World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Battle of Alkmaar (1799)

Battle of Alkmaar
Part of Anglo-Russian Invasion of Holland
Date 2 October 1799
Location Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Result Anglo-Russian victory
 Batavian Republic
 Great Britain
 Russian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Guillaume Marie Anne Brune
Herman Willem Daendels
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
Ivan Essen
25,000 40,000
Casualties and losses
3,000 2,200
For the 16th century siege, see Siege of Alkmaar.

The Battle of Alkmaar (also sometimes called the Second Battle of Bergen or the Battle of Egmond-aan-Zee[1]) was fought on 2 October 1799 between forces of the French Republic and her ally, the Batavian Republic under the command of general Guillaume Marie Anne Brune, and an expeditionary force from Great Britain and her ally Russia, commanded by Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany in the vicinity of Alkmaar during the Anglo-Russian Invasion of Holland. Though the battle ended in a tactical draw, the Anglo-Russians were in a position at the end of the battle that favored them slightly in a strategic sense. This prompted Brune to order a strategic withdrawal the next day to a line between Monnickendam in the East and Castricum in the West. There the final battle of the campaign would take place on 6 October.


  • Background 1
  • The battle 2
  • Aftermath 3
  • Notes 4
  • Sources 5


After the first Battle of Bergen (1799) on 19 September 1799 had left both armies in almost the same positions as they had held before that battle, a resumption of the Anglo-Russian offensive was for a while precluded by very bad weather. Torrential rains made the roads impassable. The defenders profited from this lull in the campaign by completing their inundations in the low-lying eastern part of the North-Holland peninsula. These soon made their defenses in that part of the country impregnable. As a consequence a repeat of the thrusts by Sir Ralph Abercromby toward Hoorn,[2] and along the Langedijk had become pointless. The Landing was now a narrow island in a big lake that could easily be defended by the 1st Batavian Division of General Herman Willem Daendels.[3]

The Duke of York, aware that French reinforcements from Belgium were on the way, therefore decided to make use of this numerical superiority as soon as practicable. His plan was to concentrate his attack entirely on the Franco-Batavian left wing, consisting of the 2nd Batavian division near Kodiak (which was still commanded by General Bonhomie, as General Jean-Baptiste Dumonceau was recuperating from the wound sustained during the Battle of Bergen) and the French division of General Dominique Vandamme between Walkman and the sea, around the village of Bergen. The attack was to be made on 30 September, but it turned out that the roads were still very bad: the soldiers sunk to their knees into the mud. The attack was then advanced to 1 October (Emperor Paul I of Russia's birthday), but again had to be postponed, now to 2 October.[4]

The battle

Though at first sight the battle had ended with only a slight tactical advantage for the British, the strategic consequences were therefore great. Alkmaar, abandoned by the French and Batavian troops opened its gates to the British and prudently hoisted the orange flag of the former stadtholder[5]

The Anglo-Russian losses in this battle were 2,200 killed and wounded among whom many officers, nine of field rank. The losses on the side of the Franco-Batavian forces are estimated at 3,000 in all. A number of British regiments were given the right to bear the honorary distinction "Egmont op Zee" (as the British render the name of the village) on their colors and guidons.[6]


For a few days the British were riding high, apparently having gained control of the greater part of the North-Holland peninsula, including its major cities. However, large parts of that area, including the rich farmland of the Schermer, Beemster, and Purmer polders had been flooded by the Batavian army. The Anglo-Russians were therefore denied provisions from those areas and still had to be supplie eeing to an honorable capitulation in the form of the Convention of Alkmaar the expeditionary forces evacuated the peninsula by 19 November 1799.[7]


  1. ^ Smith, “The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book”, p. 170, where the battle is called, ‘Egmond-aan-Zee’.
  2. ^ Which city had in any case been retaken by the British fleet in the days after 19 September; Campaign, pp. 37–38
  3. ^ Campaign, p. 39–40
  4. ^ Campaign, p. 41; Zamenhof, p. 171
  5. ^ Campaign, pp. 51–53
  6. ^ Campaign, p. 54 and fn. *
  7. ^ Campaign, pp. 67–70


  • The campaign in Holland, 1799, by a subaltern (1861) W. Mitchell [1]
  • (French)Jomini, A.H. (1822) Histoire Critique Et Militaire Des Guerres de la Revolution: Nouvelle Edition, Redigee Sur de Nouveaux Documens, Et Augmentee D'un Grand Nombre de Cartes Et de Plans (tome xv, ch. xciii)[2]
  • (Dutch) Krayenhoff, C.R.T. (1832) Geschiedkundige Beschouwing van den Oorlog op het grondgebied der Bataafsche Republiek in 1799. J.C. Vieweg [3]
  • Flash-map of the Battle of Alkmaar. 2 October 1799. D. Milutin. History of the War of 1799. SPb, 1857
  • Smith, Digby (1998), “The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book: Actions and Losses in Personnel, Standards and Artillery, 1792-1815”. Greenhill Books, London, and Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA. ISBN 1-85367-276-9

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.