Lusitania Sinking - Preface

Lusitania Sinking (Illustration) American History Famous Historical Events Film Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs World History Summer Reading WWI Series Ethics Disasters World War I

This vintage postcard depicts a view of the Lusitania, a Cunard-line ship. A fast vessel, Lusitania routinely crossed the Atlantic between New York City and Liverpool (where she was based) between 1907 and 1915.  She was Liverpool's "most-famous ship."


Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic
voyage are reminded that a state of war exists
between Germany and her allies and Great Britain
and her allies; that the zone of war includes the
waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance
with formal notice given by the Imperial German
Government, vessels flying the flag of Great
Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction
in those waters and that travelers sailing in the war
zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at
their own risk.

Imperial German Embassy
Washington, D.C.
April 22, 1915
Published in Newspapers on May 1, 1915

Germany and Great Britain were at war. So were most of the other countries of Europe.
The United States, wanting to remain neutral, had not yet entered World War I. But the Imperial Government of Kaiser Wilhelm II had issued a dire warning to American citizens: Stay out of the waters around the British Isles. Those waters included the Irish Sea.
How many of the 1959 people on board the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 knew about Germany’s threat to sink non-military ships?
Of those who knew, how many really believed that women and children would be treated like front-line soldiers of war? 
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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