The Austro-Hungarian navy underwent rapid development before the Great War. This happened because, after the establishment of Italian unity, Italy began to act as a maritime power in the Adriatic, which the Monarchy treated as its own inland sea. The arms race with the Italians was more or less a draw. The Italian fleet was larger, but it had to control a much more extensive coastline and operated in a larger area of the Mediterranean Sea, not just the Adriatic. From a technical point of view, the two fleets were also similar. The most modern units of the Monarchy were the Tegethoff-class battleships and torpedo destroyers.
The most modern destroyers of the Monarchy were the ships of the Tatra class. The first of these, the ship SMS Tatra, was commissioned in 1913. A total of 10 similar units were built for the Royal Navy. The insignia presented in this post represents this class of ship. This boat class stood out mainly for its high speed, which reached 32.6 knots with its 20,500 horsepower engine. Her armament was relatively small-caliber ship artillery (2 10-cm and 6 7-cm guns) and two 45-cm torpedo tubes. The ship was 83.5 meters long and 7.8 meters wide. 105 sailors were on duty.
The photo attached to the post was taken at the base in Cattaro and shows the SMS Tatra ship. These destroyers primarily supported the Monarchy’s fast cruisers. Thus, they took part in the attacks launched against the sea lock in Otranto, where they proved successful. After the war, the victorious Italy acquired them, where they were in service in the 1920s, and then the ships were dismantled. The Kappenabzeichen shown here, like other fleet insignias, is slightly roughened, and it is suspected that it does not depict exactly the ship that was written on it. The ship in the foreground will probably be a fast cruiser, which was accompanied by Tatra-class destroyers. I see the difference between the photo and the insignia mainly in the size and proportions of the ship’s chimneys. The chimneys of the destroyers are shorter and more stubby. Rather, the two smaller units running in the background of the badge image could be two destroyers.