fighting ships of the world



SAÏDA scout cruisers (1914-1915)

Saida 1918

Name Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Saïda 25 CNT, Monfalcone 9/9/1911 26/10/1912 1/8/1914 to Italy 1920 (Venezia)
Helgoland 44 Danubius, Fiume 28/10/1911 23/11/1912 29/8/1914 to Italy 1920 (Brindisi)
Novara 45 Danubius, Fiume 9/12/1912 15/2/1913 10/1/1915 to France 1920 (Thionville)


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



Saida: Melms-Pfenniger steam turbines, 16 Yarrow boilers

Helgoland, Novara: AEG steam turbines, 16 Yarrow boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 771

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

side: 60, deck: 20, shields: 40, CT: 50


Saida: 9 x 1 - 100/47 G. L/50 K.11, 1 x 1 - 47/40 SFK L/44 S, 3 x 2 - 450 TT

Helgoland, Novara: 9 x 1 - 100/47 G. L/50 K.11, 1 x 1 - 47/40 SFK L/44 S, 1 x 2 - 533 TT, 2 x 2 - 450 TT



Ship project history: The three 'modified Spaun' were approved in the same budget as the Tegetthoffs. Basically they had the same dimensions and displacement as Admiral Spaun, but with the rapid development of turbines 52t machinery weight could be saved by using a simpler 2-shaft arrangement. Of this 21t were used to strengthen the hull and the bulkheads, the remaining 21t being used to increase the armament. Of the two proposed alternatives (adding 1-15cm gun or 2-10cm), the second was chosen. The 'modified Spauns' therefore were a real improvement, enjoying reliable machinery and two more guns, although still being inferior in armament when compared with their contemporary opponents. As Fred T Jane stated in 1912, the period of the scout was over, and these units were very rapidly obsolescent. For reasons of equal distribution of armament contracts, two of them were to be built at the new Hungarian shipyard of Danubius at Fiume (Rijeka), while the name-ship was the first major warship built at the privately owned Cantiere Navale Triestino. In contrast to her Hungarian sisters she had a different type of turbine which gave her a slightly lower speed.

    The three cruisers saw extensive wartime service, participating in several cruiser actions. Like their predecessor it was planned to up-gun them in 1917 by removing 3-10cm on the forecastle and 2-10cm on the quarterdeck and replacing them by 1-15cm/50 on the forecastle and another on the quarterdeck, but this was also 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: 9/1915, Helgoland, Novara: - 2 x 2 - 450 TT; + 2 x 2 - 533 TT

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

Naval service: In 1920 Saïda and Helgoland were ceded to the Italian Navy and commissioned as Venezia and Brindisi respectively. Both were discarded in March 1937. Novara was ceded to France in 1920, commissioned as Thionville and served as a gunnery and torpedo TS in the Mediterranean until 1932. She was then disarmed and served as a stationary accommodation ship at the naval arsenal of Toulon; in 1941 she was sold for scrapping.

Helgoland 1914

Ivan Gogin, 2014