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Destroyer - Wikipedia
Follow NBC News. Russian warship nearly collides with U. Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. Minyvonne Burke. Destructor Destroyer in Spanish was laid down at the end of the year, launched in , and commissioned in 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.
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 Navy. Early torpedo gunboat designs lacked the range and speed to keep up with the fleet they were supposed to protect. In , the Third Sea Lord , 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.
These torpedo boat destroyers all featured a turtleback i. They were armed with one pounder gun and three 6-pounder guns, with one fixed in torpedo tube in the bow plus two more torpedo tubes on a revolving mount abaft the two funnels. Later the bow torpedo tube was removed and two more 6-pounder guns added instead. In common with subsequent early Thornycroft boats, they had sloping sterns and double rudders.
The French navy, an extensive user of torpedo boats, built its first torpedo boat destroyer in , with the Durandal -class 'torpilleur d'escadre'. 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. By the turbine had been widely adopted by all navies for their faster ships.
Warship: Life at Sea
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 , which provided better sea-keeping as well as more space below deck. In spite of all this variety, destroyers adopted a largely similar pattern. The hull was long and narrow, with a relatively shallow draft. Aft of the crew spaces was as much engine space as the technology of the time would allow: several boilers and engines or turbines.
Above deck, one or more quick-firing guns were mounted in the bows, in front of the bridge; several more were mounted amidships and astern. Two tube mountings later on, multiple mountings were generally found amidships. However, construction remained focused on putting the biggest possible engines into a small hull, resulting in a somewhat flimsy construction.
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By 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 Germany never distinguished between the two types, giving them pennant numbers in the same series and never giving names to destroyers. Ultimately the term torpedo boat came to be attached to a quite different vessel — the very fast hydroplaning motor driven MTB.
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. Early destroyers were extremely cramped places to live, being "without a doubt magnificent fighting vessels 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.
Video shows Russian destroyer nearly colliding with U.S. warship
My clothes uniform cover nothing but a skeleton, and my bones are full of rheumatism. But her commander, LT. John C. Fremont, described her as " And even in those spaces are placed anchor engines, steering engines, steam pipes, etc. 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 Three destroyer divisions attacked the Russian fleet in port, firing a total of 18 torpedoes.
However, only two Russian battleships, Tsesarevich and Retvizan , as well as the protected cruiser Pallada , were seriously damaged due to the proper deployment of torpedo nets. Tsesarevich , the Russian flagship, had her nets deployed, with at least four enemy torpedoes "hung up" in them,  and other warships were similarly saved from further damage by their nets. While capital ship engagements were scarce in World War I, destroyer units engaged almost continually in raiding and patrol actions.
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.
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Jutland also concluded with a messy night action between the German High Seas Fleet and part of the British destroyer screen. The threat evolved by World War I with the development of the submarine , or U-boat. The submarine had the potential to hide from gunfire and close underwater to fire torpedoes.
Early-war destroyers had the speed and armament to intercept submarines before they submerged, either by gunfire or by ramming. Destroyers also had a shallow enough draft that torpedoes would find it difficult to hit them. The desire to attack submarines underwater led to rapid destroyer evolution during the war. They were quickly equipped with strengthened bows for ramming, and depth charges and hydrophones for identifying submarine targets.
U.S. warship sails near South China Sea islands claimed by China
The submarine threat meant that many destroyers spent their time on anti-submarine patrol. Once Germany adopted unrestricted submarine warfare in January , destroyers were called on to escort merchant convoys. US Navy destroyers were among the first American units to be dispatched upon the American entry to the war, and a squadron of Japanese destroyers even joined Allied patrols in the Mediterranean.
Patrol duty was far from safe; of the 67 British destroyers lost in the war, collisions accounted for 18, while 12 were wrecked.
At the end of the war, the state-of-the-art was represented by the British W class. The trend during World War I had been towards larger destroyers with heavier armaments. A number of opportunities to fire at capital ships had been missed during the War, because destroyers had expended all their torpedoes in an initial salvo. The British V and W classes of the late war had sought to address this by mounting six torpedo tubes in two triple mounts, instead of the four or two on earlier models.
The 'V' and 'W's set the standard of destroyer building well into the s. This was largely due to the fact that, between their commissioning in and , they retained the armament that they had while serving in the Italian Navy as scout cruisers esploratori. The two Romanian warships were thus the destroyers with the greatest firepower in the world throughout much of the interwar period. As of , when the Second World War started, their artillery, although changed, was still close to cruiser standards, amounting to nine heavy naval guns five of mm and four of 76 mm.
In addition, they retained their two twin mm torpedo tubes as well as two machine guns, plus the capacity to carry up to 50 mines. The next major innovation came with the Japanese Fubuki class or 'special type', designed in and delivered in The later Hatsuharu class of 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. 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 Fantasque class of carried five millimetres 5. Germany started to build destroyers again during the s as part of Hitler's rearmament program. This changed from the Type onwards, which mounted heavy millimetres 5. German destroyers also used innovative high-pressure steam machinery: while this should have helped their efficiency, it more often resulted in mechanical problems. 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.
Realizing the need for heavier gun armament, the British built the Tribal class of sometimes called Afridi after one of two lead ships. These were followed by the J-class and L-class destroyers, with six 4. Anti-submarine weapons changed little, and ahead-throwing weapons, a need recognized in World War I, had made no progress. During the s and s 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. By World War II the threat had evolved once again. Submarines were more effective, and aircraft had become important weapons of naval warfare; once again the early-war fleet destroyers were ill-equipped for combating these new targets.
They were fitted with new light anti-aircraft guns, radar , and forward-launched ASW weapons, in addition to their existing dual-purpose guns , depth charges , and torpedoes. By this time the destroyers had become large, multi-purpose vessels, expensive targets in their own right. As a result, casualties on destroyers were among the highest.
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 Navy and destroyer escorts by the USN. A similar programme was belatedly started by the Japanese see Matsu -class destroyer. These ships had the size and displacement of the original torpedo boat destroyers that the contemporary destroyer had evolved from. Some conventional destroyers were completed in the late s and s which built on wartime experience.
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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. 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. The advent of surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-surface missiles , such as the Exocet , in the early s 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.
Adams class. Royal Australian Navy is currently building three Hobart -class destroyers. These ships are to replace the aging Adelaide -class frigates.