The Austrian Kriegsmarine, officially known as the kaiserliche und königliche Kriegsmarine (Imperial and Royal War Navy), is the second largest and most developed branch of the Austrian armed forces. The Kriegsmarine comprises all of Austria's naval assets, including warships, military transports, and the emperor's personal ships. Officially founded in 1417 by Albert V, the Kriegsmarine replaced the previous system, reorganizing all naval assets of Austria. Each ship of his existing navy was organized into a specific Einsatzflottille (Flotilla), and sailors began to be trained on naval vessels to ensure that the emperor’s personal vessels were well trained in case of attack. Small hand cannons, which have been in development by the Landwehr for several years at this time, were also mounted on the sides of several Bimereiche ships.
Before the official founding of the Kriegsmarine, the navy of Austria was considered quite small. With only one major maritime port; Trieste, Austria did not have much need to army and facilitate a large navy. The first naval refurbishments began under Albert IV, who commissioned a modern shipyard in the city of Trieste to further trade among the Mediterranean Sea and to facilitate a proper fleet if necessary. Albert IV would also fund the design of a new type of ship for his own personal use. The ship resembled a small European merchant ship with two masts. The mainmast was designed as being lateen-rigged with a trapezoidal mainsail, but with the foremast carrying the conventional square course and square topsail. Displacement was to be under 100 tons. The archduke commissioned the first of these ships, which would become known as the “Bimereiche”, named for its two masts and a combination of the German word for ship and oak. Over the next few decades many of these ships would be commissioned, with the first one being christened the "Habsburg".