Armed Merchant Cruiser

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An Armed Merchant Cruiser (Auxiliary Cruiser in U.S. Navy terminology) was a civilian merchant vessel taken over and converted for cruiser duties.

This type of extemporized warship was very common during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, due to their low cost compared to purpose-built cruisers. Although usually intended for subsidiary duties such as blockade enforcement or trade protection, a few were actually attached to battle fleets for scouting duties and other functions.


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