Grote Mandrenke
The Grote Mandrenke (Low Saxon
Low German
Low German or Low Saxon is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands...

 for "Great Drowning of Men") was the name of a massive southwesterly Atlantic gale
A gale is a very strong wind. There are conflicting definitions of how strong a wind must be to be considered a gale. The U.S. government's National Weather Service defines a gale as 34–47 knots of sustained surface winds. Forecasters typically issue gale warnings when winds of this strength are...

 (see also European windstorm
European windstorm
A European windstorm is a severe cyclonic windstorm associated with areas of low atmospheric pressure that track across the North Atlantic towards northwestern Europe. They are most common in the winter months...

) which swept across England, the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, northern Germany, and Schleswig
Schleswig or South Jutland is a region covering the area about 60 km north and 70 km south of the border between Germany and Denmark; the territory has been divided between the two countries since 1920, with Northern Schleswig in Denmark and Southern Schleswig in Germany...

 around January 16, 1362, causing at minimum 25,000 deaths. January 16 is the feast day of St. Marcellus (pope Marcellus I), hence the terrible storm tide is also called the "2nd St. Marcellus flood". The "1st St. Marcellus flood" which drowned 36,000 men mainly in West Friesland
Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

 and Groningen
Groningen (province)
Groningen [] is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen , in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea...

 (today provinces in the north of the Netherlands) took place on the same day (January 16) in 1219.

An immense storm tide
Storm tide
A storm tide is a tide with a high flood period caused by a storm. Storm tides can be a severe danger to the coast and the people living along the coast. The water level can rise to more than 5 meters above the normal tide....

 of the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 swept far inland from the Netherlands to Denmark, breaking up islands, making parts of the main land into islands, and wiping out entire towns and districts, such as Rungholt
Rungholt was a wealthy city in Nordfriesland, northern Germany. It sank beneath the waves when a storm tide in the North Sea tore through the area on January 16, 1362....

 on the island of Strand
Strand (island)
Strand was an island on the west coast of Nordfriesland in modern Germany. It was formed by a stormflood in 1362 where many villages and towns, Rungholt among them, were lost and Südfall island was as well separated from the mainland. Strand island was later split by the Burchardi flood of 1634...

 in North Frisia
North Frisia
North Frisia or Northern Friesland is the northernmost portion of Frisia, located primarily in Germany between the rivers Eider and Wiedau/Vidå. It includes a number of islands, e.g., Sylt, Föhr, Amrum, Nordstrand, and Heligoland.-History:...


This storm tide, along with others of like size in the 13th century and 14th century, played a part in the formation of the Zuider Zee
Zuider Zee
The Zuiderzee was a shallow bay of the North Sea in the northwest of the Netherlands, extending about 100 km inland and at most 50 km wide, with an overall depth of about 4 to 5 metres and a coastline of about 300 km . It covered...

, and was characteristic of the unsettled and changeable weather in northern Europe at the beginning of the Little Ice Age
Little Ice Age
The Little Ice Age was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period . While not a true ice age, the term was introduced into the scientific literature by François E. Matthes in 1939...


See also

  • Burchardi flood
    Burchardi flood
    The Burchardi Flood was a storm tide that struck the North Sea coast of North Frisia and Dithmarschen on the night between 11 and 12 October 1634. Overrunning dikes, it shattered the coastline and caused thousands of deaths and catastrophic material damage...

     – "the second Grote Mandrenke" of October 11 and 12, 1634
  • North Sea flood of 1953
    North Sea flood of 1953
    The 1953 North Sea flood was a major flood caused by a heavy storm, that occurred on the night of Saturday 31 January 1953 and morning of 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland.A combination of a high spring tide and a severe European windstorm caused a...

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