"Destroyers of the Royal Navy 1893-1981" (used book)
Destroyers of the Royal Navy 1893-1981
by Maurice Cocker
About the book
Used book. Hardcover. Dust jacket included. Good condition
In 1870 the Admiralty commended to Parliament the weapon known as the ‘Hydrostatic Torpedo’ and that august body arranged for the purchasing of the manufacturing rights for the sum of £15,000. A weapon of surprise and stealth, the torpedo required a small, speedy craft to launch it, especially in the early days when its range was only half a nautical mile. Thus, came to be built HMS Lightning, the first torpedo boat for the Royal Navy, although a previous torpedo boat had been built in England for the Norwegian Navy.
The potential of the weapon was soon realized and the Admiralty, having started the process, were no forced to find a remedy. Their initial attempt – the vessel described as the ‘torpedo catcher’ – was found to be too slow, and, consequently, in 1873 a new design known as the ‘torpedo boat destroyer’ was born. Soon the TBD became indispensable to the navies of the world; and in two world wars, its importance both as an offensive and defensive weapon for fleet and convoy escort duties showed that no task at sea was too much for the destroyer.
The postwar Royal Navy has seen cutbacks and increased sophistication. The destroyer – now larger and armed with guided missiles – has been part of this but with the frigate increasing in size and numbers, there is doubt whether the destroyer as such will exist in a few years time. The advent of the helicopter as an anti-submarine weapon has also hastened the type’s demise. Maurice Cocker charts the history of the destroyer in words and pictures, providing much new information and a comprehensive record of the history and appearance of each class.