merchant cruiser

The dull grey paint of war
Covering the shining brass and gleaming decks
That once re-echoed to the steps of youth.
That was before
The storms of destiny made ghastly wrecks
Of Peace, the Right and Truth.
Impromptu dances, coloured lights and laughter,
Lovers watching the phosphorescent waves;
Now gaping guns, a whistling shell; and after
So many wandering graves.

The Armed Liner, by H. Smalley Sarson

RMS Carmania sinking the German SMS Cap Trafalgar at the Battle of Trindade. Cap Trafalgar, an ocean liner with the Hamburg-South America Line, had been converted to raiding use as a merchant cruiser and modified to look like a British vessel, RMS Carmania of the Cunard Line, in order to get closer to her targets. Unfortunately for the Cap Trafalgar, not only was her disguise also converted to merchant cruiser status,  she was engaged by none other than Carmania herself. Cap Trafalgar was sunk, but Carmania took extensive damage.