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* 2. 7. 1892, Šmarje near Jelše, Slovenia
† 8. 5. 1983, Baošići, Montenegro

inventor (rocket propulsion)

In 1911, the nineteen-year old Š. dedicated his life to the navy, finishing his studies at the naval school in Pula, fighting in the Balkan Wars and at the disintegration of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in 1918, holding the rank of warship lieutenant. He then entered the Yugoslav navy and in 1922 settled in Baošići (Montenegro). He spent some time in naval aviation, moved on to the submarine service and became commander of the first Yugoslav submarine. He retired in 1938 with the rank of warship captain.
In addition to his career in the navy, Š. was active in a great many fields of study: he was an inventor, publicist, painter, caricaturist, woodcut artist, made ship models and collected antiques and old documents. His most significant inventions include a naval mine deactivator, a rescue device for submarines and an engine noise suppressor.
Between 1923-25 he dedicated his endeavours to the field of rocket propulsion. In late 1923 he experimented with rocket-powered torpedoes, and in 1924 with airboats. On 24th March of that same year he was among the first in the world to successfully launch a rocket-powered model aircraft and shortly after launched an experimental »airtorpedo« - in effect, a rocket.
In 1924 he started to consider the construction of a rocket engine propelled by liquid fuel, and this places his experiments in parallel with those of the American rocket pioneer, R. H. Goddard. The American was supported by the state and in particular with military funding, which allowed him to realise his ambitious project whereas Š. had to interrupt his work due to the lack of money. At the time, he referred to the rocket engine as the »engine of the future« which would, in a relatively short time, allow humans to travel to other planets.

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