ABSTRACT

The number of dreadnoughts being the yardstick by which naval strength was measured amongst the ‘Top Eight’ naval powers (Britain, Germany, the United States, France, Japan, Russia, Italy and Austria), while lesser powers believed that even a single dreadnought might be essential to their security. The war in Adriatic settled down to a somewhat dreary pattern resembling that of the struggle in the North Sea, with the Austrians based on Pola controlling the northern waters of the Adriatic and the convoy routes down the Dalmatian coast for supply of the Austrian troops in the Balkans. The war developed in a strange manner on account of this mixture of races, languages and loyalties. Ratings had to understand orders given in German and to speak fairly well the two commonest of the languages in the navy, Croatian and Italian. Horthy’s plan was to send his fast light cruisers and destroyers down the Adriatic to do what damage they could to the barrage.