H. G. Wells describes the sacrifice of the ironclad warship Thunder Child in his book, The War of the Worlds.
A refugee ship is trying to get to the other side of the English channel when a Martian tripod goes after it. The Thunder Child rams the tripod and destroys it, thereby allowing the refugee escape to ship. But another tripod destroys the Thunder Child.
This song, from Jeff Wayne's version of the War of the Worlds, hardly does the subject justice.
There are a couple of versions of this at Youtube, this is the one that seems to be part of the theatrical version, with narration by Richard Burton, instead of a more techno version that is also available there.