The year 1588 marked a turning point in our national story. Victory over the Spanish Armada transformed us into a seafaring nation and it sparked a myth that one day would become a reality - that the nation's new destiny, the source of her future wealth and power lay out on the oceans. This book tells the story of how the navy expanded from a tiny force to become the most complex industrial enterprise on earth; how the need to organise it laid the foundations of our civil service and our economy; and how it transformed our culture, our sense of national identity and our democracy. Re-issued in trade paperback format Brian Lavery's narrative explores the navy's rise over four centuries; a key factor in propelling Britain to its status as the most powerful nation on earth, and assesses the turning point of Jutland and the First World War. He creates a compelling read that is every bit as engaging as the TV series itself.