Who Was Responsible for the Sinking of the Lusitania?

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  • Topic: RMS Lusitania, World War I, Cunard Line
  • Pages : 2 (735 words )
  • Download(s) : 167
  • Published : April 18, 2007
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In the period leading up to the First World War, international tensions ran at an all time high. The sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915 was all that was needed to inflame the passions of millions of people. But such a tragedy left the world with the question of who was really responsible hanging on their minds. Attention quickly centered on three main groups: the Cunard Line, Germany, and the English government. Though much of the evidence went down with the ship, one may produce a valid conclusion simply by looking at the surrounding circumstances prior to the disaster.

It may be argued that the Cunard Line is almost entirely at fault for its negligence and general disregard for the welfare of its passengers. The Lusitania was doomed from the beginning. The ship was constructed with government money in return for the guarantee that the ship could be converted into an armed warship in periods of war. The Lusitania's sister ship, the Mauretania, was converted into a troop transport while the Lusitania was decided to be too cumbersometo be of any real use. This is perhaps why it was used to carry armaments instead of soldiers. The Cunard Line issued two separate manifests for the ship before it left. The first listed only the normal supplies such as food, fuel, etc. While the second manifest, issued only shortly before departure, contained a much more detailed report of the ship's actual cargo. The Lusitania was said to have carried nearly 1400 gun cases and 1271 small explosives on its final voyage. If the passengers had known the ship's true contents, they may have been less likely to board. The neglect of the Cunard Line to inform its travelers of the Lusitania's contents was only one of the many things that the public was not made aware of. Many of those aboard the ship were not even aware of the fact that they would be sailing straight through a war zone. Few had also known of the German U-boat's increasing success at sinking allied ships in that area....
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