Saturday, 4 August 2012

Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand

SMS Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand was an Austro-Hungarian Radetzky class pre-dreadnought battleship commissioned into the Austro-Hungarian Navy on 5 June 1910. She was named after Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The first ship of her class to be built, she preceded Radetzky by more than six months. Her armament included four 30.5 cm (12 in) guns in two twin turrets, and eight 24 cm (9.4 in) guns in four twin turrets.

She participated in an international naval protest of the Balkan Wars in 1913, during which she helped enforce a blockade of Montenegro. She was also one of the first ships to deploy seaplanes for military use. During World War I, she saw limited service in the 2nd Division of the 1st Battle Squadron, including mobilization to assist the escape of the German ships SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau and the bombardment of Ancona in 1915. At the end of the war, she was ceded to Italy as a war prize and was eventually scrapped in 1926.

Lowry mentions 2 famous warships docked in Dairen in Chapter 3 of Ultramarine which would have been impossible for Dana to have seen including the SMS Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand ; "We came to another wharf, passing slowly other great ships: Petropalovsk, Erzherzog, Franz Ferdinand -" (Pg.84).A rare exception to Lowry's usually accurate references without an immediate explanation.

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