Austro-Hungarian Raids on the Otranto Barrage

The following table summarises those raids by the Austro-Hungarian fleet against the "Otranto Barrage" - a line of nets, drifters and trawlers intended to stop the transit of u-boats from the Adriatic into the Mediterranean. This page was originally based on:

However, noted author Erwin Sieche ( has pointed out that these sources (now some 25+ years old) are out of date. He has been kind enough to supply the information below.

The following is a computer aided index of all raids to the Otranto barrage undertaken by AH naval forces. Most raids were in full moon and calm weather periods, the forces started in the evening from Sebenico or Cattaro and returned at noon the following day. There were few real contacts and only three or four major engagements occurred. These raids were done by the three cruisers of the improved type Admiral Spaun, the Helgoland, Novara and Saida and the six modern Tátra class destroyers which formed the I. Torpedoflotilla.

Click here for information on the Battle of the Otranto Straits, 15 May 1917.

The last attack on the Otranto barrage was planned by Horthy to be done with the three scout cruisers as spearhead and the whole operational battle fleet as back up to lure the Allied into a deadly trap if they chased the retreating cruisers. The whole complex story of this abortive sortie and the fatal sinking of the Szent István has been described by me in Warship International # 2/1991, SZENT ISTVÁN, Hungary's only and ill-fated dreadnought.


Official war log of the A.-H cruiser flotilla [k.u.k. Kreuzerflottille], IWM, London

Bilzer, Franz Ferdinand, Die Torpedoschiffe und Zerstoerer der k.u.k. Kriegsmarine 1867 ­ 1918, Graz 1990

Ferrante, Ezio, La grande Guerra in Adriatico, Roma 1987

Sokol, Hans Hugo, Oesterreich-Ungarns Seekrieg 1914 ­ 1918, reprint Graz 1973

Date A.-H. ships Notes
18./19. February 1915 cruiser Helgoland, destroyers Tátra, Balaton, Csepel, Orjen, Lika (I), Triglav (I),

torpedo boats 75T, 76T, 56T

no contacts

Greek cruiser Elli sighted

10./11. April 1915 cruiser Helgoland, destroyers Tátra, Balaton, Csepel, Orjen, Lika (I), Triglav (I)

no contacts
22./23. November 1915 cruisers Helgoland, Saida, destroyers Tátra, Balaton, Csepel, Orjen, Lika (I), Triglav (I)

Triglav (I) sinks It. Schooner Gallinara;

no contact with intercepting 4 Italian destroyers

5./6. December 1915 cruisers Helgoland, Saida, destroyers Tátra, Balaton, Csepel, Orjen, Lika (I), Triglav (I)

no contacts
30./31. December 1915 cruiser Helgoland, destroyers Tátra, Balaton, Csepel, Lika (I), Triglav (I)

French sub Monge sunk; Triglav (I), Lika (I) sink on minehits;

Helgoland is chased by Dartmouth and Quarto across the Adriatic and escapes

3/ April 1916 cruiser Novara, torpedoboat 79T, subs U 5, U 6 no contacts
31. May/1. June 1916 destroyers Orjen, Balaton, torpedo boats 77T, 79T, 81T Orjen sinks Brit. drifter Beneficient
4./5. July 1916 cruiser Helgoland, destroyers Orjen, Tátra, Balaton, torpedo boats 83F, 85F, 87F no contacts
8./9. July 1916 cruiser Novara, torpedo boats 73F, 54T, 87 F Brit. drifters Astrum Spei, Clavis sunk
30./31. July 1916 torpedo boats 83F, 85F, 87F, 88F, cruiser Novara backing no contacts
26./27. September 1916 destroyers Wildfang, Huszár, Warsdiner, Turul no contacts
4./5. Oktober 1916 torpedo boats 87F, 99M, 100M no contacts
28./29. November 1916 torpedo boats 82F, 86F, 89F, 90F, 91F no contacts
22./23. December 1916 destroyers Scharfschuetze, Reka, Dinara, Velebit no contacts
11./12. March 1917 destroyers Csepel, Orjen, Tátra, Balaton no contacts
21./22. April 1917 torpedo boats 84F, 92F, 94F, 100M Tb 100M sinkls It. Steamer Japigia
22./23. April 1917 destroyers Uskoke, Streiter, Warasdiner, Reka no contacts
25/ April 1917 destroyers Csepel, Tátra, Balaton no contacts
5./6. May 1917 destroyers Csepel, Tátra, Balaton no contacts
14./15. May 1917 cruisers Novara (Horthy in command), Helgoland, Saida; subs U 27, U 4, UC 25; independent destroyers Csepel, Balaton attack on the Otranto barrage, in which 14 trawlers were sunk; follows the battle of the Otranto Straits with Bristol, Dartmouth and Marsala; both groups returned damaged, the action remained indecisive
20./21. September 1917 destroyers Tátra, Balaton, Csepel, Orjen no contacts
18./19. Oktober 1917 cruiser Helgoland, destroyers Tátra, Csepel, Triglav (II), Lika (II) no contacts
12/ November 1917 cruiser Novara, torpedo boats 85F, 88F, 96F sortie interrupted due to bad weather
13./14. December 1917 destroyers Tátra, Balaton, Csepel short action with 4 allied destroyers and retired
22./23. April 1918 destroyers Csepel, Uzsok, Dukla, Lika (II), Triglav (II) intercepted by RN destroyers Jackal, Hornet, short action retired

Last Updated: 28 July, 1998

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