The Sicilian War of 1674-1678
This is a very detailed account of the war between the French and the Dutch, with their Spanish allies, that followed on after the Treaty of Westminster, that ended the third Anglo-Dutch War in 1674. The French commander, Comte de Vivonne, first met and engaged the Spanish, under Beltran de la Cueva, until the Dutch fleet, under de Ruyter arrived in the Mediterranean. The war ended in reverse order, with the Treaty of Nijmegen settling the Dutch, followed by a peace treaty with Spain, in late 1678. The Third Anglo-Dutch War ended in 1674 but still left the United Provinces at war with France. For the next four years the Dutch and allied Spanish navies undertook operations against the French, with numerous battles centred on Sicily. On a number of occasions Dutch fleets sailed to the Mediterranean to fight alongside the Spanish in their attempts to retake Messina. After three years Louis XIV’s strategy changed and he withdrew his forces from the island leading to the July 1678 Treaty of Nymegen, which brought the Franco-Dutch war to an end.