A British ocean liner sailed away from a New York port on May 1st, 1915. Its name was the RMS Lusitania and its sinking, which occurred six days later on May 7th, 1915 is usually credited as a main reason why the United States decided to enter World War I (Unknown, OL). The sinking of this liner involves a sequence of events that led to its sinking, main participants and groups that were involved and affected by the sinking, and it created a great significance and importance after it was over.
The sinking of the Lusitania occurred because of a series of events that led to its plummeting. The Lusitania was a British vessel that at that time was on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Liverpool (Unknown, OL). There were 1,924 people aboard and 159 of them were Americans (Unknown, OL). Ever since World War I had begun, people had been warned that ocean travel had become a dangerous task. The German authorities had advised Americans to avoid “belligerent ships. ” (Unger, 572).
German submarines could constantly be found out in the waters, looking for rival ships they could sink. On May 7th the Lusitania entered the Irish channel, sailing right past the coast of south Ireland (Unknown, OL). It was a foggy day, and captain of the ship, William Turner decided to turn slow the ship down to 15 knots because of it. At about 1:40 p. m the Germans U-boat launched a torpedo and it hit the right side of the ship (Unknown, OL). Moments later, another expulsion occurred, this one a mystery, and was said to have been the cause of the sinking.
Many believe the second explosion was caused by the ignition of ammunition hidden in the cargo hold. Others say that coal dust, kicked up when the torpedo hit, exploded” (Unknown, OL). The hidden cargo was unknown to the passengers aboard and held munitions and contraband intended for British war effort (Unknown, OL). “Within 18 minutes the giant ship slipped beneath the sea. ” (Unknown, OL). By the end, there was a loss of 1,195 people, 123 of them being Americans (Unknown, OL). There were main participants who both had both an impact on the sinking, and were affected by it.
The Germans can be thought of as the main participant having impact on what had happened, being as how the U-boat submarines were German. Participants who were affected were mainly the British and Americans. The Lusitania was a British ship and many passengers abroad were British. Americans, had claimed total neutrality in World War I, yet so many died on this ocean liner (Unknown, OL). The Germans had shown regret the all the Americans who had died but they defended the sinking as their way of self defense, because on board the Lusitania were weapons that would be used against German soldiers
The sinking of the Lusitania is a significant and important part in relation to the war. It is basically one of main reasons why America decides to get involved in the first place, instead of keeping its original neutrality. Many Americans were outraged about this whole event. “The lost of the Lusitania provoked great outrage in the United States and helped create the climate of public opinion that would later allow America to join the war. It also marked the end of any delusions that the "civilized" manners of 19th century warfare could survive into the 20th . (Unknown, OL).
The sinking of the Lusitania changed the thinking of Americans, even though the German government apologized for it (Unger, 1). The 1915 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 German U-boat submarine was the source of the main participant with impact, and anyone abroad the Lusitania were the affected. The sinking was an important event and deaths, and U. S involvement in the war resulted from it.