The initial purpose of this website was primarily to provide information which would be of use and interest to collectors of postal history of the Austro-Hungarian Kriegsmarine. My wish was to contextualise their collecting interests, and to aid the writing up their collections. It therefore became necessary to take a much wider view than to attempt merely to list ships. The result has been a website which may well be of interest to a wider audience. It concerns a subject largely neglected in the United Kingdom, with the exception of Tranmer’s cursory and amateur typescript, until René Greger’s pioneering work. In many cases it makes information available for the first time in English. With the exception of the historical account, this book is essentially a compilation.

  1. The data collated here has been gathered only from the secondary sources listed in the bibliography. Where these authorities appear to be inconsistent, either the clear majority’s version is given or the inconsistency is noted by the use of a question mark. The invidious task of attaching credence ratings to the various authors who have undertaken primary research has thus been largely avoided.

  2. The general order of types of ships is based on conventional naval precedence. Within a class of ships, sister ships are indicated by grouping them together. The column of dates records entry to service, but ships in a particular grouping are listed in the order that their hulls were laid down. Where one date has been quoted, this refers to entry into service. In the case of incompatible data, the latest date has been chosen. Where two dates have been quoted, the first refers to completion of construction and the second refers to the acquisition of the vessel by the Kriegsmarine.

  3. Ships are generally listed merely by name. The full correct version of, for example, Wien, would be SMS „Wien". SMS is the abbreviation for Sein Majestäts Schiff, the Austrian equivalent of HMS.
  4. Although the driving force for the production of this list has been an interest in Austro-Hungarian Naval postal history, no attempt has been made to list cachets definitively in view of the enormity and difficulty of that task. The inclusion of a ship therefore only indicates the existence of that ship, and not necessarily of its postal cachet. In the case of German submarines operating out of the Austro-Hungarian naval bases at Pola and Cattaro (today’s Kotor), for example, postal cachets identifying particular vessels are not known.

  5. For the sake of completeness, this listing includes, where they have been traced, ships of the Austro-Hungarian Army, and also German vessels which operated in the Mediterranean and/or Black Seas and the Danube. It makes no claim to be definitive in these areas however

  6. The translation into English of ship types is, if the pun will be excused, a mine field. It should be borne in mind that these ships were much smaller than their counterparts in the Second World War, and were relatively small by the standards of the time. This has meant that, for example, the term ‘Destroyer’ has been chosen in preference to ‘Torpedo Vessel ’ although both may be legitimate translations of ‘Zerstörer’. In the case of Austro-Hungarian vessels it has been relatively easy to draw a clear distinction between ‘destroyers’ and ‘torpedo boats’, but the distinction is far from clear when trying to apply it to Italian vessels - some authors seem to have used them as synonyms.

  7. As multiple data sources have been used, there has been a problem with compatibility of, for example, displacements. Generally the standard displacement has been quoted unless otherwise stated. In general, the lowest quoted displacement and the lowest quoted complement have been used. The intention of quoting such figures has been solely to allow broad comparisons to be made;

  8. In a few cases, for the sake of completeness, vessels have been listed which did not see service during the War. Such vessels are listed in italics.

If you are aware of omissions and/or errors, the author would be very pleased to hear from you.  Contact can be made with the author/compiler at

All the hard work in originating the data was undertaken by those listed in the bibliography, and it is to them that all my thanks are due.

  1. The help of Sue Beech in the translation of German language texts and with the onerous task of proof-reading is gratefully acknowledged. The help of Bill Dennis and Leslie Lawton with the provision of data is also gratefully acknowledged.
  2. Contemporary Austro-Hungarian usage of geographical terms has generally been maintained. Thus ‘Donau’ is used rather than ‘Danube’, and Italian names rather than the modern Croat or Albanian names are used for Adriatic ports. A translation table is provided as Appendix 1 to help the reader find locations on modern maps.