Men at arms

SMS Kaiser Karl VI

The SMS Kaiser Karl VI was built between 1896 and 1898 at the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino shipyard in Trieste. The structure and armament of the ship corresponded to the contemporary arms race. It was designed as response to developments in the Italian fleet. It had a speed of 20 knots. Its main weapons were two 24 cm Krupp guns and eight 15 cm Skoda guns. It was protected by 220 mm belt armor.

By the time of the Great War, the ship had become out of date and was applied for duties as a coast guard. She was stationed in Cattaro. The Lovcen mountain above the port was already Montenegrin territory, so that the Monarchy’s ships in the bay could be taken under fire from there. This has been the case from time to time. In response, ships stationed in the bay also bombed the mountain batteries. That wasn’t easy, because of the high elevation. Kaiser Karl VI also participated in the first Battle of Otranto. On December 30, 1915, she left Cattrato to protect the fast cruiser Helgoland. Helgoland was part of the fleet which destroyed the enemy sea lock in the Strait of Otranto. In February 1918, the ship’s crew took part in the Cattrato sailor rebellion. The ship was demolished in Italy after the war.

The image attached to the post is rare and special because of the Kappenabzeichen on the sailor’s cap. The badge itself depicts the ship during the shooting of Lovcen. Because of the date of the badge, it can be thought that it could depict an event of the campaign against Serbia and Montenegro in 1915-16.

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