Naval Battle Near Lissa | Josef Püttner | 1870
The Battle of Lissa took place on 20 July 1866 in the Adriatic Sea near the Dalmatian island of Vis and was a significant victory for an Austrian Empire force over a numerically superior Italian force. It was the first major sea battle between ironclads and one of the last to involve deliberate ramming. The Italian navy fired roughly 1450 shots during the engagement, but failed to sink any Austrian ship while losing two ironclads.
One of the main reasons for this poor performance was internal rivalry between the Italian fleet commanders: for example, Italian Vice Admiral Albini, with his ships, did not engage the enemy during the battle. The engagement was made up of several small battles: the main battle was between seven Austrian and twelve Italian ironclads and showed the ability of Austrian commander Tegetthoff to divide his more numerous opponents and then destroy the isolated ironclads.
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