Battle of Gibraltar, 1607

The Spanish flagship San Augustin explodes after a stray shot to her magazine, during the Battle. Painting by Cornelis van Wieringen, in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Location Bay of Gibraltar
Year
1607
AD/BC
AD
History

During the Eighty Years War, the Dutch were trying to win independence from Spain. In April, 1607, they dispatched a fleet under Jacob Van Heemskerk to attack Spain at home. On 25 April, he engaged a Spanish fleet in the Bay of Gibraltar. The battle involved twenty-six Dutch warships against twenty-two Spanish ships and a fort, but the fort was out of range for the duration of the fight. With twenty galleons to the Spanish ten, the Dutch had a major firepower advantage, and they engaged the Spanish galleons with two each of their own. The Dutch suffered 100 dead, and sixty wounded, while the Spaniards lost up to 4,000 men dead or captured, and probably all of their ships (sources vary, surprise surprise). Several hundred of the Spanish dead resulted from the Dutch deploying boats after the ships were destroyed to kill off survivors. The battle resulted in a truce between the Dutch and Spanish that lasted twelve years and effectively gained the Dutch recognition of independence by Spain.