The Austro-Hungarian Navy wore a uniform very similar to most other
European navies of the period. In Winter and cold climates a dark blue
wool uniform was worn (see right), while in summer months and hot climates a
similar lightweight white uniform was worn.
Highly Recommended External Link-
Uniform- The dark blue (or white)
uniform had a lighter blue naval collar with three white stripes around the
edge worn with a black neckerchief. A white and blue striped sleeveless vest was worn under the uniform.
Trousers were matching dark blue (or white).
In colder weather a blue
double breasted naval jacket was worn over the uniforms with five brass
buttons on either side.
Headdress- for other ranks consisted of a
dark blue (or white) peakless naval cap with a black hatband and the name of the ship
in gold letters (see below right). Above the hatband was an black enamelled
badge surmounted with a brass Hapsburg crown. The badge bore the
imperial and royal monogram (FJI for "Franz Josef I.") in
stylised gold letters. From 1907 onwards an anchor was added to the
badge (see below right).
Footwear- On board ship trousers were
worn loose over black leather boots but for onshore duties reddish brown
waterproof canvas gaiters were
worn. The gaiters fastened on the outer edge with concealed straps.
NCO Rank Insignia- was shown in the from
of one to three yellow metallic lace chevrons chevrons (or blue on the white
uniform) on the lower left sleeve and also in the form of one to three
six-pointed white stars in the rear corners of the collar.
Specialist Insignia- was worn in the form
of yellow metallic (or blue) embroidered badges on the upper left arm.
Equipment- For action on land Austro-Hungarian sailors
wore black leather equipment with two large box ammunition pouches won on
either side of a brass belt buckle bearing the Hapsburg double headed eagle.
Army issue leather backpacks with a hide flap, water bottles and bread bags were
Weapons- For action on land
Austro-Hungarian sailors were mainly armed with the Mannlicher 1895 rifle (or possibly the older Mannlicher
Figure 1 is based on a
photograph of a Naval Rating ("Matrose") in landing gear from the "SMS
Zenta" taken in China shortly after the Boxer Rebellion 1900-01. He
wears the white summer uniform, with black leather equipment and Mannlicher
rifle as described above.
Figure 2 is based on a
photograph of a Naval NCO in landing gear from the "SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth" taken
shortly before the First World War. He also wears the white summer uniform as
described above. Note the removable white neckshade and also the rank stars in
the corners of the collar.
Figure 3 is based on a
photograph of a Naval Gunner in landing gear taken in China shortly after the Boxer Rebellion. He wears the blue winter uniform as described above. Note the tallies
from his hatband tailing down the back. He carries full marching equipment
including a leather backpack with hide cover. Although not visible in the photograph upon which
this illustration is based, he would presumably have worn gunner's insignia in
yellow metallic thread on the upper left arm.
Figure 4 is based on a
photograph of a Naval NCO in landing gear taken in Peking in 1908. He
also wears the blue winter uniform as described above. Note the rank chevrons in yellow metallic lace on
the lower left arm. Like other figures in the original photograph upon which
this illustration is based he carries some kind of dark coloured sash over his
right shoulder. This may have been an item of equipment or possibly a red sash
to show he is working on police duties. He is armed with a pistol in a belt
holster with a lanyard around the neck and that most
naval of edged weapons, the cutlass (a curved short sword for close hand to hand
Figure 5 is based on a
photograph of a Naval Medic in landing gear taken in China shortly after the Boxer Rebellion. He also wears the blue winter uniform as described above. Note the red
cross armband with Germanic style expanded ends to the cross. As well as full
marching order equipment he also carries extra canvas pouches often used to
carry extra ammunition but possibly in this case to carry medical supplies.