Austro-Hungarian Battleships 1914-18 by Ryan K. Noppen, Paul Wright

By Ryan K. Noppen, Paul Wright

Regardless of imperial politics, a latest Austro-Hungarian battleship fleet was once equipped and contested Italian dominance of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean via a chain of bold naval raids that netted better luck than whatever the German excessive Seas Fleet comprehensive within the North Sea.

The 19th century observed the statement of Habsburg sea strength over the Adriatic from the Austrian inheritance of the Venetian fleet in 1797 to Rear Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff's attractive victory over an exceptional Italian strength on the conflict of Lissa in 1866 to the slow production of a latest conflict fleet starting within the Eighteen Nineties. Austria-Hungary didn't have an in another country empire; its empire lay inside of its personal barriers and the first function of its army until eventually the start of the 20th century was once the security of its sea coast. As its service provider marine dramatically grew within the overdue 19th century, Austro-Hungarian admirals believed that the military should still take a extra proactive coverage of safety, protecting not just the sea coast however the better Adriatic or even the Mediterranean waters which the empire's service provider ships plied. The Eighteen Nineties observed the start of a sequence of naval development courses that may create a well-balanced smooth fleet. Cruisers have been built for the security of out of the country exchange and for "showing the flag" however the decisive projection of Austria-Hungary's dedication to regulate the Adriatic was once the development of a strength of contemporary battleships. in comparison to the British, French, Germans, or even Italians, the Austro-Hungarians have been relative latecomers to the layout and building of battleships. Austro-Hungarian naval coverage tended to be reactionary instead of proactive; its admirals heavily Italian naval advancements and sought acceptable countermeasures even supposing the 2 international locations have been tenuously certain jointly by means of the Triple Alliance pact of 1882. regardless of the naval hands race all through Europe on the time, the military had trouble acquiring cash for brand new ships because the Hungarian govt was once reluctant to fund a fleet that mostly served the maritime pursuits of the ethnically German component of the empire. The problems skilled in battleship investment and development reflected the political problems and ethnic rivalries in the empire. however by means of August of 1914, the Austro-Hungarian fleet had a strength of 9 battleships, 3 pre-dreadnoughts, and one dreadnought (three extra within the ultimate phases of construction). This publication will survey the 5 sessions of Austro-Hungarian battleships in carrier through the First global battle.

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As a ruse, it was said that the ships were sailing out for gunnery practice in the Fasana Channel. Once night fell, the ships moved along the coast until they reached Tajer Bay, where they stayed throughout the daylight hours of June 9. Horthy wanted to conceal the movement of his dreadnoughts as much as possible. Viribus Unitis and Prinz Eugen continued their southward course for Dubrovnik that night. Szent István and Tegetthoff departed from Pola during the evening of the 9th, escorted by a Huszár-class destroyer and nine torpedo boats.

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Initially the dreadnoughts of the I Battle Division (Viribus Unitis, Tegetthoff, and Prinz Eugen) and the Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand were ordered to hold back further away from the coast. They were to target any land batteries outside of Ancona that might attack the older battleships. Of particular concern was the Alfredo Savio battery outside of the city. Austrian naval intelligence learned that it supposedly housed five 25cm guns and several 12cm or 15cm guns. Haus wanted to make sure that these guns did not pose a risk to his ships so he tasked his most powerful units to deal with this potential threat.

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