World War I in the Adriatic was a very distinctive campaign and one that is today relatively little known in the English-speaking world. In the first place, the fact that Austria was the core of one of Europe’s great powers is largely unknown at a time when history enrollments are declining and required history courses, especially for “Western” or “European” powers, have been cut to the bone. The fact that Austria, or more correctly Austria-Hungary or the Habsburg Monarchy, actually had a navy can still evoke surprise and even amusement with sarcastic remarks about motorboats on an alpine lake. This is of course due to the fact that few people realize that Austria-Hungary before 1918 had an extensive coastline and controlled much of the eastern shores of the Adriatic. Moreover, the KuK Kriegsmarine was far from a “bathtub navy”. To be sure, it was not in the same league with the British or German navies. But the very fact that Austria was developing a blue water navy had been a revolutionary factor in the Mediterranean, and during the course of the war the KuK Kriegsmarine was to give a good account of itself.
This does not mean that the Allies could not have done great