Sinking of the Lusitania II

Lead: In May 1915, when RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by the German sub U 20 off the Irish coast, the giant, fast Cunarder became the symbol of Germany’s disregard for international law.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Captain William Thomas Turner of the Lusitania was one of the few survivors. He was the last person alive to leave the ship and was found clinging to a floating chair, semi-conscious. Later investigation revealed that he had sailed his ship in shallow waters, the favorite hunting ground of enemy subs, failed to provide adequate lifeboat drills, and had failed to zigzag as a defensive maneuver. Despite this, both he and Cunard Lines were absolved of responsibility for the tragedy, but there was plenty enough blame to go around.

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Sinking of the Lusitania I

Lead: On May 7, 1915, German submarine U20 torpedoed the Cunard passenger liner Lusitania. 1198 passengers and crew including 128 Americans went to their deaths. The sinking of so prominent a target provoked outrage, accusations, and questions, and helped draw the United States into World War I.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Just months into the war, Allied Forces—initially France, Russia, Serbia, and Britain— used a time-honored offensive strategy against the Central Powers—initially Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Germany. Britain also mined parts of the North Sea to block both military and civilian supplies from reaching Germany. The latter responded with submarine attacks against shipping in the waters around British Isles.

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