijk a tactical revolution was achieved that had a profound impact on battle. However, the Dutch army's organisational structure remained unchanged and the Dutch Republic continued to rely on mercenaries and military entrepreneurs. It was not until the latter half of the seventeenth century that the Dutch, under William III of Orange, Captain-General of the Union, introduced revolutionary changes in military organisation and established an efficient standing army. This army withstood attacks by Louis XIV and the Dutch reforms were copied by the English. OLAF VAN NIMWEGEN has held a number of research posts in the Netherlands. He has an extensive publication record in Dutch and has published several articles on the Dutch army in English. In 2004 he was awarded the Schouwenburg Prize for an outstanding publication on Dutch military history for De Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden als grote mogendheid (The Republic of the United Netherlands as a great power), about the role and position of the Dutch Republic in the European system of states in the period 1713 to 1756.

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