|Name SMS Tiger|
Completed March 1888
Type Torpedo cruiser
Launched 26 June 1887
Weight 1,657 tons
|Laid down 5 October 1886|
Renamed Lacroma, 1906
Construction started 5 October 1886
Length 76 m
|Fate Broken up in Italy, 1920|
Builder Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino
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 fleet of torpedo craft in the 1880s. In 1906 she was converted to an admiralty yacht and renamed SMS Lacroma.
The Austro-Hungarian Navy Commander (Marinekommandant), Vice Admiral Maximilian Daublebsky von Sterneck, outlined in a memorandum of 8 September 1884 the requirements for a torpedo ram cruiser. Such a vessel should have a reinforced bow for ramming as well as torpedoes for attacks on larger warships. The cruisers would also be small and fast enough to undertake patrol and reconnaissance duties. The first two ships of Sterneck's program, the Panther class, provided the basis for a third ship, Tiger, which was a slightly enlarged version of the earlier ships.
Tiger was 74.16 meters (243 ft 4 in) long at the waterline and 76.02 m (249 ft 5 in) long overall. She had a beam of 10.55 m (34 ft 7 in) and a draft of 4.3 m (14 ft 1 in) on a displacement of 1,657 to 1,680 t (1,631 to 1,653 long tons; 1,827 to 1,852 short tons). Her crew numbered 188 officers and men, though this later decreased to 177. The ship's propulsion system consisted of a pair of two-cylinder compound steam engines. The engines were rated at 5,700 indicated horsepower (4,300 kW) for a top speed of 18.56 knots (34.37 km/h; 21.36 mph).
Tiger was armed with four 12-centimeter (4.7 in) 35-caliber (cal.) guns manufactured by Krupp in single mounts, which were sponsoned, two abreast of the funnels and the other two aft of the main mast. These were supported by a battery of six 47 mm (1.9 in) quick-firing guns and four 47 mm revolver cannon. They were also armed with four 35 cm (350 mm) torpedo tubes. The torpedo tubes were located singly, in the bow, stern, and at either beam. In 1906, when Tiger was converted into a yacht, she was rearmed with just the six 47 mm QF guns.
The keel for Tiger was laid down at the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino shipyard in Trieste on 5 October 1886. She was launched on 28 June 1887 and after completing fitting-out work, was commissioned into March 1888. The ship took part in the second half of the annual fleet maneuvers in 1889 held off the coast of Dalmatia. The maneuvers tested new tactical developments, including an abandonment of the line ahead formation in favor of an en echelon formation in groups of four vessels. The same pattern took place in the 1892 maneuvers, with Tiger leading a flotilla of torpedo craft consisting of the torpedo vessels Trabant and Planet, the torpedo depot ship Pelikan, and twelve torpedo boats during the second phase of the exercises.
Tiger took part in an international naval demonstration off Crete in 1897 during a period of tension between Greece and the Ottoman Empire that culminated in the Greco-Turkish War. The Austro-Hungarian contingent, which also included ironclad Kronprinzessin Erzherzogin Stephanie, the armored cruiser Kaiserin und Königin Maria Theresia, the torpedo cruisers Leopard and Sebenico, three destroyers, and eight torpedo boats, was the third largest squadron to take part in the demonstration, after the British and Italian fleets. Austria-Hungary, displeased with the settlement that left Crete with a Greek ruler but nominally under Turkish control, withdrew its ships in March 1898, before the other members of the international fleet.
Tiger was converted into an admiralty yacht in 1905–1906 and was renamed Lacroma. Her armament reduced to six 47 mm QF guns and the sponsons for her main battery were removed. The ship saw no significant service during World War I. In 1915, Lacroma was completely disarmed and thereafter used as a barracks ship for German U-boat crews in Pola starting in 1916. After Austria-Hungary's defeat in November 1918, was handed over to the new Royal Yugoslav Navy in 1918. In the postwar division of war prizes, the ship was awarded to Italy, where she was broken up in 1920.