On 18 July 1622, the Spanish general Ambrosio Spinola laid siege to the Dutch city of Bergen op Zoom. The population was divided between Protestants, who favored resistance and Catholics, who favored a Spanish conquest.
Spinola tried a feigned manoeuver by sending a part of his army under Hendrik van den Bergh to Cleves, and an other part under Luis de Velasco to Steenbergen, which was consequently conquered by Velasco.
But the city did not fall because it was supplied by sea. Furthermore, the Dutch Navy regularly bombarded the Spanish, causing many casualties. The young Michiel de Ruyter was one of these gunners.
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