Cattaro Mutiny

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A mutineers' meeting aboard an Austro-Hungarian warship at the Bay of Cattaro in February 1918

The Cattaro Mutiny (also known as Kotor in Austria) was an unsuccessful revolt by sailors of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1918. The mutiny took place in the Bay of Kotor (Cattaro) naval base.[1]

As World War I progressed, the cumulative effects of wartime economic and social disorganization became pervasive and the discipline of Austro-Hungarian soldiers faded away. Hunger, cold and pointless drills resulted in complaints, desertions and strikes. Revolutionary propaganda fuelled by the example of the Russian Revolution spread among soldiers and workers.

On February 1, 1918 a mutiny started in the Fifth fleet at the Bay of Kotor naval base on the Adriatic Sea. Sailors on about 40 ships had joined the mutiny. Initial demands for better treatment were soon replaced by political demands and a call for peace.[2]

The mutiny failed to spread to other units. On February 3, the loyal Third fleet arrived and together with coastal artillery engaged in a short and successful skirmish against the mutineers. About 800 sailors were imprisoned, dozens were court-martialed and four seamen were executed (the leader of the uprising, Bohemian social democrat Franz Rasch and three Croatians).

The Commander-in-Chief of the fleet, Maximilian Njegovan, was replaced by Miklós Horthy, who was promoted to Counter-admiral (Konteradmiral).[3]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Woodward, David (1976). "Mutiny at Cattaro, 1918". History Today. 26 (12): 804–10. 
  • Halpern, Paul G. (2003). "The Cattaro Mutiny, 1918". In Bell, Christopher; Elleman, Bruce. Naval Mutinies of the Twentieth Century: An International Perspective. London: Frank Cass. pp. 45–65.