Laying the keel or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction. It is marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship. Keel laying is one of the four specially celebrated events in the life of a ship. In earlier times, the event recognized as the keel laying was the initial placement of the central timber making up the backbone of a vessel, called the keel; as steel ships replaced wooden ones, the central timber gave way to a central steel beam. Modern ships are now built in a series of pre-fabricated, complete hull sections rather than being built around a single keel; the event recognized as the keel laying is the first joining of modular components, or the lowering of the first module into place in the building dock. It is now called "keel authentication", is the ceremonial beginning of the ship's life, although some modules may have been started months before that stage of construction. Keel-related traditions from the times of wooden ships are said to bring luck to the ship during construction and to the captain and crew during her life.
They include placing a newly minted coin under the keel and constructing the ship over it, having the youngest apprentice place the coin, when the ship is finished, presenting the owners with the oak block on which the keel is laid. The tradition of the placement of coins derives from the mast stepping custom of placing coins under the mast and is believed to date back to Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome and were intended to "pay the ferryman" to convey the souls of the dead across the River Styx should the ship sink; the first milestone in the history of a ship is the simple ceremony that marks the laying of the keel. Invitations to the ceremony are issued by shipyard officials, the ceremony is conducted by them; the builder may be the president of a private company. The ship's prospective name, without the "USS", is mentioned in the invitation.
Landing craft are small and medium seagoing watercraft such as boats, barges, used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. The term excludes landing ships. Production of landing craft peaked during World War II, with a significant number of different designs produced in large quantities by the United Kingdom and United States; because of the need to run up onto a suitable beach, World War II landing craft were flat-bottomed, many designs had a flat front with a lowerable ramp, rather than a normal bow. This made them difficult to control and uncomfortable in rough seas; the control point was at the extreme rear of the vessel, as were the engines. In all cases, they were known by an abbreviation derived from the official name rather than by the full title. In the days of sail, the ship's boats were used as landing craft; these rowing boats were sufficient, if inefficient, in an era when marines were light infantry, participating in small-scale campaigns in far-flung colonies against less well-equipped indigenous opponents.
In order to support amphibious operations during the landing in Pisagua by carrying significant quantities of cargo, landing troops directly onto an unimproved shore, the Government of Chile built flat-bottomed landing craft, called Chalanas. They transported 1,200 men in the first landing and took on board 600 men in less than 2 hours for the second landing. During World War I, the mass mobilization of troops equipped with rapid-fire weapons rendered such boats obsolete. Initial landings during the Gallipoli campaign took place in unmodified rowing boats that were vulnerable to attack from the Turkish shore defenses. In February 1915, orders were placed for the design of purpose built landing craft. A design was created in four days resulting in an order for 200'X' Lighters with a spoon-shaped bow to take shelving beaches and a drop down frontal ramp; the first use took place after they had been towed to the Aegean and performed in the 6 August landing at Suvla Bay of IX Corps, commanded by Commander Edward Unwin.'X' Lighters, known to the soldiers as'Beetles', carried about 500 men, displaced 135 tons and were based on London barges being 105 feet 6 inches long, 21 feet wide, 7 ft 6 inches deep.
The engines ran on heavy oil and ran at a speed of 5 knots. The sides of the ships were bulletproof, was designed with a ramp on the bow for disembarkation. A plan was devised to land British heavy tanks from pontoons in support of the Third Battle of Ypres, but this was abandoned; the Imperial Russian Navy soon followed suit, building a series of similar landing motor barges of the so-called Bolinder-class, named after the supplier of the diesels installed in them. These, proved too small and unseaworthy for their intended Black sea theater — they were intended for the planned Marmara Sea landings. Instead, a new class was designed, based on the widespread pattern of the Black sea merchant steamers; these were very light at the bow, having all their machinery concentrated at the stern, which allowed easy beaching on any sloping coast, were equipped with a bow ramp for fast unloading. This resulted in a 1300-ton, 1500 hp Elpidifor-class, named after the Rostov-on-Don merchant Elpidifor Paramonov, whose eponymous grain carrier served as a pattern on which they were based.
With a 1.8 m loaded draft, equipped with the ballast tanks and reinforced hull for safe beaching, they were able to land 1000 troops with their train at any available beach. While the landings for which they were created never happened, the ships themselves turned out quite useful and had a long career, supporting the Caucasus Campaign and as minesweepers and utility transports. During the inter-war period, the combination of the negative experience at Gallipoli and economic stringency contributed to the delay in procuring equipment and adopting a universal doctrine for amphibious operations in the Royal Navy. Despite this outlook, the British produced the Motor Landing Craft in 1920, based on their experience with the early'Beetle' armoured transport; the craft could put a medium tank directly onto a beach. From 1924, it was used with landing boats in annual exercises in amphibious landings. A prototype motor landing craft, designed by J. Samuel White of Cowes, was built and first sailed in 1926.
It had a box-like appearance, having a square bow and stern. To prevent fouling of the propellers in a craft destined to spend time in surf and be beached, a crude waterjet propulsion system was devised by White's designers. A Hotchkiss petrol engine drove a centrifugal pump which produced a jet of water, pushing the craft ahead or astern, steering it, according to how the jet was directed. Speed was 5-6 knots and its beaching capacity was good. By 1930, three MLC were operated by the Royal Navy; the United States revived and experimented in their approach to amphibious warfare between 1913 and mid-1930s, when the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps became interested in setting up advanced bases in opposing countries during wartime. In 1939, during the annual Fleet Landing Exercises, the FMF became interested in the military potential of Andrew Higgins's design of a powered, shallow-draught boat; these LCPL, dubbed the'Higgins Boats', were reviewed and passed by the U. S. Naval Bureau of Construction and Repair.
Soon, the Higgins boats were developed to a final design with a ramp - the LCVP, were pr
Bath is a city in Sagadahoc County, Maine, in the United States. The population was 8,514 at the 2010 census, 8,357 as of 2013, the population has had a change of -10.2% since 2000. It is the county seat of Sagadahoc County, which includes 10 towns; the city is popular with tourists. It is home to the Bath Iron Works and Heritage Days Festival, held annually on the Fourth of July weekend, it is known as "The City of Ships". Bath is part of the metropolitan statistical area of Greater Portland. Abenaki Indians called the area Sagadahoc, meaning "mouth of big river", it was a reference to the Kennebec River, which Samuel de Champlain explored in 1605. Popham Colony was established in 1607 downstream, together with Fort St George; the settlement failed due to harsh weather and lack of leadership, but the colonists built the New World's first oceangoing vessel constructed by English shipwrights, the Virginia of Sagadahoc. It provided passage back to England. Most of Bath, was settled by travelers from Bath, England.
The next settlement at Sagadahoc was about 1660, when the land was taken from an Indian sagamore known as Robinhood. Incorporated as part of Georgetown in 1753, Bath was set off and incorporated as a town on February 17, 1781, it was named by Dummer Sewell, after Bath in Somerset, England. In 1844, a portion of the town was set off to create West Bath. On June 14, 1847, Bath was incorporated as a city, in 1854 designated county seat. Land was annexed from West Bath in 1855. Several industries developed in the city, including lumber and brass, with trade in ice and coal, but Bath is renowned for shipbuilding, which began here in 1743 when Jonathan Philbrook and his sons built 2 vessels. Since roughly 5,000 vessels have been launched in the area, which at one time had more than 200 shipbuilding firms. Bath became the nation's fifth largest seaport by the mid-19th century, producing clipper ships that sailed to ports around the world; the last commercial enterprise to build wooden ships in the city was the Percy & Small Shipyard, acquired for preservation in 1971 by the Maine Maritime Museum.
But the most famous shipyard is the Bath Iron Works, founded in 1884 by Thomas W. Hyde who became the general manager of it in 1888, it has built hundreds of wooden and steel vessels warships for the U. S. Navy. During World War II, Bath Iron Works launched a new ship an average of every 17 days; the shipyard is a major regional employer, operates today as a division of the General Dynamics Corporation. In the Bath, anti-Catholic riot of 1854 an Irish Catholic church was burned; the city is noted for its Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate architecture, including the 1858 Custom House and Post Office designed by Ammi B. Young. Bath is sister city to Shariki in Japan, where the locally-built full rigged ship Cheseborough was wrecked in 1889. Scenes from the movies Message in a Bottle and The Man Without a Face were filmed in the city. Bath is located at 43°54′59″N 69°49′21″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.22 square miles, of which, 9.10 square miles is land and 4.12 square miles is water.
The city of Bath includes several nature preserves that are protected by the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. These areas include, Thorne Head Preserve Butler Head Preserve there are numerous multiple parks, walking trails located throughout the town such as the Whiskeag Trail; as of the census of 2010, there were 8,514 people, 3,932 households, 2,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 935.6 inhabitants per square mile. There were 4,437 housing units at an average density of 487.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 95.1% White, 1.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.4% from other races, 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population. There were 3,932 households of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, 44.8% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.79. The median age in the city was 41 years. 22.2% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 53.3 % female. As of the census of 2000, there were 9,266 people, 4,042 households, 2,344 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,016.8 people per square mile. There were 4,383 housing units at an average density of 481.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 94.92% White, 1.60% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, 1.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.76% of the population. There were 4,042 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.8% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 42.0% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.91. In the city, the population
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
Nouméa is the capital and largest city of the French special collectivity of New Caledonia. It is situated on a peninsula in the south of New Caledonia's main island, Grande Terre, is home to the majority of the island's European, Polynesian and Vietnamese populations, as well as many Melanesians, Ni-Vanuatu and Kanaks who work in one of the South Pacific's most industrialised cities; the city lies on a protected deepwater harbour. At the August 2014 census, there were 179,509 inhabitants in the metropolitan area of Greater Nouméa, 99,926 of whom lived in the city of Nouméa proper. 66.8% of the population of New Caledonia live in Greater Nouméa, which covers the communes of Nouméa, Le Mont-Dore, Dumbéa and Païta. The first European to establish a settlement in the vicinity was British trader James Paddon in 1851. Anxious to assert control of the island, the French established a settlement nearby three years in 1854, moving from Balade in the north of the island; this settlement was called Port-de-France and was renamed Nouméa in 1866.
The area served first as a penal colony as a centre for the exportation of the nickel and gold, mined nearby. From 1904 to 1940 Nouméa was linked to Dumbéa and Païta by the Nouméa-Païta railway, the only railway line that existed in New Caledonia. During World War II, Nouméa served as the headquarters of the United States military in the South Pacific; the five-sided U. S. military headquarters complex was adopted after the war as the base for a new regional intergovernmental development organisation: the South Pacific Commission known as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The city maintains much of New Caledonia's unique mix of old Melanesian culture. Today the US wartime military influence lingers, both with the warmth that many New Caledonian people feel towards the United States after experiencing the relative friendliness of American soldiers and with the names of several of the quarters in Nouméa. Districts such as "Receiving" and "Robinson", or "Motor Pool", strike the anglophone ear strangely, until the historical context becomes clear.
The city is situated on an irregular, hilly peninsula near the southeast end of New Caledonia, in the south-west Pacific Ocean. Neighbourhoods of Nouméa include: Rivière-Salée 6e km, 7e km, Tina Ducos peninsula: Ducos, Ducos industriel, Kaméré, Logicoop, Tindu 4e Km, Aérodrome, Haut Magenta, Magenta, Ouémo, Portes de fer Faubourg Blanchot and Vallée des Colons Doniambo, Montagne coupée, Vallée du tir Artillerie Nord, Centre Ville, Quartier Latin, Vallée du Génie Anse Vata, Artillerie Sud, Baie des Citrons, Motor Pool, N'géa, Receiving and Val Plaisance The Greater Nouméa urban area had a total population of 179,509 inhabitants at the August 2014 census, 99,926 of whom lived in the commune of Nouméa proper; the Greater Nouméa urban area is made up of four communes: Nouméa Dumbéa, to the north-west of Nouméa Le Mont-Dore, to the north-east of Nouméa Païta, a suburb to the west of Dumbéa and the site of La Tontouta International Airport Average population growth of the Greater Nouméa urban area: 1956-1963: +2,310 people per year 1963-1969: +1,791 people per year 1969-1976: +3,349 people per year 1976-1983: +1,543 people per year 1983-1989: +2,091 people per year 1989-1996: +3,020 people per year 1996-2009: +3,382 people per year 2009-2014: +3,106 people per year The places of birth of the 179,509 residents in the Greater Nouméa urban area at the 2014 census were the following: 66.7% were born in New Caledonia 21.2% in Metropolitan France and its overseas departments 6.3% in foreign countries 5.8% in Wallis and Futuna and French Polynesia The self-reported ethnic communities of the 179,509 residents in the Greater Nouméa urban area at the 2014 census were as follows: 34.5% Europeans 23.4% Kanaks 11.5% Wallisians and Futunians 10.0% mixed ethnicity 20.5% other communities At the 2009 census, 98.7% of the population in the Greater Nouméa urban area whose age was 15 years old and older reported that they could speak French.
97.1% reported that they could read and write it. Only 1.3% of the population whose age was 15 years old and older had no knowledge of French. At the same census, 20.8% of the population in the Greater Nouméa urban area whose age was 15 years old and older reported that they could speak at least one of the Kanak languages. 4.3 % reported. 74.9% of the population whose age was 15 years old and older had no knowledge of any Kanak language. Nouméa features a tropical dry climate with hot summers and warm winters. Temperatures are warmer in the months of January and March with average highs hovering around 30 degrees Celsius and cooler during the months of July and August where average high temperatures are around 23 degrees Celsius; the capital's dry season months are October. The rest of the year is noticeably wetter. Nouméa on average receives 1,100 mm of precipitation annually. Although Nouméa has more sunshine days than any
Tongatapu is the main island of the Kingdom of Tonga and the location of its capital Nukuʻalofa. It is located in Tonga's southern island group, to which it gives its name, is the country's most populous island, with 71,260 residents, 70.5% of the national population, on 260 square kilometres. Its maximum height is 65 metres. Tongatapu is the seat of its monarchy. Tongatapu, as a commercial and transport hub, has experienced more rapid economic development than, as well as attracting many internal migrants from, the other islands of the Kingdom; the island is 257.03 rather flat, as it is built of coral limestone. The island is covered with thick fertile soil consisting of volcanic ash from neighboring volcanoes. At the steep coast of the south, heights reach an average of 35 metres decreasing towards the north is'Atata Island, about a 30-minute boat ride from Tongatapu.]] North of the island are many small isolated islands and coral reefs which extend up to 7 kilometres from Tongatapu's shores.
The completely closed Fanga'uta and Fangakakau Lagoons are important breeding grounds for birds and fish as they live within the mangroves growing around the lagoon's shores. The lagoons were declared a Natural Reserve in 1974 by the government; the island has only but a few sandy beaches because of its raised coastlines apart from the many small islands in the north boasting some of the best beaches in Tongatapu. Tongatapu has a rather cooler climate than the rest of Tonga as it is the southernmost group of islands in the country; because of this, fruit production is lower in Tongatapu than it is in the warmer islands in the north. Tongatapu is known as having one of the highest concentration of archaeological remains in the Pacific; the earliest traces of Lapita pottery found in Tonga was from around 900–850 BCE, 300 years after the first settlements in Tonga were established. Archaeologist David Burley discovered the pottery around the Fanga'uta Lagoon, 2,000 kilometres away from the Lapita pottery found at Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands.
Although Tonga was always the seat of the Tongan Empire, but in an area of distances up to 1,000 kilometres, it was only a symbolic rule. From the first capital at Toloa, around 1000 years ago, to the second capital at Heketā, at the site of the Ha'amonga'a Maui Trilithon, none boasts more traditional attractions than the third capital at Mu'a with more than 20 royal grave mounds. Tongatapu was first sighted by Europeans on 20 January 1643 by Abel Janszoon Tasman commanding two ships, the Heemskerck and the Zeehaen commissioned by the Dutch East India Company of Batavia; the expedition's goals were to chart the unknown southern and eastern seas and to find a possible passage through the South Pacific and Indian Ocean providing a faster route to Chile. The expedition set sail from Batavia on 14 August 1642. Tasman named the island "t’ Eijlandt Amsterdam", because of its abundance of supplies; this name is no longer used except by historians. Captain James Cook, sailing the British vessel Resolution visited the island on October 2, 1773 by some accounts and by other accounts October 1774, returning again in 1777, with Omai, whereupon they left some cattle for breeding.
These were still flourishing in 1789. The earliest mention of the name Tongatapu was by Captain Cook in 1777, as he wrote his memoirs for the Three Voyages Around the World, Volume 1. Nukuʻalofa – Capital of Tonga Muʻa – Second largest town in Tongatapu. Site of the ancient burial mounds and the Papae'o Tele'a Tombs. Langi – Tombs of Tongan kings Hule fortress – Located in Nukunuku - Kolotau Ko Hule - Western District of Hihifo Mapu ʻa Vaea – Blowholes in the coral reef on the south-western side Hūfangalupe – Natural landbridge on the south eastern side of Tongatapu Pangaimotu – Small resort island close to Nukuʻalofa Landing site of Captain Cook Flying Fox Preserve – Located in Kolovai in the western side Taungapeka Haʻamonga ʻa Maui – Trilithon Nukuleka – the site of first Lapita settlement in Tonga Tupou College – first educational establishment in the kingdom located in the eastern district of Tongatapu near Malapo List of islands and villages in Tonga Tonga Quick Facts photographs from Tongatapu, Tonga The European discovery of the Tonga Islands by Brian Hooker
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" were "large and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been shortened to "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War. Before World War II destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles filled by battleships and cruisers; this resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation.
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations operating the heavier class cruisers, with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern guided missile destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles. At 510 feet long, a displacement of 9,200 tons, with armament of more than 90 missiles, guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke-class are larger and more armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers; some European navies, such as the French, Spanish, or German, use the term "frigate" for their destroyers, which leads to some confusion. The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital ships near enemy coasts.
The first seagoing vessel designed to launch the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was the 33-ton HMS Lightning in 1876. She was armed with two drop collars to launch these weapons, these were replaced in 1879 by a single torpedo tube in the bow. By the 1880s, the type had evolved into small ships of 50–100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats. At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor. In response to this new threat, more gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea, they needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, as they became larger, they became designated "torpedo boat destroyers", by the First World War were known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and, up until the Second World War, Polish. Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns.
At that time, into World War I, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future. An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884 redesignated TB 81; this was a large torpedo boat with three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots, while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them. Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka, built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the Glasgow Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887; the 165-foot long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots, at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas.
The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for Kotaka, "considered Japan to have invented the destroyer". The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat. Small cruisers, torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers, which were much faster; the first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake, designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, commissioned in response to the Russian War scare. The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying