This is almost a coherent system, it is problematic to include only one Imperial power, Austria-Hungary. On the one hand, the dual monarchy (often contemptuously referred to as “patchwork” due to the presence in its composition of masses with different traditions and religion of the peoples) explicitly claimed, then, on the role of one of the leading countries in Europe, relying mostly on very numerous (although, as in fact it turned out, not very efficient) army, but not forgetting the Navy, although he was quite a bit of funds. Austrian engineers (so actually representatives of different peoples) was very inventive and managed to create quite decent, very rational, and sometimes simply outstanding ships. On the other hand, this fleet can not be called neither “world” nor even fully Mediterranean, because of its perceived sphere of action was quite small, the Adriatic sea, where, in fact, left the whole coast of the Empire.
However, the last of the Hapsburgs sought to maintain their Navy on a proper level. And when submarines Maritime States began to “make attacks” from their bases, wished to have them in the Navy. Recall that in the early XX century Austro-Hungarian delegation visited the USA on this item, and after long examinations and negotiations, purchased the project at the company’s Simon lake, known to us as the Creator of “underwater chariot”.
He had to remove from a custom project perfect exotic face use divers as a “means of destruction”, replacing their traditional torpedo tubes. But beloved “vestige” – wheels for crawling on the bottom – left.
Submarine “U-4”, Austria-Hungary, 1909
It was built by firm “Germaniawerft” in Kiel. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement overwater/underwater – 240/300 T. Dimensions: length 43,2 m, width 3.8 m, draft of 2.95 m. hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 40 m Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 1200 HP, and 2 electric motor producing 400 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 12/8,5 ties. Armament: two 450mm torpedo tubes in the nose, during the war, set to one 37-mm gun, later replaced by 66-mm. Crew – 21 persons In 1909 and built 2 units – “U-3” and “U-4”. “U-3” was killed in 1915, “U-4” after the war transferred to France and deposited there to be scrapped
The contract signed at the end of 1906, provided that two boats will be built in the Austrian factory Arsenal in the master database in the Field: the engineers of the Empire reasonably wish to obtain not only products, but also technologies and skills in their construction. In the end, as we remember, started with this and really great sea power. Boats laid next summer and safely, though slowly, within three years, completed, tested and commissioned. Instead of names they have received the same designation, and the German Unterseeboote, or abbreviated, “U” number, the benefit, the official state language of the Empire was the same German. Masterpiece the result is of course difficult, as most of the products of the lake. Small, slow moving submarines with a gasoline engine of internal combustion, the controls installed on the bridge just after surfacing, and ballast tanks over rugged casing, filled by means of pumps, hardly fighting. It is easy to imagine how fragile they were when submerged, which also took 8-10 minutes! However, a poor Austrian Navy treated them very tenderly. At that time, as in other countries, such of the first ships since the beginning of hostilities ruthlessly incapacitate and sent for metal, U-1 and U-2 carefully replaced sensomotory for diesel engines and installed new batteries. And used them very intensively, before the war – for training (both boats made a dozen trips in the month!), and in 1915, after Italy on the side of the Entente, they were used to defend its nest – base in the Field. And so to the defeat of the Central powers in 1918. As a kind of bullying “wheel” of submarine the division of the fleet defeated fell to perennial rivals, the Italians, who after a few years allowed this “trophy” on the metal.
Much more successful was the second purchase, this time from its closest ally. We are talking about “U-3” and “U-4” is supported by the “hole” in an orderly numbering of the German submarines. These boats among the most first Germany has chosen to sell, you get money and experience construction. Not panosaurus attempt to deceive “brothers in race”: the sellers really wanted to save money on ordering, replacing, some good, but expensive technical solution is a “budget”, considering that inexperienced Austrians will not pay attention to it. There it was: buyers are already somewhat adept in bargaining with the Lake. In the end, after two years of a “dual monarchy” received its first German submarine “flap”, I must say, very successful. The boat took a cruise around half of Europe, really, in tow. Reaching base in the Field, they quickly gained full recognition from the new owners, as well as its predecessor, having started active training activities. Although the beginning of the war, these small submarines have already been could not be called modern, as we shall see, used them in combat to the fullest.
Submarine “U-5”, Austria-Hungary, 1910
It was built by the company “electric boat” in the United States, gathered on hovery in the Field. Type of construction-single -. Displacement overwater/underwater – 240/275 T. Dimensions: length 32,1 m, width 4.2 m, draft 3.9 m hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 30 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 1000 HP and 2 electric motor power 460 HP Speed surface/ underwater rate is 10.75/8.5 in uz. Armament: two 450mm torpedo tubes in the nose; during the war, set to one 37-mm gun, later replaced by 66 mm. the Crew of 19 people. In 1909 -1910 was built 2 units – “U-5 and U-6”. “U-12” was completed as a private initiative of the company purchased by the Navy in 1914 “U-6” is flooded by crew in may 1916, “U-12” was killed in the mines in August of the same year, “U-5” after the war, transferred to Italy and deposited there to be scrapped
Simultaneously with the ordering of this pair, the Germans, the Austrians stubbornly sewn to its colorful “underwater blanket” another “flap”. Sources of new technology in this area were few, while France were in opposite political-military camp completely excluded. As Russia remaining almost the first possible enemy. In fact, apart from Germany, strongly occupied by the development of its own submarine force (recall – by this time there were only 2 (!) submarines), could only the United States. Laikovskaya production raised a big question, so a direct route was to the “electric boat Company” still rivet submarines under the name of Holland.
Austria-Hungary at that time occupied a peculiar position in the world. In particular, she had a very long Association with Britain in the production of marine weapons, a Major role played by the English firm of Whitehead, has long been settled in the then Austrian port of Fiume, near Trieste (now Rijeka Slovenian). That’s where the experiments were carried out with the first self-propelled torpedo; in his own factory and launched the production of deadly “fish”, which became the main weapon of submarines. And in 1908, Whitehead decided to engage in the construction themselves and submarines. It is not surprising, if we recall the financial terms and conditions on which different countries created the first combat submarines: the profit can reach tens of percent. (Although the risk was very high: remember a long series of bankrupt firms.) Meanwhile, triumphed complete “patchwork”: the Austrian firm with a British owner has purchased a license to manufacture a couple of boats near the “electric boat” type American “Octopus”. More precisely, not production, and Assembly – in the same way as Russia. Submarines built at the shipyard in Newport, then disassembled, transported across the ocean on the transports and were taken for final Assembly at Fiume is the Whitehead.
As for the boat, about the American production of the first generation has already been said. “Cucumbers” had bad seaworthiness; however, by default, it was believed that the Austrians will not let them go far away from the base, as indicated, in particular, more than peculiar feature: the presence of a removable bridge, which the boat could make trips only on the surface. If the campaign is planned dive, the bridge should have left in port! In this case, when moving on the surface of the watch had to show acrobatic skills, balancing on the hatch. Did not disappear and the traditional problems associated with the use of the gasoline engine. However, while both boats, “U-5 and U-6,” according to the arrangement adopted in the Imperial Navy, was going to his factory, Whitehead decided to build another and a third, at your own risk. Although the project made some improvements, representatives of the Navy flatly refused acceptance, citing the lack of any contract. So Whitehead got his “own risk” in full: already built the boat and now it was necessary where-that to attach. The Englishman had a ball, many “orphan” to the governments of various countries, from prosperous Holland to extremely dubious in regard to the Navy of Bulgaria, including overseas exoticism in the face of Brazil and Peru are far. Quite unsuccessfully. Saved the Whitehead war, in which his native country had been involved on the opposite side! With the beginning of hostilities the Austrian Navy became much less picky and bought the third “Holland”. The boat joined the fleet as “11-7”, but to swim under this number she is at the end of August 1914, the designation was changed to “11-12”. For all three established permanent bridges and the engines and released into the sea. And no wonder: with these very primitive submarines linked the most glorious victories of the Austrian submariners, and the entire Imperial fleet.
Submarine “U-15”, Austria-Hungary, 1915
It was built by firm “Germaniawerft” in Germany. Type of construction – single -. Displacement overwater/underwater – 127/142 T. Dimensions: length of 28.1 m, width 3.15 m, draught 3,0 m. Material of hull – steel. Immersion depth up to 40 m Engine: 1 diesel engine capacity of 60 HP and 1 electric motor with 120 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 6/5 bonds. Armament: two 450mm torpedo tubes in the nose. The crew – 15 people. In 1915, taken to the Floor and collected 5 units: “U-10, U-11, U-15”-“U-17”. “U-16” sunk in may 1917, and the rest after the war, transferred to Italy and scrapped in 1920
The reasons that led to take the fleet long to reject them and already obsolete submarine clear. By the beginning of the First world war, the submarine forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire were in a deplorable condition-the only five able to go to sea, boats. And replenish them, not to be expected, since its own production and failed to establish. Removed from the “trough” Whitehead continued cooperation with the Americans and became a contractor “electric boat” for the construction for export. The plant in Fiume managed to put three license “Holland” in Denmark. The process is closely watched by the Austrian officers and officials, attest to the excellent quality of construction. Therefore, from the beginning of the war, the Navy not only accepted suffering “U-7”, but suggested that the British manufacturer to build another four units on the same project from the “electric boat”. Whitehead, the financial position of which as a result of all these events has been shaken, relieved, agreed. However, there is a problem with those components that were manufactured in the United States. The ocean does not want to violate neutrality in favor of a potential enemy and imposed a ban on the supply.
The result was already recorded us history. “Suspicious foreigner” Whitehead was suspended from the started it and just stood up of the business. The Austrians have created a front company “Joint stock company “Hungarian submarines”, in fact completely subordinate to the Navy, which donated equipment and personnel to widecoverage plant. As if in punishment for their unjust oppression, was followed by more infighting. “The second component” of the dual monarchy, the Hungarians, seriously want to build those submarines. State order all four units began to tear apart. In the end, the compromise one couple went to the firm, Stabilimento Technical Triestino, which is extremely negative impact on the timing and quality of construction. The whole series, “U-20” – “U-23”, were able to put only the beginning of 1918, when the fleets of all self-respecting countries have already got rid of such outdated samples of the first serial of “Hollands” in their composition.
So literally torn apart by internal contradictions of the Austro-Hungary has demonstrated once again that the leading Maritime power it still is not. However, the Austrians for a year and a half before the war had a contest for the new project, predictably won by the Germans. In the end, “Germaniawerft” received an order for five units with characteristics, in fact, very close to standard German submarines. Large (635 t on the surface) and well-armed “U-7” – “U-11” (that’s where they went “missing” 7th room) would be undoubtedly a very valuable acquisition. But did not: with the outbreak of hostilities, their distillation around Europe via has become now the enemy waters of Britain and France seemed absolutely impossible. On this basis, the Germans confiscated the Austrian order, modified the project in accordance with the first experience and build for themselves already.
Submarine “U-21”, Austria-Hungary, 1917
Based on hovery in the Field. Type of construction – single -. Displacement overwater/ underwater – 173/210 T. Dimensions: length 38,76 m, width-3,64 m, draft 2.75 m. hull Material -steel. Immersion depth up to 30 m. Engine: 1 diesel 450 HP and 1 electric motor 160 HP Speed surface/underwater 12/9 bonds. Armament: two 450mm torpedo tubes in the nose, one 66-mm gun. The crew of the -18 people. In 1917 there were built 4 units: “U-20” -“U-23”. “U-20” sunk by Italian submarine in 1918, partly raised in 1962, the cutting sent to the Museum. “U-23” sunk in the same year. The other two after the war handed over to the allies and scrapped
So the monarchy of Franz Joseph “has remained on the beans”. Insistence on the ally led to the fact that Germany has sent the Mediterranean sea and their boats. Naturally, having in mind primarily their own interests. It was there held absolutely unprotected communications of the allies, who promised the submariners “fat fields”. And so it proved: in the Mediterranean, and put their staggering record-breaking Lothar Arnaud de La Perriere and other “Champions” in the destruction of merchant ships. Based they can, of course, only in the Austrian ports. The way to the Mediterranean paved “U-21” under the command of the famous Otto Hersing safely reached, Katarr, thus proving the possibility of moving boat at such long distances around Europe … just shortly after the confiscation of the Austrian order.
For the “U-21” he pulled the other “Germans”. In just 1914 -1916 years in the Adriatic sea arrived already 66 units, large – on their own (there were 12 pieces), collapsible coastal UB and UC – rail. Ironically, they all became… like an Austrian! However, purely formal; the reason was a kind of diplomatic-legal tricks. The fact that Italy for a long time, until the end of may 1915, remained neutral, and then entered the war only with Austria-Hungary. But not with Germany before war was declared which was held for a year. And at this period German submarines received the Austrian designation and raised the flag of the Habsburg Empire, which allowed them to carry out attacks, regardless of the neutrality of Italy. While the submarines remained of the German crews, and commanded them recognized aces of submarine warfare mighty Northern neighbor. Only in November 1916, the continuation of this, sewn with white thread masking was unnecessary. The Germans had their flags up and finally out of the shadows.
The Austrians knew that they are used in the humiliating role of the screen. Followed by a tearful request to the ally for something to replace the confiscated submarine. The Germans went forward, passing the spring of 1914 a few crumbs type UB-1: “UB-1 and UB-15”, then transported in a disassembled form by rail to the Floor, where it quickly gathered. The new owners have renamed it the “U-10 and U-11”. The management of the fleet of Austria-Hungary fell in love with the boat and especially the speed with which they managed to obtain. The result of new requests was the delivery of three more “babies”: “U-15, U-16 and U-17”. So the Germans got off with five small boats and primitive is the same number confiscated large. A “patchwork Empire” was again left with a flawed coastal submarine fleet.
Submarine “U-52”, Austria-Hungary, project, 1916
Built at the shipyard “Stabilimento, Tecnico Triestino” in Trieste. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement overwater/underwater -848/t 1136 Dimensions: length 76 m, width of 6.79 m, draught 3,47 m. hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 45 m. Engine: 2 diesel with a capacity of 2480 HP and 2 electric motor power 1200 HP Speed surface/underwater -15,5/9 uz. Armament: four 450 mm torpedo tubes (2 in the bow and stern), two 100-mm guns. The crew – 40 persons Was ordered 4 units, “U-52” – “U-55” really was laid only two
However, Germany was not going to leave your ally alone “horseless”. But – for the money. In the summer of 1915 a private company “Weser”, recognized by that time Builder of submarines, has signed with the Austrian colleagues from Trieste, “Cantiere Nawal”, an agreement on the construction of a licensed advanced “babies” of type UB II. Because to pay would still have the fleet, the construction of the promised profit and, of course, began the traditional bickering between the two “heads” of the Empire. At this time, the Hungarians grabbed a half, future “U-29” – “U-32”. They undertook to supply firm “Ganz und Danubius”, the main company which is located… in Budapest. Quite far from the sea! Therefore, the Assembly had still to be conducted at the branch Ganz in Fiume.
Problems enough not only among Hungarians. Austrian “Cantieri Nawal” also suffered from a lack of skilled workforce and necessary equipment. Attempt to create a chain of suppliers for the German sample in the conditions of the Empire led only to parody. Counterparties are constantly delayed parts and equipment, and small boats were built too long, several times longer than in Germany. They began to enter into operation only in 1917, and the latter was just “Austrian” “U-41”. It also owns a dubious honor to be the last submarine, included in the “patchwork” of the fleet.
If such a sad story happened with small boats, it is clear that occurred with the more ambitious project license. Then, in the summer of 1915, the leader of the underwater shipbuilding, “Germaniawerft” agreed to give Austria-Hungary the drawings are quite modern submarine surface displacement of 700 tons, And again in a “dual” followed a long political maneuvers, which resulted in crushing: two units went to the Hungarian “und Ganz Danubius”. The result is obvious. By the time of the surrender in November 1918 the head “U-50” according to reports, the company was supposedly almost done, but check it is not provide. It, along with a completely ready companion for the number 51 is sent to a breaker for new owners, the allies. Interestingly, over a month before the Navy issued the order for the construction of two more units of the same type, by the way, have received rooms 56 and 57, but they didn’t have time to lay.
Number of “hole” with 52 to 55 was intended for another attempt to expand the production of submarines. At this time, formally purely domestic. Although the project A6 of the company, “Stabilimento Technical Triestino” quite clearly discernible, as you can guess, German ideas and technical solutions. Attracts the attention of powerful artillery armament – two 100 of graph paper. However, the advantages and disadvantages of these submarines can only guess. By the end of the war they were almost in the same position as in the time of the order: the stocks were only part of the keel and a stack of plates. As in the case with 700-ton boats, an order for two more units, “U-54 and U-55”, issued in September 1918 – mockery and common sense.
Unfortunately, not the last. Although the construction license UB II u “Cantiere Nawal” was so-so, a year after receiving the order, the firm desired to build a much larger and more complex technically UB III. The same “Weser” had willingly sold all the necessary paperwork to your draft. Needless to say that the parliaments and governments of Austria and Hungary (dual monarchy had full double kit) included in the usual “melee” for orders. Spending on useless debates and negotiations of precious time, parties, “hanging on ropes”. Questionable win on points went to the Austrians, snatch six boats of the order; on the Hungarians. Although in contrast to their own development had been made available a complete set of working drawings and all documentation, the boat never touched the water surface. At the time of surrender, the willingness of even the most advanced in the construction of the head, “U-101” did not reach the half of it. Four laid “martyrs” was dismantled, and others, in fact, appeared only on paper. And here’s the last order for an additional three units, “U-118” – “U-120”, issued in September 1918.
Meanwhile, stung by “deficiency” in two units, the Hungarians demanded their share. Not wanting to associate themselves rivals concluded a contract with the “Weser”, the notorious “und Ganz Danubius” addressed to “Germaniawerft”. Competitors had, in fact, of the case twice to buy one and the same project UB III, in a slightly different original design of”the twin” stood out here in all its glory. The end they were about the same: the Hungarian firm laid six units, but their willingness on a fateful November 1918 turned out to be even smaller than that “Cantiere Nawal”.
Despite the apparent failure of their would-be manufacturers, at the end of the war the Imperial government generously handing out orders. To Hungarians were not bitter, they in September, ordered for the construction of submarines, numbered from 111 to 114. And that hurt was not and Austrians, their newly established firm “Austreberta” were overjoyed by the order for another three UB III numbered 115, 116 and 117. All these largesse were only the rooms themselves; neither one of the boats for the remaining two months before the war, could not even lay. On the history of the Austro-Hungarian submarines, as can be seen, most of them are not finished or pure virtual can be completed. Apparently, forever.
Watching helpless attempts and pointless squabbling in the camp of its main ally, Germany tried to somehow brighten up the situation. But not without benefit to themselves. In late 1916 the Germans offered to buy a couple of units of the same type UB II already available in the Adriatic for cash in gold. In the Treasury of the Empire walked draught, but on boats the money was found. Buy “UB-43” and “UB-47” was held, although the Germans honestly and with some contempt for the “beggar” confessed that getting rid of obsolete equipment. The Austrians were badly worn ships, and this despite the weak remontnomehanicheskiy database.
Submarine “U-14”, Austria-Hungary, 1915
Former French “Curie”. Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Toulon, rebuilt on hovery in the Field. Type of construction – single -. Case material – steel. Displacement overwater/underwater – 401/552 T. Dimensions: length 52,15 m, width 3.6 m, draught 3.2 m. hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 30 m. Engine: 2 diesel with a capacity of 960 HP and 2 electric motors with a capacity of 1320 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 12,5/9 uz. Armament: 7 450-mm torpedo tubes (1 in the nose 2 side, 4 lattice system Drzewiecki); during the war, set to one 37-mm gun, later replaced by 88-mm. Crew -28 people At the end of 1914 the “Curie” was sunk at the entrance to the Floor, then raised, rebuilt and returned to full duty in the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1915. Twice upgraded. After the war, returned to France, was in service until 1929, 1930 scrapped
It is worth noting that all of these, to put it mildly, troubles, small Austro-Hungarian submarine fleet fought hard, achieving notable successes, but also incurring losses, however, are ten times inferior to the damage of allies damage. For the reasons described above, any unit was a great value, and boats, if possible, thoroughly repaired and modernized. The first step in the beginning of 1915 was the installation of the guns. It is clear that not large submarines to post anything serious was extremely difficult. And initially was limited to 37-millimetrovie. Even in this case there were complications. So, on the old (existing) “the German” “U-3” and “U-4” the “artillery” were placed on some stump tables directly on absolutely not adapted to the fact small add-on, so to load and fire from puconci was either standing on the side of the deck, stretched out at full length, either lying on the ledge of add-ons and only on the course. However, both boats bravely joined in the fighting.
They waited for a fundamentally different fate. “U-4” in November of 1914 put to the bottom of his first victim, a small sailboat. In February of the following year it was supplemented by another three, this time captured and sent to a port. And then began a hunt “U-4” cruiser. In may, her goal was a small Italian “Puglia”, who was lucky to Dodge the torpedoes. Next month, under her shot from under the water came a new and valuable British cruiser “Dublin”, which is also guarded by a few destroyers. This is very valuable to the allies in the Mediterranean, the ship barely managed to save. And the next month he waited for the resounding victory: the island Pelagos “U-4” under the command of Rudolph Singule waylaid Italian armoured cruiser “Giuseppe Garibaldi” and put it to the bottom with two torpedoes. Then the victim was … the ship-trap “Pantelleria”, not coped with their task successfully torpedoed. Towards the end of the year, the boat again turned to “Britons”, which was carrying somewhat less, and outdated armored “diamond” and a new light cruiser of the “Birmingham” safely avoid hits. At the end of 1915 the submarine again strengthened by installing 66-mm gun in addition to useful little 37-grade paper, and she switched to commercial vessels. Has had only one “cruising relapse”: the attempt to attack the Italian light cruiser “Nino Bixio” with the same result as the British. But merchant ships was at the bottom. Interestingly, without the participation of the new guns: his victims “U-4” persistently drowned torpedoes. It successfully served until the end of the war, becoming the most “long-lived” submarine of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. After the war she suffered the common fate of the vanquished boat. According to the results of the section she was transferred to France, where he went on the metal.
A very different fate had the “U-3”, which completed its short combat career in August 1915. Trying to attack the Italian auxiliary cruiser “Chita di Catania”, she came under the battering RAM of his purpose pahnuvshie her periscope. Had to surface, but the surface was already waiting for the French destroyer “bison”, who gave the “U-3” couple “scars”. The submarine dived again and lay down on the ground, where the crew repaired the damage, and the commander, Carl strand, waited. It took almost a day, strand felt that “the Frenchman” will not wait so long, and in the early morning surfaced. However, the commander of the “Buffalo” was no less persistent, the destroyer was right there and opened fire. “U-3” was sunk along with the third part of the crew, and the remaining servicemen were captured.
Equally different was the fate of the Austrian “Hollands”. “U-5” started as famously came out in early November near Cape Stilo for a squadron of French ships of the line, but missed. But in April of the following year, it built the success of their German colleagues on the hunt for patrol cruisers. And about the same conditions: nothing learned from the experience of their allies, the French held an equally senseless and vulnerable watch of the big cruisers who ignore the precautions. Under the torpedo and “U-5” he came armored cruiser “Leon Gambetta” sunk by Admiral and most of the crew. And in August about a “favorite” point of use of the fleets of both sides of the island Pelagos, she sank the Italian submarine “the Nereid”. And next summer, the victim was the Italian auxiliary cruiser “Principe Umberto”, transporting troops. It killed about 1,800 people. And it’s not counting the merchant ships.
The sub twice changed “artillery”. First, a 37-graph paper have given way to a 47-mm, and then 66-mm gun. However, the latest improvement was no longer needed. In may 1917, the luck changed “U-5”. During a routine training out she hit a mine literally in sight of your base. The boat lifted, but repaired for a long time, more than a year. On her military service ended. Vindictive Italians after the war showed the trophy on the Victory parade, and then simply handed over for scrapping.
“U-6” was much less fortunate, although her account is French destroyer “Renaudin”, sunk in March 1916. In may, the same month the boat was caught in the web created by the allies anti-submarine barrier, peregorazhivanie exit from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean sea, known as Trotsky barrage. The crew suffered a long time, but in the end he had to scuttle his ship and surrender.
“Abandoned” withadvice “U-12” had a loud and tragic fate. Her only commander, daredevil and secular handsome Egon Lerch (he attributed the affair with the granddaughter of the Emperor) at the end of 1914 made perhaps the most important attack the Austrian fleet. His aim was the newest French battleship “Jean Bart”. Of the two released torpedoes were only one, besides atomnogo the bow of the ship. To repeat a volley with primitive boats was just nothing, and stricken giant safely retreated. But before the end of the war: more than one French ship of the line was not included in the “Austrian sea” and not even close to the Adriatic.
So one torpedo shot of the submarine decided the question of supremacy at sea: otherwise the Austrians most likely would have had to deal with the main forces of the two countries, France and Italy, each of which had a strong battle fleet.
Killed “U-12” in the desperate operation. In August 1916 Lerch decided to get into the harbour of Venice, and “bring order”. Perhaps, he could have been, the submarine was already quite close to goal, but ran into a mine and quickly sank. No one was saved. The Italians lifted the boat in the same year, noble brave men buried with military honors at the cemetery in Venice.
How desperately critical was in Austria-Hungary the situation with the submarine fleet, history shows the French submarine “Curie.” We have been told that this is not the best design for a submarine, in December 1914, attempted to infiltrate the main base of the fleet of the enemy, anticipating the adventure Lerch. With the same result. “Curie” hopelessly entangled in anti-submarine nets at the entrance to the Floor in the manner of “II-6”, and it suffered the same fate. The boat surfaced and was sunk by artillery, and almost the entire crew was captured.
The proximity of the base allowed the Austrians to quickly lift the trophy with a solid 40-meter depth. The damage was easily avoidable, and the boat decided to enter in the system. It took more than a year, but the result was more than satisfactory. The Austrians replaced the diesel engines on the domestic, significantly rebuilt the add-in and installed 88-mm gun – the most powerful in its submarine fleet. So “French” became “Austrian” under the modest designation of “U-14”. Soon he was commanding one of the most famous sailors of the “patchwork monarchy,” Georg von Trapp. He and his team managed to take the trophy of a dozen military campaigns and sink a dozen enemy ships with a total capacity of under 46 thousand tons, including Italian “Milazzo” 11,500 tons, became the largest ship sunk avstrovengersky fleet. After the war the boat was returned to the French, who not only returned to her original name, but quite long, about ten years, kept in the ranks. Moreover, the former owners not without bitterness, acknowledged that after the Austrian modernization “Curie” was the best unit in the French submarine fleet!
Quite successfully operated and built under license by and received from the Germans “baby.” It should be noted here that usually the most conservative component of the armed forces, the Navy, in the “dual monarchy” flourished a fair amount of internationalism. In addition to the Austrian Germans, many officers were Croats and Slovenians from the Adriatic Dalmatia: the end of the war he commanded the fleet of the Hungarian Admiral Miklos Horthy, and the most successful submariner was the representative of one of the land Nations of the Empire, the Czech Zdenek Hudecek. He received the “U-27”, which came into operation only in the spring of 1917 and committed the first of his ten military campaigns under the command of the Austrian German Robert von Fernland. All the victims of the boat fell three dozen ships, however, most of them quite small. Very far from the German records, but for such a short period of time very well. And considering a lot of problems, both technical and national disintegration of the Habsburg monarchy, the achievements of submariners of the Austro-Hungary deserve respect.