SMS Tegetthoff (1912)

Pre-War postcard showing Tegetthoff at anchor. Copyright believed expired.

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SMS Tegetthoff was the lead ship of the only class of Austro-Hungarian dreadnoughts. Commissioned in 1913, Tegetthoff spent her first year of service showing the flag in the Mediterranean. In June, 1914, she formed part of the escort for the return of the bodies of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife after their assassination. She bombarded Ancona, Italy, in May, 1915, then spent the rest of the war in Pola, because the Austro-Hungarians were reluctant to risk their capital ships in the Adriatic. She finally was sent out again on 9 June, 1918, to attack the allied naval blockade of the Otranto Straits. However, early on 10 June, Tegetthoff's sister ship, Szent István, was hit by torpedoes from Italian torpedo boat MAS-15, and capsized. The rest of the force was recalled to Pola, where Tegetthoff remained for the rest of the war. In October, 1918, Tegetthoff was given to the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, rather than hand her over to the Allies. However, they forced the Austro-Hungarian fleet to be handed over, and Tegetthoff was moved to Venice as an Italian war trophy. She was used in a film about the sinking of her sister Szent István, and was on display until she was scrapped in 1924.