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Tragic sinking of the RMS Lusitania… May 7, 1915… 1,119 Dead…
Boat Deck on RMS Lusitania...

Tragic sinking of the RMS Lusitania… May 7, 1915… 1,119 Dead…

On May 7 the Cunard Liner's RMS Lusitania was sunk by a submarine off Kinsale Head on the south coast of Ireland; about 1200 persons were reported lost. Of 188 Americans on board 102 were lost. While the Lusitania’s cargo included large quantities of war munitions, it is denied by British authorities that the vessel was armed ...

On May 7 the Cunard Liner’s RMS Lusitania was sunk by a submarine off Kinsale Head on the south coast of Ireland; about 1200 persons were reported lost. Of 188 Americans on board 102 were lost. While the Lusitania’s cargo included large quantities of war munitions, it is denied by British authorities that the vessel was armed …

One thousand one hundred nineteen of the 1,924 aboard died. The dead included 114 Americans.

First Class Passengers...

First Class Passengers…

Passengers aboard the doomed ship...

Passengers aboard the doomed ship…

Passengers aboard the RMS Lusitania.

Passengers aboard the RMS Lusitania.

  • Most passengers never had a chance.
  • Within 18 minutes the giant ship slipped beneath the sea.
RMS Lusitania docked at Pier 54 in New York on maiden voyage. Sept 13, 1907...

RMS Lusitania docked at Pier 54 in New York on maiden voyage. Sept 13, 1907…

First Class Lounge

First Class Lounge

  • The Lusitania made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in September 1907.
Boat Deck - Aft - 2nd Class Passengers - deck games.

Boat Deck – Aft – 2nd Class Passengers – deck games.

  • Construction had begun in 1903 with the goal of building the fastest liner afloat.
First Class Menu - Dinner

First Class Menu – Dinner

  • Her engines produced 68,000-horse power and pushed the giant through the water at an average speed over 25 knots.
TOPDECK2

Boat Deck “A”… First Class.

Promenade Deck "B" Second Class

Promenade Deck “B” … Second Class

Deck "A" - Aft - Second Class - Note sign to the left ... stating no 2nd Class passengers beyond this point.

Deck “A” – Aft – Second Class – Note sign to the left … stating no 2nd Class passengers beyond this point.

  • Dubbed the “Greyhound of the Seas” she soon captured the Blue Ribbon for the fastest Atlantic crossing.

CLH030The British Admiralty had secretly subsidized her construction and she was built to Admiralty specifications with the understanding that at the outbreak of war the ship would be consigned to government service.

As war clouds gathered in 1913, the Lusitania quietly entered dry dock in Liverpool and was fitted for war service.

This included the installation of ammunition magazines and gun mounts on her decks. The mounts, concealed under the teak deck, were ready for the addition of the guns when needed.

Deck B - First Class Promenade... Two officers seen in distance...

Deck B – First Class Promenade… Two officers seen in distance…

On May 1, 1915, the ship departed New York City bound for Liverpool. Unknown to her passengers but probably no secret to the Germans, almost all her hidden cargo consisted of munitions and contraband destined for the British war effort.

First Class Dining Room

First Class Dining Room

Third Class Dining Room

Third Class Dining Room

As the fastest ship afloat, the luxurious liner felt secure in the belief she could easily outdistance any submarine. Nonetheless, the menace of submarine attack reduced her passenger list to only half her capacity.

Excellent video on the Lusitania…

On May 7, the ship neared the coast of Ireland. At 2:10 in the afternoon a torpedo fired by the German submarine U 20 slammed into her side.

Second Class Ladies Lounge

Second Class Ladies Lounge

A mysterious second explosion ripped the liner apart. Chaos reigned. The ship listed so badly and quickly that lifeboats crashed into passengers crowded on deck, or dumped their loads into the water.

First Class Elevator and Stairway...

First Class Elevator and Stairway…

Most passengers never had a chance.

Boat Train - First Class Restaurant Car - Operated from London to Liverpool... connecting with the ship...

Boat Train – First Class Restaurant Car – Operated from London to Liverpool… connecting with the ship…

Within 18 minutes the giant ship slipped beneath the sea. One thousand one hundred nineteen of the 1,924 aboard died. The dead included 114 Americans.

CLH013(Left: The official warning issued by the Imperial German Embassy about travelling on Lusitania.)

Schwieger was captain of the U-Boat that sank the Lusitania. He watched through his periscope as the torpedo exploded and noted the result in his log, “The ship stops immediately and heals over to starboard quickly, immersing simultaneously at the bow. It appears as if the ship were going to capsize very shortly. Great confusion is rife on board; the boats are made ready and some of them lowered into the water. In connection therewith great panic must have reigned; some boats, full to capacity are rushed from above, touch the water with either stem or stern first and founder immediately.”

In the ship’s nursery Alfred Vanderbilt, one of the world’s richest men, and playwright Carl Frohman tied life jackets to wicker “Moses baskets” holding infants in an attempt to save them from going down with the ship. The rising water carried the baskets off the ship but none survived the turbulence created as the ship sank to the bottom. The sea also claimed Vanderbilt and Frohman.

The sinking enraged American public opinion. The political fallout was immediate. President Wilson protested strongly to the Germans. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, a pacifist, resigned. In September, the Germans announced that passenger ships would be sunk only with prior warning and appropriate safeguards for passengers. However, the seeds of American animosity towards Germany were sown. Within two years America declared war.

First Class - Deck A - Boat Deck - Promenade Area...

First Class – Deck A – Boat Deck – Promenade Area…

Second Class Entrance Hall

Second Class Entrance Hall

Deck Plan

Deck Plan

MG1

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