Prussian invasion of Holland

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Prussian invasion of Holland
Part of the Patriot era
Entry of the Prussian troops in 1787, attributed to Johannes Merken.jpg
Prussian troops entering the Leidsepoort of Amsterdam on 10 October 1787.
Date 13 September – 10 October 1787
Location Dutch Republic
Result Prussian–Orangist victory;
Orange Restoration.
Kingdom of Prussia Kingdom of Prussia
Dutch Republic Orangists
Dutch Republic States of Holland
Dutch Republic Patriots
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Prussia Duke of Brunswick
Dutch Republic William V of Orange
Dutch Republic Herman Daendels
Dutch Republic Alexander Philip van der Capellen
20,000 Prussian mercenaries
6,000 Orangist mercenaries
20,000 Patriot volunteers
Casualties and losses
211 deaths (71 killed, 140 died of disease) unknown

The Prussian invasion of Holland[1] was a Prussian military campaign in September–October 1787 to restore the Orange stadtholderate in the Dutch Republic against the rise of the democratic Patriot movement. The direct cause was the Arrest at Goejanverwellesluis (actually Bonrepas) of Stadtholder William V of Orange's wife, Wilhelmina of Prussia, on 28 June 1787. She was on her way from Nijmegen, where William V had taken refuge, to The Hague, where she intended to request her husband to be allowed to return to, after the States of Holland had fired him as Captain General of their troops in 1786.

Earlier, on the initiative of the English envoy James Harris, the Declaratoir had been drafted, a de facto declaration of war against the Patriots. After much hesitation, William V signed it on 26 May 1787. Through the princess' arrest, however, the Orangist plans became clear. This evoked huge resistance amongst Patriot regenten and the bourgeoisie, that had been the victim of violence carried out in support of the plan. They therefore started arming themselves, aided by France. On the other hand, king Frederick William II of Prussia, Wilhelmina's brother, sought vengeance for the humiliation his sister received at the hands of the Patriots, and decided to crush their rebellion against his brother-in-law and ally William V.

The Prussian invasion resulted in the Orange Restoration, bringing William V back into power, and causing many Patriots to flee to France. In 1795, the Patriots (now styling themselves "Batavians") returned with the support of revolutionary French troops, triggering the Batavian Revolution and ousting the Orangist regime. The old Dutch Republic was replaced by the Batavian Republic.

See also[edit]


  • Cor de Wit (1974): De Nederlandse revolutie van de achttiende eeuw 1780-1787. Oligarchie en proletariaat, Lindebauf
  • Cor de Wit (1980): Oud en Modern. De Republiek 1780 - 1795 in Blok, D.P. (red) et al Algemene Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, Volume 9, Fibula-Van Dishoeck


  1. ^ Scott, Hamish; Simms, Brendan (2007). Cultures of Power in Europe during the Long Eighteenth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 9781139463775. Retrieved 17 March 2016.