Wednesday, May 7, 2008

THE LUSITANIA {masterlist}

The sinking by German submarine of the HMS Lusitania in early 1915 was the formative event in drawing the United states into World War I. Like other such events, the deadly U-boat attack off the Old Head of Kinsale has been haunted from the beginning by allegations of conspiracy. And like so many others, sadly, the suspicions are well-founded and probably true.

This post is to organize all the sub-posts on the subject. No posts are up yet but are in the works. Most of my information is from Colin simpson's 1972 book "The Lusitania: Finally, the Startling Truth about One of the Most Fateful of All Disasters of the Sea." {Boston, Little and Brown, First American Edition, 1973}

HMS Lusitania Facts:
Premier ocean liner of its times, the "Greyhound of the Sea." Operated by the British Cunard shipping line, named for a province of Spain under the Roman Empire, it was first launched on June 7 1906. Nearly 800 feet long, capable of carrying 2200 passengers, a crew of 850, and hundreds of tons of supplies at a top speed of 26.7 knots. Early in World War I the ship was lent out to the British war effort against Germany; she made a regular circuit to New York and back, carrying supplies from the US under its "arsenal of Democracy" policy. This violated a German blockade, and repeated warnings from the German end were buried as the ship entered on its final voyage in May 1915 and sailed right into a German trap, the path to which had been cleared and paved by the British Navy, in hopes of drawing America into the war. On May 7 the Lusitania was sunk by German U-Boat at a cost of 1,200 lives, many American, many wealthy and prominent. There was further delay before the US entered the Great War - internal disputes and the 1916 election had to pass first, but it was the Lusitania barbarity that was always the political and emotional underpinning of America's campaign in Europe.

Wikipedia article: