Ironclad Austrian naval yards

Piedone

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Frankly sirs, I'm surprised the Austrians sold weapons to any foreign power what so ever. Animosities with an ancient enemy in the French, constant competition in the Med and Balkans with different Italian factions, a rising upstart Prussia just to the north...oh, and the big bad bear to the east...oh, and in the not too distance past, the Ottomans. Plus her own internal...issues. I would be hoarding every weapon I could get my hands on.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
Yes, this would have been the correct strategy, I believe, but - as so often in their history - they just didn’t have the funds to do that....
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Not buying the Austrian ships was a missed opportunity. Deployed to Mobile or Wilmington for defense or used to support a land campaign to retake New Orleans they would have added weight to confederate operations.
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Not buying the Austrian ships was a missed opportunity. Deployed to Mobile or Wilmington for defense or used to support a land campaign to retake New Orleans they would have added weight to confederate operations.
I would wonder if most of them could make the Atlantic crossing. The old frigate and the two corvettes could. I wonder about the 14 gunboats and schooners, the 9 paddle steamers. Just crewing them to cross the Atlantic would take a thousand officers and men, maybe quite a few more.

I don't have a list of names for those ships. The frigate might have been one of the Radetzky class (British built 1854-56, screw frigate, crew 368, armament 20 x 30pdr, 9 x 24pdr, 2 x 4pdr, speed 12 knots, soon after a veteran of the 1864 Battle of Heligoland and the 1866 Battle of Lissa) or the Novara (old wooden frigate, originally Venetian navy, sailed around the world 1857-59, completely rebuilt as a screw steam frigate 1861-62, which Archduke Ferdinand Max travelled to Mexico on in 1864, armament 4 × 60-pounder SB Paixhans guns, 28 × 30-pounder Novara guns, 2 × 24-pounder Breechloaders). It might be some other older ship.
 
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rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Location
Kent ,England.
I would wonder if most of them could make the Atlantic crossing. The old frigate and the two corvettes could. I wonder about the 14 gunboats and schooners, the 9 paddle steamers. Just crewing them to cross the Atlantic would take a thousand officers and men, maybe quite a few more.

I don't have a list of names for those ships. The frigate might have been one of the Radetzky class (British built 1854-56, screw frigate, crew 368, armament 20 x 30pdr, 9 x 24pdr, 2 x 4pdr, speed 12 knots, soon after a veteran of the 1864 Battle of Heligoland and the 1866 Battle of Lissa) or the Novara (old wooden frigate, originally Venetian navy, sailed around the world 1857-59, completely rebuilt as a screw steam frigate 1861-62, which Archduke Ferdinand Max travelled to Mexico on in 1864, armament 4 × 60-pounder SB Paixhans guns, 28 × 30-pounder Novara guns, 2 × 24-pounder Breechload
I would wonder if most of them could make the Atlantic crossing. The old frigate and the two corvettes could. I wonder about the 14 gunboats and schooners, the 9 paddle steamers. Just crewing them to cross the Atlantic would take a thousand officers and men, maybe quite a few more.

I don't have a list of names for those ships. The frigate might have been one of the Radetzky class (British built 1854-56, screw frigate, crew 368, armament 20 x 30pdr, 9 x 24pdr, 2 x 4pdr, speed 12 knots, soon after a veteran of the 1864 Battle of Heligoland and the 1866 Battle of Lissa) or the Novara (old wooden frigate, originally Venetian navy, sailed around the world 1857-59, completely rebuilt as a screw steam frigate 1861-62, which Archduke Ferdinand Max travelled to Mexico on in 1864, armament 4 × 60-pounder SB Paixhans guns, 28 × 30-pounder Novara guns, 2 × 24-pounder Breechloaders). It might be some other older ship.

ers). It might be some other older ship.
Secretary Mallory would have rejected the frigates for the same reason he didn't want the two Bombay paddle frigates. they were too deep draught for Southern ports.
 

Don Dixon

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
Secretary Mallory would have rejected the frigates for the same reason he didn't want the two Bombay paddle frigates. they were too deep draught for Southern ports.

Depends. If the intended use was as a commerce raider(s) they would have been perfectly acceptable. CSS Alabama, for example, had a draft of 17 feet 8 inches. During her service she never went into a Southern port. In 1863 the Confederacy still controlled Charleston and Mobile, which had deeper bars than Wilmington which only had a depth of 11 feet at high tide [I don't know the wartime depths of the bars at Charleston and Mobile], and runners were still going into both. In any case, a large man-of-war would probably have had to have used the main channel and fought her way in.

The much bigger problem was foreign exchange. Beyond the 100,000 Muster 1854 rifle muskets the Austrian Army sold to MAJ Huse's daisy chain of intermediaries, the Army had also contracted to sell another lot of 50,000 rifle muskets but the Confederates never had the foreign exchange to pay the intermediaries for them.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Secretary Mallory would have rejected the frigates for the same reason he didn't want the two Bombay paddle frigates. they were too deep draught for Southern ports.

Depends. If the intended use was as a commerce raider(s) they would have been perfectly acceptable. CSS Alabama, for example, had a draft of 17 feet 8 inches. During her service she never went into a Southern port. In 1863 the Confederacy still controlled Charleston and Mobile, which had deeper bars than Wilmington which only had a depth of 11 feet at high tide [I don't know the wartime depths of the bars at Charleston and Mobile], and runners were still going into both. In any case, a large man-of-war would probably have had to have used the main channel and fought her way in.

The much bigger problem was foreign exchange. Beyond the 100,000 Muster 1854 rifle muskets the Austrian Army sold to MAJ Huse's daisy chain of intermediaries, the Army had also contracted to sell another lot of 50,000 rifle muskets but the Confederates never had the foreign exchange to pay the intermediaries for them.

Regards,
Don Dixon

It looks like the Austrian Navy in 1862 had 5 frigates (wooden ships, steam and screw-driven) and 5 corvettes (3 wooden sailing ships built 1834-38-44 that may not have been in service and 2 new wooden screw corvettes -- the Erzherzoh Friedrich built 1857 and Dandolo built 1858). Two of the frigates (Novara and Schwartzenberg) were rebuilt (around 1861-62) from earlier wooden frigates originally built in the Venice yards.

Specs for the two modern corvettes look very close to the frigates: 76.79 x 14.32 m x 5.8 m, 2,615 t (2,574 long tons), Crew 550, Propulsion (1865*), one shaft CP 4 Boilers 12 kts 3,300 nm range, armament 4 × 60-pdr Paixhans, 28 × 30-pdr, 2 × 24-pdr BL

Here's a reference to show what they might be like:
The Austrian Navy in 1860

Two of the frigates (the Radetzky and the Schwartzenberg) went to assist the Prussians in trying to break the Danish blockade during the 1864 Second Schleswig War. They were at the Battle of Heligoland, so there might be more information on those two in accounts of that battle. Some of the other ships and gunboats offered went north as well, but were not at that battle.

Assuming the frigate and corvettes offered are the modern ones, these would be useful and powerful vessels, but maybe not want what the Confederacy would want or need. Providing crews would strain the Confederate Navy and they probably are not the best for commerce raiding. Foreign seamen might not want to serve on ships designed to fight Union warships, but might like the thought of prizes on a commerce raider.
 
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