Today, 1 November, is a day on which we should return to our motto, which is: “Viribus Unitis”.
This motto, which means “with united forces”, was also the motto of Emperor Franz Joseph. But not only that: this motto was also the name of one of the most important ships of the KuK-Marine. It was the first Battleship of the so-called Tegetthoff class.
The commissioning took place on 5 December 1912. The ship certainly gained its greatest importance on 28 June 1914, when the body of the Austrian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz-Ferdinand, was transferred to Trieste after his assassination.
During the First World War, the ship itself was not used significantly. Shortly before the end of the First World War, it was handed over to the newly founded state of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on the orders of Emperor Charles I, because Austria had lost its share of the Adriatic coast due to the founding of this state.
Why are we commemorating this ship and its crew on 1 November?
Although the fleet was declared neutral, the ship was sunk by two Italian combat swimmers on November 1 with a converted torpedo in the early hours of the morning. Italy did not want a new naval power on the east coast of the Adriatic. More than 400 sailors lost their lives in this sinking.
Our today’s remembrance is to these seamen.