A Fleet in Being: The Austro-Hungarian Navy in WWI

Most people, even those with an interest in naval history or the first world war, know little about the Austro-Hungarian navy. It wasn't as large and powerful as the British Royal Navy or the Imperial German Navy, but the Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine (Imperial and Royal War Fleet) is a fascinating subject. One of it's dreadnoughts (SMS Szent István) was built by a Hungarian shipyard, despite the yard having no experience of such large ships and Hungary having no coastline. It's sailors spoke all eleven of the official languages of the empire. The first aircraft to sink an enemy submarine were two Austro-Hungarian flying boats.

The Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine -- The Austro-Hungarian Navy -- was in at the beginning of World War I when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie lay in state abord its flagship, and at the end when it dissolved along with the empire that commanded it. During the war, this small but powerful "fleet in being" forced the Allies to maintain a blockade of the Otranto Straits. German and Austro-Hungarian u-boats ran riot elsewhere in the Mediterranean even though the capital ships almost never left port.

Illustrated with thirty photographs and drawings, this book provides a comprehensive and detailed listing of the ships that made up the KuK Kriegsmarine, its operations, and the unique problems this unusual fleet faced, from contentious duelling parliaments to ships built by landlocked Hungary.