On 23 May 1915, between two and four hours after the Italian declaration of war reached the main Austro-Hungarian naval base at Pola,[Note 2] Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand and the rest of the fleet departed to bombard the Italian coast. Their focus was on the important naval base at Ancona, and later the coast of Montenegro. The bombardment of Montenegro was part of the larger Austro-Hungarian campaign against the Kingdoms of Montenegro and Serbia, who were members of the Entente, during the first half of 1915. The attack on Ancona was an immense success, and they were unopposed during the operation. The bombardment of the province and the surrounding area resulted in the destruction of an Italian steamer in the port of Ancona itself, and an Italian destroyer, Turbine, was severely damaged further south. On the shore, the infrastructure of the port of Ancona, as well as the surrounding towns, were severely damaged. The railroad yard in Ancona, as well as the port facilities in the town, were damaged or destroyed. The local shore batteries were also rendered inactive. Additional targets that were damaged or destroyed included wharves, warehouses, oil tanks, radio stations, and the local barracks. 63 Italians, both civilians and military personnel alike, were killed in the bombardment. By the time Italian ships from Taranto and Brindisi arrived on the scene, the Austro-Hungarians were safely back in Pola.
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