Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Lusitania


ASSIGNMENT: You are an up and coming Blogger who just happened to be on vacation in Ireland when the Lusitania was sunk. Your location and your occupation gives you the perfect opportunity to be the FIRST to present first-hand accounts of what happened to the Lusitania. Due to the nature of blogs you will want to keep your blog short and accurate. Create your "blog" in the comment section of this post. Be sure that you remain safe while on line, do not put your full name on your blog, instead use your first name and your last initial (Example: Brad K.) 

Go through the numerous primary sources below and retell the story of the Lusitania. Include as many significant details as you can. Be sure to answer the basic questions of any story: Who? What? When? Where? Why?


What Happened?

What actually happened to the Lusitania and her passenger on the afternoon of May 7, 1915? The first reports of the sinking to reach America were confused and sketchy. Americans, particularly those who had friends or relatives on board, were eager for more information on the fate of their loved ones. Below you will find several different accounts of the sinking of the Lusitania.



Newspaper account: New York World on May 8, 1915

The Cunard Liner Lusitania was torpedoed, supposedly by German submarines shortly after 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon, ten miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, near Munster, Ireland.  She sank 15 minutes later.  The company states that no warning was given to her.  The Lusitania carried 2,104 persons when she sailed from New York.  The Meager, confused reports so far received make it uncertain how many of these have been saved.  A steward of the first boat that reached Queenstown with survivors from the liner said he feared that 900 lives had been lost.


Newspaper reports account: Queenstown, Ireland on May 9, 1915:


"The tugboat Stormshuttle has returned here, bringing about 150 survivors of the Lusitania, among whom were many women, several of teh crew, and one steward.  Describing the experience of the Lusitania the steward said:  
'The passengers were at lunch when a submarine came up and fired two torpedoes which hit the Lusitania on the starboard side, one forward and the other in the engine room.  They caused several explosions.  Captain Turner immediately ordered the boats out.  The ship began to tilt badly.  Ten boats were put into the water, and between 400 and 500 passengers entered the lifeboats.  I fear that few of the officers were saved.  They acted bravely.  There was only 15 minutes from the time the ship was struck until she foundered and sank, bow first.  It was a dreadful sight.'"



Official ship diary of Captain Schwieger, Commander of the U-boat that sunk the Lusitania:

May 6, 1915

...The voyage to the St. George’s Channel had consumed so much of our fuel oil that it would be impossible for us to return (to German) around the southern end of Ireland if we had now continued to Liverpool. I intended to return as soon as two-fifths of our fuel is used up. I intend to avoid, if at all possible, the trip through the North Channel on account of the type of service which U-20 encounter there on her last trip. Only three torpedoes are still available, of which I wish to save two, if possible, for the return trip.
May 7, 1915
3:10 p.m. Ahead to starboard four funnels and two masts of a steamer with course perpendicular to us came into sight. Ship is made out to be large passenger steamer.

Submerged to a depth of 11 meters and went ahead at full speed, taking a course converging with the one of the steamer, hoping it might change its course to starboard along the Irish coast.

The steamer turns to starboard, takes course to Queenstown, thus making possible an approach for a shot. Until 3:00 p.m., we ran high speed in order to gain position directly ahead.

Clean bow shot at a distance of 700 meters (G-torpedo, 3 meters depth adjustment); angle 90, estimated speed 22 knots. Torpedo hits starboard side right behind the bridge.

An unusually heavy detonation takes place with a very strong explosion cloud. The explosion of the torpedo must have been followed by a second on board (boiler, coal, or gun powder). The super-structure above the point of impact and bridge are torn apart, fire breaks out, and smoke envelopes the high bridge.

The ship stops immediately and keels over to starboard very quickly, immersing simultaneously at the bow. It appears as if the ship were going to capsize very shortly. Great confusion ensures on board; the lifeboats are released and they are lowered into the water. In doing so, a great panic must have reigned; some boats, full to capacity, are rushed and sink immediately.

3:25 The ship blows off its excess steam; on the bow the name Lusitania becomes visible in golden letters. Ship was running 22 knots. Since it seems as if the steamer will keep above the water only a short time, we dived to a depth of 24 meters and ran out to sea. It would have been impossible for me to fire a second torpedo into this crowd of people struggling to save their lives.



Newspaper reports account: London Times on May 9, 1915

“Seven torpedoes were fired by the attacking German craft, one of them striking the Lusitania midship. This would indicate that at least two submarines were waiting for the ship, since the newest types of undersea boats carry but six torpedo tubes...”




Excerpts from three interviews with survivors of the Lusitania.

Oliver P. Bernard (passenger)
“I think I can say I was one of the few people who really saw a torpedo discharges at the Lusitania. Coming on deck from the dining salon, I was leaning against the starboard rail of the ship when I saw the periscope of a submarine about 200 yards away. Then I noticed a long, white streak of foam. It gave me the impression of frothy, sizzling water. Almost immediately there was a terrific impact, followed by an explosion.”

Dr. Carl E. Foss (passenger)
“I was traveling second class, and on May 7th, I was leaning against the port side of the ship, looking off towards the Irish coast. It was just at 1:30 that I noticed something low in the water about a mile away.”

Ernest Cowper (passenger)

 "I was chatting with a friend at the rail about 2:00 when suddenly I caught a glimpse of the conning tower of a submarine about 1,000 yards distant.  I immediately called my friend's attention to it.  We both saw the track of a torpedo..."

49 comments:

  1. Example: This is my example. Do better.

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  2. on the afternoon of May 7, 1915, shortly after 2 oclock the lusitainia was shot by a torpido and sank. 1198 people died including 100 children and 128 americans. The torpido was shot by a German submarine captianed by Captain Schwieger.

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  3. On May 7th 1917 Lusitania was sunk by German submarines with a torpedo, just around 2:00 in the afternoon. The Germans only fired one torpedo, and it only took 15 minutes for the Lusitania to sink. The Lusitania was carrying many passengers, and sadly 1,198 of those people were killed in this tragedy, 128 of them were Americans.

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  4. Yesterday afternoon around 2:00pm, May 7, 1915, the passenger ship Lusitania was hit and sunk by a German U-boat without any given warning. In the panic, many passengers perished with reports of over 900 casualties in the hours after. The damage was done with a single torpedo fire, and only fifteen minutes were required before the boat was fully submerged and lost to the sea.

    Of the causalities, only 128 have been confirmed to be Americans caught in the midst of the war of the over 1000 passengers.

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  5. The Lusitania was sunk at around 2:00 in the afternoon by the u-boat u-20. It was hit by 2 torpedoes in the starboard side sinking it in 15 minutes. Killing 1,198 people 128 of them being American.

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  6. I think that the German U-boat did not warn Lusitania that they were going to fire on May 7 at around 2 o'clock . With the amount of torpedoes fired I believe that there was only one, yes they didn't have great technology but the Germans still had time to take the shot whenever they new it was going to hit the boat. The distance from the ship when the torpedo is

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  7. The Lusitanina was sunk on May 7 at 2 pm. The U20 submarine fired a torpedo from 700 meters away which caused an explosion when it hit the ship, then there was a second explosion caused by something on board. Of the 2,104 passengers, around 150 were able to survive.

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  8. May 7th 1915, its was about 2 0clock when suddenly lusitania was shot with an torpido and sank to the ground. passengers said that the torpido was shot by the German submarine captain ( captain schwieger). 1198 people died and 128 americans did to.

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  9. ...unknown and to many acounts to see if there is a true distance.

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  10. on May 7, 1915 at about 2 o clock the lusitania was struck by one G-torpido and sank the ship in 15 minutes. The lusitania had 2104 people on board. 1198 people died on the lusitania. The leader of the German U-boat was Captain Schwieger.

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  11. On May 7, 1915 between 2 and 3 O'clock pm A torpedo, fired from a ship manned by Captain Schwieger, struck the bow of the Lusitania.The Lusitania was carrying 2,104 passengers. Almost immediately after the torpedo hit the bow, a secondary explosion erupted from the ship. Almost immediately the ship started sinking. After trying to rescue as many passengers as they could, a total of 1198 people died, which includs 128 Americans.

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  12. How the Lusitania sank the German u-boat may 7
    in the afternoon i noticed a torpedo in the water heading toward the ship and then the ship started to sink from the starboard side and the bow went down.

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  13. On May 7,1915 at 2pm by not two torpedoes but just ones single shot. U-20 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger was the u boat to shoot the torpedo that sunk the Lusitania. The first and only torpedo shot hit the ship and caused an explosion on the ship, which may be the belief for the two different torpedoes. Many people died from this about 1200 out of the 2000 that were on the ship, around 130 of these passengers were from the US. This attack was just another event that got the US closer to entering the great war.

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  14. On the date of May 7, 1915 at about two o'clock the ship named the Lusitania was hit by a German uboat. There were many deaths including 128 americans that were killed on board. The Captain Schwieger, ordered to launch the torpedo at the ship. It struck it in the bow, and a little later the entire ship was under water.

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  15. At about 2 o'clock on May 7, 1198 passengers off the Lusitania were killed. The captain of a german uboat had order his crew to fire a torpedo at the ship. Reports say that about 128 americans were killed in this accident. From the sounds of the explosion, two torpedos may have been fired. The ship sank soon afterward.

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  16. It was 2pm when the lusitania was torpedoed by a german u20 sub. The torpedo hit its target and caused explosions. It took the ship and 1,198 people. The german ship was low on fuel and had launch 3 torpedoes before this. It only took 20 minutes to sink her.

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  17. On may 7th Lusitania had the misfortune to fall victim to torpedo attack early in WWI. It was torpedoed by German U-boat on 7 May 1915 and sank in eighteen minutes, it sank off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, killing 1,198 of the 1,959 people aboard. 128 were americans.

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  18. On May 7 during the World War one, the ship neared the coast of Ireland. At 2:10 in the afternoon a torpedo fired by the German submarine U 20 slammed into her side. A mysterious second explosion ripped the liner apart. Chaos reigned. The ship listed so badly and quickly that lifeboats crashed into passengers crowded on deck, or dumped their loads into the water. Most passengers never had a chance. Within 18 minutes the giant ship slipped beneath the sea. One thousand one hundred nineteen of the 1,924 aboard died. The dead included 114 Americans.

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  19. On May 7th, 1915 at around 2:10 in the afternoon a torpedo fired by the Germans from their Uboat hit the Lusitania killing over 1000 people and at least 120 Americans. Within 18 minutes the ship was submerged underwater. Witnesses reactions displayed much anger towards the Germans.

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  20. May 7th 1915 around 2 o'clock Lusitania was under attack by a german uboat. there were alot of people dead including 128 americans. after the torpedo hit the boat it made other wepons explode, with in 15 min the boat was under water.

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  21. 14:00 May 7th, 1915
    The British merchant vessel Lusitania was hit by a German torpedo fired from a U-Boat. Captain Shwieger was to blame for this action and the ship was completely gone in about 15 minutes. Of the 2,104 passengers, about 150 were able to survive.

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  22. On May 7,at about 2'o'clock 1198 passengers that were traveling on the Lusitania were killed. They died due to a German uboat that had fired a torpedo into the ship. Reports from this incident have said that there was however 128 Americans on the ship at the time of the attack. After the ship had gotten hit it sunk 18 minutes later.

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  23. On May 7th, 1915, the Lusitania ship was hit with a torpedo around 2pm by a German u-boat. The boat began to tip and 15 minutes later the boat had sank completely. Captain Schwieger is the reason for the death of 1,200 people since he was the one who thought of launching the torpedo.

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  24. on the day of May 7th, 1915 at around 2 pm the ship by the name of Lusitania was torpedoed by a German u-boat. the boat sank in about 15 minutes. About 1198 people died, including about 100 children, and 128 americans. Passangers said it was shot by a German submarine captain by the name of captain shweiger.

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  25. On May 7, 1915 Captain Schwiegger commander of a U-boat fired a torpedo at a passenger ship named the Lusitania. Ten miles off the coast of Ireland the torpedo hit at 3:10 P.M. causing the ship to sink 15 minutes later. 2,104 people were carried on the ship before sailing off from New York. So far 150 people are known to be alive, the death toll is uncertain but it is likely that more than 900 are dead.

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  26. On May 7, 1915 Will Turner, Captin of the Lusitania was at sea and did not know where he was. The fog had just cleared and he had recieved reports of U-Boat activity. He ordered the ship to be slowed and to be set on a straight course. In doing so it allowed a German U-Boat to strike its bow and thus sinking the ship and killing a little under 2000 people. 128 of these people were Americans.

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  27. On May 7, 1915, during my visit to Ireland, I was watching a ship called the Lusitania arrive in the city around 2:00. However, before it arrived, it was sunk by a torpedo sent from a German u boat which was ordered to send the torpedo by a man by the name of Captain Schwieger. There was an explosion and soon the entire ship was under water 128 of our fellow Americans were killed in the sinking of this ship along with many others totaling 1198.

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  28. On May 7th with 2,104 people on the Lusitania boat, a submarine fired two torpedoes. One-Two of them hit the ship. It took 15 minutes to sink after the torpedoes caused multiple explosions. Around 400-500 passengers were able to enter the life boats.This all took place around 10 miles off of Old Head of Kinsdale. Their seemed to be many people who witnessed seeing the submarine and the actual path of the track of the torpedo(s).They predict that their were about 150 survivors, most of them being woman or apart of the crew.

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  29. May 7, 1915 around 2:00 in a afternoon, one torpedo was fired by the Germans. The caption was Captain Schwiege,he was the one thatfired the torpedo. The ship sank in 18 minutes. In such a little time, 1,198 people died and 128 were americans.

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  30. Yesturday, May 7 1915, an unfortunate fog caused the Lusitania to move in the Ireland which because of that a German U-Boat fired a torpedo at the Lusitania and caused it to sick. It caused a total of 1198 people to die, including 128 Americans. This tragic event will go down in history as a tragic and important event.

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  31. On May 7th around 2 o’clock off the coast of Ireland a German U-boat commanded by Captain Schwieger fired one torpedo at the Lusitania and just after the impact and explosion of the torpedo there was a second explosion from within that the witnesses may have believed to be a second torpedo. There were a total of about 2000 passengers on the ship and 1198 of the 2000 were killed, 128 of those were Americans.

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  32. On May 7, 1915 Will Turner, Captin of the Lusitania was at sea and did not know where he was. once he figured out were he was going he recieved reports of U-boat activity and was ordered to slow down and go on a strait course and doing that it gave the german U-boat to shoot a torpedo at it and sink it killing 1,198 people a with 128 americans dead in the attack

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  33. On May 7th of 1915, The Lusitania was attacked. It was around 2 o'clock when a German U-Boat attacked. It shot torpedoes at the Lusitania, hitting it, and sinking it. Most of the passengers died. Among those 1198 dead, 128 of them were americans.

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  34. The Lusitania was sunk on May 7th, 1915. It was attacked by a German U-Boat, under the Command of Capt. Schwieger. The attack happened at 2:00 in the afternoon killing about 1,200 civilians, 128 of which were Americans.

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  35. At 2 o'clock on May 7th, 1915, the Lusitania was torpedoed supposively several times by a German submarine. They were located ten miles off the Old Head of Kinsale near Munster, Ireland. 15 short minutes after the Lusitania was hit it sunk. About 400 or 500 people were able to get onto life boats, but 1,198 people had been killed in the attack. 128 of them were Americans.

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  36. On May 7th 1915 around 2pm, The Lusitania had srunk after it was attacked by a German U-Boat. The ship was completely under water within 15 minutes, killing 1,198 passengers, 128 of them were Americans.

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  37. On may 7th 1925 the Lusitania was hit my a german U boat at 2 o'clock. the u boat captian thinking that the lusitania was carring supplies to great britan. an estimate of 1198 people where dead and 128 of those being american people. The Lusitania took about 18 min. to sink.

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  38. On May 7, 1915 at about 2:00pm at 2 torpedos hit the right starboard of the Lusitania. After getting hit, the sailor turned around tipping the boat over. There were 2,104 people on board and 1,198 people died and 128 were americans.

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  39. On May 7th, 1915 around two o'clock pm, the Lusitania was hit by a German U boat. The torpedos were shot from ten miles away, and sunk the boat fifteen minutes late. The only people that were reported alive were 150 passengers (mostly women)several members of the crew, and one steward. Out of those numbers, 128 of them were American passengers.

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  40. on the day of May 7 at around 2:00 pm a German U-boat capained by German captain Schwieger sunk the amarican passanger ship the Lusitania, killing around 1198 people, 128 of which were amarican

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  41. on may 7th german u boats torpedoed the lusitania captained by captain schweiger probably around 2 o clock.there were 150 passengers reported alive, 128 were american, 1198 reported dead. it took around 16 minutes for the lusitania to sink.

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  42. Lusitania was torpedoed by German submarines 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon, near Ireland. It sank 15 minutes later. The Lusitania carried 2,104 persons when it sailed from New York. Someone from the first boat said he feared that 900 lives had been lost.

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  43. On may 7th 1915 around the pm the ship lusitania was hit by a german u boat. The u boat hit the ship with a torpedo from about 10 miles away. The ship sunk 15 minutes after it was hit. there were 2,104 people were on board and 1,198 people died and 128 of them were americans.

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  44. At 2:10 in the afternoon I heard a torpedo fired, so I run towards where the torpedo was fired. I saw that the ship from what I heard was called Lusitania explode,but then after that explosion came another explosion, which was really mysterious. People where wondering why there was a second explosion. The explosion was hard and quick that the liner of the ship was broken apart and the lifeboat crushed the crew on the crowded deck. People were wondering what is the American going to do now because 128 American died in that ship and there were neutral.

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  45. On May 17th, sometimes around 2:00 in the afternoon, i saw a bright flash from the corner of my eye. I ran to the window and I Saw the passenger ship, the Lusitania had exploded! Soon after that i saw another explosion, too. The deck was completely full of people, including American citizens which has people questioning what America's next move is going to be in terms of the war because they lost 128 innocent lives.

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  46. May 7, 1915 the Lusitania was hit by a torpedo fired by a German U-boat. After 18 minutes the ship had sunk killing 1,198 of the 2,104 on board. Rumors of more than one torpedo were heard but the second blast heard was from coal, the boiler, or gun powder exploding

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