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Novara-class cruiser

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Title: Novara-class cruiser  
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Subject: Novara-class cruisers, Scout cruiser, Tegetthoff-class battleship, Cruiser classes, List of Austro-Hungarian U-boats
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Novara-class cruiser

Novara, after the Battle of the Otranto Straits
Class overview
Name: Novara class
Preceded by: Admiral Spaun
Built: 3
In service: 1914-1929
Completed: 3
Retired: 3
General characteristics [1]
Type: Light cruiser
  • 3,500 tonnes (3,400 long tons) (designed)
  • 4,417 tonnes (4,347 long tons) (full load)
Length: 130.6 m (428 ft 6 in) o/a
Beam: 12.77 m (41 ft 11 in)
Draught: 4.95–5.3 m (16.2–17.4 ft)
  • 2 shafts
  • 16 × Yarrow boilers, 6 x Parsons steam turbines
  • 30,178 shp (22,504 kW)
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Range: 1,600 nautical miles (3,000 km; 1,800 mi) at 24 kn (44 km/h; 28 mph)
Complement: 340
  • As built
  • 9 × 10 cm (3.9 in) guns
  • 2 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • 4 × 45 cm (18 in)
  • Belt: 60 mm (2.4 in)
  • Deck: 20 mm (0.79 in)
  • Gun shields: 40–8 mm (1.57–0.31 in)
  • Conning tower: 50 mm (2.0 in)

The Novara class, known as Rapidkreuzer or Helgoland-Klasse (in English literally rapid cruiser ) was a class of light scouting cruisers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy active during World War I. The ships were an improved design of the earlier SMS Admiral Spaun[1] , which had been laid down in 1908.


Main armament for the ships were nine 10 cm (3.9 in) guns and six torpedo tubes, an improvement over Admiral Spaun by two 10 cm guns. The lightly armored ships had a top speed of 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph). The weak point of the Novara class was its relatively light armament. Guns of 12 or 15 cm (5 or 6 in) were considered but not added due to the war situation.

Another three ships with 12 cm guns and maximum speed of 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph), projected as a replacement of Zenta-class, never got over planning phase.

Ships in class

Three ships were built and commissioned:

Ship Builder Launched Completed
SMS Saida CNT, Trieste 26 October 1912 1 August 1914
SMS Helgoland Danubius, Fiume 23 November 1912 29 August 1914
SMS Novara Danubius, Fiume 15 February 1913 10 January 1915

Service history

Together with the Tátra-class destroyers they were ideally suited to the naval warfare of the Adriatic Sea. Numerous fast raids on Italian ports were undertaken, the most spectacular action was the successful attack of Novara, Helgoland, and Saida on the Otranto Barrage on 15 May 1917; the three cruisers, along with two destroyers and three German U-boat

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