Plakat der Hamburg 1899 - Cruise Ship Liner Bumper Sticker
The ship holds the dubious distinction of being the first armed merchant cruiser to ever have been sunk in combat by a ship of the same class, having been destroyed in a furious action in the South Atlantic in September 1914 soon after the start of the war. Armed Merchantman is a term that has come to mean a merchant ship equipped with guns, usually for defensive purposes, either by design or after the fact. In the days of sail, piracy and privateers, many merchantmen would be routinely armed, especially those engaging in long distance and high value trade. The most famous of this type were the East Indiamen able to defeat regular warships in battle (see Battle of Pulo Aura). In more modern times, auxiliary cruisers were used offensively to disrupt trade during both World War I and World War II, especially by Germany. Germany (pronounced /ˈdʒɜrməni/ ( listen)), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, pronounced [ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant] is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea; to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic; to the south by Austria and Switzerland; and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The territory of Germany covers 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 82 million inhabitants, it accounts for the largest population among the member states of the European Union and is home to the third-largest number of international migrants worldwide.