This particular article is just the first in a series on how the small coastal military craft came into being what it is today.
Not so very long ago the safe and secure world of the big warship, the battleship and the cruiser, was threatened by the small torpedo boat.
Today navies feel equally threatened by small missile boats and the wheel has turned full circle.
So to understand it all we have to start back in 1864.
HERE is the first article of how it all began.