19.06.

1667: Raid on the Medway: The Worst Defeat of the British Navy in History

1667: Raid on the Medway: The Worst Defeat of the British Navy in History
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 19 June 1667
  • The Dutch managed to sink as many as 13 British ships and capture two, one of which was the flagship of the Royal Navy - HMS Royal Charles.

The defeat which the British experienced during a raid that began on this day is considered the toughest in the history of their navy.

On that day, namely, Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter (the most famous Dutch admiral in history) attacked the English coast, sailed up the River Thames to the mainland and then wrecked the ships at the British strategic port of Chatham. This event is known as the Raid on the Medway.

The Dutch managed to sink as many as 13 British ships and capture two, one of which was the flagship of the Royal Navy – HMS Royal Charles. The British royal coat of arms from the stern of the ship is still owned by the Dutch Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Later, the Royal Navy renewed its strength and, from the late 17th century and well into the 20th century, was the most powerful navy in the world, maintaining the so-called “Two-Power Standard” (the principle that it must be at least as strong as the combined strength of the next two largest navies in the world).

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