In naval terminology, a DESTROYER is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet , convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were originally developed in the late 19th century as a defence against torpedo boats , and by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" (TBDs) were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats." Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been generally shortened to simply "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War .
World War II
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard
for surface combatant ships, with only three nations (United States ,
Russia , and Peru ) operating the heavier class cruisers , with no
battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern destroyers, also
known as guided missile destroyers , are equivalent in tonnage but
vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the
World War II
* 1 Origins
* 1.1 Early designs * 1.2 Torpedo gunboat
* 2 Development of the modern destroyer
* 2.1 Subsequent improvements
* 3 Early use and
World War I
* 3.1 Combat
* 4 Inter-war "> The introduction of the Whitehead torpedo revolutionized naval warfare. Torpedo's general profile: A. war-head B. air-flask. B'. immersion-chamber CC'. after-body C. engine-room DDDD. drain-holes E. shaft-tube F. steering-engine G. bevel-gear box H. depth-index I. tail K. charging and stop-valves L. locking-gear M. engine bed-plate P. primer-case R. rudder S. steering-rod tube T. guide-stud UU. propellers V. valve-group W. war-nose Z. strengthening-band
The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the
invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had
the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam
launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes
called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital
ships near enemy coasts. The first seagoing vessel designed to launch
At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor, but as faster and longer-range torpedoes were developed, the threat extended to cruising at sea. In response to this new threat, more heavily gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea. They needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, and as they necessarily became larger, they became officially designated "torpedo boat destroyers", and by the First World War were largely known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French (contre-torpilleur), Italian (cacciatorpediniere), Portuguese (contratorpedeiro), Czech (torpédoborec), Greek (antitorpiliko,αντιτορπιλικό), Dutch (torpedobootjager) and, up until the Second World War, Polish (kontrtorpedowiec, now obsolete).
Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage,
it was realized that they were also ideal to take over the role of
torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as
well as guns. At that time, and even into
World War I
The Imperial Japanese
An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884, later redesignated TB 81. This was a large (137 ton) torpedo boat with four 47 mm quick-firing guns and three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots (43.99 km/h; 27.33 mph), while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them.
Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka (Falcon), built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the London Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887. The 165-foot (50 m) long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder (37 mm) quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots (35 km/h), and at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, and was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas. The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for the Kotaka, "considered Japan to have effectively invented the destroyer".
Main article: Torpedo gunboat HMS Spider, an early model of torpedo gunboat
The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat . Essentially very small cruisers , torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers , which were much faster.
The first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake , designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, and commissioned in response to the Russian War scare . The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying smaller torpedo boats . Exactly 200 feet (61 m) long and 23 feet (7.0 m) in beam, she displaced 550 tons. Built of steel, Rattlesnake was un-armoured with the exception of a 3⁄4-inch protective deck. She was armed with a single 4-inch/25-pounder breech-loading gun , six 3-pounder QF guns and four 14-inch (360 mm) torpedo tubes, arranged with two fixed tubes at the bow and a set of torpedo dropping carriages on either side. Four torpedo reloads were carried.
A number of torpedo gunboat classes followed, including the
Grasshopper class, the Sharpshooter class , the Alarm class and the
Dryad class - all built for the Royal
Fernando Villaamil , second officer of the Ministry of the
She displaced 348 tons, and was equipped with triple-expansion engines generating 3,784 ihp (2,822 kW), for a maximum speed of 22.6 knots (41.9 km/h), which made her one of the faster ships in the world in 1888. She was armed with one 90 mm (3.5 in) Spanish-designed Hontoria breech-loading gun, four 57 mm (2.2 in) (6-pounder ) Nordenfelt guns, two 37 mm (1.5 in) (3-pdr) Hotchkiss cannons and two 15-inch (38 cm) Schwartzkopff torpedo tubes. The ship carried three torpedoes per tube. She was manned by a crew of 60.
In terms of gunnery, speed and dimensions, the specialised design to chase torpedo boats and her high seas capabilities, Destructor was an important precursor to the torpedo boat destroyer.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE MODERN DESTROYER
HMS Havock the first modern destroyer, commissioned in 1894
The first ships to bear the formal designation "torpedo boat
destroyer" (TBD) were the Daring class of two ships and Havock class
of two ships of the Royal
Early torpedo gunboat designs lacked the range and speed to keep up
with the fleet they were supposed to protect. In 1892, the Third Sea
Rear Admiral John "Jacky" Fisher ordered the development of a
new type of ships equipped with the then novel water-tube boilers and
quick-firing small calibre guns. Six ships to the specifications
circulated by the Admiralty were ordered initially, comprising three
different designs each produced by a different shipbuilder: HMS Daring
and HMS Decoy from
John I. Thornycroft & Company
Torpedo boat destroyer designs continued to evolve around the turn of
the 20th century in several key ways. The first was the introduction
of the steam turbine . The spectacular unauthorized demonstration of
the turbine powered
Turbinia at the 1897 Spithead
The second development was the replacement of the torpedo-boat-style turtleback foredeck by a raised forecastle for the new River-class destroyers built in 1903, which provided better sea-keeping as well as more space below deck.
The first warship to use only fuel oil propulsion was the Royal
Navy's torpedo boat destroyer HMS Spiteful , after experiments in
1904, although the obsolescence of coal as a fuel in British warships
was delayed by its availability. Other navies also adopted oil, for
Between 1892 and 1914 destroyers became markedly larger: initially 420 tons with a length of 250 feet (76 m) for the US Navy's first Bainbridge class of torpedo boat destroyers, up to the First World War with 300-foot (91 m) long destroyers displacing 1000 tons was not unusual. However, construction remained focused on putting the biggest possible engines into a small hull, resulting in a somewhat flimsy construction. Often hulls were built of steel only 1/8 in thick.
By 1910 the steam-driven displacement (that is, not hydroplaning )
torpedo boat had become redundant as a separate type. Germany
nevertheless continued to build such boats until the end of World War
I, although these were effectively small coastal destroyers. In fact
EARLY USE AND WORLD WAR I
Navies originally built torpedo boat destroyers to protect against torpedo boats, but admirals soon appreciated the flexibility of the fast, multi-purpose vessels that resulted. Vice-Admiral Sir Baldwin Walker laid down destroyer duties for the Royal Navy:
* screening the advance of a fleet when hostile torpedo craft are about * searching a hostile coast along which a fleet might pass * watching an enemy's port for the purpose of harassing his torpedo craft and preventing their return * attacking an enemy fleet
Early destroyers were extremely cramped places to live, being "without a doubt magnificent fighting vessels... but unable to stand bad weather". During the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, the commander of the torpedo boat destroyer IJN Akatsuki described "being in command of a destroyer for a long period, especially in wartime... is not very good for the health". Stating that he had originally been strong and healthy, he continued, "life on a destroyer in winter, with bad food, no comforts, would sap the powers of the strongest men in the long run. A destroyer is always more uncomfortable than the others, and rain, snow, and sea-water combine to make them damp; in fact, in bad weather there is not a dry spot where one can rest for a moment."
The Japanese destroyer-commander finished with, "Yesterday I looked at myself in a mirror for a long time; I was disagreeably surprised to see my face thin, full of wrinkles, and as old as though I were fifty. My clothes (uniform) cover nothing but a skeleton, and my bones are full of rheumatism ."
In 1898 by the US
HMS Loyal , of the Laforey class .
The torpedo boat destroyer's first major use in combat came during the Japanese surprise-attack on the Russian fleet anchored in Port Arthur at the opening of the Russo-Japanese War on 8 February 1904.
Three destroyer divisions attacked the Russian fleet in port, firing a total of 18 torpedoes. However, only two Russian battleships were seriously damaged due to the proper deployment of torpedo nets . The Russian flagship, the battleship Tsesarevich , which had her nets deployed, had at least four enemy torpedoes "hung up" in them, and other warships were similarly saved from further damage.
While capital ship engagements were scarce in World War I, destroyer units engaged almost continually in raiding and patrol actions. The first shot of the war at sea was fired on 5 August 1914 by a destroyer of the 2nd Flotilla, HMS Lance , in an engagement with the German auxiliary minelayer SS Königin Luise .
Destroyers were involved in the skirmishes that prompted the Battle
of Heligoland Bight , and filled a range of roles in the Battle of
Gallipoli , acting as troop transports and as fire-support vessels, as
well as their fleet-screening role. Over 80 British destroyers and 60
German torpedo-boats took part in the
Battle of Jutland , which
involved pitched small-boat actions between the main fleets, and
several foolhardy attacks by unsupported destroyers on capital ships.
Jutland also concluded with a messy night action between the German
High Seas Fleet
The threat evolved by
World War I
The desire to attack submarines underwater led to rapid destroyer evolution during the war; they were quickly equipped with strengthened bows for ramming, depth charges and hydrophones for identifying submarine targets. The first submarine casualty to a destroyer was the German U-19 , rammed by HMS Badger on 29 October 1914. While U-19 was only damaged, the next month Garry successfully sank U-18 . The first depth-charge sinking was on 4 December 1916, when UC-19 was sunk by HMS Llewellyn.
The submarine threat meant that many destroyers spent their time on
anti-submarine patrol; once
At the end of the war the state-of-the-art was represented by the British W-class .
INTER-WAR "> V-class destroyer, HMS Velox
The trend during
World War I
The next major innovation came with the Japanese Fubuki class or 'special type', designed in 1923 and delivered in 1928. The design was initially noted for its powerful armament of six five-inch (127 mm) guns and three triple torpedo mounts. The second batch of the class gave the guns high-angle turrets for anti-aircraft warfare, and the 24-inch (61 cm) oxygen-fueled 'Long Lance' Type 93 torpedo . The later Hatsuharu class of 1931 further improved the torpedo armament by storing its reload torpedoes close at hand in the superstructure, allowing reloading within 15 minutes.
Most other nations replied with similar larger ships. The US Porter class adopted twin five-inch (127 mm) guns, and the subsequent Mahan class and Gridley class (the latter of 1934) increased the number of torpedo tubes to 12 and 16 respectively. France's Fantasque class , the fastest destroyer class ever built.
In the Mediterranean, the Italian Navy's building of very fast light cruisers of the Condottieri class prompted the French to produce exceptional destroyer designs. The French had long been keen on large destroyers, with their Chacal class of 1922 displacing over 2,000 tons and carrying 130 mm guns; a further three similar classes were produced around 1930. The Fantasque class of 1935 carried five 138 millimetres (5.4 in) guns and nine torpedo tubes, but could achieve speeds of 45 knots (83 km/h; 52 mph), which remains the record speed for a steamship and for any destroyer. The Italians' own destroyers were almost as swift, most Italian designs of the 1930s being rated at over 38 knots (70 km/h), while carrying torpedoes and either four or six 120 mm guns.
Once German and Japanese rearmament became clear, the British and American navies consciously focused on building destroyers that were smaller but more numerous than those used by other nations. The British built a series of destroyers (the A class to I class ) which were about 1,400 tons standard displacement, had four 4.7-inch (119 mm) guns and eight torpedo tubes; the American Benson class of 1938 similar in size, but carried five 5-inch (127 mm) guns and ten torpedo tubes. Realizing the need for heavier gun armament, the British built the Tribal class of 1936 (sometimes called Afridi after one of two lead ships). These ships displaced 1,850 tons and were armed with eight 4.7-inch (119 mm) guns in four twin turrets and four torpedo tubes. These were followed by the J-class and L-class destroyers, with six 4.7-inch (119 mm) guns in twin turrets and eight torpedo tubes.
Anti-submarine sensors included sonar (or ASDIC), although training in their use was indifferent. Anti-submarine weapons changed little, and ahead-throwing weapons, a need recognized in World War I, had made no progress.
USS McGowan , a
During the 1920s and 1930s destroyers were often deployed to areas of diplomatic tension or humanitarian disaster. British and American destroyers were common on the Chinese coast and rivers, even supplying landing parties to protect colonial interests.
World War II
The need for large numbers of anti-submarine ships led to the
introduction of smaller and cheaper specialized anti-submarine
warships called corvettes and frigates by the Royal
POST-WORLD WAR II
Some conventional destroyers were completed in the late 1940s and 1950s which built on wartime experience. These vessels were significantly larger than wartime ships and had fully automatic main guns, unit Machinery, radar, sonar, and antisubmarine weapons such as the Squid mortar . Examples include the British Daring class , US Forrest Sherman class , and the Soviet Kotlin-class destroyers.
Some World War II–vintage ships were modernized for anti-submarine warfare, and to extend their service lives, to avoid having to build (expensive) brand-new ships. Examples include the US FRAM I programme and the British Type 15 frigates converted from fleet destroyers.
The advent of surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-surface missiles , such as the Exocet , in the early 1960s changed naval warfare. Guided missile destroyers (DDG in the US Navy) were developed to carry these weapons and protect the fleet from air, submarine and surface threats. Examples include the Soviet Kashin class , the British County class , and the US Charles F. Adams class .
21st Century destroyers tend to display features such as large, slab sides without complicated corners and crevices to keep the radar cross-section small, vertical launch systems to carry a large number of missiles at high readiness to fire and helicopter flight decks and hangars .
* People\'s Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army
* Republic of
INS Kolkata guided missile destroyer of the Indian
Japan\'s Maritime Self-Defense Force Akizuki
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Operates the Atago-class and
Kongō-class destroyers which both employ the Aegis combat system.
Japan also operates two Hatakaze-class destroyers, four Akizuki-class
destroyers, five Takanami-class destroyers, nine Murasame-class
destroyers, eight Asagiri-class destroyers, three Hatsuyuki-class
destroyers, six Abukuma-class destroyers, and three Shimayuki-class
destroyers for training use.
* Republic of Korea
Udaloy-class destroyer destroyers of the Russian
HMS Daring , a Type 45 guided missile destroyer of the Royal
The addition of cruise missile launchers has greatly expanded the
role of the destroyer in strike and land-attack warfare. As the
expense of heavier surface combatants has generally removed them from
the fleet, destroyer tonnage has grown (a modern Arleigh Burke-class
destroyer has the same tonnage as a
World War II
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People\'s Liberation Army
In addition, six multimission surface combat ships are planned under the name 'Mehrzweckkampfschiff 180' (MKS 180), which will have destroyer-size and corresponding capabilities
Islamic Republic of
Marina Militare is adding six more FREMM multipurpose frigates to
their fleet, while also negotiating plans to export a number of units
to the Hellenic
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is currently developing plans for its 25DD destroyers and its DDR Destroyer Revolution Project. Japan is also planning the construction of four new AEGIS equipped destroyers, whose class is yet to be named. Additionally, plans have been laid out for Japan's new 30FF anti-submarine destroyer. These ships are expected to enter service between 2018-2019. Japan also recently launched JDS Asahai (DD-119) , the lead ship of her new class of destroyers. She will be commissioned in 2018.
Republic of Korea
United States Navy The last
Spruance-class destroyer in service, USS
Cushing , was decommissioned on September 21, 2005. The Zumwalt class
is planned to replace them; on November 1, 2001, the US
A number of countries have destroyers preserved as museum ships. These include:
* ARA Santisima Trinidad is currently being restored and will be
Puerto Belgrano ,
* ^ Gove p. 2412
* ^ Lyon p. 8, 9
* ^ Although the Russian Kirov class are sometimes classified as
battlecruisers, due to their displacement they are described by Russia
as large missile cruisers.
* ^ Northrop Grumman christened its 28th Aegis guided missile
destroyer, William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) April 19, 2010. Retrieved
August 29, 2014.
* ^ Lyon p. 8
* ^ "
Torpedo Boats". Battleships-Cruisers.co.uk.
* ^ Jentschura p. 126
* ^ Evans and Peattie, David C. and Mark R. (1997). Kaigun:
Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy,
1887–1941. Annapolis, Maryland:
Naval Institute Press . ISBN
* ^ Howe, Christopher (1996). The Origins of Japanese Trade
Supremacy: Development and Technology in Asia from 1540 to the Pacific
War. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. ISBN
* ^ A B Lyon & Winfield. "10". The Sail and Steam
* Evans, David C. Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the
Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941, Mark R. Peattie . Naval Institute
Press, Annapolis, Maryland ISBN 0-87021-192-7
* Gardiner, Robert (Editor). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships
(1860–1905): Naval Institute Press, 1985.
* Gove, Philip Babock (Editor in Chief). Webster's Third New
International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged. (2002)
Merriam-Webster Inc., Publishers, Massachusetts, USA.
* Grant, R. Captain. Before Port Arthur in a Destroyer; The Personal
Diary of a Japanese Naval Officer. London, John Murray; first and
second editions published in 1907.
* Howe, Christopher. Origins of Japanese Trade Supremacy:
Development and Technology in Asia from 1540 to the Pacific War, The
University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-35485-7
* Jentschura, Hansgeorg. Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy,
1869–1945. United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland, 1977.
ISBN 0-87021-893-X .
* Lyon, David, The First Destroyers. Chatham Publishing, 1 1996.
ISBN 1-55750-271-4 .
* Sanders, Michael S. (2001) The Yard: Building a
Destroyer at the
Bath Iron Works, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-06-092963-3
* Simpson, Richard V. Building The Mosquito Fleet, The US Navy's
Torpedo Boats. Arcadia Publishing, (2001); Charleston, South
Carolina, USA. ISBN 0-7385-0508-0 .
* Preston, Anthony. Destroyers, Bison Books (London) 1977. ISBN
* Van der Vat, Dan. The Atlantic Campaign.
* DD-963 Spruance-class
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