The SMS Prinz Eugen was an Austro-Hungarian dreadnought battleship launched in 1912; she and the other ships of her class
were the sole dreadnought battleships built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. To reduce the length of the hull and the weight
of the armor needed to protect the artillery, this one was mounted in triple turrets designed and built by Skoda. To please
the Hungarians, the ship named after the Hungarian patron was entrusted to the only Hungarian shipyard capable of building
a battleship. Still, this one had to be enlarged, and this caused an important delay on the construction.
These truly imposing ships were much better conceived that the Italian counterpart Dante Alighieri. Designed to operate in the Mediterranean,
they had a rather limited operational range, but in compensation they had a good freeboard. Their weak point was the poor
underwater protection, limited to the engine room, and the mediocre construction of the watertight bulkheads. During the
construction it was decided to increase the armor in the main turrets and the conning bridge, which affected the stability
of the ships.
These ships never took part in a true naval combat, but they were nonetheless a good investment, for they kept at bay the
Italian and French fleets during the whole First World War. However the SMS Svent Istvan was sunk by an Italian torpedo boat
near the Dalmatian coast in June 1918; the SMS Tegetthoff, attacked in the same occassion by another torpedo boat from the same
group, resulted unscathed. Following the end of the war this ship would be delivered to the Italians as war bounty,
being finally scrapped in 1924-25.
On the other hand, the SMS Prinz Eugen was surrendered to France, where she was used as a target ship for seaplane torpedo
bombers after being sunk by the artillery of the battleships France and Bretagne in June 1922. The illustration shows the
SMS Prinz Eugen as she was in 1914; note the antiaircraft cannons on the deck and over the turrets.
Class: Viribus Unitis/Tegetthoff (4 units - Prinz Eugen, Svent Istvan, Tegetthoff, Viribus Unitis)
Length: 152.2 meters
Beam: 27.3 meters
Draught: 8.2 meters
Displacement (normal): 20548 tonnes
Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 12 x boiler Yarrow, 25638 horsepower
Speed: 20.98 knots (38.85 kilometers/hour)
Range: 4200 nautical miles (7780 kilometers) at 10 knots
Armament (in 1914): 12 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 12 x 150-millimeter 50-caliber cannon,
18 x 66-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube
Armament (in 1918): 12 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 12 x 150-millimeter 50-caliber cannon,
16 x 66-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube
Armor: 150-280 millimeters in belt, 48 millimeters in upper deck/lower deck,
280 millimeters in barbettes/main turrets/conning tower, 180 millimeters in battery