In quick succession Piet Hein had been captured by the Spanish, made to serve as a galley slave for four years, and then returned in exchange for Spanish prisoners. Over the next few years he was a successful privateer, attacking and capturing many ships of the Spanish and Portuguese fleets before being taken once again by the Spanish, this time near Cuba, and held for another four years. The irrepressible privateer bounced back again and had many major successes. Then in 1628, the Dutch despatched another three large privateer fleets to press home the advantage and hit the Spanish even harder. The smaller Dutch ships had the advantage of speed and manoeuvrability over the heavier Spanish galleons, whose routes were familiar to all the privateers. After several battles of varying success, most of the Dutch fleet headed home. The Spanish captains in turn, assuming they were now relatively safe, also decided to set sail, their ships' bellies full of Mexican silver. Piet Hein was waiting for them. He had augmented his original small fleet with others from Cuba, and with a force of 31 well-armed ships bore down on the unsuspecting Spaniards. Having cut off their exit to the east and barred their way to safe haven in Havana, he pursued them into a bay and there accepted their surrender, along with 12 million guilders' worth of silver and other fine cargo. Not one shot had been fired. On his return he received a rapturous reception and was an immediate hero. His victory had been the greatest ever achieved by the Dutch in the Caribbean, and one of only a very few defeats in the entire history of the famed Spanish ships of the Silver Fleet. Did you know?... Keelhauling was a brutal punishment devised by the Dutch, but soon became widespread. It involved the fixing of a rope at one end of the ship, passing it beneath the keel, bringing it up at the other end and tying it to the man to be punished, who would be naked and bound. He was then dragged underwater along the bottom of the ship, to be torn by sharp barnacles and nearly - sometimes actually - drowned. The Amsterdam Dungeon, one of the most scary attractions in Amsterdam. The most horrible day out in history! Come for fun, come to be scared, come to be educated, if you dare at the Amsterdam Dungeon horror attractions.