USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship still in active duty, and holds a central position in American naval history. She established her reputation and was given the name 'Old Ironsides' duing the war of 1812 between the United States of America and the British Empire, when she captured a number of merchant ships and defeated three British frigates. Two of these engagements, against the frigates Guerriere and Java, are represented in the present works. On 19th August 1812 Constitution had a decisive victory against Guerriere when she defeated the frigate in under an hour off the coast of North America. The action between Constitution and Java, on 29th December 1812, took place off Bahia on the coast of Brazil. The battle lasted three hours and at its conclusion Java was unsalvageable whereas Constitution was almost totally unscathed.
An almost identical version of the battle between U.S.S. Constitution and Guerriere can be found at the U.S.S Constitution Museum in Boston, USA.