The Lusitania Resource > News > On board #Lusitania, U-20 100 years ago – 5 May 1915 – #Lusitania100

On board #Lusitania, U-20 100 years ago – 5 May 1915 – #Lusitania100

28The image is in error, as the actual u-boat that sank the Lusitania was number 20, not 139.

On board RMS Lusitania, Wednesday, 5 May 1915: A 25th birthday party is thrown for saloon passenger Dorothy Braithwaite. Marconigram for saloon passenger George Kessler:
Have urgent instructions from New York to see you immediately. Kindly wire by Marconi name your hotel London so that I can call on you on arrival.
Second cabin passenger Ian Holbourn complains directly to Captain Turner about the lack of an adequate lifeboat drill or passenger safety education, but Holbourn senses that his interference is unwelcome. From the recollections of seven-year old second cabin passenger Robert Kay, traveling with his mother Marguerita:
Wednesday, May 5th . . . I was told by the ship’s doctor that I had measles and must be sent to quarantine.
From the letters of second cabin passenger Nellie Huston:
I wonder if the folks will meet me? I’ve made quite a list of friends. The bedroom steward off theCameronian” [sic] is on this boat and he was surprised to see me. He’s a fine fellow and looks after us fine. I think I’ll do a little sewing today.
On board SM U-20, Wednesday, 5 May 1915: Around 5:00 p.m. German submarine U-20, under the command of Kapitanleutnant Walther Schwieger, sees a 99-ton British sailing vessel, Earl of Lathom, south of Kinsale, Ireland.
As no danger existed for our boat in approaching, we made for the stern of the sailer.
Schwieger fires a warning shot and gives time for the crew of the sailing vessel to escape. Twelve shots are needed to sink the small ship. Around 8:00 p.m. U-20 sights the British steamer Cayo Romano disguised as a neutral ship. Schwieger fires a torpedo at the vessel but misses, shooting past or under the steamer.
After the shot I turned around hard and ran away in order to avoid the danger of being fired upon. For this reason I did not consider a second attack. Steamer disappeared quickly in the fog.
General warning from the Admiralty, 10:30 p.m.:
Submarines active off the south coast of Ireland.
A clarification was added at midnight:
Submarine off Fastnet
Sources John P. Eaton Jim Kalafus Michael Poirier Geoff Whitfield, UK Hickey, Des and Gus Smith. Seven Days to Disaster. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1981. Kalafus, Jim, Michael Poirier, Cliff Barry and Peter Kelly (2013) “Lest We Forget : The Lusitania.” Gare Maritime (ref: #10962, accessed 27th April 2015 03:24:39 PM) URL : Larson, Erik. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, pages 185-6. Crown Publishers, New York, 2015. Preston, Diana. Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy. Berkley Books, 2002.

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