SMS Tiger (1887)

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SMS Tiger was a so-called "torpedo ram cruiser" (Torpedo-Rammkreuzer of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. An enlarged and improved version of Panther and Leopard she was part of a program to build up Austria-Hungary's feet of torpedo craft in the 1880s. In 1906 she was converted to an admiralty yacht and renamed SMS Lacroma.

As envisaged by the Austro-Hungarian Navy Commander (Marinekommandant), Vice Admiral Maximilian Daublebsky von Sterneck, Tiger would have a reinforced bow for ramming as well as torpedoes for attacking larger warships. She also would be small and fast enough to undertake patrol and reconnaissance duties. Tiger's design encompassed three weapons that fascinated naval theorists of the day--the ram, the torpedo, and the gun.

Built by Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino at San Rocco, Tiger was launched on 28 June 1887. A steel-hulled vessel of 1,657 tons, she measured 249 feet (76 m) five inches (127 mm) in length with a beam of 34 feet (10 m) nine inches (229 mm) and a draft of 15 feet (4.6 m) five inches (127 mm) . Propulsion was supplied by two compound steam engines with four double-ended boilers, producing 6,200 horsepower (4,600 kW) for a speed of 19.25 knots (35.65 km/h). Tiger had a lower profile but the same pronounced ram bow as Panther and Leopard The crew comprised 188 officers and men.

Tiger's armament consisted of four 12 cm Krupp guns on hull sponsons, six 4.7 cm quick-firing guns, four 4.7 cm revolver cannon and four 14-inch (360 mm) torpedo tubes. Like Panther and Leopard, Tiger was employed at first as leader of a division of torpedo boats. Later, she alternated between service on various stations, training cruises, and flag-showing visits.

Tiger was converted into an admiralty yacht in 1905-06 with her armament reduced to four 4.7 cm Skoda guns and four 4.7 cm Hotchkiss guns. The hull sponsons were removed with their associated guns. On 16th February 1909 the German gun-boat 'Tiger' is recorded visiting Lahadatu, British North Borneo, Kapiten Ackerman in command, the Prince of Hesse was a Midshipman on board. She stayed for two days and left for Manila on 19th February.(British North Borneo Herald 1909 March 16th p63)≥ She was renamed Lacroma in 1906.

In 1915 Lacroma was completely disarmed and handed over to the new Yugoslav Navy in 1919. She was ceded to Italy in 1920 and scrapped there.


  • Jane's Fighting Ships 1914.
  • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921.

External links

fr:SMS Tiger hu:SMS Lacroma pl:SMS Tiger (1887)