After being free from the Spanish authority, Netherlands needed colonies or products from tropical colonies to survive. Bahia was chosen for the first big invasion. By then, Dom Diogo Mendonça Furtado was the general governor of the colony. Worried by the lack military preparation, Mendonça Furtado was in conflict with the Catholic Church, which didn’t see the need to worry. The Dutch took the city of Salvador easily.
On May 9th 1624, the Dutch squadron, led by Jacob Willekens, set ashore at Barra. After shooting at the cannons of Ponta do Padrão, the 3.400 men that composed the Dutch squadron didn’t take long to subdue the general government. The permanence of the Dutch in Bahia was, however, short. On March 27th 1625, a Portuguese squadron commanded by the Spaniard Dom Fradique de Toledo Osorio arrived to provide back up to the local troops. After more than 40 days of battles, there was the first surrender.
The Dutch made other attempts to invade Bahia, but none was successful. Bahia was the center of the fight to expel the Dutch, who also occupied Pernambuco, Alagoas, Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte.