An introduction to the history of the lusitania

Construction had begun in with the goal of building the fastest liner afloat. Her engines produced 68,horse power and pushed the giant through the water at an The Lusitania leaves New York May 1, average speed over 25 knots. Dubbed the "Greyhound of the Seas" she soon captured the Blue Ribbon for the fastest Atlantic crossing. The British Admiralty had secretly subsidized her construction and she was built to Admiralty specifications with the understanding that at the outbreak of war the ship would be consigned to government service.

An introduction to the history of the lusitania

At the outbreak of the First World Warthe British Admiralty considered her for requisition as an armed merchant cruiser, and she was put on the official list of AMCs. They were also very distinctive; so smaller liners were used as transports instead.

When it turned out that the German Navy was kept in check by the Royal Navyand their commerce threat almost entirely evaporated, it very soon seemed that the Atlantic was safe for ships like Lusitania, if the bookings justified the expense of keeping them in service.

Allied ships within this area were liable to search and attack Many of the large liners were laid up over the autumn and winter of —, in part due to falling demand for passenger travel across the Atlantic, and in part to protect them from damage due to mines or other dangers.

An introduction to the history of the lusitania

Among the most recognisable of these liners, some were eventually used as troop transports, while others became hospital ships. Lusitania remained in commercial service; although bookings aboard her were by no means strong during that autumn and winter, demand was strong enough to keep her in civilian service.

An introduction to the history of the lusitania

Economizing measures were taken, however. One of these was the shutting down of her No. Even so, she was the fastest first-class passenger liner left in commercial service. Her name was picked out in gilt, her funnels were repainted in their traditional Cunard livery, and her superstructure was painted white again.

By earlya new threat to British shipping began to materialise: At first, the Germans only used them to attack naval vessels, and they achieved only occasional—but sometimes spectacular—successes.

U-boats then began to attack merchant vessels at times, although almost always in accordance with the old cruiser rules. Desperate to gain an advantage on the Atlantic, the German government decided to step up their submarine campaign.

On 4 FebruaryGermany declared the seas around the British Isles a war zone: This was not wholly unrestricted submarine warfaresince efforts would be taken to avoid sinking neutral ships. The Admiralty issued her specific instructions on how to avoid submarines. At sea, the ships contacted Lusitania by radio, but did not have the codes used to communicate with merchant ships.

Captain Daniel Dow of Lusitania refused to give his own position except in code, and since he was, in any case, some distance from the positions he gave, continued to Liverpool unescorted.

A group of German—Americans, hoping to avoid controversy if Lusitania were attacked by a U-boat, discussed their concerns with a representative of the German Embassy. The embassy decided to warn passengers before her next crossing not to sail aboard Lusitania, and on 22 April placed a warning advertisement in 50 American newspapers, including those in New York: Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on the ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.

Imperial German Embassy Washington, D. Departure[ edit ] A woman rescued from the sinking of Lusitania, 25 May While many British passenger ships had been called into duty for the war effort, Lusitania remained on her traditional route between Liverpool and New York.

She departed Pier 54 in New York on 1 May on her return trip to Liverpool with 1, people aboard. In addition to her crew ofshe carried 1, passengers, mostly British nationals as well as a large number of Canadians, along with Americans.

Second Class was severely overbooked with passengers, far exceeding the maximum capacity of While a large number of small children and infants helped reduce the squeeze into the limited number of two- and four-berth cabins, the situation was ultimately rectified by allowing some Second Class passengers to occupy empty First Class cabins.

In Third Class, the situation was considered to be the norm for an eastbound crossing, with only travelling in accommodations designed for 1, Dow had been instructed by his chairman, Alfred Booth, to take some leave, due to the stress of captaining the ship in U-boat infested sea lanes and for his protestations that the ship should not become an armed merchant cruiser, making her a prime target for German forces.

How the Sinking of Lusitania Changed World War I - HISTORY

Detective Inspector William Pierpoint of the Liverpool police, who was travelling in the guise of a first-class passenger, interrogated them before locking them in the cells for further questioning when the ship reached Liverpool.

Leach had been interned but later released by Germany. Leach and the three German stowaways went down with the ship, but they had probably been tasked with spying on Lusitania and her cargo. Most probably, Pierpoint, who survived the sinking, [19] would already have been informed about Leach.

Postcard photo taken from Waterloo, near Liverpool in The submarine left Borkum on 30 April, heading north-west across the North Sea. On 2 May she had reached Peterhead and proceeded around the north of Scotland and Ireland, and then along the western and southern coasts of Ireland, to enter the Irish Sea from the south.

Only the very highest officers in the Admiralty saw the information and passed on warnings only when they felt it essential.The sinking of the Cunard ocean liner RMS Lusitania occurred on Friday, 7 May during the First World War, as Germany waged submarine warfare against the United Kingdom which had implemented a naval blockade of ship was identified and torpedoed by the German U-boat U and sank in 18 minutes.

The vessel went . RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner and briefly the world's largest passenger ship. The ship was sunk on 7 May by a German U-boat 11 mi (18 km) off the southern coast of Ireland. The sinking presaged the United States declaration of war on Germany in Length: ft ( m).

Lusitania, in one month the North would have been saying they were so glad he kept them out of the war and that they were too proud to fight and that at all hazards fratricidal war must be averted. Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study.

The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied. The sinking of the Lusitania changed the thinking of Americans, even though the German government apologized for it (Unger, 1).

The sinking of the RMS Lusitania is a historical event in history. It led to becoming one of the decisions why the United States joined in World War I.

The Lusitania made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in September Construction had begun in with the goal of building the fastest liner afloat.

Her engines produced 68,horse power and pushed the giant through the water at an.

Remember the Lusitania: 3 pieces of World War I propaganda | National Museum of American History