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Battle of Grijzestad
Part of the Brunanter Civil War
Grijzestad 1663
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Date 17 June 1663
Location Grijzestad, Chester Parish
Result Rebel victory
Belligerents
Brunant-flag
Loyalists to King Willem II
Brunanter rebels
Veldwachter
Commanders
King Willem II
Anders Rutgers
Karl Van Draak
Bernhard von Reiber
Strength
3900 infantry,
480 cavalry,
44 guns
2800 infantry,
200 cavalry,
11 guns
Casualties and losses
900 dead
1200 wounded or missing
280 dead,
450 wounded or missing

The Battle of Grijzestad was a major decisive battle during the Brunanter Civil War in 1663.

BackgroundEdit

The start of the war was not well for the rebels, since the army was still in support of the king, Willem II. All this changed after the Siege of Groenveld Castle (13 April). This long siege undertaken by the rebels under Karl Van Draak demoralized royalist troops, and many deserted the army. Since then, the royalists encountered several defeats, namely at Bosterbeck and Brunant which left them divided. The king, looking to reverse his fortune, decided to launch an attack on the rebel-held capital, Grijzestad.

The battleEdit

Battle of grijzestad 1663

On June 17, 1663 about 3900 royalist troops ascended on the Grijzestad plain and assumed positions on the small hill, between the Grijzestad and Eise rivers. Only 2800 rebel soldiers were there to meet them. Willem had the upper hand in men, cavalry and artillery but most of his men were conscripted peasants with little military experience. Most of the rebel forces were composed of peasant volunteers and recruits, but there were 500 Veldwachter, fierce professional soldiers who had abandoned Willem a few months before. The king's side also committed a few crucial mistakes. He had 44 cannons but decided not to take them all up the hill. The rebels put their 11 cannons to good use; a heavy bombardment created much damage and confusion among the royalists. A simultaneous flanking of the royalist right side by Bernhard von Reiber and the fierce Veldwachter caused some confusion in royalist lines. A charge by their cavalry caused some more retreats. When the king was shot by a marksman, the whole royalist lines crumbled and an unorganized retreat ensued.

Nowaday the Eise Battlefield is a National Monuments.

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