Coast Defence Ships of the «Monarch» Class
Authors: Zvonimir Freivogel
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The ironclads of the «Monarch» class, albeit small and known mostly as «coast defenders» were first modern battleships of the Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Navy (Kaiserlicheund Königliche Kriegsmarine / K.u.k. Marine). They were planed and built shortly before the turn of the XIX to XX century, and were the oldest of the several Austro-Hungarian battleship classes that participated in World War One (there were some older units in service, but these were mostly used as guard, headquarters or barracks ships). Because of their old age, they served during the early war stages as an detached coast defence squadron, responsible for the defence of the Bocche di Cattaro and support of the land forces against Montenegro, and were not part of the Battle Fleet any more. Later two vesels were sent to the Northern Adriatic, supporting Army units with their artillery on the front against Italy, and one of these ships was lost there, during a stay on the supposedly secure anchorage. After the war, the remaining pair followed their younger «consorts», being delivered to the victors and scrapped afterwards.