VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS (Illustration) Famous Historical Events World History Disasters World War I

This photo image, depicting coffins of Lusitania victims transported by horse-drawn carriage, was likely taken in Queenstown (now known as Cobh) in County Cork, Ireland.  Many victims of the disaster are buried in mass graves in the Old Church Cemetery.  Courtesy, On-line Journal of Research on Irish Maritime History.  Click on the image for a better view.


Before he returned U-20 to her Fastnet course, Schwieger watched the horror on board the ship he had fatally wounded. He wrote in his war diary:

It looks as if the ship will stay afloat only for a very short time. [I gave order to] dive to 25 metres and leave the area seawards. I couldn't have fired another torpedo into this mass of humans desperately trying to save themselves.

Not many saved themselves, though. It was reported that 1,198 died. A survivor, Barbara Anderson McDermott, was one of thirty-two children on board. All but four perished. Mrs. McDermott still recalls the horror:

It [the torpedo] went through the front of the boat so the water was naturally going in fast and all those people who were down there [in the lower decks] were getting drowned.

The Bluebell rescued Captain Turner and other survivors. Most bodies were never recovered. Some of the victims could not be identified.

Many people were buried in mass graves in Queenstown/Cobh. The horrifying sight of coffins on top of coffins must have been overwhelming. One grave alone contained sixty-six coffins.

Germany, despite the shock of people around the world, was unapologetic. The German government had issued its warning. Their actions were justified, they said, because they believed the ship was carrying arms which would have been used to kill Germans.

But was the ship carrying arms?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: May 19, 2015

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"VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2004. Jan 21, 2020.
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