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Franz Pitzinger

Franz Pitzinger - Naval Constructor General

Pitzinger grave photo

Photo of Franz Pitzinger's grave


Franz Pitzinger was born in Enzersdorf, Lower Austria on May 22nd 1858. He studied machinery engineering at the then Technical Highschool (today Technical University) Vienna and started his professional career as a design engineer with »Clayton & Shuttleworth.

He joined the Austrian Navy as provisional shipbuilding apprentice in March 1st of 1886. On April 12th of 1888 his appointment became definitive and on March 1st the same year he was promoted to the rank of a shipbuilding-engineer 3rd class. In 1898 he was transferred to the A-H naval academy at Fiume (today Rijeka) teaching ship- and machinery construction. He returned to the naval arsenal at Pola in 1901 and was responsible for battleship construction. Shortly later he was promoted to Vice-director of the Naval Arsenal. 

In 1907 he was appointed to supervising director of naval construction for the Radetzky-class battleships under construction at the Stabilimento Technico Triestino. In 1908 he became director of naval construction at the naval arsenal Pola. Promoted to head the Naval Technical Committee's 1. Division (naval construction) at Pola on June 11th 1910 followed by his appointment to Supreme Naval Constructor (design engineer) on November 1st of the same year. On November 1st 1914 he was promoted Naval Constructor General.

He designed the 24,500-t-battleships of the improved Tegetthoff class which had been authorized by Parliament on May 28 of 1914 as part of the 1914/15 naval budget. Because of the outbreak of World War One the keels of these four super-Dreadnoughts were never laid down.

The head of the Naval Technical Committee, Vice-admiral Gottfried Meyern von Hohenberg, judged rather critically about Pitzinger in 1917: “…over prudent hesitation from careful consideration results in a lack of self-reliance [.] fine knowledge and exemplary zeal is offset by temporary, nearly jealous leading the strings of younger staff's independent aspirations.”

Pitzinger died at Hofstetten where he had lived after retirement on October 10th, 1933 and is buried at the nearby local cemetery of Hofstetten.

- Erwin Sieche