After the first phase of torpedo boat development and the first practical experience, it was clear that the limitations of seagoing capabilities made the existing torpedo boats only usable in coastal waters. A torpedo boat, which would be able to operate together with the Hochseeflotte in the North Sea had to be bigger in size to fulfill this task.
The result of this requirements was the "Große Torpedoboot" - also called "Hochsee Torpedoboot". It was the first step of a development process that finally ended into the first real destroyers at the end of World War I. Their armament did not differ very much from the one of the older smaller boats, up to three torpedo tubes and some 5 cm guns. Because of their size, the number of guns could be increased.
Build on two different shipyards (Schichau and Germaniawerft), the 48 boats boats differed in size and armament. Most of them were still powered by triple expansion engines although some of them were equipped with turbines to experiment with this new kind of engine system.
Many of these boats were used as escort, training or patrol vessels during World War I and survived. Because of their age, most of them were scrapped in the early 1920s.