SMS Kaiser Karl IV (1898)

Austro-Hungarian Navy ensign

The Kaiser Karl IV, second armoured cruiser

Assuming that the KuK Maria Theresia had been a semi-failure, the new director of shipbuilding, Friedrich Popper decided to create a new armoured cruiser inspired this time concepts used for the Habsburg. The result is a much larger, more stable and better protected ship, while being faster, the Kaiser Karl IV.

Kaiser karl IV

The Sankt Georg which followed her is often assimilated although she is much larger, and these two ships marked an obvious family with the three battleships of the Herzerzog Karl class. They kept their weapons well proportioned until their retirement, including their two 240 mm guns, even as the KuK Maria Theresia bartered in 1906 these for 190 mm guns.

The Kaiser Karl IV SMS was started at STT in June 1896, launched in October 1898 and completed in April 1900. As usual, it had two 70-mm Howitzer 15-caliber, two 47-mm/33 hotchkiss revolver guns. She also had two 8 mm Skoda heavy machine guns. In many ways, she was an excellent ship, though weakly armed to international standards.

Kaiser Karl-VI Brasseys 1915
Kaiser Karl-VI Brasseys 1915

The Kaiser Karl IV participated in the shelling of Montenegro in August 1914, then in the shelling of the Italian coast in May 1915. She made other sorties from Pola until 1918. She was ceded in repairs to Great Britain, which in turn handed her over. To Italy who had her broken up in 1920.

Kaiser class specifications

Dimensions119 x 17,27 x 6,8 m ()
Displacement6170 tonnes standard – 6865 tonnes FL
Crew535
Propulsion2 shafts VTE 4 cyl., 16 boilers 12,000 hp.
Speed20,8 knots max (36 km/h; 20 mph)
ArmamentTurrets 200, casemate 80, belt 220, blockhaus 200, decks 60 mm
Armour2 x 240, 8 x 150, 18 x 47, 2 x 77 Howitzer, 2 ML 8 mm, 2 TT 450 mm SM (boradside).


Author’s illustration of the Kaiser Karl IV in 1914

Src/ Read More

Kaiser Karl IV class cruisers (wiki)
On fr.naval-encyclopedia.com
Conway’s all the world’s fighting ships 1860-1905

Austro-Hungarian Destroyers
Zenta class cruisers (1897)

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