Novara-class cruiser

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Novaral.jpg
Class overview
Name: Novara class
Builders: Ganz Works, Fiume
Cantiere Navale Triestino
Operators:  Austro-Hungarian Navy
 Regia Marina
 French Navy
Preceded by: Admiral Spaun class
Built: 3
In service: 1914-1929
Completed: 3
Retired: 3
General characteristics [1]
Type: Light cruiser
Displacement: 3,500 tonnes (3,400 long tons) (designed)
4,417 tonnes (4,347 long tons) (full load)
Length: 130.6 m (428 ft 6 in) o/a
Beam: 12.77 m (41 ft 11 in)
Draught: 4.95–5.3 m (16.2–17.4 ft)
Propulsion: 2 shafts
16 x Yarrow boilers, 6 x Parsons steam turbines
30,178 shp (22,504 kW)
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Range: 1,600 nautical miles (3,000 km; 1,800 mi) at 24 kn (44 km/h; 28 mph)
Complement: 340
Armament:
  • As built
  • 9 × 10 cm (3.9 in) guns
  • 2 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • 4 × 45 cm (18 in)
Armour: Belt: 60 mm (2.4 in)
Deck: 20 mm (0.79 in)
Gun shields: 40–8 mm (1.57–0.31 in)
Conning tower: 50 mm (2.0 in)

The Novara class, known as Rapidkreuzer or Helgoland-Klasse (in English literally rapid cruiser ) was a class of light scouting cruisers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy active during World War I. The ships were an improved design of the earlier SMS Admiral Spaun[a] , which had been laid down in 1908.

Design[edit]

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; 31 mph). 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 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph), projected as a replacement of Zenta-class, never got over planning phase.

Ships in class[edit]

Three ships were built and commissioned:

Ship Builder Launched Completed
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

Service history[edit]

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).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "SMS" stands for "Seiner Majestät Schiff ", or "His Majesty's Ship" in German.

Citations[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Greger, René (1976). Austro-Hungarian Warships of World War I. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0623-7. 
  • Paul Schmalenbach: "Kurze Geschichte der k. u. k. Marine", Herford 1970 (ISBN 3-7822-0047-0)
  • 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)
  • Sifferlinger, Nikolaus (2008). Rapidkreuzer Helgoland. Im Einsatz für Österreich-Ungarn und Italien [Scouting Cruiser Helgoland. In Service for Austria-Hungary and Italy] (in German). Wien, Graz: NW Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. ISBN 9783708301334. 

External links[edit]