The Lusitania was as great as the Titanic, although it was much faster than Titanic was, so it was natural that everyone in Britain felt proud of it.
It used to transport people and goods across the Atlantic between the United States and Great Britain.
This ship, which was traveling across the Atlantic, was nicknamed “Queen of the Waves” since it made its first voyage in 1907 until it was sunk by a German submarine on 7 May 1915.
The story of the sinking of the Lusitania ship that ignited the First World War?
On May 7, 1915, during World War I, Germany launched a submarine war against the United Kingdom, which carried out a naval blockade of Germany. The ship was identified and blown up by the Germans and sank at the bottom of the ocean at a depth of 11 miles in 18 minutes, 1198 were dead and displacing 761 survivors, after this incident the public opinion in many countries turned against Germany, this contributed to the entry of the United States World War I.
Since the outbreak of the First World War, ocean voyages have become dangerous, as each side hoping to blockade the other; the Germans were hunting British boats and constantly searching for enemy ships.
Germany was at the time fighting a war against Britain, while the United States was not involved in the war. Nevertheless, the German ambassador to Washington bought newspaper advertisements in New York warning passengers to board the luxury ship heading to England. The warning made clear that all ships sailing with the British flag hoist “could become victims of destruction in enemy territorial waters” and published this declaration in April 1915.
Sinking of Lusitania:
On May 1, 1915, the ship Lusitania left the port in New York and was instructed to take preventive measures such as traveling at full speed and making zigzag movements.
On May 7, 1915, the ship was already in Irish waters. As the captain of the ship, William Thomas Turner, slowed down on Implementation of the instructions cause of the fog, the ship was spotted by the German submarine (U-20) and its captain, Major Walter Sfiger.
The captain ordered the launch of a single torpedo, hitting the middle of the ship from the right side, followed by a massive explosion.
The Lusitania had no chance to survive, as it sank in almost 20 minutes, with at least 1,191 passengers and crew on board, killed by the blast or by its effects or drowning.
The sailors managed to take down only four of the 48 boats on board, and 767 were rescued, and of the deaths, 128 were US citizens.
At that time, the Allies believed that the Germans had fired two or three torpedoes to sink Lucitania, and many believed that the cause of the second explosion was the explosion of ammunition hidden in the cargo hold. Others say it was the coal dust that caused the explosion, as the second explosion is the one that made the ship sink.
The disaster and anger of many:
The Lusitania ship sank in 18 minutes, although there were enough lifeboats for all passengers, their sudden sinking prevented the boats from being properly launched.
Of the 1959 people on board, 1,198 died. The number of civilians killed in the disaster was a shock to the world. The sinking of this ship was the most important event during World War I.
The Americans were angry because 128 US civilians died in the incident, although the United States was officially neutral in the war, and also the destruction of ships without war material was generally unacceptable and against the protocols of international war.
The sinking of Lusitania caused many tensions between the United States and Germany, along with the Zimmerman telegram that helped turn American public opinion in favor of joining the First World War.
The dumping of the ship was one of the factors that almost prompted the United States to participate in World War I against Germany, but Berlin succeeded in using all diplomatic channels to keep the United States from entering the war at the time.
It took two more years for US President Woodrow Wilson to decide the war. He intervened in 1917 after Germany resumed its indefinite war with submarines against American-friendly ships.
In 2008, divers searched for the shipwreck of Lusitania, eight miles off the coast of Ireland.
Divers found nearly four million American-made bullets, and this finding supported the German belief that the Lusitania ship was used for transporting war materials.
The discovery also supports the theory that an explosion of munitions on board caused the second explosion on the Lusitania ship.
Although there have been many attempts over the years, there is not much information about exactly what happened and how the ship sank, and the debate continues to this day about this incident.