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Showing posts from November, 2018

The Tragic Last Sailing of the Lusitania

When World War I was raging in Europe, German U-Boats (submarines) infested the waters off the British Isles. The Lusitania, a luxury cruise ship, was sailing from New York to England in 1915. Some passengers worried; most did not. Cunard, the venerable British cruise line that owned the ship, was confident that all would remain safe. After all, the Lusitania was big, strong, and fast. One of the speediest passenger vessels of its era, the Lusitania could slice through the ocean at 25 knots. That would allow the ship to outrun an enemy submarine, should one be encountered. Alternatively, the hefty Lusitania could simply ram tin-cans like U-Boats and cut them in half.

A U-Boat ended up sinking the Lusitania via torpedo. It took less than twenty minutes.

The job of the German submarines was to enforce a naval blockade, to isolate Britain and prevent inbound supplies. At first, adhering to international norms, Germany only attacked military ships. To step up pressure, Germany began to s…