This note was last modified Thursday, 29-Jan-2015 21:18:27 PST.
C.S. Forester's pioneering "wooden ships and iron men" series. Widely claimed to be the greatest of the wooden-navy series (which mostly focus around the British Navy vs. Napolean). Not sure it still is, after Patrick O'Brian, but it was the first big one, and it remains excellent.
It was allegedly one of the things Gene Rodenberry had in mind when inventing Star Trek.