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Maiden Voyage at 107 and World War I at 100

Welcome to The Lusitania Resource!  This site is dedicated to the passenger ship RMS Lusitania and her passengers and crew, the ship whose sinking altered the course of the First World War. On this site you will find facts and history relating to the steamship RMS Lusitania and the Lusitania sinking, as well as the passenger and crew lists and biographies of people on board when the ship was torpedoed on 7 May 1915.

Background

The RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner of the early twentieth century, owned and operated by the Cunard Company. Her keel was laid on 16 June 1904 and she was launched on 7 June 1906. Lusitania began her maiden voyage out of Liverpool, England on 7 September 1907 and arrived in New York, United States, on 13 September.  Lusitania was the largest, fastest, and most luxurious ship in the world at the time of her launch, although she was soon eclipsed in size and speed by her sister Mauretania and in size and luxury by rivals Olympic and Titanic.  Lusitania would make 101 round-trip voyages (or 202 crossings) during her 7-year-and-9-month  career.

Lusitania became a casualty of World War I (1914 – 1918). On 7 May 1915, Lusitania was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland by the German submarine (or u-boat) U-20, sinking in 18 minutes.  Of the known 1,960 people on board, 768 survived and 1,192 perished in the Lusitania disaster. Four of those survivors died in the following months, bringing the numbers to 764 survivors and 1,196 victims. The wreck of the Lusitania lies at 51°25′N 8°33′W, about 300 feet (91 meters) underwater and approximately 11 miles (18 km) south of the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland.

Lusitania was carrying a great number of Americans and women and children as well as war materiel for the British Army. The sinking of the Lusitania and resulting deaths of civilians and neutral nationals aboard the ship is considered one of the first modern examples of “total war” and a turning point in World War I.  The nature of the explosions that sank the ship and the politics surrounding her demise remain controversial topics.

Contrary to popular belief, the Lusitania disaster was not the proximate cause of the United States entering the First World War; however, the sinking of the steamship Lusitania is often credited for turning the then-neutral American public opinion against Germany.  Furthermore, Germany, fearing American wrath, restrained themselves in submarine warfare, which may have been Germany’s best chance at winning the war.  Yet, it was Germany’s very resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 (in addition to the decoding of the Zimmerman Telegram) that finally forced the United States to declare war.

Notes

The Lusitania Resource has grown substantially since its inception in Spring 2003. I try to keep the pages current though other commitments may prevent me from so doing. Please let me know of any link or address that has changed so I may keep the information listed here current.

Feedback is always welcome. I try to answer all questions or refer them to other Lusitania scholars.

The addresses of the individual pages may change over time, so please bookmark http://www.rmslusitania.info

Thank you for visiting.

Dedication
This site is dedicated to the RMS Lusitania and all those who built, and those who sailed, on her.

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