UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Imperial and Royal Navy Personnel

The navy was a purely Imperial institution; naval officers had to be educated at Pola ; they had to speak German and thus were apt to become denationalized. Military service began at the age of 21 and continued in the navy, four years in the marines, five years in the reserve and three years in the seewehr.

In 1875 the establishment of officers consisted of 1 admiral, 2 vice-admirals, 5 rear-admirals, 52 captains, 117 lieutenants, 145 ensigns, and 87 cadets. The number of seamen was increased in 1874 from 5702 to 5836, 3557 of whom on the average served on board ship. The health of the navy was, on the whole satisfactory, and great progress has been made in the organization of the naval schools.

The navy in 1900 was manned by 737 officers, 513 mechanicians and employees, and 7,500 sailors. The personnel of the Austro-Hungarian navy was said to be excellent, and should the squadron it can turn out ever be called on to act alone or as part of the naval force of an alliance, it was thought it could be relied on to give a good account of itself.

The people inhabiting the mountainous portion of Croatia were tall in stature and dark-complexioned. The Uskoks lived on the sea-facing slopes of the mountains. These people may be classified as mountain folk as well as seafarers. They were descended from the dreaded pirates who once had their dwelling amongst the lower hills overlooking the Adriatic, and waged a desultory warfare against the republic of Venice. They were recognised as one of the finest seafaring races in Europe, and the cream of the Austro-Hungarian navy was recruited from them.

The general system of indicating the branch of the service and the relative ranks of officers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy was the same as in the British Navy, i.e., for branch of service by colors on the cuffs and between the stripes, and the curl in the case of executive officers; for seniority, broad and narrow stripes of gold lace. Officers of the military branch were always to wear uniform ashore except when attending a class of instruction at a high school, hunting, shooting, or playing games. Other officers may wear plain clothes. Abroad, plain clothes were always to be worn. Officers on half-pay and those not on the active list wore plain clothes; uniform may be worn on ceremonial occasions.

The distinctive colors of the various branches were as follows:
Military Branch. Same as the cloth.
Medical Branch. Black.
Technical Officers. Crimson.
Engineering Branch. Gray.
Accountant Branch. Light blue.
Teaching Staff and Hydrographic Officials. Dark blue.
Clerical Staff (Kanzleibeamten). Brown.
Officers in full dress may be distinguished by the color of the velvet on the cuffs and by silver stars or rosettes on both sides of the collar, in all other uniforms, by stripes on the sleeve or shoulder-straps and colored silk between the stripes.

The distinguishing ranks on the uniform are stripes on the sleeves. The Admiral's broad stripe is two inches, the medium stripe of the Captains and Commander, one and one fourth inches, and the ordinary stripe, three sixteenth inch wide. Stripes are one fourth inch apart, and the upper stripe of executive officers is fitted with a curl. Flag Officers of the military branch wear a gold crown above the upper stripe; of the medical branch, a gold star; other branches, a gold rosette.

Admiral. One broad stripe and three ordinary stripes.
Vice Admiral. One broad stripe and two ordinary stripes.
Rear Admiral. One broad stripe and one ordinary stripe.
Captain. One medium and three ordinary stripes.
Commander. One medium and two ordinary stripes.
Lieutenant Commander. One medium and one ordinary stripe.
Lieutenant. Three ordinary stripes.
Sub-Lieutenant. Two ordinary stripes.
Midshipman. One ordinary stripe.
Cadet. One ordinary stripe half round the sleeves.

Epaulette Devices for the Military Branch were Silver stars according to rank, and a gold crown for flag officers. Gold crown and anchor for other officers. The Medical Branch used a silver Esculapius staff. In addition, for officers of flag rank, silver stars according to rank. For the Official Branches a gold rosette for officers of the equivalent rank of Rear Admiral. No device for other officers.

Bullions for officers of rank of Commander and above, a double row of bright gold bullions one fourth inch thick. For officers of rank of Lieutenant Commander and Lieutenant, a double row of gold bullions one eighth inch thick. Sub-Lieutenants and Midshipmen wear no bullions.

Shoulder-straps were stripes and colored silk similar to those worn on the sleeve of the coat. The crown, star, or rosette of flag officers is worn in the center of the broad stripe. Medical officers have a gold Esculapius staff in addition to the stripes.

Warrant Officers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy wear no full dress or cocked hat. On occasions when these are ordered for officers, shoulder-straps are worn with the frock coat. The Chief Petty Officer wore a frock coat and sword similar to the Warrant Officer and his uniform differs only in the distinguishing marks of rank and branch.

For Rank, gold-lace stripes worn half round on the outside part of the sleeve of the monkey jacket or frock coat with a button in the center of the stripe.

For Chief Warrant Officers. Three stripes, one half inch broad and one fourth inch apart.
For Warrant Officers. Two stripes, one half inch broad, one fourth inch apart.
For Chief Petty Officers. One stripe, three sixteenths inch broad.
For Branch, the distinguishing marks are worn on the left arm, halfway between shoulder and elbow. Petty Officers and Men, the distinguishing marks for rank are stars on the corners of the collar; for branch, badges on the upper half of the left sleeve.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:51:29 ZULU