Lusitania

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by brooketrout398
Last updated 8 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
World War II
Grade:
10

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Lusitania

Sinking of Luistania

As the Lusitania had sailed from New York, she had on board American civilians and in 1915 America was neutral in World War One.

On May 7, 1915, the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania, which primarily ferried people and goods across the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Great Britain, was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sunk.

Of the 1,959 people on board, 1,198 died, including 128 Americans. Of the 1,959 people on board, 1,198 died, including 128 Americans.

The sinking of the Lusitania enraged Americans and hastened the United States' entrance into World War I.

Since the outbreak of World War I, ocean voyage had become dangerous. Each side hoped to blockade the other, thus prevent any war materials getting through. German U-boats (submarines) stalked British waters, continually looking for enemy vessels to sink.Thus all ships headed to Great Britain were instructed to be on the lookout for U-boats and take precautionary measures such as travel at full speed and make zigzag movements. Unfortunately, on May 7, 1915, Captain William Thomas Turner slowed the Lusitania down because of fog and traveled in a predictable line.

Turner was the captain of the RMS Lusitania, a British ocean liner famous for its luxurious accommodations and speed capability. The Lusitania was primarily used to ferry people and goods across the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Great Britain. On May 1, 1915, the Lusitania had left port in New York for Liverpool to make her 202nd trip across the Atlantic. On board were 1,959 people, 159 of whom were Americans.

Approximately 14 miles off the coast of Southern Ireland at Old Head of Kinsale, neither the captain nor any of his crew realized that the German U-boat, U-20, had already spotted and targeted them. At 1:40 p.m., the U-boat launched a torpedo. The torpedo hit the starboard side of the Lusitania. Almost immediately, another explosion rocked the ship.

The Lusitania sunk within 18 minutes.

The sinking of the Lusitania heightened tensions between the U.S. and Germany and helped sway American opinion in favor of joining the war.

http://history1900s.about.com/cs/worldwari/p/lusitania.htm


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