SMS Admiral Spaun (1909)

Admiral Spaun c.1914. Austro-Hungarian Navy photo.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1908
Launched
1909
Commissioned
1910
Decommissioned
1918
AD/BC
AD
History

SMS Admiral Spaun was a one-off Austro-Hungarian light cruiser. Laid down 30 May, 1908, she shares a birthday with me and Admiral Halsey (launched 30 October, 1909). Commissioned 15 November, 1910, Admiral Spaun was armed with seven 10cm (3.9") guns, a single 7cm gun, a 47mm SFK L/44 gun, and six 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes. The first Austro-Hungarian ship built with steam turbines, Spaun had an impressive 27 knots top speed. She began World War I as leader of a torpedo flotilla, and participated in the bombardment of the Italian coast, after Italy joined the War in 1915. That year, 1915, two more torpedo tubes were added. Some thought was given to replacing the 10cm guns, but it was determined to not be practical during wartime. Spaun spent most of the War conducting short patrols in the northern Adriatic, and saw little action. She was handed over to the new State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in October, 1918, as Austria-Hungary collapsed, but was seized by the Italians the following month. The Italians held onto the ship post war, and used her for propaganda in victory celebrations. Spaun was transferred to Britain in 1920, as part of Austria-Hungary's reparations, but was almost immediately sold for scrap.