A Gathering of Progressives

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Bullet Points:

** When the narrative became feelings matter more than facts, and was accepted, or enforced by those in positions of influence. Debate died.

** More White House masking antics (PJ Media).

** The Lordstown Endurance EV has 174 miles of range (in warm weather on level highway), which is far less than earlier estimates of more than 250 miles.

 

It’s Gun Pride Month

 

Just Saying

 

Identify the Aircraft

1

2

 

In Orbit

 

From the Days of Fighting Sail (this week in history)

The Raid of the Medway, 12–14 June 1667

“And, the truth is, I do fear so much that the whole kingdom is undone”

These were the words of Samuel Pepys Chief Secretary to the Admiralty (1633-1703), taken from his diary entry on 12th June 1667, a stark reminder of the victorious Dutch attack launched on the unsuspecting Royal Navy. This attack became known as the Raid on Medway, a humiliating loss for England and one of the worst in the history of the Royal Navy.

The dates here refer to the Julian calendar used in England at that time.

The Prelude

After the end of the first Anglo-Dutch War in 1654, the restoration of the monarchy had taken place in England with the return of King Charles II (1630-1685). The latter needed financial resources for a government independent of Parliament, which he hoped to gain through the spoils of another war against the United Netherlands. He was supported in this by the ambitions of the Royal African Company to damage the Dutch competition.

In the spring of 1665, open warfare broke out. After the initial fighting, the Dutch won the Battle of Four Days in June 1666 and thought they had gained the upper hand. A few weeks later, however, the English fleet regained naval supremacy in the North Sea in the “St. James’s Day Fight”. As a result, the Royal Navy interdicted Dutch shipping, and English captains raided places along the coast. The most famous case occurred on 20 August 1666, when Vice-Admiral Robert Holmes (1622-1692) burned down the village of Ter Schelling on the island of Terschelling and sank 140 to 150 merchant ships anchored in nearby Vlie. This event became known and celebrated in England as Holmes’s Bonfire. Afterward, the English fleet retreated to its own waters.

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The raid of the Medway, by Willem van der Stoop 

War weariness grew in the States General as the costs strained the national budget and confidence in the ally France had waned. After the catastrophic losses of the merchant ships at Terschelling, the Dutch opened peace negotiations under Swedish mediation. But English finances were also exhausted. The war had not brought the hoped-for profits, and Parliament refused to grant new funds for warfare after it emerged that some of the money granted had gone to the king’s expensive court. Added to this were the losses caused by the severely impaired maritime trade, the great plague epidemic of 1665, and the “Great Fire of London”. Against the opposition of Admiral Monck (1608-1670), King Charles II, therefore, ordered in the winter of 1666/67 that the large ships of the line be dismantled and decommissioned. The war was to be continued only with privateers in order to damage Dutch trade.

Meanwhile, at the peace congress in Breda, the English envoys had been instructed to reach as advantageous a conclusion as possible. Against the background of the last successes in 1666, Charles II dragged out the negotiations in order to end the war with a profit, even though he had had his only means of pressure, the fleet, de-rigged. The United Netherlands was not prepared to make concessions. Soon, however, they came under pressure from elsewhere. King Louis XIV of France (1638-1715) declared war on the Kingdom of Spain in May 1667 and began an invasion of the Spanish Netherlands to appropriate it. The United Netherlands was now forced to bring peace negotiations with England to an immediate conclusion so that it could concentrate on containing French expansionist intentions. To this end, it seemed necessary to Johan de Witt (1625-1672), the council pensioner and head of Dutch policy, to increase the pressure on England by directly attacking the island of Great Britain.

The Plan

The idea of landing troops on the British Isles was not new. Such plans had already been worked out after the victory of the Dutch fleet in the Battle of the Four Days. In the summer of 1666, Admiral Michiel de Ruyter (1606-1676) had taken about 6000 soldiers to the Thames estuary in addition to the fleet, in order to be able to intervene in a supportive manner in the event of a local uprising of the English population against Charles II. But such an uprising failed to materialize, and the transport ships were sent back to Dutch ports after a storm. Only a brief landing on the Isle of Thanet was achieved.

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The burning of the English fleet off Chatham, 1667, likely painted by Willem van de Velde the Younger

In the summer of 1667, Johan de Witt was informed by spies about the financial shortages of the English crown and also knew about the decommissioning of most English ships of the line, as well as about the situation of the sailor and dockyard employees who had not been paid for months. Despite his own financial strain, he now prepared the equipment for a Dutch expedition. They were to sail into the Thames Estuary, enter the River Medway, and sail to the great dock at Chatham, where many of England’s proudest warships lay. Once at their destination, the raiders were to sink or burn as many ships as possible, taking care to capture the best ships as prizes. Such a raid would be a severe blow to the power and prestige of England, for the Royal Navy was the pride of the island nation. Chastened and humiliated by defeat, the English might accept peace on Dutch terms.

The designated contingents of ships were gathered and prepared in various Dutch ports, while in April a squadron under Admiral Van Ghent attempted to enter the Firth of Forth. The main purpose of this enterprise was to provide cover for the main fleet, which assembled at the island of Texel in early June 1667. Admiral de Ruyter sailed along his own coasts, taking in the various contingents as he went. In the end, his fleet consisted of 64 ships of the line and frigates, 15 fireships, 7 escort ships, and 13 galliots with a total of 3330 guns and about 17,500 men.

The attack begins

The Assault on Sheerness

The Dutch fleet reached the English coast at Harwich on 7 June 1667. The following day it sailed south along the coast and anchored off the Thames estuary. While doing so, she ran into a storm that forced a large number of ships to cut their anchor ropes and drift. This mainly affected troopships, which were no longer available for the following operations. At a council of war on board the flagship, the further course of action was discussed. Admiral de Ruyter had reservations about sending the entire fleet up the river, as he was not precisely informed about the whereabouts of the smaller English fleet units. Should they return unexpectedly and close the mouth of the Thames, the Dutch fleet would be trapped. Cornelis de Witt proposed that the main force itself should remain off the mouth of the river and a small detachment should guard the English Channel, while a squadron under Admiral Willem Joseph van Ghent (1626-1672) should advance up the Thames. There, this squadron was to attack some West Indian merchant ships at Gravesend, which had been reported by an intercepted Norwegian trader. Admiral van Ghent’s squadron consisted of 17 smaller warships, four fireships, some yachts and galiots, and 1000 marines under Colonel Dolman. The squadron set off on the morning of 9 June and initially occupied Canvey Island. However, the wind then shifted and the English merchant ships, which in the meantime had been warned of the approaching Dutch warships, escaped upriver.

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Sail to Chatham, Willem Schellinks

Cornelis de Witt now urged Admiral van Ghent to enter the Medway and attack the English fleet lying there. The entrance to this river was controlled by a fort still under construction at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey. However, to defend this key position, the English had only a weak Scottish garrison, 16 guns, the small frigate Unity, and two lightships at their disposal. On 10 June, Admiral van Ghent attacked the fort. The Unity fired only a single broadside and then fled up the Medway, pursued by a Dutch fireship. The Dutch ships took the fort under fire for the next two hours and eventually landed 800 marines under Colonel Dolman. The fort garrison fled without offering serious resistance to the landing troops and the whole of the Isle of Sheppey was occupied by Van Ghent’s forces. The battle for this important position had cost the Dutch about 50 men. The value of the 15 cannons and other goods captured in the process was 400,000 livres or four tons of gold, according to contemporary estimates.

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Informed of the events on 9 June, George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle (1608-1670) received royal orders to organize the defense. Monck first inspected the installations on the Thames at Gravesend Fort and on the morning of 11 June went to Chatham on the Medway. There he found virtually no organized defenses. At Gillingham, an iron chain had been drawn across the course of the river, but it was too low. There were only three smaller ships to protect them: the Unity (44 guns), the Charles V, and the Matthias (former Dutch merchantmen Carolus Quintus and Geldersche Ruyter). Otherwise, panic reigned. Of the more than 800 dock workers, almost all had fled or refused to help because of their unpaid wages. Out of thirty boats and ships, only ten were still to be found because refugees had used them to escape or local officials had evacuated their personal belongings on them. The Duke ordered the soldiers and officers he had brought with him to set up two coastal batteries on the shore by the chain, but even for this, they lacked the necessary tools. To create further obstacles in front of the chain, Admiral Monck ordered fireships to be sunk there. Two ships, the Norway Merchant and the Marmaduke, were successfully sunk, but the great Sancta Maria, which had also been designated as an obstacle, ran aground. Also on the scene was the large warship Royal Charles (88 guns), but it was completely stripped of armament.

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Stern decoration of the Royal Charles, anonymous

Admiral Monck ordered them upriver to safety, but there were not enough personnel to do so. When the Dutch attack came later, she was still lying unmanned on the shore. Among the more than 1100 workers in the docks at Chatham, there were few willing to help. Their pay was months in arrears, as the King lacked the financial means, and now they too refused to serve.

The breakthrough at Gillingham

On the morning of 12 June, the Dutch units began their advance in the Medway. The narrowness of the channel forced the ships to sail one behind the other in a single line. In the lead was the Vrede under the command of her captain Jan van Brakel. The captain had been placed under arrest two days earlier for allowing his men to plunder on the Isle of Sheppey. In order to restore his reputation, he had now voluntarily taken over the top position. Brakel’s ship soon came under the crossfire of the three English defensive ships and the two coastal batteries.

However, he steered straight for the Unity without firing and gave her a broadside at point-blank range. The English crew then fled the ship and left it to the Dutch. Under cover of the powder smoke, the two following brander under Brakel’s command also approached and sank the English ships Charles V and Matthias in quick succession. The iron chain was subsequently broken during the first ramming attempt (there are some discrepancies in the tradition here, some historians also think that it was simply sailed over because it lay so far in the water and was actually useless).

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From the left ;  “Agatha” , “Beschermer” , “Charles V” , “Propatia”  , The “Royal Charles”  , “Matthias”   and a Dutch Admirals yacht, by Jan de Quelery

The Dutch ships now had free passage up the Medway, because behind the chain there was a wide gap between the sunk English ships, which should have been closed by the sinking of the Santa Maria. The following Dutch frigates soon silenced the English coastal batteries with their fire, whose fire had been almost ineffective anyway due to structural deficiencies. The biggest prize of the day for the Dutch fleet was the Royal Charles which had often served as a flagship for the English fleet commanders. The Dutch did not take her into naval service because it was considered that she drew too much water for general use on the Dutch coast. Instead, the Royal Charles was permanently drydocked near Hellevoetsluis as a public attraction, with day trips being organized for large parties, often of foreign state guests. After vehement protests by Charles that this insulted his honor, the official visits were ended when she was auctioned for scrap in 1673.

Raid at Upnor Castle

Meanwhile, the English were making defensive preparations at Upnor Castle. The Duke of Albemarle and Peter Pett, the commander of the docks, put the castle’s guns on standby and set up another battery on the far bank. The attempt to stretch another chain across the river failed. Now they wanted to bring the warships toward Chatham, but again there were not enough men. To at least save the largest warships from capture, the Duke of Albemarle ordered them to be sunk in low water where they could be raised again later.

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The Dutch before Upnor Castle, by Jan de Quelery

Late in the afternoon of 12 June, the Dutch advance was halted by the state of the tide. On board the captured Royal Charles, Van Ghent, De Ruyter, and De Witt met to discuss further action. These three commanders decided to push further upriver the following day and attack the Chatham Dockyards and the large warships located there. At midday on 13 June, the remaining Dutch braders, protected by four frigates and a larger number of smaller ships, attacked the English positions. They were soon caught in the crossfire between Upnor Castle and the battery hastily raised on the opposite bank of the river. A detachment of marines landed and moved to attack the English ammunition magazine at Upnor Castle, which they successfully blew up before withdrawing again.

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The Bombardment of Upnore Castle by Arnold de Lange 

In the meantime, the Dutch ships fired on the English gun batteries. While the battle was still going on, a calm set in, forcing De Ruyter and other officers to transfer to longboats in order to direct the actions of their units from them. After a fierce firefight, the Dutch fireships succeeded in attacking the three large warships lying on the shore, Loyal London (92 guns), Royal Oak (76 guns) and Royal James (82 guns). The water in which these ships had been sunk by the English themselves was not shallow enough to offer protection even against an arson attack. All three ships fell victim to the Dutch fireships after their hull crews fled. The Duke of Albemarle, meanwhile, tried to tow the remaining warships upriver under the protection of Chatham’s guns. He lined up battle-ready warships on the banks and gathered militia troops to halt the Dutch advance. In fact, the Dutch ships went no further against the stiffening English resistance. Late in the afternoon, they retreated with the rising tide as far as Gillingham. There they made the captured English ships Royal Charles and Unity seaworthy and left the Medway on 14 June. The losses from the battle in front of Upnor Castle amounted to about 500 men on the English side, while it is assumed that the Dutch lost between 50 and 150 men.

The aftermath

The Dutch raid on the English ships in the Medway became the biggest debacle of the war for the Royal Navy. It lost more ships than in all previous naval battles combined. The Royal Charles and the Unity had been captured by Dutchmen and the Loyal London, Royal James, Royal Oak, Charles V, Matthias, Marmaduke, Santa Maria as well as five fireships, two ketches, a fleute, and a smaller ship sunk or burnt. In contrast, the Dutch had deployed a total of ten fireships. In addition, there were further indirect losses of the Royal Navy. The Vanguard, for example, had drifted while attempting to ground her and eventually wrecked at Rochester so that she could no longer be lifted. Further north, beyond Gravesend, Prince Rupert had wanted to block the Thames to a possible Dutch advance by sinking the Golden Phoenix, House of Sweeds, Welcome, and Leicester there. This turned out to be a sheer waste of important warships, as the Dutch never advanced further than Gravesend. All in all, these losses – especially those of the three large warships – changed the strategic balance between England and the United Netherlands in favor of the Dutch for years to come.

After this success, the Dutch were able to display their unrestricted superiority. One part of the Dutch fleet took action against the English merchant ships on the Channel coast, while another under Admiral Van Nes continued to blockade the Thames for English shipping. In smaller operations, Dutch troops still landed in some places or sailed warships up the Thames in the following weeks.

In London, the events on the banks of the Medway led to a severe economic collapse and panic among the population. Rumors said Chatham was on fire, as were Gravesend, Harwich, Queenborough, Colchester, and Dover. Dutch landings at Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Dartmouth were reported, and even claims that the king had fled; the Papists were about to take power. Even an imminent French landing was expected.

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After the Raid on the Medway, Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, Admiral van Ghent, and Cornelis de Witt each received a golden cup from the States of Holland 

The Dutch had taken up a position in the Thames by which they cut London off from trade. Coal supplies from the Tyne in particular were failing, and soon the price of coal increased tenfold. The English fleet was weakened by the raid and there was hardly any money available for its replenishment. King Charles II, therefore, had little choice but to instruct his envoys at the peace conference in Breda to conclude the treaty as soon as possible. The Peace of Breda was signed on 21 July 1667, and on 16 August the Dutch fleet abandoned the blockade of the English ports and the Thames estuary in accordance with the treaty. But England’s desire for revenge helped motivate another Anglo-Dutch War the following decade. But also an upgrade of the Navy as well as a change in the pay and living conditions of the Sailors which laid the foundation for one of the most powerful navies in the world.

 

Meanwhile, in Arizona

36 thoughts on “A Gathering of Progressives

  1. I am all for scantily clad, fit young women, but that butt-floss just looks damned uncomfortable.

  2. Seriously!…Geez!…how dare she put her jeans on the hood, those snaps can scratch! Wait!…are those red clevis tow rings I see? Cool.

    Anyone spending that amount of cash for this EV pickup deserves the inefficient pain and suffering that will ensue. There’s a sucker born every day.

      1. Just seeing past what’s right in your face to see the bigger picture…that’s when the details emerge.

        1. Details: Upon “closer inspection” she has a large tat on her right arm. Sorry, tells me enough to stay away. But the hat’s decent. (Hey, it’s been raining for almost three weeks here, I’m a bit grumpy as projects languish.)

      2. I’m old, but not old enough to forget that a hood gets hot instead of just warm. Those jeans might just come in handy.
        Cletus

    1. Card and Driver did a towing test with all the new EV pickups. IIRC, the combined weight of the trailer and boat “test article” came in at around 10,000 lbs, which is what they’re rated to tow.

      It cuts the range in HALF.

      Yep….using these things as you would a gas-powered truck basically makes them unusable.

      1. Fancy grocery-getter…and if 50 minutes from town and in traffic King Soopers has charging stations so you can get home…after letting your frozen food thaw with the 45 minute charge time.

        Useless indeed.

  3. There may be a use for an electric truck somewhere/some when, just not here and now.

    Well at least we aren’t distracted by any tan lines so that is definitely a plus. There is just something innately pleasing about a well proportioned female form.
    Based on the chipped paint on the red tow rings that rig may actually be used for its intended purpose so paint scratches are just signs of successful use. When I lived in Montana we called them Montana pinstriping.

    Another interesting history lesson; thanks.

    1. Yup. Not only are they an IQ indicator, wearing one allows The Left to believe they can hide when out and about. Helps us ID them.

      1. The other day I saw a woman wearing a mask, a face shield, and elbow-length rubber gloves talking to a clerk at the Post Office. She was dressed, and looked, like an ancient hippie, and I wondered what’s become of us……

  4. Why the greater exit wound size for .38 vis 9mm ? Diameter is same for all practical purposes,
    9mm has (generally) greater velocity, so should expand better?

    -Kle.

    1. I had a great factual succinct smart answer until I started to think about how anyways I could put the brush guard to use in regards the Blondie up there.

  5. Respect CZ firearms, always have. Don’t have any CZ pistols at the moment but that is more the fault of CZ 75s being at a significant premium, and of course the insipidly stupid WA firearms laws.

  6. >>A detachment of marines landed and moved to attack the English ammunition magazine at Upnor Castle, which they successfully blew up before withdrawing again.<<

    That little footnote in history sounds there is a great short story hiding inside it!
    Waiting to be found by a story teller…

  7. The Episcopal Church, please don’t laugh, used to be a respectable denomination. Then this, “When the narrative became feelings matter more than facts, and was accepted, or enforced by those in positions of influence. Debate died.”

    Now it’s a hollow, hypocritical, mawkish, spiteful laughing stock. A herd of swine, if you like. And what happened to them? Driven over a cliff and into the abyss.

    1. Jesus would say: What did you do with my Gospel because this isn’t it?

      Apostle Paul – Ditto. He admonished the Corinth Church to “stick to what I taught you” after only a short time, proving the boat is only as good as the captain steering it.

    2. Like Tucker said:
      I became convinced of God’s existence. We still go to the Episcopal Church for all kinds of complicated reasons, but I truly despise the Episcopal Church in a lot of ways. They’re for gay marriage because it’s trendy. It’s another way to express how hip they are. They don’t care at all what God thinks of it, because they actually don’t believe in God. And then the fact that they sanction abortion. Are you joking? A church is for abortion? What?

  8. The CZ P-01 is a nice pistol, an aluminum framed version of the compact CZ75. Like the one in the picture, they generally come with a decocker. I like the CZs you can carry locked and cocked.

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