This page gives an overview on the situation and how it led to the sinking of the Lusitania
Background on situation of World War I
|- At the time, France, Russia, and Britain were on one side
(the "Allies" or Triple Entente) against Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Italy (Triple Alliance). United States were
isolationists and preferred staying neutral.
- Land war was at stalemate due to trench warfare so sea warfare, specifically U-boat warfare, began.
- Russia taken out of war, British involved in Second Battle of Ypres.
Details on warnings posted by Germans
|On February 18th, 1915, Germany declared that all enemy
vessels with their zone would be subject to destruction (by U-boat
torpedoing) without warning.
Germans included notices near advertisements for the Lusitania warning about dangers in the seas. Not all passengers saw it; however, those who did became very uneasy.
There happened to be another ship heading towards the same destination that was departing the same day. Passengers preferred the Lusitania over this ship because it took less time to travel the voyage.
Basic background information about the Lusitania
|Dimensions: 232.31 X 26.75m
Can hold: 563 1st class passengers, 464 2nd class passengers, 1,138 3rd class passengers
Capable of: 24 – 25 knots (can outrun any submarine)
Cost of one-way trip: $4000
The Lusitania is one of the largest man-made objects as well as one of the fastest ships. It's portrayed design is much like the Titanic's and was believed to be "virtually unsinkable".
It has seven decks and a black stern.
Timeline of significant voyages
|- May 1905: construction of the Lusitania begins
- June 7, 1906: first launched in front of 200,000
- July 27, 1906: sterns vibrated when it moved at fast
speeds so modifications made to the ship
(second class cabins removed, bracing added for
- Early 1908: first Atlantic crossing
- June 1908: outer propellers replaced
- January 16, 1915: involved in a high-profile
- May 7, 1915: the "Fateful Voyage"; traveling from New
York and sunken
- The Lusitania only got it's full passenger list after the prices were lowered. This list included a multimillionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who had once booked a passage on the Titanic but didn't go due to a change in plans.
- In the amount of time (18 minutes) in which the Lusitania sank, it is a surprise that so many people survived. It is suspected that some munitions were carried on the ship, leading to its rapid sinking.
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