Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In the Service of the Imperial and Royal Austrian Navy

Think fast. Where is the Austrian coast? The nearest seacoast is the Adriatic Sea, nearly 100 miles from the border. The Sub Report has an small article about divers off the coast of Montenegro finding the remains of the German Uboat U-72. (I'm not sure how much of a discovery this was since Uboat.net had the lat & longs listed for who knows how long.)

The Austrians used to have a seacoast when they also controlled Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czecho-slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Austria had a sub force of 27 Uboats and also had 70 German Uboats under the Austrian flag.

Undoubtedly, the most famous Austrian Submariner was Linienschiffsleutnant (Lieutenant Commander) Georg Ritter von Trapp, who later was the founder and literally the father of the Trapp Family Singers, achieved earlier fame as Austria-Hungary's leading U-boat ace. At the end of World War I, von Trapp's wartime record stood at 19 war patrols, 11 cargo vessels totalling 45,669 tons sunk, 1 cargo vessel captured, the French armored cruiser Léon Gambetta (12,600 tons) and the Italian submarine Nereide (225 tons). Among other honors, he received the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa.

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