This is a good article. Click here for more information.

SMS Tegetthoff (1878)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
SMS Tegetthoff.png
Tegetthoff in her original configuration
Name: SMS Tegetthoff
Namesake: Wilhelm von Tegetthoff
Builder: Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino, Trieste
Laid down: 1 April 1876
Launched: 18 October 1878
Completed: 5 August 1882
Renamed: Mars, 1912
Reclassified: Harbor guard ship, 1906
Struck: 1906
Fate: Broken up in Italy, 1920
General characteristics
Type: Central-battery ironclad
Displacement: 7,390 t (7,273 long tons)
Length: 92.4 m (303 ft 2 in)
Beam: 19.1 m (62 ft 8 in)
Draught: 7.6 m (24 ft 11 in)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 1 shaft, 1 Vertical compound steam engine
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Range: 3,300 nmi (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 525
  • 6 × 280 mm (11.0 in) Krupp breech-loading guns
  • 6 × 89 mm (3.5 in) guns
  • 2 × 70 mm (2.8 in) guns
  • 9 × 47 mm (1.9 in) guns

SMS Tegetthoff was an ironclad warship of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. She was built by the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino shipyard in Trieste, between April 1876 and October 1881. She was armed with a main battery of six 28 cm (11 in) guns mounted in a central-battery. The ship had a limited career, and did not see action. In 1897, she was reduced to a guard ship in Pola, and in 1912 she was renamed Mars. She served as a training ship after 1917, and after the end of World War I, she was surrendered as a war prize to Italy, which sold her for scrapping in 1920.


Tegetthoff was a central battery ship designed by Chief Engineer Josef von Romako.[1] The ship's namesake, Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, victor of the Battle of Lissa, had proposed building four new ironclads. These were to be completed by 1878, but poor economic conditions in the early 1870s forced the Austro-Hungarian government to cut back the naval budget. Admiral Friedrich von Pöck, who succeeded Tegetthoff as the head of naval administration, had attempted to secure funding for two new ships, to be named Tegetthoff and Erzherzog Karl from 1871. Pöck finally succeeded in convincing parliament to allocate funds for the first ship in 1875.[2] He continued to try to convince the parliament to build a sister ship for Tegetthoff until 1880, without success.[3] Austro-Hungarian industry was incapable of supporting the construction of the ship, and significant components had to be ordered from foreign manufacturers, including guns from Germany and armor plating from Britain.[4]

General characteristics[edit]

Tegetthoff in drydock

Tegetthoff was 89.39 meters (293.3 ft) long at the waterline and 92.46 m (303.3 ft) long overall. She had a beam of 21.78 m (71.5 ft) and a draft of 7.57 m (24.8 ft) and she displaced 7,431 t (7,314 long tons; 8,191 short tons).[1] Tegetthoff was the first ship in the Austrian Navy to be built with an all-steel hull, which allowed for a considerable savings in weight.[5] The ship's crew numbered 525 officers and men, though after her reconstruction in the mid-1890s, this number was increased to between 568 and 575. The main armored belt and the casemate for the main battery guns were protected with 356 mm (14.0 in) thick armor plate, and the end bulkheads of the armored citadel were 254 to 305 mm (10.0 to 12.0 in) thick. The conning tower had sides that were 127 to 178 mm (5.0 to 7.0 in) thick.[1]

As built, the ship was powered by a single 2-cylinder, vertical compound steam engine that was rated at 6,706 indicated horsepower (5,001 kW). This gave Tegetthoff a top speed of 13.97 knots (25.87 km/h; 16.08 mph) on trials. After her reconstruction in the early 1890s, her propulsion system was replaced with a pair of 3-cylinder triple expansion engines built by the German firm Schichau-Werke. These were rated at 8,160 ihp (6,080 kW), for a top speed of 15.32 kn (28.37 km/h; 17.63 mph) on trials.[1] After the refit, she was equipped with eight Scotch marine boilers.[6] She was initially fitted with a sailing rig, though this was removed during the modernization, and two heavy fighting masts were installed in its place.[1]


Tegetthoff was initially equipped with a main battery of six 28-centimeter (11 in) L/18 breech-loading guns manufactured by Krupp.[7] These guns were mounted in a central battery amidships, and were intended to be used during pursuit and ramming attempts. The ammunition magazine was located directly below the main battery. The ship also carried six 9 cm (3.5 in) L/24 breech-loaders, two 7 cm (2.8 in) L/15 breech-loaders, and four 47 mm (1.9 in) quick-firing (QF) guns.[1]

After her modernization, the main battery was replaced with 24 cm (9.4 in) L/35 C/86 guns from Krupp.[8] The secondary guns now consisted of five 15 cm (5.9 in) L/35 QF guns, two 7 cm L/15 guns, nine 47 mm L/44 QF guns, six 47 mm L/33 machine guns, and a pair of 8 mm (0.31 in) machine guns. Tegetthoff was also equipped with two 35 cm (14 in) torpedo tubes, one in the bow and one in the stern.[1]

Service history[edit]

Tegetthoff in Pola in the late 1880s

Tegetthoff was laid down in 1876 at the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino shipyard in Trieste. The ship was launched in 1878, and completed in 1881.[1] She conducted her sea trials in October of that year, and was finally ready for commissioning in September 1882;[9] Kaiser Franz Joseph attended the commissioning of the ship in Pola.[10] Financial difficulties had again delayed the ship's completion; the parliament finally voted to allocate funds to finish the ship in November 1881.[11] At the time, she was the largest and most powerful ship in the Austro-Hungarian fleet, and she would keep that distinction until after the turn of the century. She was, nevertheless, a political compromise, and was much smaller than foreign casemate ships, particularly British and French vessels.[12]

Tegetthoff's career was rather limited, in large part due to significant problems with her engines. For the first decade of her career, she was assigned to the Active Squadron, and her crew could only keep her engines fully operational in the years 1883, 1887, and 1888.[13] Tegetthoff and an Austro-Hungarian squadron that included the ironclads Custoza, Kaiser Max, Don Juan d'Austria, and Prinz Eugen and the torpedo cruisers Panther and Leopard travelled to Barcelona, Spain, to take part in the opening ceremonies for the Barcelona Universal Exposition. This was the largest squadron of the Austro-Hungarian Navy that had operated outside the Adriatic.[14] In June and July 1889, Tegetthoff participated in fleet training exercises, which also included the ironclads Custoza, Erzherzog Albrecht, Kaiser Max, Prinz Eugen, and Don Juan d'Austria.[15]

In 1893–1894, she was modernized and had her propulsion system updated and her armament was replaced with newer guns.[6] Her engines were replaced with more reliable models manufactured by the German firm Schichau-Werke.[13] By this time, she was the only remotely modern ironclad in the Austrian fleet, apart from the two newly built barbette ships Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf and Kronprinzessin Erzherzogin Stephanie. Admiral Maximilian Daublebsky von Sterneck had replaced Pöck, and unable to secure funding for capital ships, instead tried to modernize the Austro-Hungarian fleet by embracing the Jeune École doctrine.[16]

After 1897 she was used as a guard ship in Pola.[1] During the summer maneuvers of June 1901, she served in the reserve squadron. The other major ships in the squadron included the new armored cruiser Kaiser Karl VI and the protected cruiser SMS Kaiser Franz Joseph I.[17] In 1912 Tegetthoff was renamed Mars, so that her original name could be used on a new battleship launched that year.[1] She remained in service as a guard ship after the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. In 1917, she was used as a school ship for midshipmen, and the following year she was reduced to a hulk.[6] Following the end of World War I, the ship was surrendered to Italy, where she was broken up by 1920.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gardiner, Chesneau, & Kolesnik, p. 270
  2. ^ Sondhaus, pp. 37–39
  3. ^ Sondhaus, p. 54
  4. ^ Sondhaus, p. 47
  5. ^ Sullivan, p. 690
  6. ^ a b c Greger, p. 16
  7. ^ "L/18" refers to the length (Länge) of the gun in terms of calibers; in this case, the gun was 18 calibers long.
  8. ^ "C/86" refers to the year the gun was designed (Construktionsjahr).
  9. ^ Sondhaus, pp. 71, 91
  10. ^ Sondhaus, p. 78
  11. ^ Sondhaus, p.58
  12. ^ Sondhaus, pp. 46–47
  13. ^ a b Sondhaus, p. 91
  14. ^ Sondhaus, p. 107
  15. ^ "Foreign Items", p. 913
  16. ^ Sondhaus, p. 94
  17. ^ Garbett, p. 1130


  • "Foreign Items". The United States Army and Navy Journal and Gazette of the Regular and Volunteer Forces. New York: Army and Navy Journal, Inc. 24: 913. 1889. OCLC 1589766. 
  • Garbett, H., ed. (1901). "Naval Notes". Journal of the Royal United Services Institute. London: J. J. Keliher & Co. XLV: 1124–1139. 
  • Greger, René (1976). Austro-Hungarian Warships of World War I. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0623-7. 
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chesneau, Roger; Kolesnik, Eugene M., eds. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-133-5. 
  • Sondhaus, Lawrence (1994). The Naval Policy of Austria-Hungary, 1867–1918. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press. ISBN 9781557530349. 
  • Sullivan, J. T. (1880). "Navies of the World". The United Service. Philadelphia: L. R. Hamersly & Co. III: 688–690.