Destructor (1886)

Destructor at anchor, date unknown. Original believed to be in the public domain.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1885
Launched
1886
Commissioned
1887
Decommissioned
1908
AD/BC
AD
History

This is the Destructor, a Spanish torpedo gunboat (Contratorpedero) laid down in 1885 and commissioned on 19 January, 1887. Considered to be the first destroyer, Destructor was designed to chase down and destroy torpedo boats, to protect larger warships. She was armed with one 90mm, four 57mm, and two 37mm guns, and two 360mm (14") torpedo tubes. Manned by a crew of sixty, she had a top speed of 22.6 knots, which set a new speed record on her maiden voyage, sailing from the builders in England to Spain in twenty-four hours. Destructor did not see action during the Spanish-American War, and served until decommissioned on 1 January, 1908. She was sold for scrap in 1911.