This collection of over 170 large-format colour illustrations includes paintings of ships at sea, in action, in convoy, and in siege; architectural drawings; battle diagrams; sea charts and signals; portraits of leading figures in naval history; and details of guns, sails, and life below deck. Taken from contemporary sources, they range from the Seven Years' War to the American Civil War. The book focuses on the navies of all the major Atlantic sea powers of the time, including Britain, America, France, Holland, Sweden and Russia. Arranged in chronological order, each illustration is accompanied by an extended caption that adds to this visual feast a compelling history of naval warfare in the last great age of sail. This volume is divided into eight chapters - The Seven Years' War 1755-62; The Napoleonic Wars 1803-15; The War of American Independence 1775-1783; The War of 1812; The Years of Exploration c.1770-1794; The Last Days of Sail; The French Revolutionary Wars 1792-1802; Steam and Iron.