17th and 18th centuries witnessed the rise of fighting sailing navies,
which became instruments of worldwide strategic power. Spain, Holland,
France, and Britain were the leading protagonists; after the eclipse of
the first two, the struggle for domination at sea revolved chiefly into a
Franco-British conflict, culminating in Britain's maritime triumph in
the Napoleonic Wars. Lambert shows how Britain's naval dominance was
achieved, with detailed accounts of key conflicts that reveal both the
highest levels of strategy and the experience of the ordinary sailor.