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Kaiser Franz Joseph I-class cruiser

The Kaiser Franz Joseph I class was a class of protected cruisers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. The class comprised Kaiser Franz Joseph I and Kaiserin Elisabeth.

SMS Kaiser Franz Joseph I..jpg
SMS Kaiser Franz Joseph I
Class overview
Name: Kaiser Franz Joseph I class
Builders: Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino Trieste
Operators:  Austro-Hungarian Navy
Completed: 2
General characteristics
Type: Protected cruiser
Displacement: 3,967 tons
Length: 103.7 m (340 ft 3 in)
Beam: 14.75 m (48 ft 5 in)
Draught: 5.7 m (18 ft 8 in)
Propulsion: 8,450 ihp (6,300 kW), two shafts
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h)




The ships of the class were 103.7 metres (340 ft 3 in) long, had a beam of 14.75 metres (48 ft 5 in), a draught of 5.7 metres (18 ft 8 in),[citation needed] and had a displacement of 4,000 tonnes (3,900 long tons; 4,400 short tons).[1] The ships were equipped with 2 shaft engines, which were rated at 8,450 ihp (6,300 kW) and produced a top speed of 19 knots (35 km/h).[citation needed]


Originally, the ships of the class' main guns were its two 24 cm (9.4 in) guns, on the fore and aft of the ship, and its six 15 cm (5.9 in) broadside guns, which were placed in casemates. The ships were designed to be torpedo cruisers, and as such had five torpedo tubes. The ships also had a ram built into them.[2]

From 1905–1906, the two ships were modified by having their two 24 cm guns removed, and replaced by 15 cm guns, as the old 24 cm guns had been too heavy for their mountings. The 15 cm guns were removed from their casemates, and moved onto the deck, as the previous positioning had meant that they could rarely be used in anything but calm weather.[3]



Kaiser Franz Joseph I was laid down in 1888 at the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino shipyard in Trieste.[citation needed] She was launched on 18 May 1889[4] and commissioned on 2 July 1890.[citation needed] Kaiserin Elisabeth was laid down also in 1888 at Pola Navy Yard[citation needed] and was launched on 25 September 1890.[4] She was commissioned on 24 January 1892.[citation needed] A third ram-torpedo cruiser had been suggested, but as early as 1889, some members of the Austrian Imperial Council suggested postponing the appropriation of funds, due to the concerns of them being too lightly armed for them to get into range of targets in order to ram them.[4] The two ships were built for a combined cost of 5,360,000 guldens.[4]


Ship Builder Launched Fate
SMS Kaiser Franz Joseph I Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino 18 May 1889 Floundered in Cattaro Bay on 17 October 1919
SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth Seearsenal 25 September 1890 Scuttled on 2 November 1914



  1. ^ Sondhaus 2002, p. 96.
  2. ^ Stephenson 2017, p. 87.
  3. ^ Stephenson 2017, pp. 87-88.
  4. ^ a b c d Sondhaus 1994, p. 100.


  • Sieche, Erwin (2002). Kreuzer und Kreuzerprojekte der k.u.k. Kriegsmarine 1889–1918 [Cruisers and Cruiser Projects of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, 1889–1918] (in German). Hamburg. ISBN 3-8132-0766-8. 
  • Sondhaus, Lawrence (1994). The Naval Policy of Austria-Hungary, 1867-1918: Navalism, Industrial Development, and the Politics of Dualism. Purdue University Press. ISBN 9781557530349. 
  • Sondhaus, Lawrence (2002). Navies of Europe: 1815-2002. Longman. ISBN 9780582506138. 
  • Stephenson, Charles (2017). The Siege of Tsingtau: The German-Japanese War 1914. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781526702951. 


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