The origin of destroyers dates back to the early 1890s, when the British, in response to the fast torpedo boats operated by
France, built two large torpedo boats of 55 meters in length and 260 tonnes of displacement, armed with three torpedo tubes and four small cannons,
and capable of a speed of 27 knots. These ships were called "torpedo boat destroyers" and later simply "destroyers". Then the British started to
build destroyers propelled by turbines, but their light hulls were not able to endure the efforts to which they were subject, so from 1901 it was
decided to build larger units. In 1903 were launched destroyers of 540 tonnes and those of the Tribal class from 1907-1909 reached 870 tonnes with
a length of 82.3 meters.
During the interwar period, many countries built units of 3000 tonnes, intermediate between the cruiser and the destroyer properly said, whose displacement
was generally between 1000 and 1800 tonnes. Still, they were very fast units; for example, the French destroyer Le Terrible, with a standard
displacement of 2569 tonnes, reached the extraordinary speed of 45.25 knots (with the not less extraordinary power of 100000 horsepower, however).
The advances emerged during the Second World War and the postwar years turned the destroyer into a polyvalent weapon with a displacement generally
above 3000 tonnes, for the addition of complex technical equipment and new roles required an increment in the size of the ships. The eight destroyers
of the Daring class, completed in 1952-1954, were sixteen times larger than the first British destroyers.
Every cannon onboard had to be usable against surface or aerial targets, torpedoes and depth charges became standard equipment and from the 1960s
the most modern destroyers would be armed with missiles capable of destroying aircraft, ships and even submarines. Paradigm of this new generation of
destroyers were those of the Kashin class built for the Soviet Navy during the 1960s. Equipped with two missile launchers and six radar units and
propelled by gas turbines exhausting through two bifid stacks, these destroyers were considerably different than those built just ten years before.
On modern naval warfare, a prime purpose of destroyers is the localization and neutralization of the submarine threat, and thus the modern antisubmarine
destroyer poses great danger for any submarine.
American missile destroyer of the ARLEIGH BURKE CLASS (1989-2015)
American antisubmarine destroyer of the SPRUANCE CLASS (1972-1983)
American destroyer USS CHARLES AUSBURNE circa 1943
British destroyer HMS CAVALIER in 1972
British destroyer of the DARING CLASS circa 1960
British destroyer HMS HESPERUS in 1943
American/British destroyers of the FLUSH DECK/TOWN CLASS (1916-1921)
British destroyer HMS COSSACK in 1938
French missile destroyer SUFFREN circa 1970
French destroyer LE TERRIBLE in 1943
German destroyer B 110 in 1915
German destroyer of the HAMBURG CLASS circa 1965
Italian destroyer NEMBO circa 1903
Soviet/Russian missile destroyer of the SOVREMENNYY CLASS (1978-1989)
Soviet/Russian antisubmarine destroyer of the UDALOY CLASS (1980-1990)
Soviet/Russian missile destroyer of the KASHIN CLASS circa 1965
Soviet destroyer of the SKORYY CLASS circa 1955
Soviet destroyer of the GNEVNY CLASS (1936-1941)
Soviet destroyer of the LENINGRAD CLASS (1933-1939)
Japanese destroyer YUKIKAZE in 1945