:: SMS PRINZ EUGEN (1912) ::

SMS Prinz Eugen battleship (1912) High resolution picture

The SMS Prinz Eugen was an Austro-Hungarian dreadnought battleship launched in 1912; she and the other ships of her class were the sole dreadnought battleships built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. To reduce the length of the hull and the weight of the armor needed to protect the artillery, this one was mounted in triple turrets designed and built by Skoda. To please the Hungarians, the ship named after the Hungarian patron was entrusted to the only Hungarian shipyard capable of building a battleship. Still, this one had to be enlarged, and this caused an important delay on the construction.

These truly imposing ships were much better conceived that the Italian counterpart Dante Alighieri. Designed to operate in the Mediterranean, they had a rather limited operational range, but in compensation they had a good freeboard. Their weak point was the poor underwater protection, limited to the engine room, and the mediocre construction of the watertight bulkheads. During the construction it was decided to increase the armor in the main turrets and the conning bridge, which affected the stability of the ships.

These ships never took part in a true naval combat, but they were nonetheless a good investment, for they kept at bay the Italian and French fleets during the whole First World War. However the SMS Svent Istvan was sunk by an Italian torpedo boat near the Dalmatian coast in June 1918; the SMS Tegetthoff, attacked in the same occassion by another torpedo boat from the same group, resulted unscathed. Following the end of the war this ship would be delivered to the Italians as war bounty, being finally scrapped in 1924-25.

On the other hand, the SMS Prinz Eugen was surrendered to France, where she was used as a target ship for seaplane torpedo bombers after being sunk by the artillery of the battleships France and Bretagne in June 1922. The illustration shows the SMS Prinz Eugen as she was in 1914; note the antiaircraft cannons on the deck and over the turrets.

Class: Viribus Unitis/Tegetthoff (4 units - Prinz Eugen, Svent Istvan, Tegetthoff, Viribus Unitis)

Type: Battleship

Length: 152.2 meters

Beam: 27.3 meters

Draught: 8.2 meters

Displacement (normal): 20548 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 12 x boiler Yarrow, 25638 horsepower

Speed: 20.98 knots (38.85 kilometers/hour)

Range: 4200 nautical miles (7780 kilometers) at 10 knots

Fuel: 914-2032 tonnes of coal

Complement: 1046

Armament (in 1914): 12 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 12 x 150-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 18 x 66-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube

Armament (in 1918): 12 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 12 x 150-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 16 x 66-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 150-280 millimeters in belt, 48 millimeters in upper deck, 48 millimeters in lower deck, 180 millimeters in battery, 280 millimeters in barbettes, 280 millimeters in main turrets, 280 millimeters in conning tower

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