Isabelline, or Isabella yellow

Battle of Nieuwpoort

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The Battle of Nieuwpoort, between a Dutch army under Prince Maurits of Orange and a Spanish army under Albert (in German: Albrecht) of Austria, took place on July 2, 1600 near the present day Belgian city Nieuwpoort.

Against Maurits' better judgement, the Staten Generaal had ordered Maurits to take the army, march south along the coast, and burn the pirate nest of Dunkirk, on the coast, which attacked Dutch ships.

The Spanish intercepted Maurits' army, and cut off their retreat.


Dutch :
9,500 infantry
1,400 cavalry
14 guns
6,000 infantry
1,200 cavalry
9 guns

Two days before a Dutch army had run before the same Spanish tercios almost without a fight. Maurits sent his ships to prevent a flight of the soldiers into the ships, and put his army in a defensive position where the sun would shine in the eyes of the Spanish towards the end of the day, while the beach sand would blow into their eyes.

All afternoon the battle raged, until both sides were exhausted. Maurits held 3 vendels of cavalry in reserve, which he committed and cleared the beach. The Spanish army was defeated. Maurits' fame spread throughout Europe.  Maurice had driven a Spanish army from the field, a rare feat in the late 16th century. The Dutch would thereafter begin to dismantle Spain's vaunted navy, ultimately supplanting Spain as the world's first naval power.

She was humiliated and extremely  angry that her husband Albert, and his army had lost the batlle. She ordered him to recapture the town  immediately. She made the public and historical vow not to change her clothes until the town was recaptured. It took however three years. The probable color of her underwear went into history as Isabella yellow, or Isabelline.