fighting ships of the world



ADMIRAL SPAUN scout cruiser (1910)


Admiral Spaun 1910

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Admiral Spaun   Marinearsenal Pola 30/5/1908 30/10/1909 15/11/1910 to United Kingdom 1920


Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

129.7 wl 130.6 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m

5.30 deep load

No of shafts



6 Parsons steam turbines, 16 Yarrow boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 786

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

side: 60, deck: 20, CT: 50


7 x 1 - 100/47 G. L/50 K.10, 1 x 1 - 47/40 SFK L/44 S, 1 x 1 - 8/80, 2 x 1 - 450 TT



Ship project history: After an eight-year gap the Austro-Hungarian Navy re-entered the field of cruiser construction when the Naval Technical Commitee was ordered to design a 3500t cruiser on 1 May 1906. In the previous period the complex typology of cruisers, avisos, scouts, flotilla leaders and torpedo cruisers had become somewhat simplified in the world's navies. What was asked for in Austria-Hungary was a turbine-powered ship which would, be faster than contemporary cruisers such as the British Adventure, the US Chester and the German Emden, with slightly better armour protection; therefore armament had to be sacrificed. Admiral Spaun and her successors were designed as typical fast scouts, able to employ hit-and-run tactics to disrupt enemy communications and shipping routes and to dominate an engagement by the use of speed - and indeed they were used in this role during the war.

    Admiral Spaun was the first major turbine-powered unit of the Austrian-Hungarian Navy; she had a 4-shaft arrangement, 2 of her 6 turbines being cruising turbines on the inner shafts. Nevertheless her propulsion system must be seen as an experimental prototype, and the ship suffered so many teething troubles with her engines that she never participated in the cruiser operations of her successors, although she saw wartime service in minor and less dangerous roles. In 1917 it was planned to up-gun her by replacing the 2-10cm on the forecastle by 1-15cm/50, but this was never executed.

Ship protection: 60mm belt protected machinery only, 20mm flat main deck was connected with its upper edge. 20mm lower deck protected ship ends. CT had 50mm sides. Gun shields had 40mm faces and 8mm sides and roofs.

Modernizations: 3/1915: + 2 x 1 - 450 TT, 60 mines

1917: + 1 x 1 - 66/47 G. L/50 BAG

Naval service: In 1920 she was ceded to Britain and immediately sold to Italy for scrapping.

Admiral Spaun 1914

Ivan Gogin, 2014