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Novara, after the Battle of the Otranto Straits
|Operators:||Austro-Hungarian Navy, Regia Marina, French Navy|
|Completed:||Three ordered and commissioned|
|Displacement:||3,380 tons (designed)
4010 tons (full load)
|Length:||130.64 m (428.6 ft)|
|Beam:||12.79 m (42.0 ft)|
|Draught:||5 m (16 ft)|
16 x Yarrow boilers, 6 x Parsons steam turbines
30,178 shp (22,504 kW)
|Speed:||27 knots (50 km/h)|
|Armament:||9 × 10 cm (3.9 in) guns
1 × 7 cm (2.8 in) gun
6 × 53.3 cm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes
gun shields 40mm - 8mm
conning tower 50 mm
The Novara class, known as Rapidkreuzer or Helgoland-Klasse (in English literally rapid cruiser ) was a class of light cruisers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy active during the First World War. The ships were an improved design of the earlier SMS Admiral Spaun, which had been laid down in 1908.
Three ships were built and commissioned:
|SMS Saida||CNT, Trieste||26 October 1912||1 August 1914|
|SMS Helgoland||Danubius, Fiume||23 November 1912||29 August 1914|
|SMS Novara||Danubius, Fiume||15 February 1913||10 January 1915|
Main armament for the ships were nine 10 cm guns and six torpedo tubes, an improvement over Admiral Spaun by two 10 cm guns. The lightly armored ships had a top speed of 27 knots (50 km/h). The weak point of the Novara class was its relatively light armament. Guns of caliber 12 or 15 cm were considered but not added due to the war situation.
Another three ships with 12 cm guns and maximum speed of 30 knots (56 km/h), projected as a replacement of Zenta class, never got over planning phase.
Together with the Tátra class destroyers they were ideally suited to the naval warfare of the Adriatic sea. Numerous fast raids on Italian ports were undertaken, the most spectacular action was the successful attack of Novara, Helgoland, and Saida on the Otranto Barrage on 15 May 1917; the three cruisers, along with two destroyers and three German U-boats sank 14 trawlers.
After the war the ships were given to the victorious Entente powers: France incorporated Novara under the name Thionville into its fleet (scrapped in 1942). Italy took over Helgoland and Saida as Brindisi and Venezia (both scrapped in 1937).
- Greger, René (1976). Austro-Hungarian Warships of World War I. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0623-7.
- Erwin Sieche: "Kreuzer und Kreuzerprojekte der k.u.k. Kriegsmarine 1889-1918", Hamburg 2002 (ISBN 3-8132-0766-8 and ISBN 3-7083-0012-2)
- Paul Schmalenbach: "Kurze Geschichte der k. u. k. Marine", Herford 1970 (ISBN 3-7822-0047-0)
- Details and photos of Admiral Spaun (text in German)
- Details and photos of Saida, Helgoland and Novara (text in German)
- Post war distribution of Austro-Hungarian warships