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SMS Erzherzog Ferdinand Max was the lead ship of the Erzherzog Ferdinand Max class of broadside ironclads built for the Austrian Navy in the 1860s. She was built by the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino, with her keel laying in October 1863, launching in May 1865, and commissioning in June 1866 at the outbreak of the Third Italian War of Independence and the Austro-Prussian War, fought concurrently. The ship was armed with a main battery of sixteen 48-pounder guns, though the rifled guns originally intended, which had been ordered from Prussia, had to be replaced with old smoothbore guns until after the conflicts ended.
Stationed in the Adriatic Sea, Erzherzog Ferdinand Max served as the flagship of the Austrian fleet under Rear Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff. She saw action at the Battle of Lissa in July 1866, where she rammed and sank the Italian ironclad Re d'Italia. Slightly damaged in the collision, Erzherzog Ferdinand Max had her bow repaired in Malta after the war. She remained in the Austro-Hungarian fleet for the next twenty years, but severely reduced naval budgets owing to Hungarian disinterest in naval matters led to an uneventful career. She was rearmed with newer guns in 1874 and again in 1882. Stricken from the naval register in May 1886, Erzherzog Ferdinand Max was employed as a tender to the gunnery training school from 1889 to 1908. She remained in the inventory until 1916 when she was broken up for scrap.
Depicts four seamen turn the steering wheel in front of the admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff.
ADMIRAL WILHELM VON TEGETTHOFF
Depicts the military ship SMS Erzherzog Ferdinand Max. The inscription is around. Denomination below.
PANZERFREGATTE S.M.S. ERZHERZOG FERDINAND MAX