Does Austria Have a Navy?

Answers to your questions about the news.
Sept. 27 2000 12:33 PM

Does Austria Have a Navy?

In The Sound of Music, now enjoying a revival in Manhattan as the campy Sing-A-Long Sound of Music, Capt. Georg von Trapp, the severe widower whose heart is won by the madcap Maria, is retired from the Austrian navy. Since Austria is a landlocked country, why does it have a navy?

Advertisement

It doesn't anymore. But back before the captain became paterfamilias to a troop of singing moppets, he was a famous World War I submarine captain in the navy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The empire controlled the port city Trieste (now part of Italy) and the Slovenian and Croatian coasts. Today the Austrian military has two boats in the Danube.

So, how do you solve a problem like Maria?

Explainer wishes to thank Lt. Col. Ewald Hausdorf, assistant defense attaché at the Austrian Embassy, and reader Robert J. Zepfel for submitting the question.

  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Dec. 19 2014 4:15 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? Staff writer Lily Hay Newman shares what stories intrigued her at the magazine this week.