A British ocean liner sailed away from a New York port on May 1st, 1915. Its name was the RMS Lusitania and its sinking, which occurred six days later on May 7th, 1915 is usually credited as a main reason why the United States decided to enter World War I (Unknown, OL). The sinking of this liner involves a sequence of events that led to its sinking, main participants and groups that were involved and affected by the sinking, and it created a great significance and importance after it was over.
The sinking of the Lusitania occurred because of a series of events that led to its plummeting. The Lusitania was a British vessel that at that time was on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Liverpool (Unknown, OL). There were 1,924 people aboard and 159 of them were Americans (Unknown, OL). Ever since World War I had begun, people had been warned that ocean travel had become a dangerous task. The German authorities had advised Americans to avoid “belligerent ships.” (Unger, 572). German submarines could constantly be found out in the waters, looking for rival ships they could sink. On May 7th the Lusitania entered the Irish channel, sailing right past the coast of south Ireland (Unknown, OL). It was a foggy day, and captain of the ship, William Turner decided to turn slow the ship down to 15 knots because of it. At about 1:40 p.m the Germans U-boat launched a torpedo and it hit the right side of the ship (Unknown, OL). Moments later, another expulsion occurred, this one a mystery, and was said to have been the cause of the sinking. “Many believe the second explosion was caused by the ignition of ammunition hidden in the cargo hold. Others say that coal dust, kicked up when the torpedo hit, exploded” (Unknown, OL). The hidden cargo was unknown to the passengers aboard and held munitions and contraband intended for British war effort (Unknown, OL). “Within 18 minutes the giant ship slipped beneath the sea.” (Unknown, OL). By the end, there was a loss of...
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