The capture of the silver fleet

In the past, the Dutch venerated their greatest captains as heroes. One of their most spectacular achievements occured in 1628, when Admiral Piet Hein sailed to Caribbean to capture a Spanish treasure fleet, which was transporting huge amounts of silver and gold from the Spanish colonies back to Spain. Piet Hein managed to take over the fleet without bloodshed. The booty allowed the Dutch to fund their army, while weakening their Spanish enemy.

On his return, Piet Hein remarked:

"Now they praise me because I gained riches without the least danger; but earlier when I risked my life in full combat they didn't even know I existed."