Radetzky Class

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The Radetzky class Austro Hungarian battleships Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand, Radetzky and Zrinyi were built between 1908 and April 1910. This class formed the second division of the 1st squadron at the outbreak of world war I but were never used in any conflict. After WWI they were awarded to the Americans in September 1919 as part of the peace treaty. The Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand was interned at Venice and confiscated by Italy.

Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand 30th September 1908 Formed part of the 2nd Division of the 1st Battle Squadron. Ceded to the Italians after the war and scrapped in 1926.
Radetzky 3rd July 1909 Used in the British Coronation Review in 1911. Formed part of the 2nd Division of the 1st Battle Squadron. Helped to knock out the batteries of Montenegran. Ceded to the Italians after the war and scrapped in 1920-21.
Zrinyi 12th April 1910 Formed part of the 2nd Division of the 1st Battle Squadron. Ceded to the Italians after the war and scrapped in 1920-21.
 

Radetzky-class

This was the last class of pre-dreadnought build in Austria-Hungary. At the time, they were planned, they were quite powerful ships, but when completed, they became obsolete. This was the faith of almost all Austro-Hungarian ship. They never acted in the role, they were build for (fight against other ships) but they used they huge firepower for coastal bombardements. 

Displacement (standard): 15.845 t

Length*width*draft: 138,79*24,57*8,14 m

Output: 20000 HP

Speed: 20 kn

Range: 6000 miles

Armament: 4*305 mm L/45, 8*240 mm L/45, 20*100 mm L/50, 6*70mm L/45, 2*47 mm L/44, 2*8mm MG, 3*450 mm TT

Armour: 230 mm belt, 48 mm deck, 250mm tower

Crew: 890

Class history contributed by Alex Lakatos

Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand

Laid down: 12.09.1907.

Launched: 30.09.1908.

Commissioned: 05.06.1910.

Named after the Austrian crown prince ? who was actually shot at Sarajewo, and so the reason for the 1st World War. Originally the name Prinz Eugen was planned for her, but this was cancelled, because so the crown prince supported the fleet more. In 1911, on the fleet parade for the new British king, the ship was not sent, because she wore the name of the crown prince, and he was upset, that the UK supported France in the Marrocanian crisis, instead of Germany and Austria-Hungary. In 1911 she was the flagship of the fleet.

In 1912 all 3 ships sailed on the Ionian See, to demonstrate power against the participants of the Balkans War. Between 02.04.1913 and 20.10.1913 they demonstrated off the coasts of Montenegro as a part of admiral Cecil Burneys international fleet.

After WW1 broke out, the 3 Radetzkys participated in the manoeuvre to support admiral Souchon.

After Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, almost the whole Austro-Hungarian fleet sailed out for one of the most successful rampages in naval history. The Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand bombarded the coastal batteries at Ancona (Alfredo Savio and Montagnola Chiesa), and have returned without a scratch. After this action, she left port only for target practice.

After the war she was handed ever to Italy. She was broke down later.

Ship history contributed by Alex Lakatos

Zrinyi

Laid down: 20.01.1909.

Launched: 12.04.1910.

Commissioned: 15.09.1911.

Originally it was planed to name her Hunyadi, but later it was decided to name her Zrinyi, a family, that was accepted also in Hungary and Croatia.

In 1912 and 1913 she demonstrated power in the Mediterranean, and anchored also in Saloniki. In the summer of 1914 she made a cruise with the to newest battleships, and after the war broke out, she supported admiral Souchon.

After Italy declared war, she bombarded Senigaglia, destroyed the harbour, one train and the railroad station. On the way home she was attacked by the Citta di Ferrara, an Italian Zeppelin, but no hit was scored. This was her last mission, she left port only for target practice until the end of the war.

After the war she was handed over to the US, and was scrapped shortly after in Italy.

Ship history contributed by Alex Lakatos

Radetsky

Radetsky - published 1915.  Photo sent in by Mary Goldsmith

Laid down: 26.11.1907.

Launched: 03.07.1909.

Commissioned: 15.01.1911

Her first mayor mission was to represent Austria-Hungary on the crowning ceremony of George V. Instead of the crown prince, his brother prince Karl ? later King Karl IV ? represented our country.

In the Balkans War, the Radetzky cruised in the Mediterranean, and in April of 1913 she blockaded Scutari.

After the war broke out, she tried to support admiral Souchon, and after 22.10.1914 she bombarded the French and Montenegrin batteries on the mountain Lovcen, above Cattaro (today Kotor, Montenegro). The bombardment was such successful, that the French abandoned their positions.

After Italy declared war, the Radetzky destroyed the most important railroad bridge on the Italian east coast, so the transfer of Italian troops to the front delayed long, and we could set up a strong defence. After this, she left port only for target practice.

After the war she was handed over to the US, and was scrapped in Italy shortly after.

Ship history contributed by Alex Lakatos