back to article Alert! The dastardly Dutch are sailing a 90-ship fleet at Blighty

The Dutch are preparing to invade English seas with a fleet of 90 vessels after a previous expedition boarded the Royal Navy’s flagship and stole the Royal Coat of Arms from her. In a celebration of Dutch Admiral De Ruyter’s 1667 raid on Chatham Dockyard, which resulted in English flagship HMS Royal Charles being boarded and …

  1. Baldy50

    Stern carving.

    Give it back, it's part of our history!

    1. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: Stern carving.

      Yeah, we have such a good record on that ourselves of course!

      Still, at least theyhaven't tried restoring it in any way

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Stern carving.

      Where's George Clooney when you need him?

      ( Just make sure he doesn't make another self-aggrandising film about it )

    3. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: Stern carving.

      It'll float back to us when the Rijksmuseum is under 40 foot of water.

      1. Semtex451 Silver badge

        Re: Stern carving.

        At first I read "Stern Craving" - my girlfriend gets those.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Stern carving.

        It'll float back to us when the Rijksmuseum is under 40 foot of water.

        Given the prevailing wind direction it'll end up somewhere in Germany, or maybe Denmark.

      3. rdeman

        Re: Stern carving.

        "It'll float back to us when the Rijksmuseum is under 40 foot of water."

        Dutch engineering isn't as sloppy as British engineering - it seems that the past few years it's England that's drowning, rivers busting their banks, people feeing their homes whereas the Dutch are just looking at it astonished about Britain's incapability of just dealing with it.

    4. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: Stern carving.

      "Give it back, it's part of our history!"

      There's a two word answer to that:

      Elgin Marbles.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Stern carving.

        "Give it back, it's part of our history!"

        The French don't complain about us keeping the stern piece of HMS Implacable, formerly known as the French ship Duguay-Trouin, captured in a cleaning up exercise a few days after Trafalgar!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Implacable_(1805)#/media/File:HMS_Implacable_(1805)_stern.JPG

        http://www.britishpathe.com/video/Implacable-to-the-end

      2. Vincent Ballard
        FAIL

        Re: Stern carving.

        @nematoad, there's a one word answer to that:

        Whoosh!

      3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Stern carving.

        The Elgin Marbles are just as much a part of our history as that of Greece. Whether that means we should keep them or hand them back is a can of worms I do not want to open.

    5. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Trollface

      It's part of our history (too)

      ....but if the Brexit goes ahead, 'our' could refer to two different countries.

      Hollanders opine that Albion got its just in deserts in 1667 for the destruction it wrought on the Dutch fleet in 1666.

      http://historiek.net/1666-twee-vergeten-rampen-bij-vlieland/45120/

      Captain Rude Lubbers is coming for your rusty Iron Lady.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stern carving.

      Yes Mr. Flange. Sorry, Nige the Flange.

    7. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Stern carving.

      What about the Tirpitz bulkhead? Taken from a German ship, it was presented by Norway to the RAF, where upon it became the target of intense rivalry between 617, and 9 sqn, both of which claim to have dropped the fateful bomb that finally sunk the Tipitz.

  2. Steve Evans

    Any chance we could get that Russian submarine serviceable in time?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_U-475_Black_Widow

    1. PTW

      Or the worlds last remaining E-boat...

      Now residing in Cornwall

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-boat

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Or the worlds last remaining E-boat...

        There's a Vosper MTB sitting in Duxford...

        1. P. Lee Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Or the worlds last remaining E-boat...

          >There's a Vosper MTB sitting in Duxford...

          No Attack, No Attack, Attack!

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Pirate

    The RN can send an attack submarine to shadow the Dutch...

    Oh wait, those are all in dock for repairs. Well, a couple Harriers could wa...wait, forget I said that. Dispatch a Nimrod maritime patro....strike that, none of those around anymore either.

    So you were saying that the first time this happened, the Dutch got away scot-free because the British were laid up due to lack of funding? The past really is prologue!

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: The RN can send an attack submarine to shadow the Dutch...

      In the meantime Dutch frigates (which really should be destroyers if you look at their spec) are all combat ready and operational: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HNLMS_De_Zeven_Provinci%C3%ABn_%28F802%29

      It also has anti-ship armament (something Royal Navy no longer has).

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: The RN can send an attack submarine to shadow the Dutch...

      Maybe the Dutch could land a couple of companies and restore the monarchy the House of Orange (lol)

    3. annodomini2
      Coat

      Re: The RN can send an attack submarine to shadow the Dutch...

      Bunch of Sea cadets in a dingy with some air-rifles probably.

      1. rdeman

        Re: The RN can send an attack submarine to shadow the Dutch...

        Yeah our little dinghies are ready to say hello. With 4200 rounds per minute of 30mm Wolfram tipped bullets up your English arse that is.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uckO0Zm_zg

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you think if we asked nicely we could we get them to do a proper job this time and raze Chatham to the ground?

  5. Ellipsis
    Pirate

    “The English fleet, starved of money and manpower, could not afford to put to sea in numbers”

    Plus ça change…

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Funny old thing, I copied that phrase in order to make the same comment. I thought I would be lucky to get in first, I wasn't.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chatham

    Isn't that UKIP, Brexit and "We don't want no immigrants round here" heartland?

    Could turn nastier than the Dutch expect.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Chatham

      They'll probably just placate the racists by bringing along 'Black Pete' as an easier target.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brooms At The Masthead?

    My money is on the invaders.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Brooms At The Masthead?

      I, for one, welcome our cheese-bearing overlords :)

      And here's a pint to go with all that cheese.

      1. PyLETS

        Welcome our cheese bearing overlords ?

        Only when their gouda is very well matured. The young stuff is too rubbery.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Brooms At The Masthead?

      Yes, their 90 yachts are probably more than a match for our remaining operational fleet.

  8. Christoph Silver badge

    If wars were won by feasting,

    0r victory by song,

    Or safety found in sleeping sound,

    How England would be strong!

    But honour and dominion

    Are not maintained so.

    They're only got by sword and shot,

    And this the Dutchmen know!

    The moneys that should feed us

    You spend on your delight,

    How can you then have sailor-men

    To aid you in your fight?

    Our fish and cheese are rotten,

    Which makes the scurvy grow -

    We cannot serve you if we starve,

    And this the Dutchmen know!

    Our ships in every harbour

    Be neither whole nor sound,

    And, when we seek to mend a leak,

    No oakum can be found;

    Or, if it is, the caulkers,

    And carpenters also,

    For lack of pay have gone away,

    And this the Dutchmen know!

    Mere powder, guns, and bullets,

    We scarce can get at all;

    Their price was spent in merriment

    And revel at Whitehall,

    While we in tattered doublets

    From ship to ship must row,

    Beseeching friends for odds and ends -

    And this the Dutchmen know!

    No King will heed our warnings,

    No Court will pay our claims -

    Our King and Court for their disport

    Do sell the very Thames!

    For, now De Ruyter's topsails

    Off naked Chatham show,

    We dare not meet him with our fleet -

    And this the Dutchmen know!

    Kipling, "The Dutch in the Medway"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Kipling, "The Dutch in the Medway"

      I love the old Imperialist, unfashionable as that is.

      I wish our foreign policy experts had to start each morning by reading Dane-Geld.

      1. Threlkeld

        Re: Kipling, "The Dutch in the Medway"

        "The Gods of the Copy-Book Headings" is also pretty trenchant about forgetting the past. Kipling is very under-rated.

        Samuel Pepys records that the English sailors heard Englishment taunting them from the Dutch attacking ships. A lot of British sailors were so fed up about not being paid that they had signed-on with the Dutch navy, which did pay promptly. That's how the Dutch knew how to get past the defensive chains strung across the Medway.

        BTW, it's not just the Royal coat of arms that the Dutch took away. It was the whole ship. The stern section is still displayed, as noted above, in the state naval museum. And very impressive it is, too.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Kipling, "The Dutch in the Medway"

          And 'Recessional'. Kipling was very often right.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Kipling, "The Dutch in the Medway"

          > Samuel Pepys records that the English sailors heard Englishment taunting them from the Dutch attacking ships

          The Dutch, not being stupid, realised that passage up the Medway would require local pilots. So they simply hired them. There were plenty of volunteers from amongst the English sailors.

          The English were repeatedly warned about the impending attack and dismissed it. As the Dutch proceeded up the Medway the English upped and ran away. It got so bad that banks in London were swamped with people trying to empty their accounts in case the Dutch just steamrollered straight into the capital.

          It was such a screw up, such a humiliation that it pretty much led to the end of the war.

          Apparently the only sailors who showed any sort of backbone were the Scots on Royal Oak, who fought their ship until it burned out from under them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Kipling, "The Dutch in the Medway"

            They dismissed it similar to how Brexit is going to ruin the UK then? Funny how history repeats itself hey?

      2. P. Lee Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Kipling, "The Dutch in the Medway"

        >I wish our foreign policy experts had to start each morning by reading Dane-Geld.

        We had our dog fixed too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Kipling, "The Dutch in the Medway"

          @P Lee: Have you no shame, sir? At long last, have you no shame?

          (We won't mention what the poor dog doesn't have.)

  9. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Pirate

    Actually, there might be an opportunity here...

    Does someone know who to contact on the Dutch side, to let them know where Britain's new aircraft carriers are docked?

    Buy the dock guards a bottle or two, and if the carriers aren't there in the morning, well, no loss really. :)

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Actually, there might be an opportunity here...

      And they can sell them off for scrap, just like they did with the Royal Charles. Everybody wins!

  10. Oldfogey
    Pirate

    Surrender!

    How about if we surrender? Brexit can't happen if we're part of Holland, can it?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Surrender!

      Whoa, hang on a minute. Being Dutch means a diet of Edam, Heineken and processed meat. That's too high a price to pay.

      Man the battlements! Warm up the cannon! Prepare the comfy chairs!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surrender!

        Yes, but it also means "interesting" shop windows, "entertaining" late night television and "herbal" recreation. Plus they pretty much all speak english already so we wouldn't need to learn a new language which is always a bit difficult for us brits.

        Met groete vriendlijk.

        1. Disk0
          Pint

          Re: Surrender!

          Don't problems, you can keeps your island and queen too, we don't need cheddar and have plenty of fish for frying and prima patat chips already and PIckwick tea. Also you have more raintime than we, and a ongezellige attitude, so we are never really interested.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Surrender!

        Heineken

        Ew. Just ew.

        (Need a vomit icon)

  11. Grunchy

    Are you guys really gonna brexit?

    1. Graham Dawson

      Yes.

      The only question is how we intend to go about it. We could transition to the EEA/EFTA for continuity and then use that as a place to negotiate long-term deals, or we could do it the way May wants: run around gibbering, jump off a cliff and shoot ourselves in the face on the way down.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Mushroom

        we could do it the way May wants

        You could go for triggering the SS Richard Montgomery, hoping that the blast moves the UK closer to the US (bollocks to those experts that predict utter destruction)

  12. martinusher Silver badge

    Same old, same old....

    Cuts, cuts, cuts and the government always pleading poverty. Anyone notice a pattern here?

  13. James Ashton
    Pirate

    Commemorate the Bombardment of Flushing

    If the Dutch get too out of hand after sailing from Vlissingen, seems like an appropriate response would be some kind of return visit a few weeks later to celebrate the 208th anniversary of the bombardment and capture of the French port of Flushing. Surely they've got the mosquitoes under control there by now.

  14. eionmac

    Had England no cash to hire Scots Sailors?

    1. It seems some wayward Scots fought back, but many were in the Dutch side. Maybe England can hire some part time Scots sailors /out of work fisher folk to greet the Dutch folk.

    2. PS I am some what biased. a Scots exile in England these past 60 odd years with happy memories of time in The Netherlands.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pepys (as it happened)

    From http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/06/12/ :

    "where all our hearts do now ake; for the newes is true, that the Dutch have broke the chaine and burned our ships"

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