There are many reasons the United States plunged into World War I, but one of the main reasons we did was the sinking of the ship “The Lusitania”. This ship was shot by the Germans with a torpedo and took the lives of over 100 American lives. The now enraged and already anti-German citizens, were only fuelled and cried out for war. The event happened like this.
The Lusitania, famous for its luxurious accommodations and speed capability, was mainly used to transport people and goods across the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Great Britain. On May 1, 1915, the Lusitania departed New York and was bound for Liverpool. Almost all her hidden cargo consisted of amunitions and weaponry destined for the British war effort. This was probably unknown to her passengers, but was most likely well know by the Germans at this time. The total accumulation of passengers was 1,924 and the amount of Americans number over 100.
From the start of World War I, it was difficult to take part in inter oceanic travel. Both sides of countries in the war were attempting to blockade one another to prevent war supplies from being transported in, which was the start of unrestricted submarine warfare. German U-boats (submarines) were continually lurking in British waters to sink any ships that came near.
AS the ship neared its destination and was off the coast of Ireland a torpedo coming from the Submarine U-20 struck into the side of the ship. As the torpedo crashed into the boat’s side a mysterious second explosion occurred. Experts believe that the second explosion was from the cargo that was being transported inside the ship. The Germans deny ever launching a second torpedo.
Any ships going on trips in the war zones were warned to be on the look out for subs, to travel full speed at all times and were advised to travel in zigzagged formations to make it harder for them to be fired at. A notice had even been sent to Washington that read…
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