#6 is "Defense of Freedom on Dutch Dikes".

Up to the Eighty Years' War (which remarkably actually lasted 80 years - I'm looking at you, Hundred Years' War) the Protestant Dutch had been left in peace until that nice King of Spain (of the pillaging the Americas fame) decided that his possessions being happy and doing well ought to take second place to burning some more heretics.

He started removing the freedoms previously granted to the Low Countries, which formed part of the Western half of the recently-split Austrian Empire.

In 1572 a revolt broke out in which Leyden (now Leiden) sided with the rebels, and it was besieged. Cue the usual starvation stories, although with the unusual angle that when some of the people burst into the town hall to demand surrender the city's elders declared that they would not surrender, and that the people should eat them rather than do so. A high-stakes gamble, but it paid off. The Dutch however couldn't compete with the Spaniards' army.

What could they do?

They had vastly superior naval forces, but what use was that inland?

Well, they burst the dikes, flooded the fields, and then it's a naval battle.


The city was relieved, the rebellion succeeded, the Protestant centre of learning, printing and trade was secured, and Leyden was given the choice between being exempt from taxes for a period of time or getting a University. In an act which makes me instantly fond of the place, it chose the University, which still exists today.