SMS Kaiser Franz Joseph I - Service History

Service History

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 LovĨen (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. Portions of the wreck were recovered by a Dutch company in 1922 and by Yugoslav salvagers in 1967.

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