Foreign cruiser

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As foreign cruiser those were since the end of the 19th century cruiser designated specifically for use overseas in territories and colonies mainly from the UK , France and Russia were built. Compared to other cruisers possessed the mostly quite slow foreign cruiser on a higher Displacement (displacement) to be able to stash away more carbon and thus the Sea endurance to increase, as it mostly to the mission area coal stations lacked. The crews' quarters were also often more spacious and better ventilated to enable use in tropical regions.

The German Imperial Navy initially used the older protected cruisers as foreign cruisers , and then later small cruisers . Occasionally, large cruisers were also on duty at the overseas stations, such as SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau on the East Asian station and the modern SMS Goeben in the Mediterranean. After the First World War , the term foreign cruiser was dropped from the navy. The duties of foreign cruisers were mostly performed by light cruisers or heavy cruisers as required .

Variants of the foreign cruisers were the station cruisers and colonial cruisers .

However, it is difficult to delimit these three names, as they did not refer to technically different types of cruiser, but rather described the type of use of these ships. In addition, there was no internationally standardized classification or language regulation for the terms foreign, station and colonial cruisers.

Probably the following delimitation is largely applicable:

  • Foreign cruisers were mostly relatively modern units, which were occasionally combined into small squadrons and had to monitor a larger sea area.
  • A station cruiser was the term used to describe cruisers that were used individually in an overseas port and were only intended to secure the regional sea area. For this purpose - with the exception of the British Navy - mostly only older units were used which were no longer suitable for use in the core fleet.
  • The term colonial cruiser , on the other hand, was often also used by smaller ships and boats (e.g. auxiliary cruisers and larger gunboats ) that were not original cruisers at all. Their main task was to enforce the obedience of the local population and to take action against local piracy.


Source and further reading:

  • Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905