The Torpedo Gunboat, also referred to as "torpedo catchers" or simply "catchers", was the predecessor of the destroyer as a specialist anti-torpedo boat warship.
Designed to screen battle fleets from attacks by torpedo craft, they were hampered by engine problems, and the contemporary obsession with high trial speeds (as opposed to speeds reached under realistic conditions) meant they were marked off as failures, although in all probability they would have served adequately when they first entered service. They were rendered obsolescent by the rising speed of the heavy ships they were meant to protect and the development of the destroyer.
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 87.
- Brown, David K, RCNC (2003). Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860 — 1905. London: Chatham Publishing. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
- Chesneau, Robert; Kolesnik, Eugene (editors) (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
- Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781591140818 (on Amazon.com).
- Lyon, David (1996). The First Destroyers. London: Chatham Publishing. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
- March, Edgar J. (1966). British Destroyers: A History of Development, 1892-1953. London: Seeley Service & Co. Limited. (on Bookfinder.com).