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A cruiser is a capital warship, larger than a destroyer but smaller than a battleship. Various subclasses of cruiser exist including heavy cruisers (generally distinguished by heavier weapons), battlecruisers (having battleship-scale weapons, but lacking comparable armor), and light cruisers (generally having smaller weapons but better speed). It is notable that there is a class (Deutschland) of WWII-era German armored cruisers that the British press dubbed "pocket-battleships" because of their size, weapons, and heavy armor when compared to contemporary cruiser designs (it didn't hurt the British press that the claimed tonnage was completely fabricated).

Real World Cruisers

Cruisers in Science Fiction