SMS Zenta

SMS Zenta

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SMS Zenta

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SMS Zenta was a small light cruiser built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy, lead ship of her class, named after the town of Senta. and were her sister ships. Zenta was originally conceived for foreign cruise deployment, primarily to show the flag abroad despite the Austro-Hungarian empire having no great colonial ambitions.

Service history

Cruise to the Far East

Built during 1898-1899 she left Pola in November 1899 for a cruise to Asia, calling at Port Said, Suez, Aden, and Colombo. She reached Singapore in January 1900 where she stayed for 14 days, continuing her voyage to Hong Kong, Macau, and onwards to Shanghai. Thereafter she went to Japan, visiting Nagasaki, Kagoshima, and Sasebo.

Boxer Rebellion

News reached Austria-Hungary that the Boxer Rebellion in China was fast getting worse. Zenta was recalled to assist in the evacuation of international embassy staff as well as the Austro-Hungarian delegation. Seventy-five members of her crew were attached to the relief expedition led by Admiral Seymour, which headed for Tientsin.

Zenta was joined by the armoured cruiser , and 160 sailors from both ships (and two landed guns) assisted German marines in the assaults on the Taku forts. Zenta had her commanding officer, Kapitän von Thomann, killed in the action.

South American cruise

She returned home in December 1901 and was placed in reserve until October 1902 when she was sent on another foreign tour to Cape Town. From there she sailed for South America, to Montevideo...
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