The Destroyer is the most powerful naval melee unit, and has advanced radar and sonar systems that allow it to intercept attacking aircraft and detect nearby Submarines and Nuclear Submarines. It's a good idea to have a few Destroyers at the ready to defend your shores in the final stages of the game, especially if your rivals are prone to using nuclear weapons. You should also have at least one Destroyer with any fleet to protect it from sneaking submarines!
Originally developed in the late 19th Century to keep those annoying torpedo boats away from the dreadnoughts and first seeing action during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, destroyers have come to fulfill many duties for the world’s navies: patrol, escort, anti-air, and anti-submarine. The first ships to be designated “torpedo boat destroyer” (TBD or simply “destroyer”) were the six of the British Royal Navy’s Daring class (1892) and Havock class (1893) and Ferret class (1894); with light armor, displacing under 300 tons, armed with a single 12-pounder and several smaller guns and with one or more torpedo tubes, soon enough other navies copied the design. Tasked with screening friendly ships and attacking enemy ones, destroyers served throughout WW1 and proved especially effective against submarines stalking merchant shipping. By WW2, destroyers were even faster, more maneuverable, carrying enough ordnance and supplies for long-range missions; in both oceans they were to be the workhorses of the contending navies. Since, the 1960s guided-missile destroyers have been added to the mix.
- The Destroyer's model is based on the USN Gearing class of destroyers.
- In early builds and promotional materials, the Destroyer was represented by two ships. In the final version of the game, it was reduced to one.