The Third Anglo-Dutch War pitted England against the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands from 1672 to 1674.

Although England, the Netherlands and Sweden had signed a Triple Alliance against France in 1668, England signed the secret Treaty of Dover with France in 1670.

As a result of this treaty, England was forced to join France when it invaded the Netherlands in 1672. The German states Münster and Cologne (Dutch: Keulen) also took part in the invasion. French troops occupied large parts of the country, until they were stopped by the Dutch "water line" (Dutch: water linie), a deliberate flooding to protect most vital parts of the Netherlands. (In Dutch history, the year 1672 subsequently became known as the "Year of Disaster" (Dutch: 'Rampjaar'). A Dutch saying was coined: 'Radeloos, redeloos, reddeloos', meaning: Without hope (the people), without reason (the government), without friends (the country). Obviously, subsequent events alleviated this mood of utter despair.)

In the same year (1672) William III of Orange became Stadtholder of the Netherlands. Ironically, the English thus waged war against their future king William III of England.

English naval support to the French was countered by Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter, who defeated the English in the Battle of Schoneveld, the Battle of Kijkduin, and the Battle of Texel, all in 1673.

When the Dutch allied themselves with Spain - which was itself at war with the Netherlands until 1648 - France withdrew in 1673. England was also forced to sign the Treaty of Westminster in 1674 as the parliament would not allow more money to be spent on the war.

See also:

External link: