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Raid on the Medway

The Raid on the Medway, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in June 1667, was a successful attack conducted by the Dutch navy on English battleships laid up in the fleet anchorages off Chatham Dockyard and Gillingham in the county of Kent. At the time, the fortress of Upnor Castle and a barrier chain called the "Gillingham Line" were supposed to protect the English ships; the Dutch, under nominal command of Willem Joseph van Ghent and Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, over several days bombarded and captured the town of Sheerness, sailed up the Thames estuary to Gravesend sailed into the River Medway to Chatham and Gillingham, where they engaged fortifications with cannon fire, burned or captured three capital ships and ten more ships of the line, captured and towed away the flagship of the English fleet, HMS Royal Charles. Politically, the raid was disastrous for King Charles' war plans and led to a quick end to the war and a favourable peace for the Dutch, it was one of the worst defeats in the Royal Navy's history, one of the worst suffered by the British military.

Horace George Franks called it the "most serious defeat it has had in its home waters." In 1667 Charles II's active fleet was in a reduced state due to recent expenditure restrictions, with the remaining "big ships" laid up. The Dutch seized this opportunity to attack the English, they had made earlier plans for such an attack in 1666 after the Four Days Battle but were prevented from carrying them out by their defeat in the St James's Day Battle. The mastermind behind the plan was the leading Dutch politician Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, his brother Cornelis de Witt accompanied the fleet to supervise. Peace negotiations had been in progress at Breda since March, but Charles had been procrastinating over the signing of peace, hoping to improve his position through secret French assistance. Based on these assumptions De Witt thought it best to end the war with a clear victory, thereby ensuring a more advantageous settlement for the Dutch Republic. Most Dutch flag officers had strong doubts about the feasibility of such a daring attack, fearing the treacherous shoals in the Thames estuary, but they obeyed orders nevertheless.

The Dutch made use of two English pilots who had defected, one a dissenter named Robert Holland, the other a smuggler who had fled English justice. On 17 May the squadron of the Admiralty of Rotterdam with De Ruyter sailed to Texel to join those of Amsterdam and the Northern Quarter. Hearing that the squadron of Frisia was not yet ready because of recruiting problems, he left for the Schooneveld off the Dutch coast to join the squadron of Zealand that, suffered from similar problems. De Ruyter departed for the Thames on 4 June with 62 frigates or ships-of-the-line, about fifteen lighter ships and twelve fireships, when the wind turned to the east; the fleet was reorganised into three squadrons: the first was commanded by De Ruyter himself, with as Vice-Admiral Johan de Liefde and Rear-Admiral Jan Jansse van Nes. The third squadron thus had a second set of commanders. Baron Van Ghent was in fact the real commander of the expedition and had done all the operational planning, as he had been the former commander of the Dutch Marine Corps that now was headed by the Englishman Colonel Thomas Dolman.

On 6 June a fog bank was blown away and revealed the Dutch task force, sailing into the mouth of the Thames. On 7 June Cornelis de Witt revealed his secret instructions from the States General, written on 20 May, in the presence of all commanders. There were so many objections, while De Ruyter's only substantial contribution to the discussion was "bevelen zijn bevelen", that Cornelis, after retiring to his cabin late in the night, wrote in his daily report he did not feel at all sure that he would be obeyed; the next day it transpired however. That day an attempt was made to capture a fleet of twenty English merchantmen seen higher up the Thames in the direction of London, but this failed as these fled to the west, beyond Gravesend; the attack caught the English unawares. No serious preparations had been made for such an eventuality, although there had been ample warning from the extensive English spy network. Most frigates were assembled in squadrons at Harwich and in Scotland, leaving the London area to be protected by only a small number of active ships, most of them prizes taken earlier in the war from the Dutch.

As a further measure of economy, on 24 March the Duke of York had ordered the discharge of most of the crews of the prize vessels, leaving only three guard ships at the Medway. Additionally t

Kirmeeravadham

Kirmeeravadham is a Kathakali play written by Kottayam Thampuran in Malayalam. Based on the Mahabharatha, the story concerns itself with events in the course of the forest exile of the Pandava princes; the play has fourteen scenes. The four plays of Kottayam Thampuran, Kirmeeravadham, Kalyanasaugandhikam, Kalakeyavadham, are considered important in the Kathakali repertoire and are a combination of conventional structure with intermittent possibilities for improvisation; the five Pandava princes, along with their wife Draupadi, are in exile in the Kamyaka forest. In the first scene of the play and the eldest Pandava prince Dharmaputra are in distress owing to the heat and dust in the forest, they discuss the question of feeding the Brahmins. In the second scene, Dharmaputra consults with the sage Dhaumya, who advises him to do penance to the Sun god. Dharmaputra acts accordingly and the Sun god appears, grants him the Akshaya Patra, a vessel that provides, every day, an inexhaustible supply of food till Draupadi takes her food.

Dharmaputra hands the vessel to Draupadi. Following this, Krishna appears on the scene, has a conversation with Dharmaputra. Hearing of the difficulties of the Pandavas, Krishna is enraged and commands his weapon Sudarshana Chakra to appear, so that he may at once destroy the Kaurava princes, who were responsible for the exile of the Pandavas in the first place. Dharmaputra pleads with Krishna not to do so. Krishna agrees, leaves after blessing the Pandavas. In the third scene, the sage Durvasa appears, with his disciples. Dharmaputraa welcomes them to their abode and sends them away for their purificatory rituals before they can have a meal; the fourth scene has Draupadi lamenting about the fact that since she has had her meal for the day, the Akshaya Patra will yield no more food for the day. Krishna appears again, asks Draupadi for food, she replies. Krishna insists, she gives him a bit of spinach, still left over in the Akshaya Patra. Krishna eats this and at once declares that his hunger has disappeared, by his miraculous powers causes the sages to feel full.

In the sixth scene, Durvasa blesses Dharmaputra. The seventh scene depicts the killing of the demon Shardula by the Pandava prince Arjuna. In the eighth scene, we see the wife of Shardula, the demoness Simhika, upset at the death of her husband. Taking the form of a beautiful woman, she approaches Draupadi in the ninth scene, describes to her about a fictional temple dedicated to the Goddess Durga, promises to take Draupadi there. In the tenth scene, Simhika assumes her terrible form, carries away Draupadi, who cries for help. In the eleventh scene, the Pandava prince Sahadeva rushes to the aid of Draupadi, attacks and mutilates Simhika, rescues Draupadi; the twelfth scene has Panchali filling in the other Pandavas on what transpired. In the thirteenth scene, the mutilated Simhika rushes to her brother, the demon Kirmeera, who consoles her and rushes to attack the Pandavas. Following this he calls the Pandava prince Bhima to battle in the fourteenth scene. Bhima defeats and kills Kirmeera, following which the ascetics in the forest come and sing praises to Bhima for killing the demon.

The characters of Shardula and Simhika are original creations of Kottayam Thampuran. In the Mahabharatha, Kirmeera is a brother of Bakasura and friend of Hidimba, who attacks the Pandavas in order to exact revenge for their death at the hands of Bhima. Kottayathu Thampuran. Kirmeeravadham. National Book Stall Kerala

2009–10 Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 2

The 2009–10 season of the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 2 began on 16 August 2009 and ended on 27 May 2009. AS Marsa became champions of the 2009–10 season and were promoted to the 2009–10 CLP-1 along with AS Gabès who finished in runners-up. ES Zarzis JS Kairouanaise AS Marsa Jendouba Sport EA Mateur LPTA Tozeur SA Menzel Bourguiba STIR S Zarzouna AS Djerba AS Gabès AS Marsa CS Korba CS M'saken EA Mateur EM Mahdia ES Beni-Khalled Jendouba Sport LPTA Tozeur Olympique du Kef SA Menzel Bourguiba Stade Gabèsien US Ben Guerdane The Communication bureau of the FTF attributed the broadcasting rights of the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 2 to Hannibal TV. Soccerway.com 2009–10 Ligue 2 at rsssf.com