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A Destroyer was the smallest warship type to participate in fleet operations in World War I.

They evolved in a series of stages from the small Torpedo Boats of the 1800s who represented a threat to capital ships. Navies reacted to this threat by creating slightly larger vessels with greater gun armament called "torpedo boat destroyers", although eventually they also shouldered the burden of torpedo attack. Eventually, the name was further shortened to just "destroyers".

Destroyers, like other ship types, generally grew in size and capability as time went on.


See Also


  • Lyon, David (1996). The First Destroyers. London: Chatham Publishing. (on and
  • March, Edgar J. (1966). British Destroyers: A History of Development, 1892-1953. London: Seeley Service & Co. Limited. (on

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