of these articles is occupied with the warship class destroyer. The airplane class of the same name is described under destroyer (airplane ).

The destroyer was originally a small and fast warship. In the meantime this ship's class, by omission of the battle ships and most cruisers , belongs to the largerUnits.

Destroyer mm of Luigi Durand de la Penne (D560) Durand de la Penne class
Zerstörer USS Higgins (DDG 76), Arleigh-Burke-II-Klasse
destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76), Arleigh Burke II class
Der 1994 in Dienst gestellte Zerstörer Harbin (DD 112), Type 052, (NATO Code: Luhu-Klasse) der chinesischen Volksbefreiungsarmee, bei einem Besuch des US-Marinestützpunktes Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
of the 1994 in service destroyer placed Harbin (dd 112), type 052, (NATO code: Luhu class) of the Chinese people release army, with an attendance of the US Navy base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

the term “destroyer” is more destroyer a literal translation of the English word, since the type in Great Britain was sketched as reaction to the development of the torpedo and the torpedo boat. The British navy leading at that time (Royal Navy) was based upon large liners, which could repel approaching torpedo boats with their large and ponderous cannon batteries fast badly. To their protection therefore somewhat larger and faster torpedo boats were built, which should fight attacking torpedo boats with their stronger armament with cannons. This type was called or shortened torpedo boat destroyers destroyers. Forthey carried a counter attack likewise a torpedo armament. Therefore the border between torpedo boat and destroyer is flowing.

In the Second World War destroyers were very universally used and built accordingly in large numbers of items, however in the USA over 600 units. They were at this time 2,000 to 4.000t heavily and 120 m long. They reached about 35 knots and were with 4 to 10 torpedo pipes, as well as about 5 cannons with 12,7 cm armed calibers. In addition a still larger number at smaller escort destroyers, those above all that came submarine - and those served defense Convoys accompanied. From these escort destroyers the modern frigate developed.

Today destroyers to over 8.000 t are large and with missiles, tubing and antisubmarine weapons as well as onboard helicopters equipped. Apart from the aircraft carriers they rank today beside the cruisers among the large ships of the marine ones.

Modern destroyersbecomes today predominantly in Stealth - building method built, what them a smooth, laminar appearance lends. The radar radarrückstrahlung is decreased by the diagonal arrangement of all (überwasser) surfaces. The consequence is a smaller radar signature: the ship is thus recognized also later more badly and by the opposing radar. The USAare today prominent in the building of destroyers. They build the destroyers of the Arleigh Burke class, which serve the air defense of their aircraft carriers. Most nations set today however on the more economical frigates.

The first destroyers of the Federal Navy belonged to 1944 to the Fletcher class, year of construction 1943 -. They became ofUS armed forces taken over. The Federal Navy led it under the name Z1 to Z6. The four German new buildings of the Hamburg class (D181 „Hamburg “, D182 „Schleswig-Holstein “, D183 „Bavaria “and D184 „Hessen “) were replaced to at the beginning of the 1990er years by frigate new buildings of the class F-123. The last destroyers of the GermansNavy - three ships of the modified American Charles F. Adam class - in the years 1999 (D187 „Rommel “) and 2003 (D186 „Mölders “ and D185 „Lütjens “) were deactivated. Decisive high maintenance and operating cost were not, partially from the no moresteam boiler drive systems up-to-date and the high costs of spare part procurements resulted. The destroyers are replaced by the inlet of the frigates of the Saxonia class F124.

table of contents

historical development

development of the warship classes 1945 ago

before 1945 were the large surface war ships of all sea powers first divided in destroyers, light and heavy cruisers and battle ships. This clear organization had its origin inthe fleet contracts by Washington of 1922 and London 1930. According to this system was the “classical” fleet destroyer 2. World war developed. Special developments represented the large destroyers and flotilla leaders, however tonnage-moderately in 2. World war were caught up by the standard destroyers. By the experiences in 2. World war seta radical reorientation regarding the purpose of destroyers. The classical task of the destroyers was the offensive and defensive fleet service, thus the attack with torpedoes on opposing federations of battle ships or cruisers or the defense of opposing destroyers.

war experiences

in 2. World warhowever this task was guessed/advised more in relation to purely defensive tasks such as Ubootjagd and protection from air raids ever in the Hintertreffen. There was surface engagements particularly between destroyers still war ship against war ship, but remained these rather the exception. Already during the war this tendency showed upto the fact that most destroyer classes were converted provisionally on the new tasks and threats. The Flak - and submarine hunt armament like e.g. Depth charges or Hedgehogs one strengthened with nearly all Vorkriegsmustern substantially. Over this ballast to adjust weapon systems for the surface fight had such as artillery and torpedo-tubingcorrode are removed.

In the year 1945 most American destroyers had no more torpedo pipes, the Flakbewaffnung against it because of the threat by Kamikazeflugzeuge had been partly quadrupled. An additional weight factor were new sensors such as radar, which ever more place stressed. During 2. World war however becameoutstandingly and new destroyer types like the British Battle class or the American Gearing class, sketched during the war, still torpedo pipes had this only as makeshift, however the main artillery was both against airplanes and überwasser and land goals applicable after the war now always set a radicalReorient one's opinion: The destroyer became now primarily the safeguard ship for the aircraft carrier, which had taken over the role of the battle ship as core of the fleet. Carrier federations were primarily threatened by opposing airplanes and submarines.

1950er years

the destroyers of the 50's carried for this newRolls calculation and the torpedo pipes disappeared now completely. With new drafts the submarine hunt played ever more the main role, which led to a reduction of the artillery, for example from 6x 127mm with the Gearing class from the year 1944 to 3 cannons with the Forrest Sherman class from that50ern. With the air defense the air defense rocket played a ever larger role. However these initially very large weapons could be used first only on cruisers. Center of the 50's was developed the guided weapon destroyer, whose major task is the protection of other ships by means of guided weapons. Here dividesnow the Entwicklungstrang of all sea powers and it gives the following differences:

  • The USA
    • conventional destroyers to the submarine hunt with designation of dd
    • guided weapon destroyer with designation DDG
    • particularly large destroyers with designation DLG, the two tasks to accomplish knew
  • Great Britain
    • destroyer to the air defense with guided rockets
    • fast, large frigates to the submarine hunt,partly more largely than destroyers
  • France
    • both and guided weapon ship as and submarine hunter
  • USSR
    • the traditional designation “destroyer” was completely given up and the ships according to their function as “large rocket ship” or “large submarine hunt ship” was designated.

modern trend destroyer types

the classical type of destroyer, that itself from the torpedo boathad developed, still held themselves into the 70's. Even if American and Russian guided weapon destroyers had at that time another role, they were constructionally still a development of the old type, identifiable by steam turbines - the drive and a very slim trunk.

Gradually the realization sat downthrough that a speed is sufficient around 30 knots for today's tasks. This speed could be achieved also with gas turbines , Diesels or mixed drive (CODOG). The renouncement of high speed again made possible a less slim trunk and thus a final break ofthe slim destroyer line.

A first draft of this kind was the American Spruance class, a draft, which of many Traditionalisten as tremendously ugly and besides much too largely was classified: These ships displaced over 6000 tons and came thereby already into the range of a cruiser, possessedGas turbine drive and an armament relatively light for their size. For tradition reasons one gave the designation Destroyer to this new antisubmarine ship, although it represented in principle a completely new type. In the long run this class was so successful due to low noise level and large “growth potential” that all newer AmericanShips (and many drafts of American allying) on it are based. These are more cruiser called either guided missile more destroyer (Arleigh Burke class) or guided missile , but are in the long run variants of the same type with different roles. The last “classical” type of destroyer of the US-Navy was the Charles f. - Adam class. In the long run are thoseDesignations cruisers, destroyers and frigate today only tradition name, which does not give information over role and size.

At the German navy the rumor holds itself that the frigates of the type would actually be F124 due to their size and the air defense armament destroyer, but due to Political Correctnessin frigates to be renamed had. To it it is to be said however that the Netherlands one (Zeven Provincien) and Spanish navy (Alvaro de Bazan), which nearly identically constructed and even larger ships similar type build and begin these likewise frigates call.

Modern destroyer classes


  • Mike J. Whitley: Destroyer inThe Second World War. Technology - classes - types. Engine book publishing house Stuttgart, 325 sides, ISBN 3-61301-426-2
  • Robert Jackson: Destroyer, frigates and corvettes. Gondrom publishing house, 320 sides, ISBN 3-81121-873-5
  • Wolfgang Harnack: The destroyer flotilla of the German navy from 1958 to today. Charcoal burner Verlagsges., 203 sides, ISBN 3-78220-816-1
  • Alexander Kent: The destroyers. Ullstein paperback, 271 sides, ISBN 3-54824-301-0
  • Rolf Güth: Destroyer Z 34. A war diary of the everyday life of the naval warfare 1943 to 1945. Charcoal burner Verlagsges., 104 sides, ISBN 3-78220-567-7
  • Gerhard Koop, Klaus Peter Schmolke: The German destroyers 1935-1945. Berne pool of broadcasting corporations &Graefe, 272 sides, ISBN 3-76375-940-9
  • Harald Fock: Z-before. 2 volumes, charcoal burner publishing house company, ISBN 3-78220-762-9
  • Hans's flour: Torpdeoboote and destroyer. Publishing house for traffic Berlin

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