ersatz monarch (improved tegetthoff) 3d model:

Project Started: August 2008
Project Completed: In Progress (redrawing Pitzinger's plans)

The Ersatz Monarch (Improved Tegetthoff) class battleship was never built. It only existed on paper, and it is my intention to bring the ship to life by creating an unprecedented 3D model of the ship. Not only will the exterior of the beautiful battleship be created but the interior of the ship will be created as well.


The 3D model is based on the original design plans by Franz Pitzinger (Naval Constructor General). He designed the 24,500t battleship which was authorized by Parliament on May 28, 1914 as part of the 1914/15 naval budget. Because of the outbreak of World War One the keels of four super-Dreadnoughts were never laid down. The virtual keels of this amazing battleship were laid down in August 2008 and the project continues at this moment.

There were 2 possible names for this battleship class (4 ships total):

Many thanks to Erwin Sieche for his assistance in this project !Without him this could not be possible.





- The 35cm guns of the “Improved TEGETTHOFF Class Battleship” - by Erwin Sieche.

battleship Statistics:

Here is Erwin Sieche's Line Drawing from September, 1977.


Displacement: 24,500 tons (normal)
Dimensions: Length = 175m (574 ft), 172m LWL
Beam = 28.49m (93 ft 5-1/2 in)
Draught = 15.5m (50 ft 10 in)
Machinery: 4 shaft steam turbines with 31,000 shp
15 Yarrow WT Boilers (9 coal + 6 oil)
Speed: 21 knots
Range: 5,000 NM / 10 knots
Fuel: 1,425t coal + 1,035t oil
Main Armament: 10 x 350mm (13.8”) L/45 (2 x 3, 2 x 2)

14 x 150mm (5.9”) L/50 (14 x 1)

8 x 90mm (3.5”) L/45 QF (8 x 1)
12 x 90mm (3.5”) L/45 AA (12 x 1)
2 x 47mm (1.85”) L/44 QF (2 x 1)
2 x 8mm (0.32”) Machine Guns (2 x 1)
2 x 40mm (1.57”) L/18 boat guns (2 x 1)
Armour: Belt = 310-200mm (12.2” – 7.9”)
Decks = 72mm (2.83”)
Conning Tower = 320mm (12.6”)
Torpedo Tubes: 6 x 53cm (21”) (1 bow, 1 stern, 4 beam)
Searchlights: 6 x 1,100 mm
Crew: Approx. 1,050


The following excerpt is from “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare”, Volume 8, Page 854, Editor: Bernard Fitzsimons 

Austro-Hungarian battleship class ordered in July 1914, but never laid down. Four were to be built at a cost of 82 million crowns, to a design drawn up by the deputy naval constructor of the KuK Marine, Franz Pitzinger. It resembled the previous Viribus Unitis class, but the displacement of 24 500 tons (22-1/2 % more) gave a margin which allowed for better protection as well as heavier armament.



The underwater protection was a radical departure from previous Austro-Hungarian practise, and resembled the French system first introduced in the Henri IV and used in later French and Russian designs. A horizontal armor deck was carried inwards from the bottom edge of the belt, as far as the last of the three vertical bulkheads. A new 350mm (13.8-in)/45-cal gun was adopted to increase the weight of the broadside, but to maintain a balance between protection, stability and firepower, only ten guns were provided. The arrangement was unusual, with two triple turrets superimposed over two twins, enabling the metacentric height to be kept high, to avoid excessive heeling if damaged. 

The Ersatz Monarch was to have been the Schiff VIII and the Ersatz Wien the Schiff IX, while Ersatz Budapest and Ersatz Habsburg would have become Schiff X and Schiff XI. The ships would have been ordered from Stabilimento Tecnico, Trieste, Italy, and the navy yard at Pola, but contracts were never allocated. 

The KuK Marine followed the German custom of withholding the names of new ships until the launching day, and referred to them merely as replacements for old ships, hence Ersatz (replacement). Several sketch designs were produced, and the final appearance of the ships cannot be known with certainty, but they all had raised forecastles for better seaworthiness. Another noteworthy feature was the provision of lattice towers amidships to carry searchlight platforms, and the 150mm (5.9-in) guns were carried higher than before. 

The 350-mm (13.8-in) L/45 was designed by Skoda, and had a muzzle velocity of  820 m/sec (2690 ft/sec). It weighed 74 tonnes and fired a 635-kg (1400 lb) shell about 31 500 m (34 450 yards). The guns for Schiff VIII had been ordered from Skoda's factory at Polsen before the outbreak of the war, but no further orders were placed. Four guns were delivered to the army in 1916-18 for use on the Italian front and the remainder were seized by the French as war loot. By the end of 1917 all four vessels had been cancelled.

The following information is courtesy of Erwin Sieche a renowned Austro-Hungarian Historian

Funds for the construction of the four dreadnoughts of the Tegetthoff-class had hardly been approved when the Skodawerke A.G. made a first effort to get the planning for the next generation of super dreadnoughts started. They submitted plans of 13.5in (34.5 cm) cal 45 guns in triple and superimposed twin turrets on April 18, 1911. The Naval Technical Committee submitted its first ideas about 22,000t, 23,400t, and 24,500t battleships in December 1911. As a consequence navy intern discussions started on the guns caliber, which ended with the decision to give preference to the 13.78in (35 cm) guns. Reason was that a standard shell could have been developed with the Imperial German Navy, which had selected this caliber for its new battle-cruisers of the Mackensen class. Moving in this direction, the Naval Technical Committee delivered the first detailed construction studies for a 24,500t battleship with ten 35cm cal 45, eighteen 15cm cal 50, and twenty two 9cm cal 45 guns in January 1913.

Giving in to pressure from the heir to the throne, the CinC, Marinekommandant Admiral Rudolf Count Montecuccoli retired at age 76 on February 16, 1913. His successor became the 62 year old Vice Admiral Anton Haus. He succeeded in getting another special navy credit approved on May 28, 1914. An amount of 426.8 million kronen (2004 EUR$ 1.8 billion US$ 1.6 billion) was allocated within the 1914-1918 budgets. It was intended to build four dreadnoughts (Ersatz Monarch class respectively improved Tegetthoff class); three Scout cruisers (Ersatz Zenta); and six destroyers (Tatra, 2nd batch).

The planning phase for the improved Tegetthoff type (generally called Ersatz Monarch) came to an end by deciding for the 24,500t variant of July 1914, armed with ten 35 cm cal 45, and fourteen 15 cm cal 50 guns due to lack of space in double level casemates. With great certainty, it can be assumed that these battleships would have been built according to this design. Ship names, like Laudon or Hunyadi, are nothing but speculation.

Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his spouse, the Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, and Austria ultimatum to Serbia, the mechanism of European alliances prevented a localization of the Austro-Serbian conflict. A chain reaction of declarations of war ended in a world war. According to the Austrian mobilization plans, all floatable ships under construction were to be brought to Pola for completion of construction. No new construction was to be started. Since the majority of ship yard workers were drafted into the army, the Navy stated its willingness in a meeting of the Austro-Hungarian Minister Council on common agendas on February 3, 1915 not to make use of the special credit, but to freeze it till the end of war. A new, revised fleet program would then be submitted.

viribus unitis - ersatz monarch comparison

Comparison between Poppers design of the 21,500-t-Tegetthoff type and Pitzingers design of the 24,500-t-improved Tegetthoff type (also dubbed Ersatz Monarch class) shows that Pitzinger –who faced heavy internal criticism– had to squeeze a maximum of offensive power into the smallest possible displacement. Like his predecessor he had to accept dimension limits and save weight wherever possible. He retained the projecting Szent István type searchlight platforms. But the armour belt did not follow the contemporary rule “armour belt thickness = main gun calibre”. The “armoured mine-bottom” (25+25 mm) introduced by Popper was omitted, the inner double bottom was reduced to only 10 mm, the thickness of the outer hull was increased from 16 to 20 mm.

As a small consequence of the German underwater-explosion tests of 1906 –and most probably the Austrian ones of 1914– he placed the 18+18 mm longitudinal torpedo-bulkhead 2.5 m more behind the “wing-passage”. These tests showed that a maximum room depth of at least 4 m was necessary to buffer the expanding detonation gases. After 1918 Popper had to sustain much criticism because two of the battleships he had designed, had sunk after a short time because the “wing-passage” measured only 1 m and therefore was too narrow.