Austro-Hungarian Submarines in WWI.

Maritime • 2012
AuthorsJioí Novák
IllustratorRobert Panek
Release date2012-01-05
Cat. No.3103
CategoryAvailable CategoryDostępne
FormatA4, 152 pages
Price79.00 PLN Price19.99 GBP
Austrian submarines of World War I were known as "U-boot", an abbreviation of Unterseeboot. This book details the history of the development and operational use by the Austro-Hungarian navy of submarines in WWI. German use of submarines in WW1 is well known – this is the fascinating and little-known history of their major ally’s activities in undersea warfare. Contains descriptions and specifications of all the boats involved. Profusely illustrated with scale drawings and many rare photos.
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  • Amazon.com customer review (1) • 2012-11-19

    By Jim Davis (St. Charles, MO USA)

    This is the third entry in MMP's Maritime Series (No. 3103). It is an 8-1/4" x 11-3/4" square bound card cover with 152 pages. Color is restricted to the front cover and is a reproduction of a very nice oil painting. The book is not an original offering but a reprint of a Czech book from 2001. Often pre-existing works don't fit well into a series with an established format but there doesn't seem to have been much problem this time. Translation was excellent with hardly a false note anywhere.

    The subject is exactly reflected in the title of the book. The history of the submarine in the service of the Dual Monarchy is covered minutely from the beginnings to the final collapse. The text is more of an administrative, political, and operational history than a technical one. The technical aspects are only lightly covered in the text but there are numerous builder's drawings scattered throughout the book to cover this aspect. There are also extensive photographs.

    One gets a complete picture of the difficulties that the Austro-Hungarians fought under and the reader comes away with an appreciation for the results achieved. Interestingly, this is the only time I've ever read of Georg von Trapp without "The Sound of Music" being mentioned. The German U-boats that operated from Austro-Hungarian are only mentioned when their story impinges on the main theme of the book.

    Like the first two books in this series there are specially prepared profile line drawings of the submarines in the back along with tables of technical data and successes and losses.

    There are two shortcomings with the book. First, a map or two would have been welcome. Second, a comprehensive list of Austrian U-numbers including the ones used by the Germans would have been useful.

    All in all an outstanding work and I'm glad MMP decided to translate it so it could be appreciated by English speakers worldwide. Highly recommended.

  • IPMSUSA.org • 2012-11-19

    Author: Jiri Novak

    This is the 3rd book in MMP’s Maritime Series (# 3103), entitled Austro-Hungarian Submarines in WWI. It is published in an A4 format (8.25 x 11.75) soft cover book; containing 152 pages packed with black and white photographs, submarine line drawings and tables of technical data. This is a much needed book on the subject of WWI. Whenever I hear of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, I’m reminded of their biplanes, which are represented better in scale modeling. Submarine warfare at that time was largely the domain of Germany, with Austria having more of a supportive role. This book covers their submarines from their beginnings to the collapse of the monarchy and the relationship they had with the German navy.

    This book is well written and is actually a reprint of a Czech book from 2001. The book is broken down into 18 chapters which are easy to understand and not too full of technospeak. While explaining the different types of submarines, it also gives a good narrative of what is going on during the war. Also included are cutaway drawings of the U3 and U4, the older Havmanden boats U20 to U23, and the German coastal boats BI, BII, and BIII.

    I highly recommend this book. Being a submarine veteran myself, I’m always looking for historical data on earlier submarines and this is a book on a little known subject about how a small empire made a large impact on WWI. I’m very pleased to include it in my submarine reference book shelf. Thanks to IPMS/USA and Mushroom Model Publications for providing me the opportunity to review this book.

  • IPMS UK Magazine 02/2012 • 2012-11-19
  • Amazon.co.uk customer review (1) • 2012-11-19

    Fantastic book on Austro-Hungarian submarine warfare in WW1

    6 Jun 2012


    Jiri Novak has done an excellent job with this book, covering everything from the formation of the submarine force, to the design, construction, manning, training and operational experience and finally wartime use of submarines by the Austro-Hungarian navy.

    The book is richly illustrated with magnificent period photographs, has an extensive collection of line drawings of all the types in service (often also before and after modifications), technical data, successes and losses (by boat) and a helpful index, making it easy to find specific boats or their missions.

    In terms of those, the whole spectrum from operations against the Entente military shipping, anti merchant operations (in the Adriatic and Mediterranean), defence duty both in the Adriatic and support to the Turkish Navy, and convoy duties are all covered. The author also makes sure to include surface craft operations in support of the submarines, the blockade running at the Straights of Otranto, gives enough background to explain what else was going on at the time both in terms of industrial difficulties (assignment of contracts to the various shipyards, for instance), military activities, as well as covering the uprisals of the Austrian sailors in 1917 and 1918. All the notable submarine captains, including some German ones (of the German submarines that were operating under the Austro-Hungarian flag for a while) are also covered, together with the difficulties of operating the then still pretty novel craft, which was far from perfected.

    The author also manages to convey the material in a very readable manner, so it is no chore to read the book from cover to cover in one sitting, even if it will mostly be used as a reference work afterwards. If you find it hard to source Naval Strategy and Operations in Narrow Seas (Cass Series: Naval Policy and History) this book will also give you some insight of the strategy and thinking of the Austro-Hungarian naval forces and naval aviation, which successfully defended the Adriatic against the much stronger Entente navies (admittedly this aspect is not covered in the same amount of depth).

    Overall an excellent piece of work, and one I can highly recommend to anyone interested in 20th century naval history.

  • Pallasch 43 • 2012-11-19
  • Internetmodeler.com • 2012-11-19

    By Chris Banyai-Riepl

    While the First World War is mainly thought of as a land and air war, there was also a significant naval side to the conflict, during which submarines were first introduced to combat. While German submarine operations capture the lion's share of research, the Austro-Hungarian Navy also had submarines, and they operated in the Mediterranean with good results. This new title from Mushroom Model Publications covers that little-known story of Hapsburg submarines, and does so in a very thorough manner.

    While the German submarines plied the Atlantic trade routes, the submarines of the Austro-Hungarian Empire had a much narrower coast to sail from. With a stretch of coastline running from Trieste to Kotor as the only sea access for Austro-Hungary, their navy was understandably smaller than that of their larger northern neighbor. Such was the case with their submarines as well, and the first A-H submarines were tiny vessels. For patrolling the Adriatic, though, they were plenty big enough, and quite a few Allied vessels fell to these boats. The book follows the exploits of these submarines chronologically, highlighting their construction (or capture, in some cases) as well as the operational record.

    In addition to the written text, which is very well done, this book has what is easily the most thorough photographic collection of Austro-Hungarian submarines in print. The photos cover all aspects of the submarines, from construction to operations. There are also several appendices that document the technical specifications, the vessels sunk, submarines lost, and more. Finally, there are several pages of scale drawings that document all of the Austro-Hungarian submarines. These fill the page, which is nice, but they are not to scale with one another, so it is somewhat challenging to get a feel for the size of some of these ships. Still, having these drawings available far outweighs that issue.

    Overall, this is an outstanding reference on a little-known side of the First World War. The story of Austro-Hungarian submarines is one that definitely needed to be told, and this book does a superlative job in doing just that.

  • Cybermodeler.com • 2012-11-19

    By Ray Mehlberger


    Mushroom Model Publications is based in the UK. Their books are all printed by their partner Stratus in Sandomierz, Poland in the English language. Stratus also prints these books in Polish. This new book was sent to me directly from Stratus in a heavily padded envelope.

    The book is in soft cover and is 152 pages long in 8 ½ x 11” size page format.

    Austrian submarines of World War I were known as “U-boots”, an a breviation of Unterseeboot. This book details the history of the development and operational use by the Austro-Hungarian navy of submarines in WWI. German use of submarines in WWI is well known – this is the fascinating and little-known history of their major ally’s activities in undersea warfare. It contains descriptions and specifications of all the boats involved.

    It is profusely illustrated with 144 black and white photos (10 of these are portraits of significant individuals), 7 black and white copies of paintings and scale drawings of the submarines used. Although, no scale is indicated as to what scale these drawings are.

    A 7-view black and white cut-away line drawing of U2 and U3

    A 2-view black and white line drawing of U7 and U11

    A 1/350th scale black and white cut-away 11-view line drawing of Italian type Laurente-Fiat submarine

    A 4-view black and white cut-away line drawing of a German type BII A 10-view black and white line drawing of a German type BIII that was used for the U107 to U114

    A 2-view black and white line drawing of U20 to U23 of the older Havmaden Class submarines

    Profile line drawings are included for:

    U1 – lake type

    U4 – German type

    U4 – German type in 1918

    U.S. – Holland type

    U5 – Holland type in 1916

    U10 – ex-German UBI – BI type

    U11 – BI type

    U14 – ex-Curie-Laubeuf type

    U14 – ex-Curie-Laubeuf type after overhaul

    U16 – BI type

    U20 – Havmanden type

    U22 – Havmanden type

    U27 – BII type

    U29 – BII type

    U31 – BII type

    U41 – BII type

    U43 – ex-German UB43 – BII type

    U52 to U55 –not finished – STT type vThe book contains 18 chapters, appendices, the scale drawings just mentioned, bibliography and ship’s index. In the appendices are 11 information lists. v

    The only color in the book is the box art. The back cover has the full color cover art of another forth-coming book in the maritime series that MMP publishes. It is titled “Sino-French Naval War 1884-1885, Author: Piotr Olender.

    This book will prove to be an invaluable addition to the literature on WWI marine subjects. It will be of interest to enthusiasts, historians and scale modelers.

    Highly recommended.

  • Kitmaniac.com • 2012-11-19

    World War Two submarine activities was vastly documented and researched along the twenty century, but your legacy starts during the First World War when many countries seen the dangerous represented by this kind of war machines. The Mushroon Publications from UK release another excellent title from your Maritime Series. Printed in Poland by Stractus Publications this new book titled Austro-Hungarian Submarines in WWI give us the opportunity o launch a new vision over this few documented war actions. The WWI was the first conflict where the submarines are used as a conventional weapon. If the German submarines operations are most know, another countries take part in the underwater war during the 1914-1918 conflict. The Hapsburg Empire domain great part of the center-south European territory but the Austro-Hungarians had a small coast that was very important for your military and merchant maritime routes in Mediterranean sea. To increase your presence in this area the Hapsburg Navy starts the introduction of submarines in offensive actions. This new title from Mushroom Model Publications covers that little-known story of Hapsburg submarines, and the importance of your actions in the war operations.

    The book is a technical research about many types of submarines used by Austro-Hungarian Navy. All aspects of the operational life of this machines are greatly documented in Photos, drawings and technical schemes that permits to reader understand the differences between missions and construction plants. The book follows the exploits of these submarines chronologically, highlighting their construction (or capture, in some cases) as well as the operational record. The book contains 18 chapters, appendices, bibliography and ship’s index. In the appendices are 11 information lists. The text is clear and invites the reader to keep reading the book, I really enjoy this read.

    Submarines covered in technical and profile drawings included are:

    U1 – lake type

    U4 – German type

    U4 – German type in 1918

    U.S. – Holland type

    U5 – Holland type in 1916

    U10 – ex-German UBI – BI type

    U11 – BI type

    U14 – ex-Curie-Laubeuf type

    U14 – ex-Curie-Laubeuf type after overhaul

    U16 – BI type

    U20 – Havmanden type

    U22 – Havmanden type

    U27 – BII type

    U29 – BII type

    U31 – BII type

    U41 – BII type

    U43 – ex-German UB43 – BII type

    U52 to U55 –not finished – STT type


    Although maritime themes not are my preferred, this books give me very pleasure on your read, the high quality of images and technical drawings become clear the situation of the submarine technology on 1910 decade. The curious information’s contained on his pages are an important instrument of knowledge for military history researchers and modelers. The Mushroom Model Publication books has as characteristic a great quality of research and edition, and this title kept the tradition. Highly recommended.

    My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review copy.

    Best Regards,

    Vini Pompeo – History Teacher

  • ModelingMadness.com • 2012-11-19

    Reviewer: Scott Van Aken

    As frequently happens with MMP books, I was delightfully surprised to see this latest title arrive in the mails. The naval war in the Adriatic is something about which I knew pretty much nothing. I only knew that the Austro-Hungarian Navy had submarines and that was about it. Thanks to this latest book, I now know a great deal more. In fact, I was really surprised by the events that took place and how effective the Austro-Hungarian (A-H) submarine force was, and how totally ineffective their capital ships were. Basically, the big battleships and heavy cruisers stayed in port for the duration of the war. The theory was that a 'fleet in being' was better than one that was slowly destroyed by fleet actions.

    The A-H navy was not large and the A-H industrial base was pretty weak and inefficient. It took forever for things as simple as submarines to be built and for damaged ships to be repaired. This was not helped by a lack of money to spend on such things.

    A-H entered the war with small coastal submarines that held few men and few torpedoes. However, it was considered to be the elite force in their Navy. Officers and men were highly motivated and despite engines that fouled the interior and batteries that gave off gas, these small boats were more effective than any other vessels in the initial months and years of the war. Several submarines were on order from much more efficient German shipyards, but the start of the war had the Germans commandeer these boats for their own use. It was not until later that German boats were sent by rail to A-H as replacements and only after their use in open seas was found to be wanting.

    Thanks to a lack of a convoy system during the early years, A-H submarines were able to sink quite a few cargo boats. Many of them were sailing vessels and many sunk using deck guns rather than torpedoes. Once ships started travelling in convoys, sinkings became harder to come by. Still, these slow subs managed to sink quite a few ships and escorts.

    The author goes into great detail concerning submarine operations, which mostly took place in the Adriatic. Some later boats had the range to travel into the Mediterranean itself, but those ventures were few in number. German submarines also operated out of Austrian ports, using fake A-H serial numbers during these operations.

    The book also covers the different types that were operated. This includes a considerable number of line drawings of the various classes and boats. We are also treated to a goodly number of period photos of these boats. These truly show how small these boats were. Also included are stats on the individual boats as well as a table of losses and warships sunk and damaged. The only thing I would add would be a map as few of us are knowledgeable about with the Adriatic.

    In all, it is an outstanding look at an aspect of WWI of which few of us are aware. It makes for a superlative read and is a book to which I give my highest recommendation. Even if you do not like naval books, you will like this one.

    February 2012

  • Hyperscale.com • 2012-11-19

    Review Type: FirstRead


    Long overdue subject matter; well illustrated with a multitude of scale side profiles; good selection of photographs; interesting narrative.



    A well written book on a little known subject. There is a lot of fascinating information contained within these pages and it’s refreshing to read about the submarines from a navy that is often overshadowed by the other protagonists.

    Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner

    F i r s t R e a d

    The German Unterseeboot or “U-boot” is well known to enthusiasts but what about those operated by the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

    Information on these submarines is not easy to find. So it’s refreshing to see a book that attempts to make the subject more accessible to the reader.

    MMP have done this in the latest addition to their “Maritime Series”. Between the soft card covers are 150 A4 sized pages containing nearly 150 black and white photographs. Many will be new to all but a few aficionados, with the varying reproduction quality dependant on the source material used. Contemporary illustrations are also a feature and cutaway drawings display the insides of U3 and U4, as well as the older Havmanden-class boats of U20 to U23. Also included are the coastal German B-I, B-II and B-III types.

    There are 10 pages of scale side profiles that cover a further 19 submarines from the first prototype of 1905, to the unfinished U52-55 STT.

    The text is easy to digest and doesn’t bog the reader down with an avalanche of technical jargon.

    This narrative is broken down into the following chapters:

    The Summer of 1914

    A cruel surprise

    The submarines of the Austro-Hungarian Navy

    The war begins

    The first successes

    Help for the Turks

    The blockade of Montenegro

    Italy enters the War

    Who will be the master of the Adriatic

    The Balkan offensive

    The occupation of Durazzo

    Submarine operations of other warring states, and precautions taken by the Entente nations

    The unrestricted submarine war a precarious balance

    Defenses increase

    Construction of other submarines

    The agony

    The secondary battlefields

    The end of the war and the breakup of the duel monarchy

    The chapter titles generally speak for themselves. They start off by explaining the world situation leading up to the outbreak of war and then enter into a discussion on the development and deployment of submarines operating in the Austro-Hungarian navy. The interesting narrative covers the exploits of a number of individual U-boots as well as explaining the political circumstances that surrounded their actions.

    Rounding out the book is an appendix that details and compares the technical data of 27 Austro-Hungarian submarines. There’s also a table that lists the warships either damaged or sunk by the U-boots and another documents the losses of the attackers themselves.


    It’s a pleasure to find as much information contained within a single publication.

    The reader is left with a much better understanding of the role that was played by these vessels and it’s all complimented by excellent photo coverage, scale drawings, and an informative text.

    If you have a slightest interest in submarine warfare then this book should not be missing from your library

  • MiniReplika Nr 73 • 2012-03-20

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