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Admiral Rudolf Count Montecuccoli

Admiral Rudolf Graf von Montecuccoli (1843-1927), commander of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy from October 1904 until February 1913, was the Austrian Tirpitz who masterminded the growth of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Admiral Count Montecuccoli was the leading spirit in the movement which had produced a fleet so worthy to uphold the traditions of Tegetthoff and Lissa.

For the Navy a new era began in October 1904 when Admiral Count Rudolf Montecuccoli took the post of Navy Commander. Montecuccoli, with the encouragement of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, was fortunate, and may be said to have reaped where other had sown. In the ten years from 1904 to 1914 naval expenditure increased from 2,615,460 to 7,402,333.

The first ships Viribus Unitis and Tegetthoff were laid down 1909, ordered by Admiral Montecuccoli. Admiral Montecuccoli accepted the offer and Archduke Francis Ferdinand intervened with the Rothschild bank to arrange financing. During the debates for the 1911 naval budget, the then A-H naval CinC Admiral Montecuccoli had stated: "The great battle-cruiser is not necessary for the A-H navy, it is only of value for the major navies which have to control vast oceans."

Montecuccoli, Austria's admiral-in-chief from 1905 to 1913, never missed an occasion to celebrate the victory of Lissa. "Our new ally did not reply . . . But few people are as dangerous as an Italian who remains silent under an outrage. He will bide his time, twenty years if need be."

In February, 1913, Admiral Rudolf (Count) Montecuccoli retired as marine commandant and was succeeded by Admiral Anton Haue.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:51:20 ZULU