Wooden-hulled warships from the 16th to the 19th Century played a crucial role in the power struggles of England, Spain, the Netherlands, France and America. In 1572, William de la Marck initiated the dispute of Spanish ocean hegemony. His desire to avenge a cousin beheaded by the Spanish grew to unwieldy proportions and though he was responsible for the creation of the Dutch Sea Beggars -- that courageous group of patriot sailors -- people were rather relieved when he was bitten by a mad dog. The Dutch ram-grapple-and board tactics of the rowed galley fleets overwhelmed Philip II's men and they relinquished Briel -- a Spanish outpost. Later, Frances Drake, imbued with anti-Catholic and Anti-Spanish persuasions, was determined to launch a mighty protest in the name of his queen. The destruction of the invincible Spanish Armada was a testimony of his determination and a proof that the application of ancient tactics of oar-driven galleys to sailing ships was doomed to failure. Many hero-figures appear on these pages, each one in the context of his ship and his country -- Louis Boisot, Nelson at Trafalgar, van Heemskerck, Admiral Perry at Lake Erie and others. The end of the War of 1812 concludes this history of war on the sea in ships, prior to the entrance of the steamship.