List of ships of the Royal Yugoslav Navy

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a flag with an offset coat of arms
The naval ensign of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia

The Navy of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (from 1929, the Royal Yugoslav Navy, Serbo-Croatian: Kraljevska Jugoslavenska Ratna Mornarica, Кpaљeвcкa Југословенска Pатна Морнарица; KJRM) included a wide range of vessels during its existence from 1920 to 1945. This list includes all sea-going warships ranging from a light cruiser down to motor torpedo boats (MTBs), and also includes river monitors that operated on the Danube and other rivers. Large auxiliary vessels such as submarine tenders and tankers are included, but hulks, tugs and smaller auxiliary craft are not.

The KJRM was formed in 1920, but it was not until March 1921 that a number of former Austro-Hungarian vessels were transferred, some of which were already obsolete.[1] The only modern seagoing warships transferred were twelve torpedo boats. Little was done to improve the fleet during the 1920s, but fleet modernisation was underway from the early 1930s, with a British-made flotilla leader followed by a class of modern French-designed destroyers and German-built MTBs. Almost all of the fleet was captured by the Axis powers during the April 1941 invasion of Yugoslavia, but a few vessels escaped to form the KJRM-in-exile, which operated under British supervision. Later in the war, several vessels that had been in Italian service were returned to the KJRM-in-exile, and these were joined by a British corvette and a number of US Patrol Torpedo boats. At the end of the war, these vessels were transferred to the fledgling Yugoslav Navy.[a]

Coastal defence ship

a black and white image of a ship underway
Kumbor as the Austro-Hungarian SMS Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf

The former SMS Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf had been completed as an ironclad warship in 1889. She was an obsolete coastal defence ship when acquired by the Navy of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1921, and was scrapped the following year.[2][3]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
3 × 30.5 cm (12 in) guns
6,721
15.5
March 1921
Kumbor was scrapped in 1922.

Light cruiser

a black and white image of a ship alongside
Dalmacija in the Bay of Kotor after her capture by the Italians

The former Gazelle-class light cruiser SMS Niobe had been commissioned into the Imperial German Navy in 1900, so by 1941, Dalmacija was obsolete and was being used as a gunnery training ship. Captured by the Italians during the April 1941 invasion of Yugoslavia, she was put into service in the Royal Italian Navy as Cattaro. She was captured from the Italians by the Germans after the Italian armistice with the Allies in September 1943, and served in the German Navy as Niobe. She also served in the Navy of the Independent State of Croatia as Zniam before being lost in December 1943.[4][5][6][7]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
10 × 10.5 cm (4.1 in) L/40 guns
2,916
21.5
26 June 1925
Zniam was run aground then destroyed by Royal Navy motor torpedo boats in December 1943.

Destroyers

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik was a flotilla leader built by a British shipyard in 1930–1931. Captured by the Italians in April 1941 she was put into service as Premuda, and was the most important and effective Italian war prize ship of World War II. She was captured by the Germans after the Italian armistice and served as TA32 until she was scuttled near the end of the war.[4][8][9][10]

black and white image of two ships alongside
Dubrovnik (left) and Beograd (right) at the Bay of Kotor after capture by the Italians
Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
4 × Škoda 14 cm (5.5 in) guns
1,880
37
11 October 1931
TA32 was scuttled at Genoa on 24 April 1945.

Beograd class

The Beograd class were French-designed destroyers completed in 1937–1938. Zagreb was scuttled during the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, but Beograd and Ljubljana fell into Italian hands. They served with the Italians as Sebenico and Lubiana respectively. Lubiana was lost in April 1943, but Sebenico was captured by the Germans after the Italian capitulation, and saw service as TA43 until she was scuttled at the end of the war.[11]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
 France
4 × Škoda 12 cm (4.7 in) guns
1,190
38
23 December 1937
TA43 was scuttled at Trieste on 30 April or 1 May 1945.
28 June 1938
Lubiana was sunk (or stranded and declared a total loss) off the Tunisian coast in April 1943.
30 March 1938
Zagreb was scuttled at the Bay of Kotor on 17 April 1941.

Corvette

a black and white image of a ship
A Flower-class corvette similar to Nada

In early 1944, the Royal Navy Flower-class corvette HMS Mallow was transferred to the Royal Yugoslav Navy-in-exile (KJRM-in-exile) and renamed Nada. At the conclusion of the war she was transferred to the new Yugoslav Navy and renamed Partizanka.[12]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
 United Kingdom
1 × 10.2 cm (4.0 in) gun
925
16
early 1944
Partizanka was returned to the United Kingdom in 1949.

Gunboat/Royal yacht

The gunboat and royal yacht Beli Orao came into service in 1939 and was captured by the Italians in April 1941 during the invasion. She saw service with the Italians as Alba then Zagabria before being returned to the KJRM-in-exile in late 1943. She survived the war and was transferred to the new Yugoslav Navy.[12]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
 Italy
2 × 4 cm (1.6 in) anti-aircraft guns
558
18.5
June 1939
Unknown

Torpedo boats

250t class

a black and white image of a ship underway
The Yugoslav torpedo boat T3 photographed in 1931

Eight former Austro-Hungarian 250t-class torpedo boats were transferred to the KJRM in 1921, and were the KJRM's only modern sea-going warships when it was formed. Two were lost or scrapped prior to World War II, and the rest were captured by the Italians during the 1941 Axis invasion and put into service by them. After the Italian capitulation, two were returned to the KJRM-in-exile. A further ship was sunk by German aircraft while still in Italian hands, and another was scuttled by her Italian crew. Of the remaining two, one was transferred to the Navy of the Independent State of Croatia and was sunk in 1944, and the other served in the German Navy as TA48 and was sunk in early 1945. The two boats that were returned to the KJRM-in-exile were transferred to the Yugoslav Navy at the end of the war and served as Golešnica and Cer.[4][13][14]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
 Austro-Hungarian Empire
4 × 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes
258–266
28
March 1921
Golešnica was scrapped in 1959.
T2 was scrapped in 1939.
TA48 was sunk in Trieste by Allied aircraft in February 1945.
T4 ran aground and became a total loss in 1932.
Cer was scrapped in 1962.
T6 was scuttled at Rimini in September 1943.
T7 was sunk off Murter Island in June 1944.
T8 was sunk by German aircraft in September 1943.

Kaiman class

a black and white image of a docked ship
A Kaiman-class torpedo boat in Austro-Hungarian service

Four former Austro-Hungarian Kaiman-class torpedo boats were transferred to the KJRM in 1921, but all four were discarded and broken up between 1928 and 1930.[4][15]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
T9
 Austro-Hungarian Empire
3 × 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes
206–208
26
March 1921
All four boats were scrapped between 1928 and 1930.
T10
T11
T12

Motor Torpedo Boats

Uskok class

Two British-built Uskok-class torpedo boats were acquired by the KJRM in 1927. Both were captured by the Italians during the April 1941 invasion. Placed into service with new designations, they were both were lost or stricken while in Italian service.[16][17]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
Uskok
 United Kingdom
2 × 45.6 cm (18 in) torpedo tubes
15
40
1927
The renamed MAS 1 D sank near Mljet in April 1942.
Četnik
The renamed MS 47 was struck off in September 1943.

Orjen class

a black and white image of a boat underway
The Orjen-class torpedo boat Velebit in 1939

Eight German-built Orjen-class torpedo boats were purchased from Nazi Germany in the mid-to-late 1930s. Two escaped during the invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, and became part of the KJRM-in-exile. The remaining six were captured by the Italians and put into service by them under new designations. Two were scuttled by their crews at the time of the Italian capitulation in September 1943, and the remaining four were captured by the Germans and renamed. All four were scuttled at Salonika in October 1944. The boats that had escaped were transferred to the Yugoslav Navy at the end of the war.[18][19][20]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
Orjen
 Nazi Germany
2 × 55 cm (22 in) torpedo tubes
61
31
1936
The renamed MS 41 was scuttled at Monfalcone in September 1943.
Durmitor
Unknown
The renamed TČ 391 was struck off in 1963.
Suvobor
1937
The renamed MS 45 was scuttled at Cattolica in September 1943.
Kajmakčalan
Unknown
The renamed TČ 392 was struck off in 1963.
Velebit
Unknown
All four boats were sunk at Salonika in October 1944.
Dinara
1939
Rudnik
1939
Triglav
1939

MT class

Eight US Patrol Torpedo boats were transferred to the KJRM-in-exile in mid-1944. All eight survived the war and served in the post-war Yugoslav Navy.[18]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
MT1
 United States
4 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes
56
34.3
mid-1944
These seven boats were deleted in 1966.
MT2
MT3
MT4
MT5
MT6
MT7
MT8
MT8 was deleted in 1955.

Submarines

Hrabri class

a black and white image of a submarine underway on the surface
Hrabri underway

Two British-made Hrabri-class submarines were brought into service in 1927. During the April 1941 invasion, one escaped to join the KJRM-in-exile, while the other was captured by the Italians then scrapped. The boat that escaped was used as an anti-submarine warfare training vessel, and was transferred to the Yugoslav Navy at the end of the war and renamed Tara.[12]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
 United Kingdom
6 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes
975 (surfaced)
15.7 (surfaced)
1927
Hrabri was scrapped by the Italians in 1941.
Tara was struck off in 1954.

Osvetnik class

Two French-made Osvetnik-class submarines were commissioned in 1928–1929. Both were captured by the Italians during the April 1941 invasion, after which they were put into service as training and experimentation boats under new names. They were both scuttled at the time of the Italian capitulation.[12]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
 France
6 × 55 cm (22 in) torpedo tubes
630 (surfaced)
14.5 (surfaced)
1929
The renamed Francesco Rismondo was scuttled at Bonifacio in September 1943.
1928
The renamed Antonio Bajamonti was scuttled at La Spezia in September 1943.

Minelayers

Galeb class

a black and white image of a ship
An Italian minesweeper similar to the Galeb class

Six German-built Galeb-class minelayers were purchased soon after the KJRM was established. All six were captured by the Italians during the April 1941 invasion, and were put into service by them under new names. Five were lost prior to the Italian capitulation in September 1943, but one was transferred to the KJRM-in-exile in December of that year, and survived the war to serve in the post-war Yugoslav Navy as Pionir then Zelengora.[4]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
Galeb
 Weimar Republic
2 × Škoda 9 cm (3.5 in) L/45 guns
500
16
July 1921
The renamed Selve was broken up in 1948.
Orao
The renamed Zelengora was disposed of in 1962.
Labud
The renamed Oriole was scuttled in July 1943.
Jastreb
The renamed Zirona was destroyed by her own crew in November 1941.
Kobac
The renamed Unie was destroyed in January 1943.
Sokol
The renamed Eso was sunk in January 1943.

Zmaj

The German-built seaplane tender Zmaj was commissioned into the KJRM in 1930, but was converted to a minelayer in 1937. Captured by the Germans in April 1941, she saw service in the seaplane tender, aircraft rescue and troop transport roles as Drache. In late 1942, she was re-commissioned as a minelayer, and was used for shipboard trials with helicopters in 1943 before being sunk in September 1944.[18]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
 Weimar Republic
2 × 8.35 cm (3.29 in) L/55 anti-aircraft guns
1,840
15
1930
Drache was sunk in September 1944.

Malinska class

a black and white image of a ship underway
The Malinska-class minelayer Marjan in 1939

In 1931, the KJRM acquired five former Austro-Hungarian minelayers, known as the Malinska class. In April 1941, they were all captured by the Italians, although one had been scuttled, it was raised and repaired. Two were captured by the Germans at the time of the Italian capitulation in September 1943, and were lost in their hands or while serving with the Navy of the Independent State of Croatia. Three were handed back to the KJRM-in-exile and survived the war to see service in the new Yugoslav Navy.[12]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
Malinska
 Austro-Hungarian Empire
1 × 6.6 cm (2.6 in) L/30 anti-aircraft gun
126
9
1931
Unknown
Marjan
The renamed Ugliano was probably lost in German hands.
Meljine
Unknown
Mljet
Unknown
Mosor
The renamed Pasman was scrapped in 1954.

Minesweepers

At the time of its formation in 1921, the KJRM obtained four former Austro-Hungarian Schichau-class torpedo boats that had been converted into minesweepers. Three were discarded soon after, but one served as a training vessel until the April 1941 invasion, at which time she was captured by the Italians. The Germans captured her in September 1943 and she was lost in their hands some time later.[21][22][23]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
D1
 Austro-Hungarian Empire
2 × 3.7 cm (1.5 in) L/23 guns
87–89
19
March 1921
D1 was discarded in 1924.
D2
D2 was lost in German hands.
D3
These two boats were also discarded in 1924.
D4

Submarine tenders

Two submarine tenders were operated by the KJRM, one was converted from a German-built water tanker obtained from the Austro-Hungarians, and the other was a British commercial vessel converted to the role at the time British-built submarines were acquired. The latter ship was captured by the Italians in April 1941 but survived the war to see service in the post-war Yugoslav Navy.[24][25][26]

Ship/vessel Origin Displacement in long tons In service Fate
Sitnica
 German Empire
370
March 1921
Unknown
Hvar
 United Kingdom
2,600
1927
Hvar was scrapped in 1953.

Salvage ships

The KJRM operated two salvage ships. The first was a former Austro-Hungarian vessel which was scrapped in the late 1920s. She was replaced by a German-built ship.[27]

Ship/vessel Origin Displacement in long tons In service Fate
Moćni
 Austro-Hungarian Empire
265
March 1921
Moćni was scrapped in 1929.
Spasilac
 Weimar Republic
740
1929
Unknown

Tankers

The KJRM had two tankers, one for oil and one for water. The oil tanker was sunk in Italian hands in 1943, and the water tanker was deleted at the end of the war.[28][29]

Ship/vessel Origin Displacement in long tons In service Fate
Lovćen
Unknown
561
1932
Lovćen was deleted in 1945.
Perun
4,500
1939
Perun was sunk in March 1943.

River flotilla

a black and white image of a ship alongside
Sava as the Austro-Hungarian SMS Bodrog in 1914

The KJRM inherited four river monitors from the Austro-Hungarian Navy, each from a different class. In April 1941, one was sunk, and the rest were scuttled. One of the scuttled ships was raised and scrapped. The other two were raised and put to use by the Navy of the Independent State of Croatia, and were lost late in the war, with one being raised after the war and put into service until 1962.[4]

Ship/vessel Origin Primary armament Displacement in long tons Maximum speed in knots In service Fate
 Austro-Hungarian Empire
2 × 12 cm (4.7 in) L/45 guns
2 × 12 cm L/10 howitzers
570
13.5
March 1921
Vardar was scuttled in April 1941.
2 × 12 cm L/35 guns
1 × 12 cm L/10 howitzer
430
13
Sava was struck in 1962.
2 × 12 cm L/45 guns
3 × 12 cm L/10 howitzers
528
13
Drava was raised by Hungary and scrapped during the war.
2 × 12 cm L/35 guns
441
10
The renamed Bosna was mined in June 1944

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In each section of this list, the citations within the text also relate to the table.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Vego 1982, pp. 344–345.
  2. ^ Vego 1982, pp. 344 & 347.
  3. ^ Gardiner 1979, p. 271.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Chesneau 1980, p. 357.
  5. ^ Rohwer & Hümmelchen 1992, pp. 181 & 294.
  6. ^ Hildebrand, Röhr & Steinmetz 1993, p. 158.
  7. ^ Gröner 1990, pp. 100–101.
  8. ^ Lenton 1975, p. 105.
  9. ^ Brescia 2012, p. 134.
  10. ^ Whitley 1988, p. 313.
  11. ^ Chesneau 1980, pp. 357–358.
  12. ^ a b c d e Chesneau 1980, p. 358.
  13. ^ Greger 1976, pp. 58 & 60.
  14. ^ Gardiner 1983, p. 388.
  15. ^ Greger 1976, p. 55.
  16. ^ Chesneau 1980, pp. 358–359.
  17. ^ Brescia 2012, p. 157.
  18. ^ a b c Chesneau 1980, p. 359.
  19. ^ Fraccaroli 1974, pp. 176–177.
  20. ^ Paterson 2015, p. 216.
  21. ^ Vego 1982, pp. 344, 347 & 356.
  22. ^ Gardiner 1985, p. 426.
  23. ^ Niehorster 2016.
  24. ^ Vego 1982, pp. 345, 349–350 & 356.
  25. ^ Haworth 2016a.
  26. ^ Haworth 2016b.
  27. ^ Vego 1982, pp. 345, 349 & 356.
  28. ^ Vego 1982, pp. 350 & 356.
  29. ^ Haworth 2016c.

References

Books

  • Brescia, Maurizio (2012). Mussolini's Navy. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59114-544-8. 
  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. London, England: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-146-5. 
  • Fraccaroli, Aldo (1974). Italian Warships of World War II. London, England: Ian Allan Publishing. OCLC 834485650. 
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905. London, England: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-133-5. 
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1983). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1947–1982. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-919-1. 
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. London, England: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-245-5. 
  • Greger, René (1976). Austro-Hungarian Warships of World War I. London, England: Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0623-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1990). German Warships: 1815–1945. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-790-6. 
  • Hildebrand, Hans H.; Röhr, Albert; Steinmetz, Hans-Otto (1993). Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe [The German Warships] (in German). 6. Ratingen, Germany: Mundus Verlag. ISBN 3-7822-0237-6. 
  • Lenton, Henry Trevor (1975). German Warships of the Second World War. London, England: Macdonald and Jane's. ISBN 978-0-356-04661-7. 
  • Paterson, Lawrence (2015). Schnellboote: A Complete Operational History. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-083-3. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen; Hümmelchen, Gerhard (1992). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-105-9. 
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-326-7. 

Journals

  • Vego, Milan (1982). "The Yugoslav Navy 1918–1941". Warship International. Toledo, Ohio: International Naval Research Organisation (4): 342–361. ISSN 0043-0374. 

Websites

  • Niehorster, Dr. Leo (2016). "Balkan Operations Order of Battle Royal Yugoslavian Navy Coastal Defense Command 6th April 1941". Dr. Leo Niehorster. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  • Haworth, R.B. (2016a). "Najade". Miramar Ship Index. New Zealand: R.B. Haworth. 6100091. Retrieved 1 December 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  • Haworth, R.B. (2016b). "Umtali (Hvar)". Miramar Ship Index. New Zealand: R.B. Haworth. 1105810. Retrieved 1 December 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  • Haworth, R.B. (2016c). "Perun". Miramar Ship Index. New Zealand: R.B. Haworth. 6110884. Retrieved 1 December 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
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