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OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES OF THE PIRATES

In 1716 many of the most successful pirates made a pact of non-aggression between them, not even to English or Dutch ships, even when they served as privateers for other nations. They were not very respectful of this pact, as good pirates they were.

The objectives to be pirated were mainly merchant ships of different sizes that transported goods from America to Europe or vice versa. The populations, mainly coastal ones, that contained the merchandise for the use of the colonists or for the export to Europe were also subject to piracy.

The pirates attacked what they could even to helpless populations of poor settlers who run off to the nearby mountains with their most valuable belongings where the attackers did not dare to persecute them. Then they negotiated with the assailants so that the village was not set on fire. This kind of kidnapping happened constantly until even with the most important populations which built forts to establish the defense.

Due to the high incidence of piracy in the Caribbean Sea during the 16th century, the Spanish empire built the Fleet of the Indies with war ships in order to guard the merchant of the ships on their way to and from the Caribbean Sea and Europe.

Throughout the centuries of the colony, Spain and the other colonizers of the Caribbean, built fortifications in the most important populated centers. The main ones were those where treasures were stored in gold and silver before they were shipped to Spain.

Everything related to pirates was uncertain and therefore unpredictable although they have to recognize some basic characteristics. The levels of organization within the ships were quite democratic and were governed by the patterns of conduct established by the Brotherhood of the Brothers of the Coast or the piracy. This organization extended to hunting parties in which they could participate from one or several small boats to fleets of many ships of different drafts.

The boats preferred by pirates were small, light, fast and maneuverable as opposed to the ships to be captured that used to be large and heavy merchant ships. The protection navies were warships with cannons and other smaller armaments on deck.

El objetivo de los piratas era el de no dañar la nave a ser capturada por lo que se acercaban con engaños como mercantes en problemas se amarraban a la presa y por sorpresa la atacaban iniciando el asalto para finalizar lo más rápido posible, recoger el botín y desaparecer en el mar, izando la bandera pirata.

The aim of the pirates was not to damage the ship to be captured so they approached with tricks as merchants in trouble they tied to the prey and by surprise they attacked it by initiating the assault to finish as quickly as possible, pick up the booty and disappear into the sea, raising the pirate flag.

Ataque Pirata
Ataque Pirata
Ataque Pirata
Silent Approach
Surprising climb
attack and taking of the ship


Because the fight was melee and not with long-range weapons for battles between ships the preferred weapons were personal and some minor deck on the ship.

 



The ferocity of the pirates was well known to everyone since as convicted they proved to be formidable and implacable fighters, which paralyzed the prisoners by submitting easily. The unpredictable strategy and small groups are similar to the guerrilla commands that produced great benefits since they could attack targets much larger than them and defeat them.

The pirates also came together to form armies with fleets large enough to attack well-fortified cities like Cartagena de Indias or Maracaibo and Gibaltrar as did the pirate L´Olonnais

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