The War at Sea: Sinking of the Lusitania

The Lusitania sinking
"Lusitania Sinking Location Map." Images & Pictures. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

The sinking of the Lusitania was an event that caused major impact in Britain, USA, and Germany because many lives were lost, it triggered the United States to take part in the war, and it was Germany's most successful achievement to date in the war at sea. I was able to interview one of the fortunate British survivors from that day, Emily Anderson, and hear a word from her. The following questions were answered by her.

Q: Do you remember when it (the Lusitania sinking) happened?

"Yes, I do. It was someday in May in the year 1915, I was 26 at that time. I remember that I was having lunch with my daughter, Barbara, she was 2 years old. And we heard a loud bang. So it happened at around 2 pm"

Q: Do you remember where the sinking took place?

"Well we were crossing the Atlantic ocean when we left New York, heading our way to Liverpool. We were sighted off the coast of Ireland by the Germans. And that's where it all happened."

Where the Lusitania sank
Bishop, Leigh. "ISSUE 4 ARCHIVE - THE LUSITANIA CHRONICLES." Issue 4 The Lusitania Chronicles from the Archives of the London Diver Magazine. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.tankedupmagazine.co.uk/archive/issue4/lusitania/index.php>.

Q: Could you tell me exactly how it happened?

"As I said, we were sighted off the coast of Ireland by the Germans sometime during lunch. They shot a torpedo at us and we were hit at the starboard side. It took around 18 minutes for the ship to sink. Although, my daughter and I were saved by an Assistant Purser, William Harkness , who placed us in lifeboat 15. I remember seeing people panicking, screaming, and drowning. It was a horrific sight. As my daughter and I were floating away from the ship, there was a second explosion, it was even louder. I wondered why there was a second explosion because the Germans only shot a single torpedo at us, not 2. So it was quite odd. If I remember correctly there were around 1,951 people on board, and after a few days it was mentioned in the news that 1,198 people died that day including 128 Americans and 100 children."

Q: The second explosion, wasn't it caused by the munition that was being carried in the ship? Were you aware that the Lusitania was carrying munition?

"Oh right. No, I wasn't aware that there was munition being carried in the ship. I'm pretty sure that none of the passengers on board knew that. I don't understand how they could do that, using passengers as a mask to transport munition safely. On the news it was said that the Lusitania was carrying 173 tons of munition was being carried in the ship for Britain. Using citizens without their consent to shipping munition with passengers on board was just unbelievable."

The munition in the Lusitania
"Welcome to the CERES's Underwater Research Center Internet Site." Welcome to the CERES's Underwater Research Center Internet Site. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.ceresm.com/sommaire_epaves.htm>.

The Significance

With the research that I've done, this is quite the significant event when it comes to the Americans and WWI. This event was actually a trigger for the Americans to join WWI (becoming allies with Russia, France, and Britain in the war). Before nearly 2 years Us formally entered WWI due to the deaths of 128 Americans in the sinking of the Lusitania. So they were going against the Germans. Due to this action and the immense anger of the Americans, the Germans were forced to call off their U-boat campaign ("Lusitania." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/lusitania>) calling halt to unrestricted submarine warfare.

Even though this event caused the Germans to call off on their U-boat campaign, this was the most successful achievement during that time for them. It gave them a new tactic when approaching enemy ships and sinking them.

As for the British, this event caused a major impact towards their attitude and impression of Germany. They say that the Germans ruthlessly sent innocent women and children to their deaths (Wrenn, Andrew. "The Sinking of the Lusitania." The First World War. Cambridge UP, 1999. 39. Print.).

So in conclusion this event had a major impact on the Germans, Americans, and British.  Many lives were lost, betrayal took place This was a part of the Submarine war during THE WAR AT SEA.

Bibliography

Wrenn, Andrew. "The Sinking of the Lusitania." The First World War. Cambridge UP, 1999. 38-40. Print.

Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Sinking of the Lusitania." About Education. About.com. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://history1900s.about.com/cs/worldwari/p/lusitania.htm>.

Poirier, Micheal, Barbara Winifred Anderson McDermott, and Shelly Dziedzic. "Mrs. Rowland Anderson (Emily Mary Pybus) - The Lusitania Resource." The Lusitania Resource. The Lusitania Resource. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.rmslusitania.info/people/second-cabin/emily-anderson/>

Bishop, Leigh. "ISSUE 4 ARCHIVE - THE LUSITANIA CHRONICLES." Issue 4 The Lusitania Chronicles from the Archives of the London Diver Magazine. Leigh Bishop. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.tankedupmagazine.co.uk/archive/issue4/lusitania/index.php>.

Grant, R.G. "Lusitania." Battle at Sea: 3,000 Years of Navel Warfare. Dorling Kingslag Limited. 259, 269. Print.

"Lusitania." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/lusitania>.

"Welcome to the CERES's Underwater Research Center Internet Site." Welcome to the CERES's Underwater Research Center Internet Site. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.ceresm.com/sommaire_epaves.htm>

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