Mutiny at Cattaro 1918
‘We don’t want cinemas, we want peace.’ David Woodward introduces a
little-known First World War insurrection in the Austro-Hungarian
fleet, framing it within the context of that empire’s multicultural makeup and the
revolutionary spirit of the times.
The men then threw overboard a vaulting horse as a protest against too much physical training, and broke open the ship’s rifle racks. They began to help themselves to weapons, and men who would not help themselves were told that if they did not do so they would be locked up and given nothing to eat. The lead was taken by the Croats and Slovenes, a fact quickly noticed by the German and Hungarian seamen who also helped themselves, saying: ‘If the Turks (as they called their South Slav shipmates) are armed and we are not we will soon be in trouble.’ This, in fact, turned out to be the case.