volunteer navy

Volunteer navy

Vol`un*teer" na"vy\ A navy of vessels fitted out and manned by volunteers who sail under the flag of the regular navy and subject to naval discipline. Prussia in 1870, in the Franco-German war, organized such a navy, which was commanded by merchant seamen with temporary commissions, with the claim (in which England acquiesced) that it did not come within the meaning of the term privateer.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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