The period of turmoil that preceded and marked the Napoleonic era caused an expansion in the navies of Europe and the United States. Naval tactics were evolving too, as the old system of individual ships and captains was replaced by true navies, governed by a hierarchy and working together as a force. The book falls into three parts: Part One: The Ships and the Men describes ship construction, rigging, sail plans and rating system, life at sea, naval tactics and the balance of naval forces from the outbreak of war in 1792. Part Two: The Engagements describes in detail, in chronological order, the individual actions divided into the three major wars – The War of the First Coalition 1792-1797, The War of the Second Coalition 1798-1802 and The Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815. Part Three: The National Navies gives the strength of fleets at various times, the organization and training of individual navies, and also detailed descriptions of the uniforms worn at different periods. Appendices give precise details of ship losses by the major navies in the periods 1793-1802 and 1803-1815, a glossary of British naval terminology and a bibliography. Detailed battle plans of major engagements, line drawings of construction details and sixty photographs complement this authoritative work that will appeal to all those interested in maritime and military history.