Lusitania Essay

915 words - 4 pages


It was 2:10 p.m. on May 7, 1915. Leslie Morton, a lookout on the Lusitania,
screamed, "Torpedoes coming on the starboard side." Two explosions followed.
Within 18 minutes the huge liner, once the largest ever built, sank to the
bottom of the Celtic Sea. 1,195 out of the 1,959 people aboard died. Walther
Schwieger, commander of the German submarine U- 20, who had fired a single
torpedo 750 yards away from the ship, later called it the most horrible sight he
had ever seen.
The Lusitania entered service between Liverpool and New York on September
7, 1907. Funded by the British Admiralty, the Lusitania, built by the Cunard
Steamship Company, was required to double as an auxiliary cruiser in case of war.
This was a secret agreement between the Admiralty and Cunard. On May 12, 1913
she was put in drydock to be double plated and hydraulically riveted, as well as
modified for the application of guns. War was declared on August 4, 1914, and
the ship was sent again into drydock. There she was armed with 12 six-inch
guns(Simpson 60).
Britain wanted to ship war materials over the Atlantic, but there was an
embargo of shipping munitions on passenger ships. America also tended to publish
the cargo manifests so that the Allies as well as the Germans would know what is
being shipped. Britain found a loophole in this. New cargo added at the last
minute did not go on the original manifest, thus a supplementary manifest would
be submitted 4 or 5 days later. Also, due to the embargo, munitions were listed
as ‘sporting cartridges' and stamped with ‘Not liable to explode in
bulk'(Simpson 63).
About a week before the voyage, the New York German community tried to run
an ad warning about the trans-Atlantic voyage. But the duty officer at the State
department did not approve, so no ads were placed. Later George Vierick, who was
in charge of placing the ads, convinced William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of
State, that on all but one of the Lusitania's voyages it carried war materials.
Bryan had an advertisement run the morning of departure of May 1, 1915. British
Naval Intelligence discovered the ad and gave orders to look out for U-boats,
predicting a trap. Turner, Captain of the Lusitania, was told that he would
rendezvous with the cruiser Juno about 40 miles west of the southern tip of
Ireland. German Intelligence thought that the U-boat lookout order meant that
large vessels would be leaving England. U-20 and U-30 were immediately sent to
the British Channel and southern Irish waters(Simpson 66-69).
On May 5, Winston Churchill attended a meeting concerning the Lusitania
and the U-20. They concluded that Juno would need an escort, so assistance would
be given, most likely the destroyer Flotilla. But this did not happen. For
unknown reasons, Juno was recalled to Queenstown, and no destroyers were
sent(Simpson 70).
On May 5 and 6 three ships were sunk by the U-20, the last without...

Find Another Essay On Lusitania

Relativley Speaking...The Causes of America's Declaration of War on Germany

1034 words - 4 pages and neutrality was less of a contributing factor than America's economic interests and Germany's naval policy into the conflict.Germany's unrestrained submarine warfare violated standard international law and constituted an affront to America, which was a neutral nation. This violation was first demonstrated in the sinking of the British passenger ship, the Lusitania, in May, 1915, which carried 128 Americans onboard. Although after the incident

America's Involvement in World War I

1198 words - 5 pages involved the whole world. A total war because people used maximum resources for the purpose of the war. A modern war because the people used technological and industrial mobilization. America enters the war for many reasons but the four causes were the sinking of the Lusitania, the economics, politics, and ideology. Lusitania was the main cause that turned Americans and the world for that matter against Germany. The economics, politics, and

U.S. Involvement in WWI

2054 words - 9 pages Document # 1 Perspective of a Citizen 1. The citizen was furious because innocent American people on board the British passenger ship were killed from an unannounced torpedo attack. After this tragedy, the unknown individual expressed their anger in Perspective of a Citizen by stating, “I was outraged of the fact that most of the people on the U-boats had died, was ill, or injured on the Lusitania, when the United States decided to remain


561 words - 2 pages either talked about or just scratched the surface of the book. These are important events that shaped the world America that we know today. A few of these events were Admiral Peary's expedition to the North Pole, the sinking of the Lusitania, and the dawn of the motion pictures in America. Father, who lives in New Rochelle with Mother and Son, went on the trip to the North Pole which was gone for few months, and came back and saw the after effects


805 words - 3 pages Perhaps the view of the U.S. entering WWI turned into most promising after the ripple effect of events after the sinking of the Lusitania. Each event made the United States weaker for entering the war and lastly there was no proper way to stay neutral. The instant cause of America's entry into World War I in April 1917 was the German announcement of unrestricted submarine warfare, and the following sinking of ships with Americans on board the

Declaration For War In 1917

1392 words - 6 pages Unit6ed States to wage war against the Nation of Germany. The second section says that: The U.S. Congress supports the president’s request for a declaration of war against the Nation of Germany. I fully agree with this resolution 100%. I agree with war against Germany, as I have said ever since the sinking of the Lusitania.      All this had started back in February of 1915 when Germany had stated its War Zone Policy. They

World War I: United States Involvement

1676 words - 7 pages , Germany announced that it would use submarines to destroy any Allied ships within the war zone without any type of warning (American). When the Germans said this, it posed a great threat to American neutrality. During this period, the Germans began to sink ships. These ships included the Lusitania and the Sussex. When the Lusitania was sunk, Americans were outraged because the ship had many war supplies for the allies, but more importantly

Cause of ww1.

3180 words - 13 pages Cunard Lines, owner of the ocean liner, the Lusitania, turned the ship over to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. It now became a ship of the English Navy and was under the control of the English government.The ship was sent to New York City where it was loaded with six million rounds of ammunition, owned by J.P. Morgan & Co., to be sold to England and France to aid in their war against Germany.It was known that the very wealthy

United Stated Declares War on Germany

2325 words - 9 pages for democracy” (Ferrell). Historically speaking, United States called for a declaration of war against Germany as a result of a series of atrocities Germany had taken against the United States. Two particular causes that greatly contributed to this decision were the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 (causing the deaths of approximately 150 American citizens) and the Zimmermann telegram.The Zimmermann telegram could be argued as the main cause

German U-Boats

2309 words - 9 pages undersea attacks were restricted to the Mediterranean, where a few American ships operated. One U-boat sank 72,600 tons of merchant shipping in a single five-week cruise. (Pimlott, p. 40) The United States warned Germany that she would be held responsible for losses of American life and shipping. On May 1, 1915 an American tanker called the Gulflight was attacked and damaged, and her captain died. (Terraine, p. 167) Six days later the Lusitania

Did Germany Cause World War I?

1093 words - 4 pages other colonies because there were few worthwhile colonies left. France and Great Britain had most of Africa and southern Asia under their control. The competition for expanding markets to sustain their economies led to hostile relations between the powers.In 1915 the Lusitania was sunk by a German Submarine (Lusitania, Kan). The US then joined the war in response to the sinking. Everyone ended up pulling other countries in the war so it eventually

Similar Essays

Brief Review Of The Lusitania

559 words - 2 pages The British and the Germans were trying to gain power by trying to rule the seas, they could rule the seas if they can build a ship which is the fastest. The British rule the seas because they currently have the fastest ship but it changed when the Germans made an even faster ship which beat the record speed of the British ship. The British heard of the German’s ship beating their record so they decided to build the Lusitania which is the

The Sinking Of The Lusitania Essay

1875 words - 8 pages The Sinking of the Lusitania On the 7 May 1915 at 14:30, then 240 metre long and 27 meter wide ship the Lusitania sunk to the sea bed. Despite the fact that so many were killed, 1,195 people, this ship has not become one of history’s most well known vessels, unlike the Titanic. This is due to the fact that the Lusitania was sunk by the Germans during the First World War. The Lusitania and her sister ship, the

True Cause Of Wwi Essay

979 words - 4 pages The German submarine U-20 sank the merchant-ship Lusitania on May 7th, 1915, which was carrying about 2000 passengers. About 100 of these passengers were American citizens. The photograph portrays the Lusitania receiving fire from the U-20. The exact time is not given, but one could safely guess that the picture was recorded before it sank completely which was in the afternoon (Gilbert 157). "In Britain, the sinking of the Lusitania was, for the

Reasons For United States' Involvement In World War I

759 words - 3 pages Russia. Wilson commented on this to the German Ambassador, claiming if they did not remain neutral their mixed populations would wage war on each other. At the outbreak of the war in 1914, Wilson advocated a policy of 'determined neutrality'. In May 1915, the Germans sank the 'Lusitania', a British ship. Of the 1198 passengers who died, 128 of these were American. This aroused great anger in Americans, and further