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The siege of Alkmaar, turning point in the Eighty Years' War . In 1573 The Spanish troops invaded Alkmaar, because the city revolted against the Spanish rulers. If the Spanish would conquer Alkmaar, the rest of Holland was open to attack. . The Spanish attacked the city because Alkmaar did not surrender. The Spanish thought they could easily win in Alkmaar, they outnumbered the citizens by almost 15000 armed soldiers. It didn't turn out the way the Spanish wanted, the people from Alkmaar were brave and killed the invaders who dared to climb the wall. Though the city did not have an army, they could defend theirselves. Some of the citizens, like this little girl, hide theirselves behind the walls. The Spanish flagbearer has been decapitated by one of the citizens. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Because the Spanish couldn't just invade the city, they blocked all gates and shut Alkmaar off of the outside world. This technique worked, and the city was going to run out of supplies. Cannons guarding one of the city gates. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The battle was going to be lost when the city did not get any reinforcements. The plan was to break the dikes(Dutch walls to keep the water out) and flood the land.To send the message to the military commander of the region, Diederik van Sonoy, the local woodworker Maarten Pietersz van der Mey leapt through the Spanish armies armed only with a leaping pole with the message hidden inside it. The Spanish soldiers didn't know he was actually their worst enemy. Maarten jumping over a small ditch in the Dutch grassland. He's an expert at pole jumping, so he travels very fast. The Spanish soldiers don't see Maarten as a threat and concentrate on the siege of Alkmaar. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The message reached Diederik van Sonoy and the dikes are torn down. The water level around Alkmaar raised and the Spanish armies had more difficulties fighting then the Dutch. Finally the Spanish cannons refuse to work, so they gave up and retreated. On the 8th of October 1573 the last Spanish troops left Alkmaar. Alkmaar was the first city which withstood the Spanish army, after this many more Dutch victories would follow. This is why they say: "Victory starts in Alkmaar" ("In Alkmaar begint de victorie"). Since then, the 8th of October is being celebrated every year in Alkmaar. The flooded land is no place for cannons. The demotivated Spanish soldiers just have to give up. All the gunpowder is being washed away... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fourth brick commentary: I wanted to do the pole leaping guy since last year, but I thought about it at the 9th of October so I was too late. This time I was on time and I was able to add some more little vigs to the story. I hope you liked it and learned something about the history of Alkmaar. I try to be 100% historically correct, but it is possible I made some mistakes in my story.

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