Baron Von Trapp and the Austrian Navy

 

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Baron Georg Johannes von Trapp

(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

 

The Austrian Empire or Austro-Hungarian Empire had a substantial navy with almost 36,000 officers and men and a large number of ships, including dreadnoughts and submarines.

Their most famous officer is Baron von Trapp. He and the singing Von Trapp family were made famous in the movie “The Sound of Music.” Baron von Trapp was an outstanding Austrian submarine commander in World War One. He made 19 war patrols and sank 11 cargo ships, a French cruiser and an Italian submarine.

After the proclamation of the Dual Monarchy in 1867 with the Emperor of Austria becoming the King of Hungary as well as Austrian Emperor, the fleet was known became known as the “Imperial and Royal War Navy.”

That phrase in German is “kaiserliche und königliche Kriegsmarine,” abbreviated as k.u.k. which how the fleet was known. The k.u.k. operated mainly in the Adriatic Sea but during World War One also positioned itself as a “fleet in being” which could enter the Mediterranean if so chose and dispute French, British and Italian control.

 

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Austro-Hungarian Dreadnoughts At Pula before World War One.

Photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

 

 

 

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Austro-Hungarian main naval base at Pula shown by red arrow on map above

 

The fleet was based at the port of Pola, now Pula, in Croatia, then part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. After its defeat in World War One and the collapse of the empire, Hungary was deprived of all of its territory along the Adriatic and hence no longer had ports for Imperial and Royal fleet which was dispersed.

 

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Austro-Hungarian fleet on maneuvers circa 1912

(photo courtesy Wikipedia)

 

A former commander of the k.u.k. was Admiral Horthy who proclaimed himself Regent of Hungary after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This is how a land locked country of Hungary came to be ruled by an admiral for decades.

If you have an interest in learning more,  substantial detail on the k.u.k. can be found here:

http://www.naval-history.net/WW1Navy-Austrian_Navy_WW1.htm

Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/