The battleships are held back for the killing blow and such a blow happens only once in a war. The cruisers go in second, but the destroyers work all the time. They are probably the busiest ships of a fleet. In a major engagement, the do the scouting and make the first contact. They convoy, they run to every fight. Wherever there is a mess, the destroyers run first. They are not lordly like the battleships, nor episcopal like the cruisers. Most of all, they are ships and the men who work them are seamen. In rough weather they are rough, honestly and violently rough.
— John Steinbeck