This brilliant and haunting unmasking of fierce warmongering, great spirits and perverted omnipotence fantasies [da gelungen mit dieser so brillanten wie eindringlichen Demaskierung glühender Kriegstreiberei, großer Geister und perverser Allmachtsfantasien] - Neue Kronenzeitung
Military boots trudge through the scenery, whistles ring and leather belts pound on the floor - percussive elements, also choreographed, alternate with church chorales in the dramatically increasing music of American Erling Wold : "Oh Haupt voll Blut und Wunden" is combined with the text by Peter Rosseger "The more a heart bleeds, the greater is its worth", drum rolls and marches are heard as well as lyrical passages full of sincerity and melancholy. [Es stapfen die Militärstiefel durch die Szenerie, schrillen die Trillerpfeifen und knallen die Ledergürtel auf den Boden - perkussive Elemente, die auch choreografiert werden, wechseln in der sich dramatisch steigernden Musik des US-Amerikaners Erling Wold mit Kirchenchorälen: Da wird "Oh Haupt voll Blut und Wunden" mit dem Text von Peter Rosseger zu "Je mehr ein Herz geblutet, je größer ist sein Wert", Trommelwirbel und Marschlieder sind ebenso zu hörn wie lyrische Passagen voll Innigkeit und Wehmut.] - Kleine Zeitung
At the beginning of June 1918, after four years of waiting, the SMS Szent István, the splendor and pride of the K.u.K. navy, was to leave in a small squadron to break through the defenses at the Strait of Otranto - in a war that was already lost. Since its conception in 1914, the 25,000 horsepower battleship was subject to one failure after another. Delays in the completion, continuing air raids - but especially the massive barrier of the strait near Otranto - imprisoned Szent István and her approximately 1,000-strong crew in the port of Pola.
On 9 June 1918, the order to sail, from the notorious Vice Admiral Miklós Horthy, was both liberation and doom for the ship and its crew. Szent István had had only a few practice runs, and her crew had spent its time servicing the brand-new machines, scrubbing the decks, and putting on fat - as fat as the ship's barnacles and algae.
The departure of Szent István on that June night was not a good start: the offensive was under strictest secrecy, so secret that no one had told the port to remove the submarine barricade - another delay. The wet coal gave off a visible plume of smoke, and the engines were exposed for the first time to tremendous loads. Spotted by an Italian torpedo boat, they soon met their end, one more pointless adventure in an already pointless war.