The Constitution was one of the first frigates built by the fledgling U.S. Navy, ordered in 1794 as a counter to the Barbary corsairs in the Mediterranean. Heavily built but fast, she was rated as a 44-gun ship but mounted thirty 24-pounder cannons. Her most famous encounter came in 1812 when she successfully fought against the HMS Guerriere, earning the nickname "Old Ironsides" when the British round shot could not penetrate her walls. Built in Boston where she has been berthed for over seventy years, she is considered to be the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. The internationally-acclaimed draftsman and author Karl-Heinz Marquardt worked closely with the team at the Constitution to ensure that the book is accurate and up-to-date. Dozens of photographs and some 100 perspective and 3-view drawings are included along with fully descriptive keys and a large-scale foldout plan on the reverse side of the jacket.