The dutch army (1792-1815) page 2


2. DUTCH REPUBLIC 1790-1795


2.1 THE STATE 1790-1795

At the start of the revolutionary period, the United Provinces were a confederation of seven provinces: the duchy of Gelre (Guelders), the counties of Holland and Zealand, the former bishopric of Utrecht, the dependency (of the Episcopal seat of Utrecht) Overijssel and the free (i.e. never feudalized) provinces of Friesland and Groningen.
Actually there was an eighth province, the dependency Drenthe, but this area was so poor that it was exempt from paying confederal taxes and as a corollary was denied representation in the States-General.

Each province was governed by the Provincial States; the main executive official was a stadtholder (stadhouder in Dutch). In theory the stadtholders were freely appointed by and subordinate to the States of each province. However in practice the Princes of Orange-Nassau, beginning with William the Silent, were always chosen as stadtholders of most of the provinces and Zeeland (and usually also Utrecht) had the same stadtholder as Holland
Each state sent some representatives to the central States General which in fact was the central parliament (even today the Dutch parliament is called “De Staten Generaal”).

After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 several border territories were assigned to the United Provinces. They were federally governed Generality Lands (Generaliteitslanden). They were Staats-Brabant (present North Brabant), Staats-Vlaanderen (present Zeeuws-Vlaanderen), Staats-Limburg (around Maastricht) and Staats-Oppergelre (around Venlo, after 1715).

The United Provinces had already in 1787 an outbreak of revolutionary violence. With help from the Prussian king (brother to Stadtholder Williams’ wife), but more important with help of a Prussian army, rest was restored and the revolutionaries fled to France. They would come back in 1793 with a little help from their friends, some of them organised in the Batavian Legion



The army of the United Provinces had its last war experience in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) or some 45 years ago. When in 1793 the war was declared, the army was not ready for war and the units were lacking battle readiness, training and were far from complete. Also, the generals were mostly old (and old fashioned), inexperienced and lacking in leadership qualities.
Still, in the period 1793-1795 the Dutch army put up a creditable fight against the invader as from 1794 onwards the Dutch army was in most battles and skirmishes outnumbered.

Other problems were the bad cooperation between the armies of the Coalition as commanders were hardly on speaking terms with one another. Also, each country acted more in self interest than in an effort to combine arms against a common foe eg the Polish question divided Austria and Prussia and both countries didn’t commit all their troops to fight the French. The campaign strategy was outdated (the cordon system and the desire to blockade and invest fortresses) and all the armies lacked quality.

2.2.2 GENERALS 1790-1795

The highest ranks within the States in the 1790-1795 period were taken by the following persons:

Kapitein-generaal (captain-general)
08/03/1766-09/04/1806 Willem V, Prins van Oranje-Nassau

Generaal der infanterie (general of infantry)
18/12/1772-          1791 Barend, Baron Lewe van Aduard (d)
22/06/1779-          1793 Hyacinth, Graaf d’Envie (d)
15/10/1787-          1795 Karel Willem, Prins van Nassau-Usingen (o)
15/10/1787-          1790 Boudewijn Onderwater (d)
24/08/1790-15/03/1815 Willem Fredrik, Erfprins of Oranje-Nassau (1815 King)
10/01/1794-          1806 Carel Ludwig, Vorst van Anhalt-Schaumburg (o)
10/01/1794-          1795 Johan August, Burggraaf van Kirchberg (o)
10/01/1794-          1806 Frederik, Vorst van Waldeck (o)

Generaals der Cavalerie (general of cavalry)
18/05/1789-           1791 Emanuel Jan Willem, graaf van Hompesch (d)
02/06/1791-           1792 Joseph Falaiseau (o)
28/11/1792-           1795 Hendrik Jaco, Baron van Tuyll van Serooskerken (o)
17/03/1793-           1795 Frederik, Prins van Hessen-Kassel (o)
10/01/1794-           1795 Willem, Landgraaf van Hessen-Philipsthall
10/01/1794-           1799 Willem George Frederik, Prins van Oranje-Nassau (d)
10/01/1794-           1795 Marinus Stavenisse Pous (o)

Grootmeesters der Artillerie (General-grandmaster of artillery)
03/10/1792-           1799 Willem George Frederik, Prins van Oranje Nassau (d)

Luitenant-generaals der infanterie (luit.general of infantry)
24/08/1772-           1794 Carel Ludwig, vorst van Anhalt-Schaumburg (1794 Generaal)
24/08/1772-           1794 Johan August, burggraaf van Kirchberg (d)
24/08/1774-           1794 Frederik, Vorst van Waldeck (1794 generaal)
13/08/1775-           1795 Frederik August, Prins van Nassau Usingen (o)
15/07/1787-           1793 Carel Diederik du Moulin (d)
15/10/1787-           1795 Jan Hendrik Bedaulx (o)
15/10/1787-           1795 Reynod Frederik, Graaf van Bylandt (o)
15/10/1787-           1795 Willem Jaco, Baron van Dopf (o)
15/10/1787-           1795 Carel August Lodewijk, Prins van Hohenlohe (o)
15/10/1787-           1795 Jacob van Kretschmar (o)
15/10/1787-           1795 Frederik May (o)
15/10/1787-           1806 Johan Charles Frederik Schmidt (o)
15/10/1787-           1795 Beat Louis Steigeur (o)
15/10/1787-           1795 John Stuart (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Albrecht Nicolaas, Baron van Aerssen-Beyeren van Voshol (o)
15/09/1790- 07/04/1794 Cornelis van Gheel van Spanbroek (d)
15/09/1790-           1795 Frederik Louis Hess (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Frederik Louis Hess (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Frederik Unico, Baron van Mönster (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Walter Godfried van Nijvenheim (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Hendrik Pallardy (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 George Poliere de Vernand (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Walraad Lamoraal Batavus, graaf van Welderen (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Willem Frederik, Baron van Wilcke (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Carel, Baron van Boetzelaer (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Frederik, Prins van Baden (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Dirk Willem Hendrik, Baron van Brakel (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Robert Douglas (o)
15/09/1790-           1806 Willem van Hadel (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Ludwig Hirzel (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Cornelis, Baron van Maneil (o)
15/09/1790-           1806 David van Pentz (o)
15/09/1790-           1806 Jean Baptiste de Salis (o)
15/09/1790-           1795 Johan Frederik Stockar de Neuform (o)
15/09/1790-           1806 Carwel Frederik, Baron de Minigerode (o)

In the above table means:
(o) dismissed from service
(d) died

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