Well, don't you think that's a bit like the middle age guy who was captain of his football team in high school reflecting on his "glory days?" What you're saying is a bit complicated, don't you think? Ship for ship, the Dutch Navy at its peak in the 1600's probably eclipsed the British Navy of the 1800's, if one factored in the 200 year difference. In the early 1600's, Amsterdam was the center of world trade. As a result, the Dutch pioneered an entirely new class of ship, switching from the heavy man-o-war as it was called, to what would become known as the frigate, which was a sleeker, longer range fighting ship. Of course, Dutch dominance was short, because starting in the late 1600's, France engaged in an orgy of military action, which resulted in constant war in Europe, and basically ended up bankrupting everyone, including the Netherlands. England filled the void as a result. The pre- WWII Japanese navy dominated the Eastern half of the world. As an example, in 1905, what is known as the battle of Tsushima, the Japanese navy decimated Russia, in what was for all purposes, the first modern naval battle fought of the previous era. Japan sunk 21 ships and captured 13 more with only a loss of 3 small unarmored boats. The result was that Russia would not really field a navy again for 50 years. Just prior to WWII, unlike the royal navy, the Japanese invested in carriers early on. Japan had more carriers, and no less than 12 battleships by 1941. Which leads us to the US Navy of 1941. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack in Dec. 1941, the US had 7 aircraft carriers. Just 4 years later, the US Navy had 28 carriers. Even though the Japanese imperial navy was the strongest in the world, the US Navy never lost a battle after 1942, and removed Japan as a naval power. And this also factors in the US fought a "two ocean war," in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Currently, the US is the world's only sea power. One could also look to earlier times, but comparisons start to get a little difficult to do. The Greek navy of 480BC ruled the Aegean Sea. The Chinese navy of the Ming Dynasty (roughly 1450) with its fabled "treasure ships," and so on... I guess it just depends on what one is looking for. The Dutch had roughly 70 years of naval domination. Britain had roughly 100 years of naval domination. Japan had half a century of naval domination. The US is in its 7th decade of naval domination. It all balances out in the end.