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A cruiser is a capital warship, larger than a destroyer but smaller than a battleship. In the early 20th century, various subclasses of cruiser existed, including:

  • Light cruisers: generally having smaller weapons (typically 6"/150mm guns) but better speed
  • Heavy cruisers: generally distinguished by heavier weapons (8"/200mm guns)
  • Battlecruisers: having battleship-scale weapons (12"/300mm+ guns), but lacking battleship-grade armor

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

Star Trek