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In this title, Mark Lardas explores the origins of American warships, primarily light and medium frigates, built for the Continental Navy during the years 1776-1783. This was the first navy of the United States and much of the fleet was comprised of ships that had been modified from existing vessels, converted into warships to provide a crucial service during the American Revolutionary War. Despite having no real funding, this unique fleet had a surprising amount of success against the might of the Royal Navy, and this title discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each design, and the differences between European and American warships of the time. With a close look at how these ships performed in key battles, as well as the exploits of John Paul Jones - the founding father of the United States Navy - this is a complete, illustrated overview of the ships' service and development until France's entry into the war and the subsequent decline in importance of the Continental Navy.