Archaeological diving expedition

Local News

During the last week of May, four soldiers of Bocskai Brigade took part in an archaeological diving expedition in the Adriatic Sea. The military divers examined the wreck of SMS Kaiser Franz Josef I which lies at the border of Croatia and Montenegro. Underwater photos!SMS Kaiser Franz Josef I was a protected cruiser of the Austro-Hungarian Navy , the lead ship of theKaiser Franz Josef class. Named in honor of the Emperor Franz Josef I ofAustria-Hungary, the cruiser and its sister ship, Kaiserin Elisabeth, were built as a reply to the Italian cruisersGiovanni Bausan (1883) and Etna (1885).

Although Kaiser Franz Josef I burned enormous amounts of coal, in 1914 she could still steam at a very fair speed. At the outbreak of the First World War, Kaiser Franz Josef I was serving with the 2nd Cruiser Division. She took part in the shelling of enemy batteries on Mount Lovčen (which dominated Cattaro Bay) on 9 September 1914 and again on 8/9 January 1916. Later she was assigned to subsidiary local defense service at Cattaro. She was disarmed in 1917 for use as a floating headquarters.

Upon the defeat and dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kaiser Franz Josef I was allocated to France as a war reparation. On her delivery voyage, however, she was overloaded with dismantled machinery and foundered in a gale off Kumbor in Cattaro Bay on 17 October 1919.

Info and photos:,  SMS Ferenc József expedition / Karsztvíz SE,

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