List of auxiliary and merchant cruisers
The following is a list, by period and country, of armed merchant ships used since the late 19th century in the role of auxiliary cruisers, also called armed merchant cruisers.
Ships by period
American auxiliary cruisers
Japanese merchant cruisers
|Hong Kong Maru|
Russian merchant cruisers
Note: This listing is incomplete.
World War I
Allied merchant cruisers
|Alcantara||Lost on 29 February 1916.|
|Almanzora||In service 23 Aug. 15-20 Dec 19. 1 of over 60 commissioned AMC's employed on patrol and later convoy protection, 33 served with 10th Cruiser Squadron on Northern Patrol.|
|Alsatian||Post war, Allan line was taken over by CP and SS Alsatian was named RMS Empress of France 4 April 1919.|
|Ambrose||Became depot ship October 1915.|
|Avenger||Ex-Aotearoa, torpedoed and lost on 14 June 1917.|
|Bayano||Lost on 11 March 1915 off Carswell Point, Stranraer - sunk by U-27.|
|Calgarian||Lost on 1 March 1918.|
|Calyx||Ex-Calypso, lost 10 July 1916.|
|Candidate||Torpedoed 6 May 1915, sunk by U-20|
|Caribbean||Became accommodation ship July 1915, foundered 26 September 1915.|
|Carmania||Victor of the |
Battle of Trindade, served at Gallipoli and thereafter as a troopship, returned to civilian service by 1919.
|City of London|
|Clan Macnaughton||Lost on 3 February 1915.|
|Columbella||Ex-Columbia, Anchor Line.|
|Digby||Transferred to French Navy as Artois on 24 November 1915, renamed Digby July 1917.|
|Empress of Asia|
|Empress of Britain|
|Empress of Japan|
|Empress of Russia||Requisitioned 1914, released to civilian service October 1915, re-requisitioned 1918 until 1919.|
|Eskimo||Returned from Navy July 1915, Captured 26 July 1916.|
|Hilary||Lost on 25 May 1917, sunk by U-88.|
|India||Lost on 8 August 1915.|
|Laconia||Lost on 25 February 1917, sunk by U-50.|
|Laurentic||Lost on 23 January 1917.|
|Lusitania||Although on the list of the British Admiralty's AMCs, it never performed in this role, and remained in civilian use. Lost 7 May 1915, sunk by U-20. Sister ship of RMS Mauretania, also on this list.|
|Marmora||Lost on 23 July 1918.|
|Mauretania||Sister ship of RMS Lusitania, also on this list.|
|Lost on 23 May 1918.|
|Narkunda||Was serving as an auxiliary transport during the Allied landings in French North Africa in November, 1942. She had disembarked her troops at Bougie and had turned about for home when, toward evening on the 14th, she was bombed and sunk some distance off Bougie. Thirty-one persons were killed. Capt. Parfitt was among the survivors.|
|Oceanic||Lost on 8 September 1914, ran aground. RMS Oceanic was one of the rescue vessels that retrieved bodies from the |
sinking of the RMS Titanicin 1912.
|Olympic||Rammed U-103 on 12 May 1918, the only known incident in World War I in which a merchant vessel sank an enemy warship.|
|Ophir||Converted to Hospital Ship in 1918. Returned to the owners in 1919 but never refitted, being broken up in 1922.|
|Orama||Lost on 19 October 1917.|
|Orbita||Also served in the |
Second World Waras a troop carrier from 1941 to 1946.
|Oropesa||Transferred to France as Champagne on 2 December 1915. Renamed as Oropesa in July 1917.|
|Otranto||Survived the Battle of Coronel, stranded on Islay after a collision with the steamship Kashmir on 6 October 1918.|
|Otway||Lost on 23 July 1917 torpedoed by German submarine UC 49.|
|Patia||Lost on 13 June 1918.|
|Princess||Ex-Kronprincess Cecilie; Acted as dummy battleship HMS Ajax.|
|Teutonic||Commissioned into the 10th Cruiser Squadron. In 1916, she was refitted with 6-inch guns, and served as a convoy escort ship as well as being used for troop transport.|
|Viknor||Ex-RMS Atrato (1888), RMS Viking (1912). Lost on 13 January 1915 off Tory Island.|
|Berrima||Became Troop Carrier, October 1914.|
|Artois||Ex-Royal Navy Digby.|
|Champagne||Ex-Royal Navy Oropesa, lost on 9 October 1917.|
German auxiliary cruisers
|Cap Trafalgar||Used the alias Carmania; Cap Trafalgar was sunk by RMS Carmania which used the alias Cap Trafalgar.|
|Iltis||Formerly Turritella and Gutenfels|
|Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse|
|Prinz Eitel Friedrich|
|Victoria Luise||Formerly Deutschland|
|Vineta||Formerly Cap Polonio|
Spanish Civil War
|Mar Cantábrico||Formerly a merchant ship under Republican control, she was captured by the Nationalist cruiser|
|Mar Negro||A freighter under Republican flag at the beginning of the war, her captain and crew changed loyalties off Bone in September 1937, while returning to Barcelona from the Soviet Union. She seized the last foreign cargo ship captured during the civil war, the British Stangate off Valencia on 16 March 1939, despite the opposition of HMS Sussex.|
|Ciudad de Valencia||She used the alias Nadir for operations in the North Sea. She sank the Republican merchantman Cantabria off Cromer, Norfolk, on 2 November 1938. The Republican steamers Josiña and Guernica were forced to seek shelter in Norwegian and Swedish waters, where the latter ran aground on 19 November at the island of Nidingen, in the Kattegat. Josiña reached Kristiansand, and she remained interned there until 1939.|
|Ciudad de Alicante||She supported the Ciudad de Valencia in the North Sea, where she played a secondary role in the capture of the Republican steamers Sil and Río Miera. Both Ciudad de Alicante and Ciudad de Valencia used the German port of Emdem as a resupply base.|
|Ciudad de Palma||Converted to a warship in Italy in 1936. She assisted the minelayer |
Júpiter in the capture of the British cargo ship Candlestone Castle in the Bay of Biscayon 17 July 1937.
|Ciudad de Mahón||Captured by the rebels at Palma, she was armed and dispatched to Spanish Guinea, still under Republican control, on 14 October 1936. Once there, waving the Portuguese flag, Ciudad de Mahón entered the ports of Santa Isabel and Bata, where she sank the Republican freighter Fernando Poo.|
|Vicente Puchol||After an initial deployment as an improvised minelayer, she was later converted to an auxiliary cruiser. She seized the 1,743-ton steamer Pomaron on 21 February 1938. The ship was the property of Strubin & Co. of London, and was sailing under Estonian flag. The freighter was confiscated and placed under Spanish flag as Castillo Butrón.|
|Antonio Lázaro||After an initial deployment as an improvised minelayer, she was later converted to an auxiliary cruiser. The British liner Llandovery Castle was badly damaged when she struck a mine laid by Lázaro off Cap de Creus on 25 February 1937.|
|Domine||Active as auxiliary cruiser in the bay of Biscay from September to December 1936. Converted into a fast transport to carry allied moor pilgrims to Mecca in January 1937, she was later deployed in the Mediterranean as supply ship.|
|Mallorca||Used primarily as a military transport, she captured a number of merchants in the Strait of Gibraltar in 1937.|
|Italian Barletta||Renamed Rio during operations in the Spanish war. She captured the Greek tanker Burlington (under UK flag) in the central Mediterranean in 1937. Attacked at Palma de Mallorca by Republican bombers on 26 May 1937. After carrying out four missions, she was disarmed and used as supply ship by Nationalist forces before being returned to Italy. She saw service also during WWII under Italian flag.|
|Italian Adriatico||Renamed Lago during operations in the Spanish war. After three unsuccessful missions, she was disarmed and used as supply ship by Nationalist forces before being returned to Italy. She saw service also during WWII under Italian flag. Sunk by light cruiser HMS Aurora off Cape Bon on 1 December 1941.|
World War II
Allied merchant cruisers
The Armed merchant cruisers were made by requisitioning large ships and providing them with guns and other equipment. They ranged from 6,000–22,000 long tons (6,100–22,400 t). The armament varied but six 6 in (150 mm) guns with 3 in (76 mm) guns as secondary was usual. From 1941, many served as troopships.
|Andania||Lost 16 June 1940, sunk by UA.|
|Arawa||Decommissioned 25 July 1941, converted to troopship, survived the War.|
|Canton||Equipped with a |
Vought Kingfisherseaplane and a centerline twin 6-inch gun turret on the bow, converted to a troopship 1944 and survived the War
|Carinthia||Lost 6 June 1940, sunk by U-46 west of Ireland.|
|Comorin||Lost on 6 April 1941. Her burnt out wreck was sunk by HMS Broke.|
|Dunvegan Castle||Lost on 27 August 1940, sunk by U-46 west of Ireland.|
|Forfar||sunk by U-99 on 2 December 1940.|
|Hector||Was decommissioned when lost on 5 April 1942 during the Japanese Indian Ocean raid.|
|Jervis Bay||Lost on 5 November 1940 in an engagement against the |
Captain Fegen, was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
|Kanimbla||Transferred to the Royal Australian Navy as a |
Landing Ship Infantryin 1943
|Laurentic||Lost on 3 November 1940, sunk by U-99 west of Ireland.|
|Patroclus||Lost on 4 November 1940, sunk by U-99 west of Ireland.|
|Pretoria Castle||Converted into an escort carrier as HMS Pretoria Castle.|
|Queen of Bermuda|
|Rajputana||Lost on 13 April 1941, sunk by U-108 west of Ireland.|
|Ranpura||Launched in 1924, commissioned as AMC in December 1939|
|Rawalpindi||Lost on 23 November 1939, sunk by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Her commander, Captain Edward Coverley Kennedy, was posthumously |
Mentioned in Dispatches.
|Salopian||Lost on 13 May 1941, sunk by U-98, North Atlantic.|
|HMS Scotstoun||Lost on 13 June 1940, sunk by U-25 northwest of Ireland.|
|Transylvania||Lost on 10 August 1940, sunk by U-56 north-west of Malin Head.|
|Voltaire||Lost on 4 April 1941, sunk by German auxiliary cruiser Thor.|
|Worcestershire||Damaged by U-74 on 3 April 1941|
French auxiliary cruisers were armed with 138 mm, 152 mm or 150 mm guns, 75 mm and 37 mm AA guns and 13.2 mm or 8 mm AA HMG
- Aramis (X01)
- Ville D'Alger (X03)
- Cap des Palmes (X03)
- Ville d'Oran (X05)
- El Mansour (X06)
- Victor Scoelcher (X07) (lost on 6 May 1942)
- Colombie (X10)
- Charles Plumier (X11)
- Djenné (X13)
- El Kantara (X16)
- El Djezair (X17)
- Eridan (X18)
- Barfleur (X19)
- Quercy (X20)
- Esterel (X21)
- Mexique (X22) (hit a mine and sunk on 19 June 1940)
German auxiliary cruiser raiders
At the outbreak of war, the Kriegsmarine requisitioned a number of fast merchantmen and immediately sent them into naval shipyards to be converted into offensive auxiliary cruisers. These ships had at the time of building been fitted with extra strong decks specifically to facilitate the installation of military equipment when required, but this was the only difference between them and other merchantmen of the period. No precise plans had been drawn up for the conversion of these ships into warships, and consequently the conversion process was painfully long. Compared to the diversity of British auxiliary cruisers, the Hilfskreuzer were standardized insofar as possible. The ships themselves averaged approximately 7,000 long tons (7,100 t). Armament usually consisted of six 6 in guns, two to six
- Orion (HSK-1)
- Atlantis (HSK-2)
- Widder (HSK-3)
- Thor (HSK-4)
- Pinguin (HSK-5)
- Stier (HSK-6)
- Komet (HSK-7)
- Kormoran (HSK-8)
- Michel (HSK-9)
- Coronel (HSK-10)
- Hansa (HSK-11)
Japanese armed merchant cruisers
Japan converted fourteen merchant ships to "armed merchant cruisers" but, by the end of 1943, five had been sunk and seven had been converted back to merchant ships.
- Aikoku Maru
- Akagi Maru
- Asaka Maru
- Awata Maru
- Bangkok Maru
- Gokoku Maru
- Hōkoku Maru
- Kinryu Maru
- Kiyozumi Maru
- Kongō Maru
- Noshiro Maru
- Saigon Maru
- Ukishima Maru
Italian armed merchant cruisers
Unlike the Germans and the Japanese, none of the armed merchant cruisers (or auxiliary cruisers) of the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) were deployed to destroy or capture Allied merchant ships and were mostly used as supply ships or escorts. All of them mounted two 4.7 in (120 mm) guns.
- Ramb I - Lost on 27 February 1941 in battle with cruiser HMNZS Leander in the Indian Ocean while fleeing Italian East Africa for Japan as an armed transport.
- Ramb II - Never active as an Italian armed merchant cruiser and, after being chartered by the Japanese as the Calitea II, lost on 12 January 1945
- Ramb III - Converted into an escort vessel and never served as an armed merchant cruiser, she took part of the battle of Otranto
- Ramb IV - Converted into a hospital ship and never served as an armed merchant cruiser
Romanian armed merchant cruisers
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