SMS Novara | Lissa 1866 | Ferdinand Maximilian

The Naval Battle of Lissa 1866

Encounter between the Austrian & Italian Fleets
in the Adriatic Sea, off the Island of Lissa (Viz) 20 July 1866

A Collection of Images
compiled by Michael Organ

The following is a collection of images relating to the Battle of Lissa which took place between the Austrian and Italian naval fleets on 20 July 1866. See also Battle of Lissa, 1866 - Bibliography for additional information on this fateful encounter in the Adriatic between the Austrian and Italian fleets.

1. Images of the Battle


  1. Eduard Nezbeda, 'Die Seeschlacht von Lissa, 1866'. oil painting, 1911, private collection, Vienna. Portrayal of the Austrian triple-decker wooden battleship Kaiser (centre of picture) ramming the Italian ironclad Re di Portogallo. The Kaiser suffered substantial damage in the engagement, and the results can be seen in the post-battle photographs reproduced below. Reproduced in A.E. Sokol, Seemacht Österreich. Die Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine 1382-1918 {Austrian Seapower: The Imperial and Royal Navy 1382-1918}, F. Molden, Wien, 1972.

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  2. 'The Naval Battle between the Austrian and Italian Fleets, in the Adriatic', Harper's Weekly, New York, 1 September 1866, 549 (Reprinted 1898). Steel engraving print, showing the Austrian triple-decker wooden battleship Kaiser engaged in close gunfire with Italian ironclad Re di Portogallo in the middle ground, and to the right the masts of the sinking Re d'Italia can be seen.

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  3. F. Kollarz, 'Battle of Lissa', coloured lithograph, n.d. Copy in Institute of Arts and Science, Hazu, Split.

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  4. C. Frederik Sorenson, 'Battle of Lissa'. Painting, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna. Shows the Re d'Italia sinking after being rammed by Tegetthoff's flagship, the Ferdinand Max. Reproduced in Sweetman, p.290.

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  5. [Lissa, 1866], engraving, n.d., 10.5 x 13 inches. Shows the Re d'Italia sinking after being rammed by Tegetthoff's flagship, the Ferdinand Max. The damaged Austrian triple-decker Kaiser is seen in the central foreground.

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  6. [Battle of Lissa 1866]. Contemporary painting, showing the badly damaged and burning Austrian triple-decker Kaiser in the right of picture, and the Re d'Italia in the centre being rammed by Tegetthoff's ironclad Ferdinand Max. On the left is the burning Italian ironclad Palestro. Reproduced in J.D. Harbron, 'Franz Josef's Forgotten U-Boat Captains', History Today, June 1996, 46(6), 54.

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  7. [Sinking of the Re D'Italia]. Contemporary lithograph, showing the sinking of the Italian flagship Re d'Italia, with the Austrian Kaiser to right of picture, and in the foreground a group of survivors attempt to board rescue boats. Reproduced in R. Humble (ed.), Naval Warfare: An Illustrated History, Orbis, London, 1987; Michael Sanderson, 'Lissa, 20 July 1866', in Sea Battles. A Reference Guide, David & Charles, London, 1975, 111; and P. Padfield, Guns at Sea, Hugh Evelyn, London; St Martin's Press, New York, 1974 .

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  8. [The Re D'Italia begins to roll over as Max von Stannic backs the Erzherzog Ferdinand Max out of the hole he has torn in the side of the Italian ship]. Original painting. Reproduced in A.E. Sokol, The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy, United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, 1968, 49.

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  9. Alex Kirchner, 'The Battle of Lissa 1866'. Original painting. Reproduced in A.E. Sokol, The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy, United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, 1968, 36. View of survivors from the sunken Re d'Italia waving for assistance as the Austrian frigate Ferdinand Max approaches under fire.

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  10. [The Battle of Lissa]. Painting / print showing a panorama of the battle, with the Re d'Italia sinking in the left middle foreground and the Affondatore steaming by on the left. Reproduced in Modern Italy - Images and History of a National Identity, Electa, 1982, vol.1, p.17.

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  11. [The Battle of Lissa]. Painting / print showing a panorama of the battle.

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  12. [The Battle of Lissa]. Contemporary French print showing the Italian vessel Palestro blowing up, as survivors of the Re d'Italia cling to flotsam and jetsam in the water. Reproduced in Modern Italy - Images and History of a National Identity, Electa, 1982, vol.1, p.530.

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  13. 'The Re d'Italia sinking after being rammed by Tegetthoff's flagship the Ferdinand Max'. Painting. Reproduced in H.W. Wilson, Battleships in Action, 1926, vol.1, p.52.

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    13. Helgoland 1864 | The k.u.k. Flotte | Lissa 1866.


  14. Alex Kirchner, 'The Battle of Lissa', section of triptych painting. Reproduced in the Osterreich Illustrie Zeitung, Vienna, circa 1908. Three views are given, with the Battle of Helgoland 1864 on the left, the k.u.k. Fleet in the middle, and the Battle of Lissa 1866 on the right.

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  15. [Admiral Tegetthoff at the helm of Erzherzog Ferdinand Max]. Contemporary engraving. Reproduced in John Guttman, 'Wilhelm von Tegetthoff' (editorial), Military History, February 1997, p.6.

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  16. Anton Romako, 'Tegetthoff in der Seeschlacht von Lissa' [Tegetthoff at the naval battle of Lissa], Osterreich Galerie, Wien. Contemporary painting / cartoon. Reproduced in A.E. Sokol, Seemacht Österreich. Die Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine 1382-1918 {Austrian Seapower: The Imperial and Royal Navy 1382-1918}, F. Molden, Wien, 1972.

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  17. Battle of Lissa 1866, chromolithograph postcard, 7 x 11 cm, J.D. Steifel's Anthrasol-Seifen, Offenbach am Main, Germany, 1895.

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  18. The Italian stream frigate Prince Umberto rescuing sailors from the wreck of the Re d'Italia.

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    2. The Aftermath

    16a. The triple-decker Kaiser after the battle of Lissa.


    16b. The triple-decker Kaiser after the battle of Lissa.


    16c. The triple-decker Kaiser after the battle of Lissa.


  19. 'The wooden ship-of-line Kaiser after the battle of Lissa'. Contemporary photographs. Show damage to the vessel in the form of a lost foremast and bowsprit. The bottom photograph was reproduced in A.E. Sokol, The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy, United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, 1968, p.50. It is possible this photograph was taken whilst the vessel was at anchor off Lissa immediately after the battle.

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  20. [The Italian fleet at Ancona following the battle at Lissa]. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Modern Italy - Images and History of a National Identity, Electa, 1982, vol.1, p.17; and Lamberto Vitali, Il Risorgimento nella fotografia {The Risorgimento in Photographs}, Giulio Einaudi editore, Torino, 1979, p.222.

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  21. Achille Rastelli, 'La Flotta Italiana Dopo Lissa: Un Inedito Documento Fotografico' {The Italian fleet after the battle of Lissa: an unpublished photograph}, Rivista Marittima, 1981, 114(10), 57-72. Contemporary photograph.

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  22. 'The Austrian ironclad Erzherzog Ferdinand Max, after the battle of Lissa'. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Lamberto Vitali, Il Risorgimento nella fotografia {The Risorgimento in Photographs}, Giulio Einaudi editore, Torino, 1979, p.221.

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  23. 'The Italian Iron-Clad Ram Affondatore Foundering in the Harbour of Ancona', Illustrated London News, 25 August 1866, 192. Engraving. View of the Affondatore with the Italian fleet in the background.

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  24. The "S.M.S. Bellona" - Launched in Pola in 1858 as the "Kaiser", it took part in the battle of Lissa / Vis. From 1902, and after refitting, it became the "Bellona", with a complement of 904 and top speed of 12 knots.

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    3. Prelude - Images of the Fleets


  25. 'Austrian Fleet at Pola', end 1866 / early 1867. Contemporary photograph. Showing the frigate Schwarzenberg in centre of picture, the Erzherzog Ferdinand Max to the left, at the Kaiser at anchor in the left background. Reproduced in Franz Hubman, The Habsburg Empire. The world of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in original photographs 1840-1916, Routledge & Kegan-Paul, London, 1972, p.70. This image is also discussed in detailed within Augusto DeToro, 'La Squadra Austriaca Prima e Dopo Lissa: Interessanti Elementi da due Immagini Fotografiche' {The Austrian squadron before and after the battle of Lissa: some interesting elements from two photographs}, Rivista Marittima, 1987, 120(8-9), 83-98.

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  26. The Austrian squadron. Contemporary engraving circa 1865.

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  27. 'L'Affondatore' circa 1866. Contemporary photograph. From the Brigantino web site.

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  28. 'Affondatore'. Contemporary print. Reproduced in A.E. Sokol, The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy, United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, 1968, p.39.

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  29. 'L'Affondatore' circa 1866. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Lamberto Vitali, Il Risorgimento nella fotografia {The Risorgimento in Photographs},

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  30. 'The War: The Italian Fleet at Ancona', Illustrated London News, 21 July 1866, p.53. Engraving. Panoramic view of the Italian fleet at anchor off Ancona prior to the Lissa campaign.

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  31. 'The Austrian squadron at Pola, 20-26 May 1866'. Contemporary photograph, showing vessels such as the Habsburg, Erzherzog Freidrich, and Adria. Reproduced and discussed in detail within Augusto DeToro, 'La Squadra Austriaca Prima e Dopo Lissa: Interessanti Elementi da due Immagini Fotografiche' {The Austrian squadron before and after the battle of Lissa: some interesting elements from two photographs}, Rivista Marittima, 1987, 120(8-9), 86-7.

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  32. 'The Wall and Erzherzog Ferdinand Max at Pola, 24 June - 18 July 1866'. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in DeToro, p.88.

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  33. 'The Radetzky, Wall, Drache and Kaiser at Pola, 23 July - 4 August 1866'. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in DeToro, p.89.

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  34. 'La pirofregata corazzata Re d'Italia' (The Italian Ironclad Frigate Re d'Italia), circa 1865. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Lamberto Vitali, Il Risorgimento nella fotografia {The Risorgimento in Photographs}, Giulio Einaudi editore, Torino, 1979, p.217. For further images see the Re d'Italia web page.

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    4. People


  35. 'Admiral Persano', circa 1860. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Lamberto Vitali, Il Risorgimento nella fotografia {The Risorgimento in Photographs}, Giulio Einaudi editore, Torino, 1979, p.216.

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  36. 'Admiral Tegetthoff' circa 1866. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Lamberto Vitali, Il Risorgimento nella fotografia {The Risorgimento in Photographs}, Giulio Einaudi editore, Torino, 1979, p.220.

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  37. 'Rear Admiral Tegetthoff on his flagship Schwarzenberg after the battle of Heligoland, 1864'. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Franz Hubman, The Habsburg Empire. The world of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in original photographs 1840-1916, Routledge & Kegan-Paul, London, 1972, p.66. Photo: C. Jounod, Prussian Court Photographer.

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  38. 'Tegetthoff and crew after the battle of Heligoland, 1864'. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Franz Hubman, The Habsburg Empire. The world of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in original photographs 1840-1916, Routledge & Kegan-Paul, London, 1972, p.67.

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  39. 'Admiral Tegetthoff'. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in Sweetman.

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  40. 'Admiral Tegetthoff'. Engraving, Illustrated London News, 8 September 1866, p.240.

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  41. 'Admiral Tegetthoff'. Contemporary photograph.

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  42. Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, lithograph by J. Kriehuber, 1866.

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  43. 'SMS Novara'. Contemporary photograph. Reproduced in A.E. Sokol, 1972.

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  44. Monument to the Dead in the Battle of Lissa, 1866. Island of Lissa.

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  45. Italian Commander Fra di Bruno.

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Site last updated: 17 October 2005. Return to Home Page of Michael Organ.

SMS Novara | Lissa 1866 | Ferdinand Maximilian