For almost 200 years, the ship-of-the-line was the most powerful weapon any country could possess. Built of wood, propelled by wind and firing solid shot from smooth bored muzzle-loading canons, ships like HMS Victory ruled the waves.
In the world's first global conflicts of the 17th and 18th Centuries these wooden walls fought titanic, bloody battles - the largest fleet actions in history - battles that would crush and create empires. Manned by a crew of eight hundred and fifty and capable of firing one and a half tons of iron shot in a single devastating broadside, these eighteenth century floating fortresses were as complex and sophisticated in their day as a nuclear powered aircraft carrier is today.
Now, using colour re-enactment and the actual recollections of those who fought on board, The History Channel goes below the decks of the age of fighting sail's most famous warship, a ship still in commission today. Its name is HMS Victory and it would play a crucial role in the foremost naval engagement in 19th century maritime history, the battle of Trafalgar. This victory was so decisive that no fleet challenged the Royal Navy for more than one hundred years.
Find out how HMS Victory, commanded by Admiral Nelson, the greatest naval strategist ever to walk the quarterdeck, spearheaded the most emphatic naval victory in the history of the Royal Navy.